Monday, August 27, 2012
Outside the Abortuary: Impressions and Sounds
The above photo is of the rear entrance to an abortuary in Mission Hills, CA. This morning marked my first visit to this place, and my first real attempt at ministry outside such a location--a place where babies are murdered in the womb.
I was nervous.
My friend, Patte Smith, has provided me with invaluable support as I enter into what for me is a new field of evangelistic endeavor.
I knew this would be difficult and would likely require more courage and commitment than any other aspect of street ministry in which I am already involved, even open-air preaching. But, even after a mere ninety minutes outside the back gate of the abortuary, I realized I had underestimated just what it would take of me and from me to engage in this kind of ministry.
I have no doubt that people like Patte and others--people who have literally devoted their lives to saving the physical lives of unborn children and the spiritual lives of those who kill them--would see my meager beginning of abortuary ministry, not as uneventful, but also not as dramatic or compelling as it seemed to me.
I am a rookie; a novice when it comes to this kind of ministry; and I have a lot to learn. I learned at least that much, today.
I stood on the public sidewalk just outside the rear gate to the abortuary, carrying my cross. More than once I was moved to tears by the depraved indifference of some, the stark reality that I was quite literally watching women walk in the back door of the abortuary to kill their children (today was RU486 day [chemical abortion] at the clinic), and the almost debilitating sense of physical helplessness to do anything about it.
A couple of cars came down the street and started to turn into the parking lot, but stopped before entering. The occupants made eye contact with me. The drivers turned their vehicles around and they left, not to be seen again. Of course, I have no way of knowing if my presence with my cross deterred the people in these few instances to change their mind about coming to the abortuary. But I can hope. And, oh, how I do hope!
In the midst of the anger, indifference, and hatred of some; God did brightly shine His light. He allowed me to distribute almost fifty gospel tracts to people entering and exiting the clinic parking lot. And he introduced me to a person of peace.
As I stood on the sidewalk with my cross, a woman came out of the rear of the building for a smoke break. She looked at me, smiled, and said, "hello." A few moments later she walked over to me and asked if I was there because of the abortions.
She said she was against abortion and that she worked with a company that shared the building with the abortion clinic. She saw the stack of gospel tracts in my hand and asked if she could have some. She told me she would put them in the restroom the women frequent after their abortions. After we said our goodbyes and the woman walked back to the building, I thanked God for introducing me to a person of peace.
I had my recorder running the entire time I was at the abortuary. Of the ninety-plus minutes I was there, I distilled the audio down to about fifteen minutes of soundbites.
I readily admit what you're about to hear is unsophisticated, unpolished, and even uncouth. And what I'm about to ask of you, the reader, will likely expose me to criticism, rebuke, and maybe ridicule.
I would like you to take the time to listen to the audio, especially if you are a follower of Christ who is experienced at ministering outside abortuaries, and give me your feedback (although I will not post the sophomoric tripe of the usual band of atheist blog trolls). I am not looking for "ataboys" or pats on the back (I seriously doubt there will be any, anyways). I want to get better at ministering in this place and others like it; because after this morning I cannot, in good conscience, ever stop working this part of the field--a part of the field, which, albeit covered in the stench of death, is a part of the global field white for harvest.
Lives and souls are at stake.
Here's the audio: