Gator Family

As told by John Barros:

We were so blessed to have John and Tina Crawford and their children join us down here today. They are a “Gator family” from Gainesville. They came with great news. They are members of Redemption Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Gainesville. The Crawfords, along with other members of their church, are going to begin ministering at an abortion clinic up there. They wanted to come down and learn but I think I learned more from them.

It was the slowest Wednesday I have ever seen down here. Randall was all done by 1:00. He was a little more twisted than usual and told John “We need more babies lined up out front.” There were real battles going on in folks’ hearts but only one didn’t go through with it. She didnt want want to, but had a guy who was trying to justify the abortion with scripture. They left and came back once, and then finally left but we didn’t get a chance to talk to them. One of the workers told us the girl couldn’t go through with it, so please pray for them.

Working down here I think you build defensive walls. Through the sensitivity of the Crawfords I was awakened again to the absolute horror this place is. It was such a blessing to serve with them and I know they would greatly appreciate your prayers as they enter this journey. I am so thankful to see so many churches getting in the battle, for RC Sproul, RC Sproul Jr., and Ligonier Ministries for calling out to churches to “stand”! It was also an honor to stand with those today who are here regularly.

How God’s Grace Saved Grace

As told by John Barros:

Today was such a blessing. Beth Goble, Yolie Gonzalez and Fredo Perez came down to serve. We were blessed to see the Lord turn the hearts of two young ladies and there was one turn-away.

 

Grace came out during the preaching and was so thankful. She had driven all the way from Ocala, but wasn’t going to mind the long road home. We shared how God’s grace had saved Grace, and that He had followed her all the way here. She was able to talk with Beth and Yolie and we had a time of prayer.

Then a mother and daughter came out equally thankful. God’s word is so powerful. We can’t change someone’s mind, but He totally changes hearts and lives through His word in just a split second.

Then today Lillianna, the young lady who chose life Wednesday, went to Choices. In a couple of short days not only had Lillianna chosen life but her boyfriend has gone from wanting to kill his baby to loving their baby. They will be keeping their baby. Again, thank you all for praying. Please continue. It is vital.

Sammaria

(At 12:13pm John posted this on Facebook: Prayer request… Samarria has brought me her purse and wants me to get her out of here. She has chosen life and the guy is so angry… We are going to make a dash to Choices as soon as she can get out and away from him.)

As told by John Barros:

First of all I have to thank you all for praying today! It was truly a war down here today. There was a young lady this morning who came here. Bradley Spruill and Warren Marquardt were able to speak with Andrea. They gave warnings, shared the gospel, and offered help. She never went inside but rather took information packets and left.

There was a mother and daughter who came today as well. The Lord turned her heart and she took information to get help at Choices over her mother’s objections. She said she will be keeping her baby.

 

Then there was Sammaria. She came this morning hard as stone. She wouldn’t take anything and actually said some things. When I began to preach she came out and said some smart-aleck things, but then began coming in and out listening. After I was done she came out and said, “I am not going to do it. Will you help me?”

 

It would take forever to go through all the ins and outs of this battle. She asked if I could get her away from her boyfriend. He was trying to force her to have the abortion even though she changed her mind. He was extremely angry. Sammaria went inside and told him she needed to get something out of the car. She got her purse and had me hide it in my van until she could make her escape. She went back in and asked him to go get her something to eat. He left and after she was sure he was gone she came out and said, “I am free. Let’s go!” I took her to a very safe place with relatives who love her. (Trust me, that ex-boyfriend of hers would be a fool to go over to that place!)

 

Sammaria wanted me to thank all of you who prayed. She is truly appreciative! I asked her what happened that changed her mind. She told me something I have never heard before: “When you were preaching I could hear every word so loud. I wasn’t just hearing it through my ears. I could hear it through every pore in my body.” She thanked me but I told her it was the Holy Spirit who did that. I do not have that kind of power. We spoke about how good God is to have followed her to the “gates of hell” to pull her out. We had a wonderful time of prayer. After that she asked if she could come to Saint Andrew’s this Sunday. It will be pretty awesome to worship with this young lady this week.

God did such marvelous work in these ladies and in us today. Please continue to pray.

Making it More Difficult

As told by John Barros:

Today was a bit different. They closed their EPOC center and had everyone here. They have been doing that a lot lately on Thursdays and Fridays but I think this is the first Wednesday.

Lots of hard hearts today. There was one turn-away, and then there was Lillianna. She met her boyfriend here. He had one of these trucks loaded with Christian bumper stickers. I was able to speak with her a little but then he was able to tuck her “safely” inside. He left, but about an hour later she came out under heavy conviction. She went out back and sat in her car, then pulled up and rolled down the window. She was crying. When she was told how good God was to follow her all the way to the “gates of hell” she began sobbing. Her tears became tears of thanksgiving. We spent time speaking of her need to repent and commit her life to Christ. Then Samantha and I were honored to pray with her. You could feel the weight of the world lift off her back as we prayed. Please pray for Lillianna; she is special.

Then the workers and their questions today. They wanted to know about the 24-hour bill that just passed. One wanted to know when it takes effect. The lady who runs these places said, “John, you guys may make it harder for us to do things but abortion will never end.” Then the abortionist Randall Whitney arrived. He said “These laws are nothing new. 24-hour bills exist all around the country. They just have.to call and make an appointment the day before and come in. It’s stupid.” When I told him that he would have to meet each girl face-to-face with her ultrasound and explain her abortion to her and that she would have to go home and return, he got very upset. Randall said “This is bull $&%#. You people hate women. You just want to scare and terrorize them!” It was classic Randall.

The amazing thing to me is that they never saw this coming. You may wonder why I have talked about this law several times. I guess you would have had to have been here the day after President Obama was voted in. The workers came out with Obama signs, sticking them in my face screaming “Obama, Obama, Obama!” over and over again and saying “Obama is.going to make sure everyone gets an abortion.” That was a very disheartening day. I loooong to see abortion abolished. Until then I will cherish anything that makes it more difficult for these places.

 

It was an honor to serve with Samantha Shaffer, Jerry, and Philip Kinkopf today. It was tough work on a tough day.

We are losing Jerry. He is a snowbird and is heading back to Hayward, Wisconsin. If any of you know of an abortion mill anywhere close to there please let me know. He wants to serve. Thank you for praying. Please continue!

Conversations

As told by John Barros:

Today was very slow and the folks were really hard. No one chose life today. I am so thankful for the Sarnicki family, Philip Kinkopf, and Samantha Shaffer for serving.

I did have a couple of interesting conversations with a few of the clinic workers about the 24-hour wait law. One of the workers said they were all talking about it and it is “crazy”.

She told me it doesn’t matter to her because she is moving to a new job in Tallahassee, far enough away where she won’t be tempted to come back. (She has left before a couple of times but always seems to end up back here.) Last Friday the people were lined up waiting for the.doors to open. She opened the door and said “Good morning, John.” I said, “These people are blinded and aren’t listening to anything I am saying.” She looked at the people filing in and said, “I know. …Everything he has told you is the truth.” She has always been that way. Please pray that she doesn’t just leave but that God would open her eyes and grant her repentance.

I also had the chance to speak with one much higher than her. She admitted that they never saw this coming and didn’t think it could possibly pass. She said they don’t know how they are going to be able to have the extra appointments but will have to try to figure something out.

Waiting Bill

As told by John Barros:

Today was pretty darn busy. It was a joy to work with Yolie Gonzalez and Simona Spear. They truly poured their hearts out and there was one young lady who chose life.

 

There was some great news from Tallahassee today: Jennifer Sullivan’s bill made it all the way through the Florida Senate and is on its way to Governor Scott’s desk. It is supposed to go into effect on July 1st. I have been trying to figure out what this will look like down here; it will change a lot. This bill will require people to come have an ultrasound, meet with the doctor, then set up an appointment for their abortion at a later date. I’m sure the cost is going to have to go up significantly to cover this. Dr. Quintana, who only comes one day a week, wouldn’t be able to continue. Those of us who minister would have two opportunities to meet them and present the gospel.

I have some.folks making fun of me, saying “God doesn’t need two days.” I can’t begin to tell you how many girls it has taken more than a day to chose life. Even Jasmine came twice for an abortion before God pulled her out.. If there is one thing I have learned working on the sidewalk it is that God doesn’t work on our schedule. I so welcome this new law.

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.