Monday, September 28, 2009

Walk for Life Grand Total Raised...

I told everyone that I would update everybody when I got a final total on how much was raised for The Hope Clinc via the Walk for Life. Well, I have that total: $18,633!! :) In 2007, it was over $20,000. However, considering the economy (and what looked to be a smaller group of walkers this year) I'd say that is pretty good!! :)

I was also told that I was once again the top fundraiser (and that is because of all you generous people who gave!!). Thank you all VERY MUCH for supporting The Hope Clinic!! You will make a difference for so many women and babies!!

Also, if you are reading this and wish you would have given, it's never too late! You can always send a contribution to The Hope Clinic via the address provided (or, consider supporting the local Crisis Pregnancy Center in your area). Thanks again and God bless you all!!!

The Hope Clinic
165 W Water St.
Berne
, IN 46711

Monday, September 21, 2009

Walk for Life Results!

Ok everyone! Here is my final Walk for Life update!!

Even though I didn’t raise as much as I did two years ago, I still did pretty well! All total, I had $1,558.00 in pledges (see final leader boards)! When I know the grand total raised overall, I will be sure to post it in a future blog.

Thank you SO MUCH to all who contributed!! God bless you!! EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR is going to be a blessing to a woman who walks in the clinic doors!!

The walk was great and it was a BEAUTIFUL DAY! I pulled the kids in the wagon and my Mom also walked with me. Right before we started, Casey spotted a baby right away. Both of my kids just LOVE babies! They alert me to them whenever they see one! Casey went right up to a crying little baby named Noah and let him hold his finger. Casey just stood there; gazing at him and trying to talk to him. It was so precious!! Casey has always been one who appreciates and loves others whether big or small. The unconditional love and compassion that he shows others always blows me away and touches my heart!




I think that’s about all that I have to say. The only other thing I would like to mention is that the annual pro-life memorial day is coming up. Please see their website for details (and to order your t-shirts). Also, as I mentioned in another blog, check out the website for Project Ultrasound. Read the testimonies of women who changed their minds about abortion because they had the chance to view that life through an ultrasound.

Grace and peace to all of you!! Thank you all for your support!! God bless you!!


Financial Pledges

1. New York - $1,000
2. Indiana - $383.00
3. South Carolina - $65.00
4. Tennessee - $45.00
5. Arizona, North Carolina, and Ohio - $20.00 each
6. Texas - $5.00

$1,558.00 total!


Prayer Pledges

1. Indiana - 11
2. South Carolina - 3
3. North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee - 1 each

17 Prayer Warriors!


Men Vs. Women

Men = 4 pledgers and 1 prayer warrior! ;)

Women = 28 pledgers and 16 prayer warriors!

WAY TO GO LADIES (and thank you gentlemen!)


Participating States 9/50

Arizona
Indiana
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Walk for Life Update: The Walk is This Saturday!

Well, you have probably read my previous blog about the Fashion Show (which was a very tiring but rewarding weekend). Now, I am preparing for my next big weekend which is the Walk for Life on Saturday. Yep, it’s finally here! That is why I need all you last minute pledgers to contact me by FRIDAY so that I can have your name, address, and pledge written down before I get up early in the morning on Saturday to go to the Walk!

Two years ago, my dear friend Heather walked with me (and Kaden too!). He was just a baby then and she was a single Mom. Oh what a difference a couple years make!! Now, Kaden is two, and Heather and Kaden’s father (Aaron) are now married. Better yet, they now have a brand new baby daughter; Kathryn Joy. It’s a blessing to see her and her sweet family! Even greater than that is knowing that even when she thought she was going to forever be a single Mom, Heather made the choice for LIFE for Kaden! Abortion was NEVER an option for her (praise God for that!). And, because of a Crisis Pregnancy Center, she had the support and counsel she needed to get through those uncertain times!! Way to go Heather! I wish you could walk with me again, but I know that you have a new bundle of JOY to attend to! Though, I am proud to say, that my Mom (who will be visiting from South Carolina) has said that she is going to walk with me! Can’t wait for that!! ;)

The world needs more places like The Hope Clinic. We also need more caring people who will give and volunteer their funds and their time to help those in need. You might often hear the pro-choice activists ask “where are you when that child is born?” Well, there are MANY people that ARE there for the women when their child is born! We DO care and we DO see them through (will you find THAT at a Planned Parenthood??). If you want to read a good example of that, please read this story.

Do you need another reason to pledge? Consider the fact that a high percentage of abortion-minded women change their minds after seeing their baby in the womb (and The Hope Clinic is one of those places that provides Ultrasound). In fact, Saundra (whose story you read in one of my updates) once told me that that would have made all the difference for her if she had gotten to see her baby. Unfortunately, there are many clinics that can’t afford the machines. That’s where organizations like Project Ultrasound come in. They donate these life-saving devices to CPCs everywhere. Please, check out their site and consider supporting this organization with your prayers (and funds) as well!

I can’t even begin to tell you how vital and life-saving your prayers and pledges are!! I am so grateful to all of you who have stepped up and pledged so far! Some have been gracious enough to put their faith into action by giving me “at least five dollars” as I have been asking for in my blogs. Some have given even more than that. Whatever the amount, it will be blessed and multiplied! God will use your tax-deductible gift to save and transform lives! How can you put a price on that?

Here are the current leader boards. As you can see, there have been some changes (the major one being that New York just beat out Indiana in pledges - just like last time). Grateful as I am for that (a BIG thank you to my EXTREMELY generous pledger in New York!!!) I think us Hoosiers STILL have a chance of beating out New York if my peeps would start pledging REALLY soon!! Additionally, I would STILL love to see the rest of the states in the nation show up! I got over half last time, but I’m really lacking this time around! Remember, you have until FRIDAY!! Please, PLEASE CONSIDER PLEDGING!! Can ya’ll pledge AT LEAST FIVE BUCKS??? Five bucks….that’s not too much to ask is it? That’s your morning coffee at Starbucks, but that five for coffee won’t compare to saving a child’s life! Send me your name, address, and pledge amount to my e-mail: melissawalksforlife@gmail.com Thank you in advance for your generosity and kindness!! God bless you all!!


Financial Pledges

1. New York
2. Indiana
3. Tennessee
4. South Carolina
5. North Carolina and Ohio
6. Texas


Prayer Pledges

1. Indiana - 11
2. South Carolina - 3
3. North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee - 1 each

17 Prayer Warriors!


Men Vs. Women

Men = 3 pledgers and 1 prayer warrior! ;)

Women = 23 pledgers and 16 prayer warriors!

THE WOMEN ARE LEADING!!


Participating States 8/50

Indiana
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Helping Others Is Always "In Style"

This past weekend has been tiring, but extremely worthwhile. As many of you know, I took part in The Salvation Army Fashion Show on Saturday (and it was a great success!). The success was a result of the love and compassion that every volunteer poured into the event; none greater than my best friend, Jama. When she puts her heart into something, she puts it ALL in! She planned and organized it all - everything from the gift baskets (which her Mom tirelessly wrapped ALL OF THEM!), the clothing, the selection of models, EVERYTHING! In my opinion, she can’t be thanked enough because no one has any idea just how much time and effort went into this event! The fact that it did as well as it did and was absolutely perfect was the result of her tireless efforts and the passion for people that God has placed within her heart! I am so blessed to know a woman such as this!!

I posted my pictures on Facebook and Myspace, but here is a link to the pictures that I have in case you haven’t seen them. They were taken by Mitch (and he did a good job considering that photography isn’t his forte lol. Thanks Mitchie Bear!). There were also photographs taken by a professional and when/if those pictures are available, I will make you aware of the link to that.

Though, as I said previously, this had precious little to do with us models, our clothes (all of which were directly from The Salvation Army stores!), or the gift baskets that were auctioned off. What the event all boiled down to was the fact that all the time and effort put into this show was to raise money for this organization; an organization that touches peoples lives. In fact, right before the show, Jama came back into our dressing area with tears in her eyes (and was trying desperately not to cry). The rest of us started tearing up as well when she told us about a woman she just talked to. She said that The Salvation Army had adopted their family for Christmas last year and she wondered if Jama remembered who she was. She did. This was a family who had been through a lot; the greatest of which was their son that was very sick. In fact, that ended up being his last Christmas. However, the woman wanted Jama to know that because of the Salvation Army, they had had a WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS! Jama reminded us that the outfits we were wearing were going to be sold in order to make lasting memories and happy moments for families like that little boy‘s. All the money raised would be going to families who might only have one last Christmas and because of those that support The Salvation Army, last Christmases are filled with joy and not barren Christmas trees and lonely forgotten people.

I don’t know the grand total raised for sure, but Jama said that all the gift baskets sold and I know that much of the clothing did as well (in fact, she said that there were some girls fighting over the vintage jacket I wore - which I should have bought myself lol). Everything went extremely well and everyone enjoyed serving in whatever role that they had. Things went smoothly and there were no trips, falls, or wardrobe malfunctions (well, during rehearsal I experienced some lol. Glad THAT was cleared up!). Plus, our master of ceremonies, Sandy Thompson, did a great job with the event! In fact, her descriptions and comments were so thorough that it gave us models plenty of time to change; especially when we REALLY needed to hurry (thanks Racheal for keeping us moving!!). It was a great time and we had a lot of fun; even in the chaos of flying clothes backstage. ;) We had several good laughs (like when Sandy Thompson said “umpire waist” instead of “empire waist” lol). I am SO GRATEFUL that I was able to be a part of it all!!

The icing on the cake is the fact that all of the money is going to help families in desperate need this Christmas. Now, more than ever, people need our love and support. Interviewing for that Christmas program will start soon, and I can only imagine the heartbreaking stories I will hear during that time. I’ll tell you what, I will look at those red Christmas kettles more fondly and favorably than ever (and I pray that you all will do the same). Spare change adds up to a LOT; and it may just buy a family some unforgettable and priceless memories that they will forever treasure!

Grace and peace to all of you!! May you all be blessed and encouraged to serve others with your gifts and talents! Be the hands and feet of Jesus and watch as hearts and lives are forever changed!! Remember, love and mercy never go out of style!! You’ll always be in fashion if you clothe yourself with Christ (Romans 13:14, Galatians 3:27). Jesus isn’t a “trend”, He is the “MUST HAVE” for EVERY season!! May compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience be your garments (Colossians 3:12, 1 Peter 5:5)! God bless you all!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Poem: Hearing Their Hearts' Cry

Well, I got a few little updates for you! Indiana is still leading (woo hoo! Hoosiers ROCK!!). Also, Tennessee has moved into second place on the leader board. Secondly, Texas is now a participating state (thank you Denise!!). ;)

I am almost half-way to my $1,000 goal. Please, help me meet it! I have had several people pledge $5.00. I even had a person give me $3.00. No amount is too small! It all adds up!! Please, pledge whatever you can (at the very least, can you pledge your prayers?). Like I said, if everyone that read my blog pledged AT LEAST five bucks, I would be well over my goal by now!! Please, don't just read this blog, think it's nice, and forget about it. Please read and be moved to action!! Please?? Just five bucks to save some lives?? Did I mention that your contributions are tax-deductible? ;)

Additionally, I only have 6 states currently participating. America, I KNOW we can do better than that!!! ;) As Mike Huckabee said, NOW is the best time to give! The economy may be tough, but investing in things like this is more than worth your money because the impact will last forever!! Store up treasures in heaven ya'll (Matthew 6:20).

The leader boards are at the bottom of this blog (as well as my contact information for those of you wanting to inform me of your pledge). I eagerly await your responses!! Please, flood me with pledges!! But first, please read this poem I wrote two years ago. May your heart be softened and primed to give generously after reading! *NOTE* This poem is based on real life situations, but is not an actual account of anyone's story.

Hearing Their Hearts’ Cry

Her hands are shaking as she sits in her car. She nervously gazes at the clinic from afar. Nervous and scared, she wipes the tears off of her face. Never did she dream that she would be coming to this place.

She braves her fears as she decides to venture out. Embarrassed and ashamed, she looks self-consciously about. What if someone saw her? What would they say? What would her parents think if they knew she had come here today?

She timidly approaches the clinic door. She takes a deep breath as she tries to visualize what might be in store. Then, she gasps, because much to her dismay, she realizes that this small little clinic is not even open today. The clinic is tiny, but they do the best they can. Yet, with their limited budget, they can’t always meet demand. Their resources are sometimes limited and their hours can be too. They desperately depend on the kindness of others. Oh, if they only knew!

In a panic, she wonders what to do. Tears well up in her eyes as she wonders, “God, where are you? Can anybody help me? Does anybody care? If this baby isn’t a mistake, then why isn’t anybody here? I need to talk to someone! I can’t do this alone.” Then, she gets an idea, and reaches for her cell-phone. She walks to a nearby phone booth so she can search for answers in the phone book. Surely there must be another place she can go. All she had to do was look.

She stands there searching; searching for hope. She says to herself, “There must be someplace out there that can help me cope.” She fights to remember the name of a place she had heard about at school; a place that so many kids seemed to think was cool. She had heard this place provides help and can take all your problems away; a place that always knew the right words to say. They care about your health and your life and make every effort to minimize your burdens and strife. “Oh if only I could remember! I really wish I could!” Then, she did remember. The name was “Planned Parenthood.”

She looked up the phone number and called it right away. Oh, what joy! They were open today!! Though the voice didn’t sound that welcoming, she knew what to do. She had had a glimmer of hope when the woman said, “Come on in. We’ll take care of things for you.”

She got in her car and got onto the highway. She drove to Planned Parenthood to see what they would have to say. When she got there, she was a little surprised. Unlike the clinic, this was much bigger in size. They have very little trouble getting financial aid. In fact, the funds they have raised, over the years, total hundreds of millions of dollars made. Celebrities and everyday citizens contribute. The government does too! They donate to Planned Parenthoods with tax dollars that come from you!

She gets out of her car, and strolls up to the door. She is surprised to find protesters galore. What are they talking about? This clinic does WHAT?! She is now scared to go in, but feels stuck in a rut. The pregnancy center was closed, so this is her only option, right? So, why was everyone around her putting up such a fight?

Shaky and confused, she decides to go in. She registers, sits down, and tries to brave the turmoil within. There is chaos outside, and chaos in her heart. She tries to make sense of things, but doesn’t know where to start.

When she hears her name, she goes in for a consultation. The staff assures her that they understand her frustration. “We know it’s a burden to be in your shoes. We’ll help you. We’ll fix your problems. We’ll show you what to do.” Before she knows what is happening, they advise her to abort. She had never really considered it. It was always the last resort. They were right. She wasn’t really ready for a baby. However, she just couldn’t seem to grasp the words coming from this lady. “It’s really ok,” she says, “It’s just a blob of tissue.” But deep inside her heart, she knew that she shouldn’t even be talking about this issue. She was starting to feel uncomfortable. She had thought they were going to understand. But, with growing uncertainty, she was realizing the problem at hand. They were pushing her to abort a life that she knew she shouldn’t kill. She didn’t want to do it, but she didn’t know what to feel.

After the consultation, they wanted to make a return appointment for her. But, in her heart, she was most decidedly unsure. She told them she would think about it. “This whole thing,” she said, “is so scary and new.” “Don’t worry,” they said, “we know what’s best and we are here for you.”

As she stepped out the door, wondering what they really meant, she wondered where all the protestors went. She shrugged her shoulders and decided to go home. As she drove, tears filled her eyes, “I feel so all alone!” She decided to stop at her friend’s house, “Maybe she’ll have some advice for me.” She didn’t know if her friend would be home, but she decided to go and see.

She went to her friend’s house to talk things out. It was then that she learned something she had not known about. Her friend said that, like her, she had had a choice to make. But, unfortunately for her, she had a different fate. “I too went to Planned Parenthood,” her friend said. “They convinced me to abort my child, and now, my baby’s dead. I wish I hadn’t done it. If only I had known! There are people that could have truly helped me. I wouldn’t have had to go through it alone. I was deceived by their agenda, and taken in by all the lies. They make things look so easy, and they have a clever disguise. But since then, I have learned, that God provides a better way. You don’t have to suffer like I did. Choose LIFE for yourself, and your child, today! You’ll be sorry if you don’t, because the pain is so intense. It will break your heart and scar you deeply. It’s a pain that’s most immense! Since then, I have accepted Christ and asked forgiveness for my sins. If you really want a solution, let’s just go to Him!”

As they bowed their heads and prayed, something amazing occurred! It was then, in that moment, that she thought she heard a spoken word. As she prayed for the Lord to come into her heart, and help her know what to do, she felt a tug within her heart and a still small voice say, “I love you.” A peace began to grow deep inside her heart and her fears seemed to melt away. The tears flowed down as she began experiencing her “rebirth” day.

The next day, she and her friend, went to the clinic - their minds made up for “life.“ The clinic was open, and ready to help her shoulder the burden of her strife. “We love you and we’re here for you. We’ll help you as much as we can. Our funds aren’t much but we always try hard to lend a helping hand.”

Their reassurance brought her peace. She knew everything would be alright. More stories could have endings like this if more people would hear her plight. We need to help shoulder the burdens. We need to care enough to be a voice. We need to be there to help and tell them that “Life” is the only choice! We do that by providing counsel. We do that by providing aid. Pro-life organizations and CPCs need our help!! Just think of the lives you’ll help save! Share your hearts and share your wealth. Show the people in these situations that you care for their lives and health. Pour out your hearts to God; and offer up your prayers. Let’s rally for life and show the world, that GOD’S CHURCH REALLY CARES!

Financial Pledges

1. Indiana
2. Tennessee
3. South Carolina
4. Ohio
5. Texas

Prayer Pledges

1. Indiana - 10
2. South Carolina - 2
3. Oklahoma and Tennessee - 1 each

14 Prayer Warriors!

Men Vs. Women

Men = 2 pledgers and 1 prayer warrior! ;)

Women = 19 pledgers and 13 prayer warriors!

THE WOMEN ARE LEADING!!


Participating States 6/50

Indiana
Ohio
Oklahoma
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas


**Please contact me at melissawalksforlife@gmail.com if you would like to pledge your dollars and/or your prayers! Even five bucks will help!! All I need is your name and address and The Hope Clinic will send you a letter in the mail AFTER the walk on the 19th to collect your pledge!! Thank you so much and God bless you!!**

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Walk for Life Update and Saundra's Story

Well, I got a few more updates for you (see the end of this entry for the leader boards)! One being that South Carolina is officially in second place after I got a five dollar pledge from one of my Mom’s sweet friends (you know who you are! Thank you!!). Additionally, I also got some support from a couple guys (thank you, Sean, for your prayers and thank you, Jason, for your pledge!!). That means that Tennessee is now on my list of contributing states! Oklahoma has also been added to the list after my sweet friend, Saundra, pledged her prayers!! Thank you, Mama Saun! I love you so much!!

Some of you might remember her name because two years ago, she allowed me to share her story on my blog. I commend her for her courage in being willing to share because it’s not easy to talk about abortion. She is one of the many women I know that have experienced the pain and loss of a child in this manner, and it’s something I don’t want to see any more women have to suffer through. That’s why I fight so hard against the culture of death; not only to save the lives of babies but for the women who experience these losses (as well as the fathers, grandparents, and siblings involved). Actually, everyone is affected, really. If you stop and think about it, your own life has probably been affected by abortion in some way - even mine. It just so happens that my dear friend Jama even told me that she was almost aborted (but thank God she wasn’t!). It’s painful to think of the fact that if she hadn’t been given the chance to live, I wouldn’t be blessed with the incredible gift of her friendship or the blessing of knowing her husband (who just got baptized last Sunday! Praise God!) and her precious little boys! I would have been so robbed because she is such a treasure to me and I can’t imagine what my life would be like without my best friend (I LOVE YOU JAMA!!). It kind of makes you wonder what this world would be like (and what WE would be like) if we weren’t cheated out of so many lives through abortion. What might those lives brought to this world if they were allowed the chance to live their purpose and make a difference?

Anyways, without further delay, here is Saundra’s story in her own words. May it touch your heart and inspire you to have love, mercy, and compassion on others who are hurting. May it also move you to take action and pledge your support as I Walk for (and fight for) Life!!! Grace and peace to all of you!

Memories of a sunny fall day in early October, sitting in a crowded room of young mothers... How do you force a smile on your face and push down the knots forming in your stomach, knowing that very soon you will walk back out into sunlight with an empty womb, childless. It seemed easy enough for several of the young women, but for me personally I knew it was a death sentence I was carrying out.

As my name and several others were called, we shuffled into a room with a projector to watch 'the movie' that showed us the procedure we would be going through. I got so queasy, I had to leave the room, almost passing out in the hallway. Not once did a counselor say anything about options, and I desperately wanted someone, anyone to talk me out of what I was about to do. Undress, put the gown on, lay on the cold metal table... this will only take a few minutes...that was such a surreal feeling, just going through the motions and struggling to not lose it, not to cry. I remember looking into the nurses face while the extraction was going on, and wishing there was something she could have done to make it easier, but death is death, there is nothing easy about it. I wonder now how many babies she saw die before her heart began to harden to what she was seeing...

Afterwards you are sent to the bathroom to clean up, lay down for a while if you need to compose yourself, and then of course there are cookies and juice to help build up your strength from the loss of fluids. Some of the young women bounced around chatting, relieved and ready to get on with life, and others like myself lingered. I didn't want to walk out those doors, didn't want to live. I didn't think I could ever bring myself to look at a mother and her child without feeling tremendous guilt and pain. I did leave eventually, and then I kept the traumatic events to myself for 6 years, until I married. For 3 years in my marriage, I lived under the lie that God was punishing me, and that I would never have another child because I had so carelessly ended the life of my first born. It didn't matter that the pregnancy came from a traumatic incident on a college campus. It didn't matter that the one adult I came to very quickly advised me to just get rid of 'the problem' because I would lose a full scholarship and risk anger and being cut off from my family. In my mind and heart I didn't deserve another chance, and was headed for hell, condemned for life.

I thank God for a group of women, who were powerful intercessors and LOVING pro lifers who chose to hate the sin and love the sinner. Because they cared about the life of the mother as well as the child, I was able to repent and find healing. Isn't that what all pro lifers should be doing? Loving the mother as much as the unborn child? Maybe if you can win the heart of the mother, she will consider other options before she chooses abortion? Maybe we should be praying for the hearts of women who are broken, fallen, all over the world so that maybe they won't have to make these choices? May God bless you all as you endeavor to serve Him with your whole heart!



Financial Pledges

1. Indiana
2. South Carolina
3. Ohio and Tennessee

Prayer Pledges

1. Indiana - 9
2. South Carolina - 2
3. Oklahoma -1

12 Prayer Warriors!

Men Vs. Women

Women = 11 pledgers and 11 prayer warriors!
Men = 1 pledger and 1 prayer warrior! ;)

THE WOMEN ARE LEADING!!



Participating States 5/50

Indiana
Ohio
Oklahoma
South Carolina
Tennessee


**Please contact me at melissawalksforlife@gmail.com if you would like to pledge your dollars and/or your prayers! Even five bucks will help!! All I need is your name and address and The Hope Clinic will send you a letter in the mail AFTER the walk on the 19th to collect your pledge!! Thank you so much and God bless you!!**