Celebration of Death

As told by John Barros:

In England years ago there were great celebrations linked with death. I’m no scholar but have read about hangings on Saturdays being the height of entertainment. They would have animals fighting each other, dancing, etc. I think of the scene in Braveheart where William Wallace was brought in to be disemboweled and the party that was there. Of course it was the same in Rome, and archaeology tells us it was the same in the worship of Molech with the baby sacrifices.

Some days down here it is like that with people outside dancing and mocking God. (All that to say today had some of that.) One lady went up to my dear sister Yolie Gonzalez, flipping her off and screaming the vilest of things. She poured a soda on her and then threw the can at her. All this while Yolie was offering nothing but love and help as she stood there with her cane. I gotta tell you I had feelings I haven’t felt in years coming out of my pores. Yolie being the dear lady she is immediately forgave the woman and said she was fine.

Then later that young lady came out after her abortion, skipping and dancing as folks looked out the windows.

 

It was a dark and gloomy day with no one choosing life but the Lord taught me and I’m sure Warren Marquardt as well how to let Jesus’ light shine through in adversity. I am so thankful for Warren and Yolie.

Tawanda

As told by John Barros:

All my friends around the country who were envying us in the winter can pity us now! Summer is close and it is getting brutal down here. Today was rough in other ways as well. There were about 15 here today and it was one of those crowds who just don’t say anything. There was a Hispanic couple who came so I called Stella from Choices. She spent over half an hour on the phone with the girl, but she had the abortion anyway. Stella poured everything she had into that girl and was very upset. I’m sure she could use your prayers.

It was once again a pleasure to serve with Bonnie Franke, Samantha Shaffer, Philip Kinkopf, Tara McPherson and her daughter Rachel, the new love of my life. They poured themselves out as an offering to the Lord.

 

There was one really cool thing that happened: a young lady pulled in and spoke with Philip and Samantha. She parked and went inside, only to come out within about five minutes. She walked up to me, looking like a deer in headlights. She said “It feels like death in there and I believe there are demons here.” We talked and she began warning others that were coming in. She said, “I went in but couldn’t do it. Watch out.” A guy called her and she said she was outside speaking to a Christian. I could hear him getting quite upset. She told him she wasn’t going in, and then looked at the phone and began to laugh. I told her I wanted to pray with her and asked her name. She hesitated and then answered “Tawanda,” with a smile. I knew what she meant. In the movie Fried Green Tomatoes there is a lady who has been walked over, beaten down, and abused in every way. One day someone takes advantage of her and she snaps. She fights back, refuses to be treated like that anymore, and says she is Tawanda. It was an awesome honor to pray with this “Tawanda”. She wants to come to Saint Andrew’s.

 

We had some wonderful visitors down here today as well. Other sidewalk counselors Mary Russell, Ed and Mary Therese Rivera, and Vicky Botsford from Choices. There is always a story to tell about Jesus. He loves to do the impossible. (If you tell anyone I watch Fried Green Tomatoes I would of course have to deny it… :) )

Cassandra

As told by John Barros:

This morning a young lady, Cassandra, came for an abortion. They don’t normally do abortions on Tuesday but walk-ins come pretty much every Tuesday. Without the pressure the people are more likely to talk. A few came today, and Cassandra stopped to talk.

When told that we could help her and that God had followed here she burst into tears, sobbing quite heavily. We spoke and had a time of prayer. She went over to Choices, was loved and counseled with them but wouldn’t commit to an appointment time for an ultrasound and followup help.

Please pray for Cassandra. Pray that God would open her eyes, draw her to Himself, and give her a trust in Him despite her circumstances. Thank you.

Prayer Response

[This morning around 11:30 John asked for prayer on Facebook: “God is moving down here but the place is now getting much crazier than normal… Sure would apreciate your prayers.”]

As told by John Barros:

First of all I must thank all of you who prayed today. I am blown away at the response when I asked for prayer. It sure is comforting to see that. The interesting thing is that about fifteen minutes after I sent that out they began leaving me alone and began turning on each other. There was a mixed bag like I don’t ever remember seeing down here today.

 

Today I watched a few guys from opposite worlds unite together in death, with death threats. One was a huge neo-Nazi with swastikas tattooed on him. A soldier with two tours in Afghanistan so close in my face with his threats that I could smell his tonsils, and a Muslim who brought his wife and daughter here speaking against Christ and America, telling Tracey he is going to have more wives and children. He will know who his children are, unlike the Americans who just have sex and have no idea who their children are.

Then there was a couple that came with their severely disabled daughter who looked about 15. We were horrified thinking it was her that was having the abortion, but it was her mom. In spite of all this craziness one young lady chose life and there were three turn-aways. Even though the turn-aways said “Thank you” and one girl tried to come back to us (her boy wouldn’t let her) we just can’t be sure if they chose life because we couldn’t speak with them. I was so thankful to work with Tracey Sarnicki and Samantha Shaffer today. What troopers. Even little Evan Sarnicki was working and praying hard. At times he reminds me of King David when he was a boy. Thanks again for praying; it meant the world to us today.

Powerful Day

As told by John Barros:

Today was so powerful down here.  I think Jocelyn said you could almost feel the ground moving under Orlando Women’s Center.  The reason why she said that was because the Lord was being praised, and His Word tells us that He inhabits the praises of His people.

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There was one young lady that came out and left, but we didn’t get to talk with her so we really don’t know for sure what was happening, but there were two that chose life.  One young lady, Dana, left saying she was going to keep her baby; she took the info and looked absolutely terrified.

  Then there was another precious late term young lady that came out.  Her mother was hammering on her to get back inside and quit being “foolish.”  The young girl was encouraged by us out front to trust God and that it is Him that is working in her heart.  Her mother took her out back and was relentless in her attack on her own daughter.  When they went to the back Jocelyn and Brandon were there to continue encouraging the young lady.  Brandon stood there with his 18 month twins in his arms as he and Jocelyn called to her to be strong.  After about half an hour or so they came pulling up to leave.  The mother was saying awful things, but the young lady had a tear filled smile.  Of course the mom wouldn’t let us give them helpful information, so please pray for her and the others.

  So unbelievably thankful for the Reformation Bible College kids today.  The praise and prayers from them were so filled with love and power.11091324_10206435043623271_7760253111384260674_n

Visiting Friends

As told by John Barros:

One awesome thing about living in Orlando is that many Facebook friends come down here for vacation. Today Jackie came down from Lexington, and Matthew McConaughey– I mean Zack Braddy–came down from Raleigh. These folks are awesome and jumped right in. I sure wish they could have stayed longer. There weren’t as many people here as usual for a Friday. The ones who did come were extremely angry today.

 

Edwin Botero, Andrea Caroballo and their friends came down to pray. At one point a young lady came out under heavy conviction and went across the street to call someone. When the people inside saw she was possibly going to choose life for her baby, they came running out screaming vile things and saying we should all put that “life” tape over our mouths. They actually grabbed her and took her back inside. It truly is unbelievable when you see this type of activity, because none of these people have ever seen each other before 9:00 this morning. There is such a crazy deep bond of death that I’m sure is really hyped up by demonic forces. The good news is that she turned right away from them and left. Yolanda Gonzalez was able to spend some time with her.

Faith, Hope, and Love

As told by John Barros:

I am so thankful for the RBC kids who come down and join in the craziness down here. They are so full of faith, hope, and love. We had our share of “nuts” today but the Lord was so kind to a few ladies. One couple came out and left. She was under some really heavy conviction. Another was a turn-away, and then there was Monica.

 

She was in and out all day with her mother. Her mother left her here, and after a while Monica came out and went to the back on the phone with her mother. She was screaming out in such pain saying “I can’t kill my baby, Mom. Please come and get me!” After a long conversation her mother.relented and came to get.her. Monica finally took some info and asked for prayer. Please pray for her. She is going to have a rough road to go down.

Conversations

As told by John Barros:

Today there were conversations all day but no one chose life. There was one very young lady who became very convicted, and another lady who was having an abortion came out to tell us we needed to help her. The young lady came out said she wasn’t going to do it but then the rest of the ladies inside bought her pizza and she went through with it.

 

Tara McPherson came down here with Rachel; they are such a blessing. Thomas De Castro, Samantha Shaffer, and Tracey Sarnicki also worked so hard. A couple of cool things did happen, though. Marcus Pittman and Sye Bruggencate came by for a surprise visit. It was awesome to see them; they are such an inspiration and encouragement.

Then something happened I would never have believed: one of the clinic’s employees called me over. I didn’t know what to expect, but she had a huge smile on her face. I asked her what I could do for her. She told me that she had a “save” this weekend. She talked someone out of having an abortion and into an adoption. I was dumbfounded because others from there have done this before, but I would never have guessed this person would. She went on to tell me that her adoption resources are limited and asked who were the two I would recommend. I told her, and she asked if I could get a stack of brochures from each one so she could keep a stack on the receptionist table at OWC and EPOC. I must tell you I was blown away! I picked up the phone and made a couple of calls. Within a couple of hours Mary Gibson from Life For Kids and Daria Monroe from Embraced By Grace came down with what she wanted. So as of today there are actually adoption brochures inside these two clinics. I don’t understand the way God works but this is pretty incredible.

Humbled

As told by John Barros:

I have never been so proud of Bradley Spruill as I was today. First thing this morning he had a pretty vile angry guy in his face. He was threatening and screaming, knocking brochures out of his hand, but Bradley stood his ground. A nurse walking down the street congratulated him when she returned. This guy was truly one of the most despicable people I have ever met.

 

Later he calmed down and came over to the wall to talk. His reason for killing his baby today was because he has had to pimp out his lady because they need money so he doesn’t think it is his baby. They said they would wait a couple of months after the abortion to have their own baby. I began to preach and as soon as I was done she came out saying she wasn’t going to do it and she was keeping her baby. She went out back and world war three broke out. They were pounding on each other, grabbing things to throw at each other. Running and hiding behind cars. She started getting the.best of him and he actually ran up the hill to ask Bradley if he could use his phone to call the police on her. It was nuts. He finally calmed her down and I think they did some drugs but she ended up going through with the abortion.

I believe 20 came here today but even in the middle of all this madness three ladies let their babies live. The darkness has been exceedingly deep for the past month, but God has shone a great light down here. It’s been a long time since I have seen Him do what He has done this week. He saved three Monday, one Tuesday, three Wednesday, five Thursday, and three today. Those of us who have been here this week have been truly humbled and stand in awe of our great God. Thank you so much for praying; please do not let up!

Impossible

As told by John Barros:

I just have to come out and say it: I do not deserve to see the impossible things I get to see. The Lord is so gracious, mighty, kind, and wondrous in all His ways. He turned the hearts of five ladies today to choose life for their babies. It was unbelievably powerful. There is no way I can possibly talk about what all went down here.

We were able to see mothers come out in tears, hugging on the side of the building after choosing life. Two different Muslim couples chose life. A pretty young lady stood up to her boyfriend who would not let her have our materials. A young lady named Debbie who came under deep conviction on her own.

There is one story I must tell, though. Marah and her boyfriend came for an abortion. They were both dead-set on it. They are Muslims. She decided to fill out her paperwork on the porch. As I was preaching every time I quoted scripture she would wince and sometimes jerk. She went on like this through the.whole sermon. They went over to their car, which was parked out front, and you could hear the arguing begin. In and out of the car they went all morning with her being told that we would take care of her. The guy was getting angrier by the minute. Finally she came out of the car like she was shot out of a canon, yelling “We are finished!” She left the car without her purse or anything. She ran right to me and said “I am not going to kill my baby.” He sped off in the car. She wanted to leave. Peggy Hobden offered to give her a ride. (She couldn’t ride with me because of cultural reasons and even said it would be better for her to take a cab.)

 

She called her brother and told him what was going on. Then her boyfriend came back. She went to speak with him. Her brother called back on my phone. I told him I was afraid for his sister. He told me to trust him and to be.sure there would be no harm to her and asked to.speak with her. I gave her the phone and when the boyfriend figured out who she was talking to a fear came over him. Then the brother spoke with the.boyfriend and everything began changing. Marah and her boyfriend spoke, and she smiled and said “Thank you, everything is okay now.” As they began to drive slowly away her boyfriend waved with a heartfelt smile and said “Thank you!” It was truly an amazing day.

Those of you who have been praying for Cheyenne, a brand new believer down here. She came by to show off her baby’s pictures, as she is seven months now. She is so brave to love and save this beautiful baby who is a result of her being raped. Peggy is going to mentor her. I don’t know how the Lord works and He does things that would never be expected. This week so far He has turned the hearts of twelve ladies toward their children down here. He is beyond our finding out. I am so thankful for Bradley Spruill and the Hobden family. Please continue to pray.