We and the Joneses have begun work at the Knoxville Planned Parenthood. Yesterday was our first time. Jeremi, Chris and I met at Planned Parenthood (PP) on Tuesday morning just before they opened at 9:00 (Tami needed to stay at home yesterday morning and spent the whole morning in prayer for us. We are confident that God granted us many opportunities through her prayers and the prayers of a handful of others that knew we were there. He answers prayer.). We made one sign and each brought a Bible. Our desire was to have an opportunity to talk to as many women walking in and out of PP that God would send us. We are not allowed on the property, but praise God that He put a public sidewalk on two sides of the building and one of them is within 20-30 feet of the front door so we could be heard easily! None of us knew what to expect so we just gathered in front of the building and Chris suggested that one of us stand on the sidewalk at the main road with the sign and call to people as they drove by. The sign read as follows:
BABIES are MURDERED here
(The word MURDERED in red)
This proved to be a really great plan, it gave us a WHOLE lot of opportunity to engage people since we stood at a stop light, that of course turned red every few minutes. I headed to the road first and Jeremi and Chris stood at the door praying, reading scripture aloud, and Chris also began preaching and calling (not yelling) to the front door of the building. We tried all morning to engage the women (and a few men) that came in and out of the building. None were willing to talk (besides the few that began yelling angrily back). The road is where we got such a good feel for the cultural temperature. We received a lot of middle fingers, 3-5 really angry MEN, we saw a TON of indifference (and sadly from every police officer that drove by although one was kind and said if he weren’t on duty he could talk to us. Sad isn’t it? A defender of justice unable to talk about what is just while on duty.). The indifference looked like people turning up their radios, refusing to look at us, playing on their phones, or rolling up their windows when the light was red and they had to stop. Chris said at one point, “At least the angry people engage us!” Indifference was so much more ugly than the angry people. There were also multiple people that said they didn’t know what the building was behind us and listened respectfully as we explained, and one car of two sweet and very young men listened very intently and when the light turned green they didn’t seem to want to drive away! Please pray for them, don’t know their names and wish I knew what was going on in their minds. And then there were quite a number of people that were very encouraging, honking, waving, calling out “keep it up”! But something that we also ran into in this crowd was that they agreed that abortion is murder, but said that those people in there would have to answer for their actions. We encouraged them that if we don’t speak we too will need to answer to Him for not speaking out against injustice because these little babies can not speak for themselves. God has called His church to love what He loves and hate what He hates and not in silence. Proverbs 6:16-19 says:
“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to Him; haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”
Every single one of those is happening inside an abortion mill! We want to see God adored in the hearts of the women (and men) that walk into that mill. We would love for you to join us. Right now we are going Tuesday mornings from 8:45-noon. We would love to see God grow this to the place where there is never a moment that that house of death is open without the light of the gospel calling women back from death into His marvelous light!
This is all such a new perspective for me. When Jeremi first started talking to me about this work back in late spring I was open, but surprisingly indifferent. Truly if even a month ago I had seen someone holding a sign in front of an abortion mill that said “Babies are Murdered here” I would have thought that was probably harsh. I had no idea how much the cultural teaching to not offend anyone was present in my heart. As I made the sign for us to take down to PP I was repenting the entire time. We don’t pull people from burning buildings politely. God please give us wisdom to speak both grace and truth. It was tough yesterday to say a lot of the things we said, we were very careful to not be angry, pushy, but frankly truthful. There was one time a man rolled down his window and started yelling at the three of us over and over “You are an idiot! You are and idiot!” We all started talking at once to him and realized right away we had to be orderly, so Jeremi stepped forward and engaged him in a firm, gracious and truthful manner, not that he heard anything Jeremi said. We all wanted them to hear and believe the hard truth of the gospel so that we could share the hope of the gospel, but we have to start with the hard truth of the Law.
Lastly, it is super important to note that not everyone that chooses to abort a baby just wants to get rid of it. There are hundreds of women each day that are forced by boyfriends, family, fear, etc. to have an abortion (about 3,300 abortions take place every work day in America). Do I mean that in that situation they are no longer responsible? Absolutely not! I do mean, however, that what if those women were intercepted by the Church at the doors of abortion mills across the country and told about the hope we have in Christ? We should be there.