Series Code: LAC
Program Code: LAC180007A
00:01 Our local church ministry
00:03 has really restored relationships.
00:06 It's pulled up roots of ignorance about abortion
00:09 and planted seeds of love, hope and healing.
00:12 Come learn how on Life After Choice.
00:31 Hi, I'm Michael.
00:32 And this is Abby, welcome to Life After Choice.
00:36 My girlfriend had an abortion in which I had no choice.
00:40 And my life spiraled out of control.
00:42 There was lots of bitterness, pain, addictions, depression,
00:48 but God in His mercy reached down in my heart
00:52 and gave me healing and restoration.
00:55 I want to share with you how we started the ministry.
00:58 But first, I want Abby to share her story
01:01 and her journey also, and how this all took place.
01:05 I was completely blinded by pride.
01:08 I wanted to make my own decisions
01:10 and have control of my own life.
01:12 In that, I distanced from God,
01:14 I chose to take a morning after Plan B pill,
01:16 trying to prevent the pregnancy of my now
01:19 wonderfully healthy, beautiful daughter.
01:22 God had a really awesome plan for my life,
01:23 just like He has for all of His children,
01:26 and our local church ministry that we have now started
01:29 has really glorified the name of the Lord
01:31 and proven that He can make 1000 goods out of our 10 bads.
01:38 So I remember us receiving, tell me walk me through this,
01:41 Abby, how did we receive the connection card?
01:44 What went on in your mind?
01:46 Was this something that you had thought
01:48 about for a long time,
01:49 I really want to know more about this,
01:51 maybe our audience that I know, but they don't know about this.
01:56 So I had really been praying to the Lord
01:58 that He would show me some way to serve in our church.
02:03 And I really just wanted a way to hone in
02:06 and focus on something that I could connect with.
02:09 And I connected with people who'd had an abortion
02:11 because I understood the fear that they feel
02:14 when they're faced with this decision.
02:16 So as I was praying about this, and the Holy Spirit,
02:19 you know, is really prompting me
02:21 and leading me towards this type of ministry.
02:24 My husband, he recommended
02:25 that I fill out a little connection card,
02:27 just a little note to our pastor
02:29 to try to kind of get that ball rolling.
02:31 And so I sent it in at just the end of the sermon
02:35 to see what God would do with it.
02:37 I remember reading that card.
02:39 And I thought, well, this is really not for me,
02:43 and I wanted to defer on it.
02:45 But God kept prompting me, you need to follow up on this.
02:48 And so I began making some calls
02:50 in our local church conference,
02:52 we had nothing in our conference on abortion
02:54 or ministry related to that.
02:57 But we kept going further and further
03:00 in the Southwestern Union
03:01 of the Seventh-day Adventist Church gave me
03:03 some contact information for Mafgia Ministry,
03:07 which is the self supporting ministry that helps those
03:11 who have had abortions and also counsels with those
03:14 who are pondering or thinking about this.
03:17 It talks about reconciliation, and healing,
03:19 and how we can be restored to the God
03:21 who loves us so much.
03:23 We began this ministry by seeking God
03:26 earnestly in prayer.
03:28 I remember us really just praying,
03:30 and talking, and asking God,
03:32 you know, what should we do because we had no idea
03:35 how and what to do in these unchartered waters.
03:39 And it was really an amazing thing
03:41 to see how God really opened up doors.
03:44 Right. And he really did, He just...
03:46 He opened the floodgates.
03:47 It felt like, you know, we started asking the questions
03:50 and we started looking for avenues
03:52 for people to talk to.
03:54 And with the Mafgia Ministry, like you mentioned,
03:56 they gave us some leadership
03:58 and told us that we really needed
03:59 to reach out to the resources in our community
04:02 to see what was there.
04:03 So we started talking to the crisis
04:05 pregnancy centers,
04:06 we started talking to a couple of other churches who had
04:08 similar ministries that focused on post abortive healing
04:12 and alternatives to abortion.
04:14 And when we started looking at those,
04:16 you know, we really wanted to kind of hone in,
04:19 gather all these ideas and glean from these people
04:22 so that we can bring it to our church,
04:24 who really had nothing to offer.
04:26 You know, if this conversation had not been started,
04:28 abortion wasn't something that was talked about,
04:31 that was counseled on, that was,
04:32 you know, recommended or discouraged,
04:34 you know, in marriage counseling
04:35 or anything like that.
04:37 So, when we kind of got that ball rolling,
04:39 and started asking questions,
04:40 it was just really cool to see where God led us.
04:43 I remember that one conversation we had,
04:46 you remember when we were talking
04:47 on the conference call
04:49 and we had Mafgia Ministry and they were saying,
04:52 "We just need to get the conversation started."
04:55 And really moving step by step in being very patient
04:59 and I remember talking to our elders
05:02 and it was kind of apprehensive in my heart,
05:06 you know, lots of apprehension and thinking,
05:08 how are they going to receive this?
05:10 Are they gonna be judgmental?
05:12 I remember having our first meeting
05:15 with some other core leaders,
05:16 and they were thinking and asking the question,
05:20 could we get into a lot of legal problems
05:22 if we even bring this ministry into our church?
05:25 Are we well equipped medically
05:26 to talk about some of the issues
05:29 and we kept going back
05:30 to the stories in the scriptures,
05:32 how Jesus brought healing, and how He did it,
05:35 and how He sent His disciples out
05:38 to heal the brokenhearted,
05:39 to set at liberty those who are bruised or crushed.
05:42 And we really felt compelled
05:45 that we must move forward with this ministry.
05:47 We went to a retreat, and at this retreat,
05:51 we learned a lot about how the very nuts and bolts
05:55 and how the structure of how we can help
05:57 with these various,
05:58 help people who were in need of help.
06:01 Maybe you could share how we started the small group.
06:06 What were your first impressions
06:08 when we started the small group
06:09 for this ministry?
06:11 Yeah, absolutely.
06:12 So you talked about this retreat that we went to,
06:15 and how it led into
06:16 the formation of our small group.
06:18 And it was just an incredible journey.
06:20 And I can't really emphasize enough
06:22 how much we saturated this ministry in prayer.
06:25 You know, we prayed, and we prayed, and we prayed,
06:27 we prayed and we fasted for 40 days.
06:29 And we got our board on board, and we got our elders with us.
06:33 And, you know, it was just this big team working together.
06:36 So I can't emphasize enough the prayer that went into it.
06:39 But after this retreat,
06:40 and we had gotten ideas from other resources around us,
06:45 our board recommended that we go ahead
06:47 and just reach out to the ladies
06:48 at the Mafgia Ministry and ask them
06:50 to come physically to our church
06:52 to get this conversation rolling.
06:54 You know, to put it out there to show them
06:56 that it's not just us.
06:57 It's not just on our heads that this is a real thing
06:59 that our Seventh-day Adventist Church
07:01 needs to address.
07:03 So when we did that,
07:04 the wonderful ladies at the Mafgia Ministry,
07:06 they came to our church and they gave a weekend seminar
07:09 called "The Silent Sorrow."
07:11 Now this seminar focuses on the grief and the pain
07:14 that people feel that is silent.
07:17 And it is a sorrowful heartache,
07:19 because they feel like they can't be forgiven,
07:21 you know, not only do they have to live,
07:23 you know, with the pain of the loss,
07:26 but also the pain of feeling like
07:27 they're forever disconnected from the Lord,
07:29 like feeling like they can't get that relationship restored,
07:33 feeling they can't get back to that place.
07:35 So as we focused on
07:37 this message of redemption and healing,
07:39 and what God truly has to offer,
07:40 and what His true character is.
07:42 Over this weekend seminar,
07:44 we handed out
07:45 some connection cards for people to,
07:48 you know, privately on their own,
07:50 give us some feedback and let us know,
07:51 what can we do,
07:52 you know, what can we offer you to help you.
07:55 Because we had people from our community there,
07:57 you know, we had people from our church,
07:58 we really broadcasted that.
08:00 We want to get this conversation started here.
08:03 So when we got all these cards back of people
08:05 who are interested in helping in the ministry,
08:07 and people who wanted to, you know, discuss it more,
08:09 people who felt like, you know, they needed us to help them,
08:13 guide them through the recovery process,
08:16 because it wasn't something
08:17 that they could do on their own.
08:19 They needed Christ to intervene in their life.
08:21 So that's how our Bible studies started is,
08:23 we got this awesome ministry
08:25 and all these people really, really excited about it,
08:28 and really just seeking after the Lord
08:29 in a new and amazing way.
08:32 So our Bible study started, you remember the first meeting?
08:34 I remember the first meeting,
08:36 you know, you could see and smell fear in that room,
08:40 you know, because, again, we were looking around
08:43 and I'm sure people were thinking,
08:45 maybe I'm going to be judged.
08:47 I have this position in church,
08:49 and how would they look at me afterwards
08:51 of me sharing the story.
08:53 And so there are different levels of quietness,
08:57 you know, we went through and we spent time in prayer.
09:00 But I recall, as I was thinking about this,
09:03 you know, as if you were walking into this garden,
09:07 and it's just dead, you know, there was no life,
09:10 the rose bushes are all burnt down,
09:13 and all the different daffodils and all the flowers,
09:15 the garden is just dead.
09:17 But as we went through this study,
09:19 week after week,
09:20 and as the Spirit of God was poured out,
09:22 I just saw a life,
09:23 people who were maybe quiet, they began sharing
09:27 and they shared from their heart,
09:29 they began to realize that we could trust each other.
09:33 And most of all that they were forgiven
09:36 because that was the key in that entire study.
09:39 And that really gave me an outlook
09:42 that I never had before.
09:43 And just thinking, I wonder how many churches
09:47 have people who have this pain,
09:50 but they are never given an opportunity,
09:53 never given a gateway of hope.
09:55 I wonder, as I was there with the group,
09:58 I wonder how many mothers
10:01 are having the pain in raising their children
10:04 and thinking about the one child they lost,
10:06 but they could never forgive themselves.
10:08 That is what I was thinking about a lot with our group.
10:14 And to see that pain,
10:16 to see what people were going through
10:18 and to just be there with them,
10:20 you know, not that we as human beings
10:22 had anything special to offer them,
10:24 but that we could really seek the Lord together
10:27 that was, you know, a very powerful,
10:30 powerful point in their lives.
10:31 You know, it really radically changed
10:33 how they viewed God,
10:34 it changed, you know, their view of who He was
10:37 and His love for all of His children
10:39 that, you know, when He says that He forgives us,
10:42 you know, when we seek after Him,
10:43 that He has been pleading for us,
10:45 you know that it's true
10:47 to truly believe in the reality of God's love.
10:50 So to see that how that changed people's life
10:52 was just incredible.
10:53 And it's incredible, you know, every day as we move forward.
10:56 Do you remember, you know, like few that seven people
11:00 that we started with in our group?
11:02 Do you remember the couple of ladies
11:03 that they had never been able to talk about it before.
11:06 I remember that one lady who mentioned and said that,
11:09 you know, when she had had the abortion,
11:13 her mother told her
11:15 never bring this subject up again,
11:17 can you imagine?
11:18 For years, never bringing up this subject again.
11:22 And I'm just amazed at how God works
11:25 because this same lady,
11:26 she was at our church for the first time
11:29 when we were advertising for the silent sorrow seminar
11:33 that was coming up.
11:34 And she said, she said to her husband,
11:37 this is where I need to be, because God had ordained,
11:40 God had just given her this gateway of hope
11:44 for her to be there.
11:45 And I can just remember how joyful she has been,
11:49 how she feels being forgiven,
11:51 because there were others in our group
11:53 that felt as if they could not even forgive themselves.
11:57 And so they had to come to that point
11:59 of forgiving themselves.
12:01 And I think it has brought healing to their marriages,
12:04 it's brought healing to their children,
12:06 it has brought healing to their family members,
12:09 it has brought healing to their co workers,
12:11 because now they're different people,
12:13 just because they've been given hope.
12:15 And I just praise God for that. Absolutely.
12:18 I mean, it's all encompassing,
12:20 you know, this idea that it's not just about abortion,
12:24 but it's about our view of the human life,
12:26 and how we value it, and how God values it,
12:29 and the value that He has placed on it.
12:32 So when we, you know, studied this together,
12:34 and we decided, you know,
12:36 it doesn't matter if it hasn't been done in the past.
12:38 We don't have to, you know, play by status quo,
12:41 we can start this new idea and this new conversation.
12:45 We really laid the ground for,
12:47 you know, people's lives completely changing.
12:49 And now we've got this group of people
12:50 who are so on fire for the Lord
12:52 and just want to serve the Lord in every aspect,
12:55 because they have been freed of that great, great sorrow.
12:57 And I know you're probably thinking as you're watching,
12:59 how can I get this started in my local church?
13:02 How can I be involved?
13:04 First of all, I would say, seek God earnestly in prayer.
13:08 There's so many who are hurting right now in your congregation.
13:13 And you're probably wondering,
13:14 well, maybe it's just one person
13:16 well, you may never know,
13:18 if you don't start a conversation.
13:20 We praise God because in our conference,
13:22 our conference president of the Seventh-day
13:24 Adventist Church is 100% behind us.
13:27 We've been having this conversation
13:29 with our pastors beginning to talk about this
13:33 and not just push it away,
13:35 and sharing and educating
13:37 others in how we could be of help
13:39 and minister to one another's needs.
13:42 I believe, as it says in the Book of Hosea 2:15,
13:47 "And I will give her vineyards from thence and the valley,
13:50 because it says it will open up a door,
13:52 a door of hope, a gateway of hope."
13:55 We can be gateways of hope, by partnering together,
13:59 learning how we can be Christ's hands and feet.
14:03 I believe He has given us a great opportunity.
14:06 And my take away from this is that
14:08 God reveals Himself as a God who reconciles,
14:12 God reveals as the God who loves and heals
14:15 and a God who forgives.
14:17 Amen. And I praise Him for it.
14:20 And with that reconciliation, he's really shown us the need
14:24 that we have to be pulled to him and to reconcile that
14:28 that relationship.
14:29 So, that is my prayer
14:31 that we as a church can be reconciled to God
14:34 as we move forward with this discussion.
14:37 So we thank you so much for joining us
14:39 here on Life After Choice.