Things Happen

As told by John Barros:

Today was pretty incredible. It got busy but believe it or not we had five turnaways and one precious lady chose life.

The ladies that were turnaways came out, some in tears and one waved. Then there was Gabrielle. She came with a friend and they were met by Bill a deacon at our church, and Beth Goble. They listened and were very nice but they went inside anyway. She felt she had to do this. A while later they came back out and she shared her story. She had an IUD birth control device. She was surprised to find out she was pregnant. She was coming here to have an abortion but changed her mind. She still has a broken IUD inside her and has decided to get that out instead of her baby. We spent time in prayer and they headed to Choices to see her baby and get counsel, as well as find some help medically. There are many things we would have no idea how to help. So thankful for pregnancy centers that have so many resources.

Prayer after Gabrielle chose life and is headed to get real help

The Lord blessed in another way as well. Three precious ladies from Ligonier Ministries came to serve with us. Kimberly, Jenifer, and Gisele. It seems like when they come things happen. Then they bought us lunch. Not from Wendy’s or something like that. Oh no. We had 4Rivers beef brisket. I couldn’t believe it. So thankful for these precious ladies. Then Heather came down for a couple of hours to end the day.

Kim, Jen, and Gisele. Hearts with feet.

Today was a blessing. Please pray for the ladies that left today would never return and that they would come to the Jesus they heard about today.

Surprise Visitors

As told by John Barros:

Sometimes down here you think you might just be seeing things that aren’t there. Well you can imagine my surprise when a car pulled up and Mrs. Sproul got out. I couldn’t believe it. Here was Dennis and Sherrie Dorotiak with Vesta. What a blessing this was. We were also blessed to have Rob who is an RBC Student and his wife Dee who works for Ligonier join Karen, Donna, and I.

So blessed

It was such a blessing to have them here but it was a very difficult day. People were pretty darn hard. One lady came wearing a sweatshirt that almost knocked me down. I really couldn’t believe it. It said “Only Awesome Moms Get Hugged A Lot” The things people wear here is often just crazy.

Wearing her “Awesome Mom” sweatshirt while holding the bag of medicine after killing her baby

During the preaching there was a young lady that came out and chose life. Everyone was praying while she sat on the wall. Karen prayed with her and she called for her boyfriend to come get her. He did and they drove away but he brought her back. I have no idea how these guys are given so much power over their ladies. It was really sad. When she was coming out and looked back at me it was so pitiful. I’m sure that look will get in line with the others that can haunt my dreams from time to time. God opened her eyes and gave her the faith to come out but she turned back and is already filled with regret. Please pray for her to come to repentance.

This precious lady chose life but returned unwilling to stand against her boyfriend

I am the most blessed person I can think of. The gifts he gives are incredible. The love and encouragement of my local church is beyond words. I don’t deserve any of this.

God Saves Twins

I don’t really know how to describe today down here. God really moved here in a mighty way and Karen, Marcia MacDonald Devor, and I were honored to serve with some of people that we admire so much.

Some of the staff from Ligonier Ministries came down: Chris Larson, Jason Sponagle, Lisa Stolz and her daughter Chelsea Stolz. Such a blessing to have them here and they jumped right in.

There were three turnaways today. One even gave us a smile and a big thumbs up but we weren’t able to speak with them so we don’t know their story. There is one, however, whose story we do know.

Jasmine came this morning with her boyfriend Al. They were bound and determined to have their abortion. Lisa and Chelsea were able to meet with them but Jasmine just wanted to get in there because she has a five-month-old boy. After being inside a while, they left but she returned right away. Chelsea and Lisa met with her again but she went back inside. During the preaching Al came back and joined her. He angrily yelled about the preaching and the Bible when he went inside. After the preaching they came outside walked over to Chelsea and gave her a big hug. God had changed her heart. Chelsea and Lisa went with them over to Choices.

She had found out she was having twins. Chelsea was kind of amazed how Jasmine had been willing to kill her twins because she was young and didn’t care. Then she went to caring and as their eyes were opened they began to see supporting parents and family members.

Chelsea loving on Jasmine after choosing life for her twins.

At Choices they confirmed their desire to choose life. It is amazing how hopeless people feel at the mill but once they choose life and leave they can see again. Please pray for Jasmine and the others that left today.

So thankful for Ligonier Ministries. They feed so many that minister inside and outside the church. I need them desperately. I need more than just Sunday mornings. They produce Renewing Your Mind, Table Talk Magazine, RefNet Radio, countless teaching series, as well as quality education through Ligonier Connect. You can check them out at Ligonier.org. Please pray for them as well as they work to build up the saints for ministry.

Happy Endings

As told by John Barros:

Being married to Vicki, I bet I have seen almost every Hallmark movie that has been made. Some of them are pretty good but none of the ones I have seen come close to the ending we saw today.

Cynthia came walking down the street and was met by Beth Goble and Elaine Mahnken. They were able to spend quite a bit of time with Cynthia. She was very sweet but went inside anyway. The morning went on with Bill, Matthew, and Pastor Dan ministering to folks that just wouldn’t listen. The preaching began. Beth and Elaine had to leave but Karen and Yolie Gonzalez came. The abortionist was late and just as he was pulling in Cynthia came out on the porch in tears. She heard the ladies calling to her to come talk but she went back inside.

Just after she went inside a guy, Leo, came pulling up front and made haste to go inside. I challenged him to get her out of there. He went inside and Cynthia came out with him in tears and they were incredibly thankful. They chose life for their baby and we had a time of prayer. I know this sounds awesome in and of its self but then I received a text.

Cynthia wanted to say thank you again. The abortionist was quickly completing his grizzly business so I texted Cynthia back and asked if they would like to join us for a late lunch at Tony’s Brazilian Buffet. She texted back that they would love to. Yolie, Karen, and I went over and met them. Then we got to hear the rest of the story.

Lunch with Leo and Cynthia

Leo was in Miami this morning when he found out Cynthia was coming here. He did not have his phone. He had left it in Cynthia’s car. He was breaking records trying to get here to stop this. He was almost part of a horrible accident that happened in front of him. He was so afraid he was going to be too late.

Inside the clinic, Cynthia was coming under heavy conviction. She said she was sitting there and her eyes began to be opened. She began to cry and wondered why nobody else inside was feeling like she was. She said some were bragging about how many abortions they have had and running their mouths about us outside. She felt so alone without Leo and then just knew she couldn’t go through with this and then Leo arrived. I can’t tell you how beautiful this was. You would have had to be there.

It was so awesome eating with them as they discussed the changes they are going to make in their lives. They are so thankful. We explained how God is the one that had set this up. Abortionist being late, God moving in their hearts and opening their eyes.

This is all new to Cynthia. I think she said today is the first time she had prayed. We went through a simple Gospel presentation and I told them I want to go into it deeper and they said that will be fine. I can’t begin to tell everything we all spoke about. It was a huge celebration. Please pray for this precious couple. We fell in love.

Before I Formed You In the Womb, I Knew You

As told by John Barros:

Still pretty slow down here today. One leftover from yesterday and five others. The good news is that two babies get to live. We had some sorority girls down here. This begins about now every year. All the spring breakers that ended up pregnant. They arrived pretty smart mouthed but left pretty traumatized. They didn’t want any help but said they weren’t going through with it. Another lady left just as the abortionist was about to get out of his car. Please pray for these ladies that they would stay long gone.

Served with Karen and Donna Eggars today. Tuesday Jamie Miller came down here. She made a tee shirt on her own and wanted to give it to someone that ministers here. I took it and figured I would just give it to the first lady that serves here that fits in it. Well that person was Karen. She loves it and it fits perfect.

Karen loving Jamie’s gift

Those of you that don’t serve on the sidewalks don’t see the ladies when they come out after killing their babies. Sometimes they are literally carried into their cars. It is just so awful to witness. It never gets easy watching this. Over all these years I have seen this played out thousands of time. They are usually coming out while the ladies are coming in for their “follow ups.” So hard to go from calling people to trust God to keep their babies to calling people to come talk after having their abortion.

So much death and so much pain.

Strange Days

As told by John Barros:

We are having some strange days down here. They were closed Sunday and Monday. I had people call to check on Tuesday and they were told this place would be open on Tuesday. Well a few came but then they were sent away. Well I sure thought today would be busy then but only three came.

I was blessed to have Matt, Bill, Karen, Chuck, and Mary come down. So thankful to have Pastor David Netzorg and Pastor H.P. McCracken as well. It was kind of sad because we had to say goodbye to Chuck and Mary. They are snow birds and are flying back to West Virginia.

There were two ladies that came. One was a high school girl whose mom and dad brought her and then a mouthy couple from New Jersey. Even when they were done, they were cursing Yolie Gonzalez and I.

During the preaching another couple came. He was wearing a big cross so I tried to warn him. He smiled and said “God Bless You.” As he was going in the door I told him to rip that cross off because I know the one that died on that cross and you can’t belong to Him. He became very angry, started to turn to the sidewalk but went inside. Then they came right out. He was angry and rubbing his head. He of course wouldn’t stop so the ladies weren’t able to speak to her. Please pray for these folks.

Another strange thing happened as well. One of the workers whose daughter became convicted of working here and quit a while back came outside during the preaching. She had a cigarette and stood there for a long time just listening. We were kind of stunned really. Please pray she quits like her daughter did.

We were blessed even more today because Angie Marlow Moore from Ligonier Ministries came down. She is a special lady and encouraged us very much.

The last month has been pretty rough. From time to time there is a deep darkness that I can seem to be enveloped in. This one seems to be hanging around a bit longer than usual. Prayers would be appreciated.

Sharing the Gospel

As told by John Barros:

Today was awesome. They were closed!! It was so awesome to sit there and pray without people all over the place. There were two ladies that came and they both talked and took the info.

There was also a precious young lady that came by. She told me about the pain of having an abortion when she was 16 and her baby was 22 weeks. Now she is 22 weeks again. We went through 1 John 1:7 and 2 Cor. 5:21 and then through the Gospel. It was really special. She made a profession of faith. Loaded her up with a Study Bible and some books. Then we had a time of prayer. She is beginning to be loved by ladies in our church. Please pray for her.

So glad they were closed today. So wonderful to spend time with her.

Good Friday

As told by John Barros:

Good Friday was very full today. I’m really having trouble sorting it all out. Actually I’m so overwhelmed. Just trying to grasp what our King did for us and what is going on down here. Going from here to St. Andrew’s tonight, it sure makes you long for heaven.

So blessed to have folks down today that don’t get to make it to often. So thankful for Chelsea Stolz taking her day off to come down. Doug and Carol Sarver brought their precious daughter Miriam Sarver down. Miriam is a Sacred Music Major at Reformation Bible College. She brought her cello down for worship and it was amazing. Tonight at church, the full orchestra, choir, and congregation sang “Oh Sacred Head Now Wounded.” It was awesome but I have never heard anything like what Miriam led us in out hear. The blinds were banging with all inside waiting to kill their children looking out. There is a Muslim man that drops his wife off at her appointment down the street. He always walks around watching the preaching while waiting. Today he saw the music and walked over. As they began to sing “Amazimg Grace” I told him to join them. He took his son and went over to join in. I wonder if this has ever happened before. When his wife was finished they said thank you. Please pray that I can become friends with them.

Muslim and his son joining in on Amazing Grace

We had a couple of ladies come by wanting to know how they could adopt. The Sarvers worked with them. Carol works at a pregnancy center in Detroit. They will be calling Life For Kids next week.

Wanting to adopt

We had three ladies do what I would like to call “Choose Life” but only time will tell. The first one came in but once inside turned out with a look of fear and said “I’m not doing this. I’m out of here.” She wouldn’t talk as she couldn’t get out of here fast enough.

The second was a mother that brought her daughter. They got money from a suspicious car down the street to pay for it. They were angry. Beth Goble, Cassidy Goble, and Heather Marie tried working with them. They just seemed to get angrier but then about half way through the preaching they came out with terror looks in their eyes. They literally ran down the street before anyone could catch them.

Then there was Joshua and Gianna. They went inside but didn’t last very long at all. They left and spoke with Heather and Yolie. They said they had come for an ultrasound but couldn’t take the evil inside. They will be going to Choices on Monday and will see Heather again. They asked if everyone would pray for them as they now have to share what has happened with their parents.

I don’t know what was going on today but there was nothing left when I was done preaching. Seems like I barely made it home and slept for two hours. People always ask what they can pray for. Strength and energy would be a great start. Praying you all have a blessed Easter.

Maundy Thursday

As told by John Barros:

After thinking about it tonight I am amazed at how God can work so sweetly in the midst of such wickedness and horror.

There were six that came here today on Maundy Thursday to kill their children. One couple was on the second day of their late-term labor and delivery abortion. The longer this process took over two days the uglier the baby’s dad got.

Pastor Emerson came down to learn and serve. He is from a Reformed Baptist Church in Edgewater, Florida. It was a blessing to have him join Bill, Yolie, and Karen who is now working at First Life Pregnancy Center with Carmem.

In the middle of the ugliness a young Guatemalan couple showed up. They spoke a different dialect of Spanish than Yolie Gonzalez knows. Bill, a deacon from my church, worked with them for about an hour. It was so amazing to me because somehow they could understand him without English. At one point, she went to her knees pleading with her man and hugging his leg. God was working in their hearts in much less than ideal situations. Yolie took them over to Choices where they were loved and cared for by Vicky Botsford Mathews and the gang in a language they could understand. God did this in such a sweet way and He wasn’t finished.

Bill in the middle of an incredible story

A young lady I have been working with came by today. Brandi is very pregnant. We were talking about her situation and how we may be able to help when she looked me in the eye and said “John, can you help me to be a Christian?” I couldn’t believe it. She asked for a Bible and wanted other reading materials. I gave her a Bible and R.C. Sproul’s “Five Things Every Christian Needs to Grow.” We are going to meet again tomorrow where she will be given a Study Bible. God worked in hearts in such a special way today. I get so sick from all the vileness down here and sometimes fail to see how kind He is.

Ash Wednesday

As told by John Barros:

Such a crazy Ash Wednesday. I know to many people certain days aren’t different than others but I really get more upset during the holidays. Pastor David Netzorg joined us down here today. He is such a blessing to me.

So many people came down today. It was just awful really. There are way too many stories to tell but I will share a few. We had two choose life and a couple of turnaways.

One couple came, listened for a little bit but went inside. The guy came outside and talked with Karen for a long time. He went on about how he didn’t want her to do it but it was her choice. Well, as the preaching went on, she came out and chose life. He stood at the front door trying to get her back inside but she stood strong. They took our info and left.

Karen listening to a guy that wants to kill his son but blames his lady. She chose life

A couple of other ladies came late in the day. Yolie Gonzalez met them and spoke at length. They chose life as well. We had a time of prayer and they left saying they would be going to Choices.

There were others that left during the preaching as well but the guys wouldn’t stop to let us talk. We also witnessed something that happens from time to time. Olivia brought a friend for an abortion. They were young and foul. We tried warning them all day as they came out for smokes. They finally had the abortion and left. They came back three times in agony to see the doctor. Each time you could see the pain was much worse. I don’t know what was going on but they didn’t have smart mouths anymore.

There was a ray of sunshine though today. Myra came walking down the street and asked if I remembered her. I said “Who could forget you?” Four years ago she worked down the street. She made me her friend on Facebook so she could pray throughout the day. A war was going on one day between me and a couple that was here. It went on forever. Myra called me and asked if the girl was there. I said yes. The couple had chosen life at this point and we’re trying to get their money back. Myra came flying up in her car and ran inside yelling “John, that’s my niece!” As she opened the door her niece and her boyfriend were coming out! I have never seen so much screaming, crying, and hugging in my life.

Well, Myra works somewhere else now but just wanted to drive by and say thank you. Her niece is married now to her baby Logan’s father. They are all doing fine and Logan is three now. Please pray for them and all the folks that left and heard the Gospel today.