Standing for three or so hours in front of an abortion center can be grueling under the best of conditions. We help ourselves endure by being prepared for as many eventualities as we can anticipate. While there is nothing better than experience and time in learning all the helpful things you need to effectively minister, there are some necessities that you should gather as quickly as possible.
Local and National Resources
As mentioned in the previous podcast, the women in crisis pregnancies have told us that tangible help is critical in helping them choose life; we never neglect the Gospel but we do want to be prepared with lists of tangible resources that can help in a variety of areas. Resources should be specific to the local abortion center, but national resources are also important for people traveling from out of the area.
We only touched on local resources in the last podcast but it might be useful to expound upon resources that we have found useful. Below is a portion of the resources we have found in our area. Most of them were found by google searches, or developing them ourselves through our ministry contacts/churches.
The best way to begin to develop such a list is contact local Pregnancy Resource Centers that likely already have a resource list. Then, listen to the mothers you encounter and discern the needs. If they mention a need that you don’t know how to address, google it! Put the need out on social media to glean wisdom/contacts from others. Contact area churches to see if they can meet the need. Eventually, you will develop a practical and useful resource list for abortion-minded moms.
Resources from Our General Resource List
*Housing (both Christian maternity homes and secular government programs)
- Contact local churches who already have childcare programs
- Research local childcare resources to see if any low cost/sliding scale
- Contact churches to see if individual retirees might desire to help at least on emergency basis
*Free resources by zip code
*Food pantries by zip code
*Pregnancy resource centers
*Option Adoption (adoption education/help)
*Jobs for felons
*Emergency help with utilities/rent
*Domestic Abuse hotline/resources
*Addiction ministries and rehab programs
*Embrace Grace (nationwide mentor ship for unplanned pregnancies)
*Grants and scholarships for single moms
*Free or low-cost legal help
*Sex-Trafficked Victims Hotline
*Baby Shower Ministries
*Free or low-cost counseling
Each time we have found a resource or learned of a resource, it goes on our General Resource List which we post on our private team Facebook page. We update it regularly. Every team member has access to that list so that when they are counseling mothers, they can be confident that no matter what the mother faces, we will be able to help her.
Brochures/Tracts That Cover Various Subjects
You often have very limited time to speak with the abortion-minded moms. Sometimes, all you have is fifteen seconds. In that brief time, we try to touch on all three key areas: God, humanity of the baby, and resources. However, the vast number of women go in without hearing more than that brief, info-loaded sentence. Therefore, it is invaluable to have printed brochures you can hand to the woman and let that continue the discussion for you!
On our site, Sidewalks4Life.com, we have free downloads of brochures that we have developed. We have seen lives saved through the brochures alone. There are two main brochures we offer to every woman who enters the abortion center parking lot. The first is the plea for women who have not yet had the abortion. It expands upon the three key talking points, has photos of babies in the first trimester, and explains the truth of abortion procedures and what happens to the baby. We put our first name and telephone number on the back of every brochure. Many times a woman will leave without telling us she has chosen life, but then will call at a later time to see what kind of help we can offer.
The second main brochure is tailored to women who leave having had the abortion. It is more heavy on the Gospel message and forgiveness, as well as listing healing resources for post-abortive women. The message of acknowledging the sin of abortion is interwoven in that message as well. The hotline for Abortion Pill Reversal is on both brochures. Even women who choose life may ultimately need that information. Women remain abortion vulnerable after choosing life. They are returning to the same situation that made them feel abortion was an option in the first place. Our resources take time to kick in. It is always wise to have brochures that reiterate all three talking points with salient scripture throughout.
Gospel tracts are another very useful piece of literature to hand out. There are many great sources for brief and compelling Gospel presentations. I love almost anything produced by Ray Comfort. We have found short and sweet is more likely to be read than long, wordy documents. You may very well not have time to share the Gospel in its entirety in the brief, crisis moments you have at an abortion center sidewalk. But while the woman is waiting for the abortion, or perhaps later at home, she may be drawn to any and all sources of comfort. What better comfort is there than God’s plan of forgiveness and redemption?
Abortionworker.com has cards that can be given to abortion workers to encourage them to leave the industry and seek help from Abby Johnson’s ministry. They also have a 3×5 card with checkmyclinic.org website and information about abortion providers and their records. These can be one more convincing tool in your arsenal of information.
If you can develop a small resource guide or list that you can hand out to moms, that is also very beneficial. Everyone seeking an abortion has some need that is at least in part fueling the abortion. Being able to address the stated obstacles can go a long way in helping the woman to trust you.
Clothing and Equipment
This may seem like common sense, and it is, but if you don’t prepare adequately for the weather and conditions of standing on a sidewalk for three hours, you will be miserable. Your attention will not be on the women killing their babies but on the blisters on your toes or the numb frozen finger tips without gloves. I have dressing for sidewalk ministry down to a science. I will share my hard-earned experience to ease your path.
- Waterproof shoulder bag or belt pack for brochures and essentials
- Warm Coat (heated coats and vests are fantastic!)
- Warm gloves (heated gloves are fantastic!)
- Comfortable warm pants (jeans or anything cotton are cold in the winter. Polyester or wool blends are much better, especially if it rains.
- Waterproof insulated boots
- Visor or cap
- GREAT supportive shoes or sandals
- Small personal fans are really cheap and great in heavy heat
- Waterproof slicker
- Waterproof pants or skirt to cover clothes underneath
- Good umbrella ( I have an umbrella hat so I can use it hands free.)
For all situations:
- Have extra clothes in the car. If you get wet, frozen, too hot, etc., you may need them.
- First-aid supplies
- Folding chair
- Any signs you want to display/hold/strap to car
This is a practical list and summary of what I consider essentials before stepping out on the sidewalk. My car is a bit of a cluttered mess, but I AM prepared for almost any eventuality! We want to be like the proverbial ant, who gathers his food in the summer so he will have no worries when the bad weather comes.
“Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise, which, having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest.” Proverbs 6:6-8