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Is it really necessary?

Holly Friesen on April 2, 2012

We know that God forgives all of our sins at the moment of salvation, so is it really necessary for a woman (or man) with an abortion in their past to specifically address this sin and its impact on their life? As we move forward in developing our ministry to women post abortion, I am becoming more and more convinced that YES it is! Abortion has been so prevalent here, that even most believing women who were not raised in the church have at least one and usually more abortions in their past. Many of them are interested in helping us in a ministry to prevent abortion and so it becomes even more imperative that they address this part of their past and the way it has impacted their lives.

Carolyn Rice returned to Odessa this past month to conduct leadership training for the post abortion ministry. It was a joy to reconnect with the ladies who went through the Forgiven & Set Free Bible study in December and to see their desire to learn how to help other women experience the same healing. The changes that we saw at the end of the week long Bible study in December were not just a momentary “spiritual high”. These women continue to testify of the growth and changes in their lives that have come about as they continue to grasp and apply the truths of God’s Word and to address the ways that abortion impacted their lives and relationships.

The week following the leader training Carolyn took another group of 5 ladies through the Bible study. This time she had two Ukrainian ladies work with her as trainees/co-leaders. I did not stay with them the whole week this time. I only stopped by a few times to take care of arrangements with the facility and bring them supplies. However, I was able to be there the last day for their closing service and lesson. It is difficult to describe the joy and peace on the faces of the ladies as they testified to the change God has worked in their hearts. God’s Word and His Holy Spirit are powerful! There is such joy in being a witness to that transforming power! It was also exciting to see how the Lord worked in the hearts of the ladies who worked with Carolyn in preparation for leading their own groups, and how He continues to increase their burden for ministering to women in this way. Pray that we will have wisdom as we assist them in starting groups this spring and make plans for continuing to develop the ministry and prepare the others who desire to be group leaders.

Up to this point we have focused on women within our churches for this ministry of healing, but the potential of using it in evangelism was also illustrated to me this past month in my visits with two of my clinic patients. Many of our patients are “religious” but do not truly understand God’s plan of salvation and desire for a personal relationship with them. On two separate occasions this past month, as I was visiting with a patient about God’s plan of salvation, I asked them if they believed God had forgiven them for their sins. Both ladies responded in a similar fashion: I believe God forgives sins, but I have had an abortion and surely there must be punishment for that. In spite of the fact that society was telling them that abortion was ok and that it was the responsible choice for them, their decision to abort their baby has continued to haunt them and plague them with guilt. This opened the door for me to share with them God’s offer of complete forgiveness which we can in no way deserve and in no way depends on our works because Christ already did receive the punishment that we deserve. You can pray that these women will be able to truly understand and receive God’s gift of forgiveness and cleansing. Pray also that God will continue to bless the development of the ministry to women post abortion. Pray especially right now for the development of group leaders.