By Jeremy Gorr, JFA Trainng Specialist
One of the most critical parts of our work is training Christians to have conversations about abortion so that they can change people’s hearts and minds. It is always great to see this process working in the real world. I saw it recently at a seminar I gave in Phoenix when one of the participants, Rylei, told me her story.
We initially trained Rylei as a junior in high school at Faith Christian Academy in 2017. Often when we train Christian students, they tell us that they don’t know who to talk to because all of their friends are pro-life. One of her high school classmates commented, “Because of our culture, I rarely even considered abortion and its morality. This [experience with JFA] really helped show what it is and the impact it really has in America.”
The value of our training, however, lasts throughout these students’ lives. In Rylei’s case, she is now a student at Arizona State University with two pro-choice roommates.
I asked her how her JFA training helped her talk to her pro-choice friends about abortion.
Most of my pro-choice friends haven’t thought through their position very much. I was writing a paper for my class on the pro-life position, using the same arguments you guys gave me. While writing the paper, one of my roommates saw me watching a video of a pro-life person having a conversation with a pro-choice person, and said, “Wow, he is really destroying her pro-choice arguments.” So she’s hearing the arguments as I’m researching my paper. So I find ways to naturally bring up the topic of abortion with them.
Rylei also has a passion for doing outreach at her campus. That passion was born from the outreach she did with us in high school. I am always thinking of how difficult it must be for a high school student like Rylei, who was 16 her first time doing outreach, to engage college students on a difficult topic like abortion.
That is what makes outreach such an important part of our training program. Once someone overcomes the initial fear of talking about abortion, this newfound confidence can even last a lifetime. One of her classmates at that first outreach experience said, “Outreach taught me that getting uncomfortable is a really good thing. When God is with you, you don’t have to fear.”
I asked Rylei about her outreach experiences during high school.
I love it. Every time. It is so rewarding, honestly. I know the first time I was super nervous, [and] I got thrown right into a conversation. But after you get through the first conversation I feel like it gets a lot easier.
Rylei is a living example of our training program in action. Rylei left high school with good arguments for the pro-life position, good skills for conversations about them, and courage to actually have conversations about abortion with those who disagree with her position. She was totally equipped for dealing with her pro-choice roommates and reaching her largely pro-choice campus.
Because of your support of Justice For All, we were able to be there to help Rylei each step of the way. She attended a JFA seminar and then an outreach event at CSU in 2017. She participated again in 2018 at Metro State University. And just last week because of a JFA seminar event, we had the privilege of encouraging her to become active at Arizona State University, where she is now a student. Thank you for partnering with us as we serve students like Rylei, so that they can become effective advocates of their pro-life position to their future pro-choice friends—many of whom will face an unplanned pregnancy in their future.