Encouraging Stories: Healing, strength, would-be abortions,
It's difficult to speak of encouragement, when there is still so much to be done to defend life. It seems like every day new challenges rear their ugly heads!
Still, after 25 years, we have had many wonderful stories to encourage us. Many of these were supposed to be abortion stories ... about children who had been slated to die. Instead, the babies in these stories lived, and they lived directly due to our efforts.
There are also other "life" stories below. Stories about healing, bravery, and changed hearts. We know that there are many more out there, that we have never heard about.
It is our hope that after reading them, you will be encouraged. You will know you are not alone in supporting life in the Central Valley. And it is our hope that you will become involved with Tulare-Kings Right to Life.
"You spoke at my church ..."
April Kesterson, our Executive Director, is often out in the community speaking at clubs and schools. She also works numerous community events. It isn't unusual for April to find someone approaching her to say "Thank you!."
Once when she was working the Octoberfest event in Visalia, a young woman — obviously pregnant — sought her out.
She said, "You spoke at my church. Because of that, I decided to keep my baby."
"I have a beautiful grandson!"
"A woman whose teen daughter was pregnant approached my booth and expressed her anger and frustration. She wanted her daughter to have an abortion!
After listening to her situation, I kindly shared some facts about fetal development and abortion risks.
The woman listened but gave no indication that she had been moved.
A year later, I saw her again at an event, and she quickly came over to give me a hug and say, "Thank you!"
She had taken the 3-month gestation baby model and some of my handouts and shared them with her daughter.
She joyfully said, "I have a beautiful grandson, now!" It left me speechless.
Mari Lupercio, Director, Latinos4Life
"It has changed my life!"
A woman approached one of our board members to share her experience of attending our post-abortive healing retreat — Silent Voices. She began the retreat full of guilt and hopelessness. After the retreat, she said, "It has changed my life!" Now she has regained her dignity and she knows that God loves her.
Lila Rose heads her own prolife organization, LiveAction. She has gone undercover and caught on videotape numerous Planned Parenthood clinic personnel as they sought to thwart laws that protect underage girls from sexual predators.
Her investigations garnered national media attention and caused some state and local agencies to review their funding of those clinics.
When Lila was just 15, she contacted our own Youth Outreach Coordinator, Jonathan Keller (now Executive Director of Right to Life Central California in Fresno). Jonathan made numerous trips to San Jose to help her organize her program and speak to her prolife youth group.
Who could have known that those sessions would eventually have nationwide impact?
Former pro-choice Woman says, "Thank you!"
"About 10 years ago, I was working the Tulare County Fair Booth. A solidly pro-choice woman approached. She was extremely hostile and let me know it!
I stayed calm and shared some literature with her. She took it.
Years later she moved back into the area, and she stopped by our prolife booth specifically to thank us. She is now solidly prolife!"
Diane Bearfield, Tulare-Kings Right to Life Volunteer
"She sent a picture and flowers ... "
"Though my job was in post-abortion counseling, I had the opportunity once to counsel a young girl who was pregnant and considering abortion.
She chose to continue her pregnancy!
After her baby's birth, she sent a picture and flowers to the office."
Carrie Guy, Director (former), The IRMA Network
"She actually made three appointments with
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