Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday feature: Garden of Hope

A few weeks ago, Mary Verwys came bursting up the stairs to interrupt our lunchtime conversation with exciting news. Mary heads up the local group of sidewalk counselors, and is always good for a captivating story. This time, however, she told us to watch for 46 billboards that would soon be going up around Grand Rapids.

Found at:
She also showed us what they would look like. Here's one of two styles. If you live in the GR area, keep your eyes open for them.

The aim of the billboards is to draw the attention of women who've had abortions and offer them hope through post-abortion counseling. Women who visit the Garden of Hope website learn about a post-abortion counseling hosted at Omega House on Fulton Avenue.

Post-abortion ministry has been a feature of Mary's ministry for a long time. Several years ago, they worked with a local cemetery to provide the Garden of Hope Memorial, a quiet place for people to mourn their losses through abortion.

Billboard CampaignMeanwhile, Mary's sidewalk counselors work to prevent abortions. A faithful cadre of prayer warriors and supporters rally around women who choose life to offer them practical assistance.

Mary says, "Please pray for the tens of thousands of women that will be driving by in the next couple of months. Pray that they reach-out to the Garden of Hope ministry. Our facilitators have trained more women to help us lead the Bible studies. Oh, we long for them to find the hope in Christ alone!"

More from a recent update:
Someone in our ministry had the privilege of speaking to a group of all men this week. These dear people responded to the facts, destruction, and horror of abortion in an extremely compassionate way. They really never knew that abortions were being performed up to 6 months along, just 7 minutes from their church's door. They were broken-hearted by it all and are eager to jump in and help in anyway possible. A blessing! 
A wonderful church has invited our ministry to be part of their Mission's Conference for the next few days. Please pray that there, too, eyes will be opened. 
On Monday 10 staff members from the Ludington Crisis Pregnancy Center will come to Grand Rapids to learn more about the abortion clinic here. Clients from their town, and all over West Michigan, come here routinely to have their abortions. Please pray for safety in travel for our "Up North" friends.
Postscript on the billboard campaign: "Our post-abortive billboard campaign continues. We hope to have some of the boards up for several more weeks. We have heard from women in the community, praise God. We are thrilled that this very public avenue was opened for us, at no charge to the ministry. Once again, God provided generous donors to handle all the expenses. Please continue to pray that women will see our message, and seek us out."

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