People gathered for prayer last summer along Wisteria Drive in Germantown
Covenant Life is taking part in the “Pray for Germantown” effort in which local churches have begun gathering to pray on Sunday afternoons that second and third-trimester abortions—indeed all abortions—would cease being performed in Germantown, Md. Our church has adopted next Sunday, August 5, to gather near the late-term abortion clinic at Wisteria Drive and Executive Park Terrace in Germantown from 3-5 p.m. to pray. We want to ask the Lord to work in women’s hearts and turn them from pursuing an abortion. We asked Covenant Life member, Yvonne Wyzga, to write about her experience of volunteering to pray in Germantown:
Have you ever prayed for God to give you a heart of mercy? Tim Keller’s book, “Ministries of Mercy,” challenged and convicted my heart from the Prologue that retold the Good Samaritan story to the last page of how to practically incorporate mercy ministry into one’s individual life and church life.
In the past, I had told myself that mercy was not my spiritual gifting, yet began to pray that God would change my heart to be more like his (Ps.103:8-10, Ex. 34:6). I had been guilty of avoiding mercy ministries out of fear: Fear of being overwhelmed by the needs of others and of losing control of my schedule. I could be OK with being merciful … if I had planned for it.
Over the years, my avoidance had led to a complacent and hardened heart when it came to the suffering of others. I had forgotten how spiritually poor, destitute and needy I was from God’s perspective, although I was rich in health, material necessities and fruitful relationships.
The Lord reminded me of this in January 2011, when late-term abortions began in Germantown. About that time, a neighbor of a prayer partner invited our small prayer group to join other brothers and sisters in asking the Lord to shut down the abortion clinic. I agreed to go once to support this homeschooling mother of six in her weekly, uphill outreach to speak to suffering women, offering them alternatives to abortion. I thought I should not just pray for someone to “be warm and well fed” if there were additional resources God had given me to offer.
My planned one-time visit turned into most Monday mornings. God’s Spirit helped this very reluctant person to go where I did not want to go! I was provoked each week by the other participants’ dedication, commitment to prayer and rescue efforts. A prayer partner and I also went on a Tuesday to represent Covenant Life and were disheartened to see how few people prayed on Tuesdays (5 or 6) compared to the number on Mondays (50-200).
Although I felt ill-equipped on that Tuesday in knowing what to say and do, I cautiously approached a 21-year-old woman who was crying at the corner near the clinic and learned she was waiting for someone to bring her “the rest of the [cash] money” to get an abortion. As I broached the conversation she said, “You are going to hate me.” I assured her otherwise, and she spoke about her family and how they would reject her if they learned about the pregnancy. I attempted to share God’s love for her, some available resources and pleaded that she consider the future consequences of her choice. After she allowed me to pray she walked away … abortion-bound.
As I sadly returned to my friend and those fervently praying, I became overwhelmed with unstoppable grief. My whole body began shaking as I heard myself crying audibly. I never had experienced anything like that before. I was powerless to help this young woman or the baby she carried, and all I could do was cry out to the Lord.
Will you join me and others in crying out for the Lord’s mercy? He is listening. Since those cold January days of 2011, more than 60 women have chosen not to abort, an abortion-alternatives’ site has opened nearby, state regulations have been enforced and Monday business at the abortion clinic has been reduced. Praise God!
Now, instead of praying on Mondays or Tuesdays, my husband and I pray from 3 to 5 p.m. on the sidewalk along Wisteria Drive in Germantown each Sunday we are in town. We hope others in our church will join us, especially Sunday, August 5, when Covenant Life will be leading a worship service and organized prayer to be a witness to hurting women and those in our community. In this outreach, will you consider being the hands and feet of a merciful Savior?
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