Pray with JFA in the New Year

Pray for Our Spring 2019 Events:

Pray for the events we’re working to plan in the following places for the spring. Pray for wisdom on the shape to give the events in each place. Pray that the events will be well-attended and will create thousands of conversations that will change hearts and save lives.

UCLA - May 2016

• Washington, D.C.
• Fairfax, VA
• Lafayette, LA
• Springfield, MO
• Lawrence, KS
• Wichita, KS

• Denton, TX
• Austin, TX
• Houston, TX
• Brookings, SD
• Albuquerque, NM
• Atlanta Area, GA

• Los Angeles, CA
• Denver Area, CO
• Lansing, MI
• Norfolk, NE
• Phoenix, AZ
• Your Town?

Featured Resource for December - Car vs. Polaroid Distinction

Richard Stith has made a distinction between construction of a car and development of a Polaroid photo that can help you understand and illustrate for friends how the unborn child is a human organism from the time of fertilization. You can read his entry-level treatment of this topic, “Arguing with Pro-Choicers” (First Things, Nov. 4, 2006), and his scholarly article, “Construction vs. Development: Polarizing Models of Human Gestation” (Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, 2014), through the link below.

Featured Conversation Starter for December - "The Miraculous Journey" Re-Unveiled in Doha, Qatar

Use the recent re-unveiling of “The Miraculous Journey” in Doha, Qatar to create a conversation about unborn children in a natural way. To help, we’ve posted a link to the photo essay by Penny Yi Wang which she published in 2013 at the original unveiling. Note in our post that we aim to begin the conversation with common ground:

Whatever your views on human development and abortion, can we all agree these amazing pictures show sculptures that are an amazing human feat illuminating an amazing human journey? (Damien Hirst's "The Miraculous Journey" was just re-unveiled last month.)

It's in Our Nature

I remember seeing news stories about “The Miraculous Journey,” a massive 14-piece sculpture by Damien Hirst, when it was unveiled in 2013 in Doha, Qatar. I was amazed at the scale of this public dialogue tool, chronicling the development of the unborn from fertilization to birth. (I thought, “I wish everyone could see this. It would be sure to get people talking.” Indeed, you can use this link to Penny Yi Wang’s photos of the sculpture to get people talking!) Shortly after its unveiling, the sculpture was covered, and it mysteriously remained covered for about five years.

Just last month, though, the sculpture was “born again” and is now back on public display. It illustrates the nature of the early human being at work. His human nature moves him from comfortable dependence on his mother’s womb out into the harsh realities of a foreign world, and his human nature enables him to confront those challenges.

At this time of Christmas, we’re reminded of how the Son of God, possessing the divine nature as the second person of the Trinity, took on that same human nature and “lived in it” with perfection, as human life was meant to be lived. Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, our human nature has been made new by faith:

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (II Cor. 5:17-21)

The Son of God took on a second nature to save us, and now a new set of activities can become “second nature” for us. Just as the nature of the early human enables him to accomplish all of his activities, our new nature enables us to bring the word of reconciliation as Christ’s ambassadors to lost people operating in an old nature based on old things.

As we celebrate Jesus this Christmas and come into the harsh realities of a new year, with all of its challenges to the smallest humans on earth and to women distressed by unintended pregnancy, this is our prayer for ourselves and for you:

“Loving Father, through Your Son Jesus you gave us a new nature to love and serve you. We trust you will strengthen us to live according to this new nature, as we seek to bring the word of reconciliation to every human being involved in unintended pregnancies.”

Thank you for partnering with us to help Christians discover the abilities of this new God-given nature through practical dialogue training. It is a joy to see them extend the word of reconciliation to those who so desperately need it.

Damien Hirst Sculptures Back on Display in Doha

Pray with JFA (November)

Pray for Recent and Upcoming Events (Partial List):

JFA Intern Kaitlyn Donihue (pink) creates conversation at OU. The signs to her right show content from our new “Invitation to Dialogue” brochure, which is our featured resource as well as our featured conversation starter this month.

Our team has been busy in Oklahoma and Texas these past few weeks, and we just wrapped up events in New Mexico and Maryland. Please pray for the many conversations we’ve had and the Christians we’ve been training for a lifetime of service.

  • Oct. 29-30 (Norman, OK): Outreach Event — University of Oklahoma (OU)

  • Nov. 11 (Denton, TX): Interactive Workshop — Denton Bible Church

  • Nov. 12 (Denton, TX): Interactive Workshop — University of North Texas (UNT)

  • Nov. 13-15 (Denton, TX): Kiosk Outreach Events — University of North Texas (UNT)

  • Nov. 27 (Albuquerque, NM): Interactive Workshop — University of New Mexico (UNM)

  • Nov. 27 (Austin, TX): Panel Discussion — Jeremy Gorr — Texas Students for Life Event

  • Nov. 28 (Wichita, KS): Interactive Workshop — Tammy Cook — SEAS Catholic Church

  • Nov. 28-29 (Albuquerque, NM): Kiosk Outreach Event — University of New Mexico (UNM)

  • Dec. 1 (Pomfret, MD): Keynote & Panel — Steve Wagner — Charles County Right to Life

  • Dec. 5 (Arkansas City, KS): Interactive Workshop — Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Featured Resource for November - New "Invitation to Dialogue" Brochure

Learn to use JFA’s new “Invitation to Dialogue” Brochure in the third section of JFA’s updated “Learn at Home” Program. It features a short script you can use to start a conversation with a friend using the brochure. It also includes a longer script that helps you dig deeper into all of the resources referenced in the brochure. The entire “Learn at Home” Program takes just one hour to complete (followed by a conversation you start with a friend), and this portion of the program takes only 15 minutes!

Featured Conversation Starter for November - New "Invitation to Dialogue" Brochure

Use JFA’s new “Invitation to Dialogue” Brochure to start a conversation with a friend in a natural way. (Click here to download the brochure to your phone or request a paper version.) The brochure begins with an invitation to understand and show concern for women experiencing unintended pregnancy: “Unintended pregnancy is not simple, and it’s not easy.” Then it invites the viewer to consider the question, “Is the unborn a human being with equal rights?” After being warned, the viewer can lift a page to view accurate, graphic images of early abortions, and the brochure asks if the pictures depict a medical procedure or the killing of a human being. Finally, the brochure invites the viewer to explore solutions for unintended pregnancies.

Faithful in the Field

November 2018

This Impact Report features pictures of recent outreach events. We’ve been testing a new smaller type of sign as well as content from our new dialogue brochure.

To complement the pictures, I’ve asked each of our trainers to select the names of a couple of people you have helped us reach in the past few months. Let’s give thanks to God for each of these and many more we’ve had the opportunity to serve.

We are privileged to stand with you each month training Christians to create conversations that make a difference in how people think and feel about abortion. Our aim is always to stay faithful in the field, trusting God to bring change through our efforts, in spite of our weaknesses. Please consider continuing to stand with us through prayers and a generous year-end gift.

- Steve Wagner, Executive Director

Rebecca Hotovy (sitting) interacts with a student at KU. Volunteer Pauline listens.

“Thank you for helping me share with ‘Ben’ how valuable he is. He felt children with cleft pallet should be aborted because he had a cleft pallet and knew how society had treated him. He was very lonely. Thanks also for helping me mentor Ashley, pro-life club president at the University of Kansas (KU), during her third outreach with JFA!” – Rebecca Hotovy

Pauline volunteered again at OU. Here Tammy Cook and Pauline interact with a student near the Free Speech Board.

“One of the standout students that I mentored this fall was Nate. He said, ‘Loved this training today. It felt like I gained so much more knowledge. Definitely changed what I thought was supposed to be having a debate with someone, to genuinely caring and kind and having a conversation.’ A chain reaction has begun as Nate uses what he learned to make an impact for God’s kingdom. I’m also thankful for a student named Sarah at the University of Oklahoma (OU). Through her personal experience with losing a child, I was reminded to lean into the Holy Spirit in tough conversations, especially when discussing the topic of losing a child, whether to abortion or miscarriage. Thank you for your sacrifices that make our work possible.” – Tammy Cook

Steve Wagner (center) interacts at GMU.

“I thank God for the chance to interact with ‘Andrew’ at George Mason University (GMU) in Fairfax, Virginia. He really wrestled with what explains equal rights and whether the unborn should be included. I also talked in depth with a young woman at GMU who claimed to be a Christian but who believed women can get abortions because they have a right to their bodies. I had the privilege of mentoring and encouraging Sarah, a high-school student who courageously shared her faith and her pro-life view with students at OU for two days. Our team was also encouraged to see other volunteers, including Pauline, Lauren, Jasmin, Ian, Mark Bryant, and Mark Wood, join our team for multiple days of outreach this fall!” – Steve Wagner

At OU, we filled a large expanse of lawn with conversations sparked by content from our Art of Life Exhibit, our Stop and Think Exhibit, and our new Invitation to Dialogue Brochure.

Grace Fontenot (red sweater) interacts with students at UNT. Note the new poll question JFA trainers have been testing.

“This past October during JFA’s outreach at OU, I was able to mentor a high school student named Haven. Haven is only 15, but her passion for defending the smallest humans on earth is incredible. Thank you for making it possible for me to encourage and assist in honing her skills as an advocate. Thank you, also, for the gift of making it possible for me to meet Katie in Georgia. Our conversation began with her feeling discouraged and angry and ended with her feeling listened to as we discussed whether or not the unborn is human, what we can do to help women in difficult situations so that they don’t feel that they have to choose abortion, and whether or not Jesus Christ is God. These women are very different from one another, but what they have in common is that they were both impacted by Justice For All, so thank you for making it possible for us to pour into people like Haven and Katie.” – Grace Fontenot

“I am thankful for Howa who is passionate about her pro-life beliefs. I was thrilled to be able to tag-team conversation with her on campus. I am also thankful for the opportunity I had to share the truth about abortion and my faith with Abdul, a Muslim student at the University of North Texas (UNT).” – Kaitlyn Donihue

Kaitlyn Donihue (pink) creates conversation at OU. Note how the juxtaposed imagery of mother and child makes it clearer that we care about both.

Jon Wagner debriefs with Christian Heritage Academy students after outreach at OU.

“Thank you for helping me equip Haley last week in Denton, Texas. She was extremely thankful to learn how to take the abortion controversy from contentious debate to healthy dialogue. You helped me reach out to Eva at our UNT outreach event. Although she didn’t shift her view 100%, Eva was challenged by our pro-life perspective. She was thankful that I acknowledged the complexity of foster care. She admitted that abortion doesn’t fix the challenges related to foster care.” – Jon Wagner

Paul Kulas interacts with a student at UMN. New signs enhance JFA’s poll table outreach.

“Thank you for allowing me to train Kyra, a high-school student who joined JFA for outreach at OU. As I mentored her on campus, she was able to see firsthand how the training prepared her for real-life conversations with those of differing views on abortion. I am thankful for meeting Camden, a freshman pro-life student at OU, whom I was able to encourage and challenge to become active in the pro-life movement.” – Paul Kulas

Jeremy Gorr (right) interacts with students near our poll table at Kennesaw State University (KSU).

“Thank you for allowing me to train Max at Christian Heritage Academy who came to the University of Oklahoma (OU) with us and did a great job at outreach. Thank you for allowing me to talk to Matthew at the University of Minnesota (UMN) during outreach, which opened up an ongoing dialogue about abortion, God, and Christianity.” – Jeremy Gorr

Pray with JFA (October)

Pray for Recent and Upcoming Events (Partial List):

JFA Executive Director, Steve Wagner, talks with students at George Mason University (Oct. 17, 2018).

Our team has been busy in GA, KS, MN, VA, and TX recently, and we’re preparing for upcoming events in OK, MO, CO, and TX. Please pray for the many conversations we’re creating, including the one described in Jeremy Gorr’s letter, “My Mom Wanted to Abort Me.” We thank God for the change Jeremy was able to see take place in Amin’s life.

  • Oct. 7-9 (Minneapolis, MN): Workshop and Kiosk Outreach — University of Minnesota

  • Oct. 17 (Fairfax, VA): Poll Table Outreach — George Mason University

  • Oct. 21 (San Antonio, TX): Workshop — Students for the Right to Life at UTSA

  • Oct. 25 (Del City, OK): Interactive Seminar — Christian Heritage Academy

  • Oct. 28 (St. Louis, MO): Workshops — Respect Life Conference

  • Oct. 28 (Norman, OK): Interactive Seminar — Trinity Baptist Church

  • Oct. 29-30 (Norman, OK): Outreach Event — University of Oklahoma

  • Nov. 11 (Denton, TX): Interactive Workshop — Denton Bible Church

  • Nov. 12 (Denton, TX): Interactive Workshop — University of North Texas

  • TBD (Denton, TX): Outreach Events — TBD

Featured Resource for October - Story: “My Mom Wanted to Abort Me."

In “My Mom Wanted to Abort Me,” Jeremy Gorr shares a story from our recent outreach event at Kennesaw State University. In the conversation, he saw first-hand how a personal story can help open a person’s mind and heart to change. Take note of Jeremy’s approach to the conversation, asking questions and gently challenging Amin to consider a more optimistic perspective. Note also how God caused Ima to be present at precisely the right time with the courage to speak. We’re reminded that we can train Christians in good conversation skills and good arguments, but ultimately we depend completely on God and his work behind the scenes to change hearts and minds.

Featured Conversation Starter for October - "Opposite Poles?"

Use Joanna Bai’s recent post, “Opposite Poles?” to start a conversation in a natural way. This post refers to a recent article by Conor Friedersdorf in which he argues that many people are more similar in their beliefs than at first they appear to be. You can start a conversation with a friend or acquaintance by retweeting or posting to Facebook and asking, “Do you think this writer is correct that many people are not as far apart as the media many times portrays them? I’m interested in seeing if we can agree and work together on some solutions to unintended pregnancy in order to help women and children.”

Opposite Poles?

We think Conor Friedersdorf is right (see below). People aren't as different on abortion as they sometimes appear. One idea: Don't let labels like "pro-choice" and "pro-life" be walls preventing genuine dialogue. Asking questions about abortion in specific circumstances and stages of pregnancy can help a lot.

Pray with JFA (September)

Outreach at The University of Kansas (KU) - September 2018

Outreach at The University of Kansas (KU) - September 2018

Pray for Recent and Upcoming Events (Partial List): 

Pray for wisdom for the team members who plan JFA’s event schedule. Pray for the health of our trainers that they might keep active in the field. Pray for each person we train and each person with whom we converse at outreach, that God will kindle new affection in their hearts for women in distress and for the smallest humans on earth.

  • Sept. 23 (Fort Collins, CO): Interactive Seminar — Colorado State University (CSU)

  • Sept. 23 (Lawrence, KS): Interactive Workshop — University of Kansas (KU)

  • Sept. 24-25 (Fort Collins, CO): Kiosk Outreach — Colorado State University (CSU)

  • Sept. 24-25 (Lawrence, KS): Kiosk Outreach — University of Kansas (KU)

  • Oct. 7 (Minneapolis, MN): Interactive Workshop — University of Minnesota (UMN)

  • Oct. 8-9 (Minneapolis, MN): Kiosk Outreach — University of Minnesota (UMN)

  • Oct. 25 (Del City, OK): Interactive Seminar — Christian Heritage Academy

  • Oct. 28 (Norman, OK): Interactive Seminar — Trinity Baptist Church

  • Oct. 29-30 (Norman, OK): Outreach Event — University of Oklahoma (OU)

Featured Resource for September - “What Is the Unborn?” and “What Is Abortion?” Web Pages

Our “What Is the Unborn?” web page features the most important information you can share in conversations to demonstrate that the unborn is a living human being. Our “What Is Abortion?” web page helps viewers wrestle with accurate videos, images, and descriptions of what abortion does to unborn children. Both of these pages is written with the pro-choice reader in mind so you can pass the pages on to start a conversation. Both pages have been recently updated to include new links and information. Take a look!