The story of *Jana (name changed to protect privacy) is incredible. She came to Charlotte from Tennessee to kill her unborn baby. When she was waiting for the abortion, she heard me on our amplified sound system. She heard about God and our offers of help through the local church. She began crying, knowing she should not abort. She was homeless, having left the baby’s father, and having no place else to go. She had planned to abort, spend the night in a hotel, and then try to figure life out. Now she cried, not sure she really could abort her baby.
As she cried, the leader of the pro-abortion group (Shannon) went to her. Apparently, Shannon heard the conflict in Jana as she poured forth her story. To our shock, Shannon brought Jana over to our team lead on the sidewalk, Sam. She said, “Get Vicky. This woman wants to go on the mobile ultrasound with Vicky.”
I was already on the way to my car to head home when Sam called me. I ran back to the abortion center. Jana was brokenhearted. She told me she had no place to live. If I could find her a place to live, she would not kill her baby.
I talked about God, the truth about the sanctity of life and the development of the precious unborn child, and the many resources available as we walked to the mobile ultrasound unit parked around the corner. Jana was tearful and afraid. She said several times if I could find her a place to live, she would let the baby live.
On the mobile ultrasound unit, the nurse Courtney went over the medical forms while I frantically made calls to area maternity centers. Everyone was closed on Saturday. I texted fellow sidewalk counselors and asked them to please help me. Find a place for her to stay!
Within minutes, fellow counselor Elijah texted me with a name and number. He had found a maternity center who answered the phone! They had room for her. We just had to call.
When I told Jana, she cried. Then I told her all about the Love Life mentorship program and the many resources and help available through our network and local church. She said she had thought the pregnancy was the worst thing that could happen. And yet, she never expected to find people who could help or offer all the resources we were offering. She said this baby might actually save her. She clearly saw God working a miracle.
During the ultrasound, she fell in love. The little baby moved her tiny arms and legs vigorously. Jana named the baby Debby, because she had always loved that name. She hoped it was a girl.
After the ultrasound, we called the maternity center. They were ready and eager to have her. First, I took her to lunch and shared the Gospel as we ate. She had never really thought about God’s commandments or that she fell so short of His standard. She had never considered that she had broken all His laws. I explained sin, the penalty for sin, the sacrifice of Jesus to pay that penalty, and the option to submit her life to Him as Lord. I explained that if He were truly Lord, she would want to do what He says. Otherwise, no matter what she stated, He was not the Lord of her life. If she understood all that, I told her one of the most important choices she would ever make was whether to submit her life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
She was eager to do so right then and there. Her prayer to her Savior was so beautiful. I wish I could have recorded it. It brought me to tears.
The maternity center was a small, humble place. I knew Jana was terrified. As she met the young women who lived there, she slowly lost some of the fear. Each woman had a story of desperate struggle. Each talked about finding out she was pregnant and feeling distraught. Each talked about the baby being the tiny miracle that brought her to God. They were all so delightful, and could of course relate well to all that Jana was feeling. By the time she had met most of the residents, she was convinced to at least stay the night and reassess everything in the morning.
I left exhausted, but so overwhelmed by the providence of God and the love of His people. Praise God for His people, for the church, willing to offer hope and help to women like Jana.
“I had always wanted help like this,” she said, “But I never found it…until now.”
Read part two of Jana’s story here.