Skip to comments.Pregnant and homeless on the doorsteps of a Christian megachurch
Posted on 10/06/2012 5:45:50 PM PDT by Morgana
One night over dinner, a friend of mine told me that he had seen a very pregnant homeless woman on the corner of a busy Austin intersection. I knew the intersection he was referring to there is a huge non-denominational church on the corner. I felt confident that she had probably received some assistance from them. Maybe they were in the process of trying to help her find resources.
One of the friends with us at dinner, Heather, is the executive director of the Austin Coalition for Life, a non-profit group who holds daily vigils outside of Austins four abortion clinics. Their goal is to connect abortion-minded women with pregnancy resources in the area to help them choose life for their child. I was about to deliver my own baby any day, so I was limited with what I could do to reach out to this woman. Heather said she would continue to go by the intersection until she found her.
After several days of unsuccessful attempts, Heather was finally able to connect with her. She explained that there were several pro-life agencies in town that could help her with housing both before and after her baby was born. They could also help with expenses, pre and post natal care, labor and delivery, food, clothing, and all of her other basic needs. She talked to her for a long time and found out that she was running from an abusive relationship and was trying to protect her unborn child from the father.
Heathers next question was a pretty obvious one had the megachurch a few hundred feet away offered to help her? Instead of asking the woman and putting her on the spot, Heather decided to go and ask the church if they knew anything about the woman. She was startled at the response. Well, one of our members took her to the Target Café to share the Gospel with her. So, no material assistance was offered for her or her baby? No resources offered for where she could receive assistance? No phone calls made to maternity homes or pro-life groups in the area? No, the woman responded. Just the meeting at Target to talk about the Lord.
Well, isnt that fantastic. Im sure the Gospel will help her find a hospital to deliver her baby in. Im sure the Gospel will help her with food to nourish her body during the last few weeks of her pregnancy. Im sure the Gospel will help keep her safe from harm as she sleeps outside night after night.
Their answer made me disgusted. How can we expect to nourish someone spiritually when their physical needs arent met? How can we expect someone to be receptive to the Gospel when they go physically hungry during the day? How can we expect someone to believe in the power of Christ when they dont know if they will be forced to deliver their baby in alley somewhere? This is Christianity? This is how we treat those in need of help? Certainly not. That is not what faith is about. James clearly states that faith without works is dead. What is faith if we are not willing to step out of our comfort zone and get our hands dirty in service to Christ? We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ, right? That means service to those who need him not just words actions.
When we say we are pro-lifers, what does that mean? Does it mean that we just dont like abortion? Or does it mean that we are willing to go that extra step? Are we willing to take a young pregnant woman into our home to care for her when she has no one else? Are we willing to give sacrificially to those who have nothing? Are we willing to set our superficial judgment aside and truly be Christ-like? Are we willing to show mercy when others condemn? Are we willing to get our hands dirty?
Being pro-life isnt always pretty. And its not just about saving babies. It is about saving the person the woman, the baby, the man involved, the family. It is sometimes about putting someone elses needs above our own. It is about stepping out of the comfortable and moving into a place that is unfamiliar.
Is it comfortable to talk about abortion? Not always. Do people always want to hear about it? Not usually. But silence breeds apathy, and that is what we are soaked in. APATHY. The greatest breeding ground for apathy seems to be in our churches. Why is that? Its not like the sanctity of human life isnt all over Scripture. It isnt as if God didnt make it pretty clear that life is sacred. We arent scared to talk about a slew of other hot button issues but we tend to be silent on the number one issue that has invaded our churches. According to the Guttmacher Institute, seventy-two percent of women seeking abortions come from the church. I actually think that number is low. We performed very few abortions on women who proclaimed to be atheists or agnostic. No, many of them brought their bibles and/or rosaries to their abortion appointments. Many would ask if we would pray with them before the abortion procedure began.
APATHY. It is what keeps these churchgoing women coming to the abortion clinics over and over again. The churches are silent. The majority of clergy are silent. And their silence is deafening! By not speaking up they are telling those in their congregation who are suffering in silence that their sin of abortion is too big for God. That is a LIE. Clergy who are silent on this issue are not doing any one any favors. They are doing their congregation an incredible disservice. With seventy-two percent of abortions coming from the church, a sermon once a year during the Sanctity of Human Life month is not enough!! People are hurting! They are in desperate need of healing and they have no idea where to go because the church is silent. We have become so concerned with offending others that we have forgotten about how much our apathy offends God.
If you are in a church where your pastor/priest actively speaks on the sanctity of human life, I encourage you to thank him, and thank him often. It is not easy, but it is right. If you are not hearing the message of abortion and healing from the pulpit, I strongly urge you to go to your pastor and ask why. Share why this is important to you. Share these statistics with them. Share your heart. Just because your pastor is silent doesnt mean you have to be. Stand up for life. Stand up and speak up. Lives are depending on it. It is time for the church to STAND UP.
Which reminds me of that great old quote from Oscar Wilde, "Sentimentality is loving people more than God would."
You’d almost think so. Some church here are composed of mostly family and in-laws. Kinda like Westboro baptist is. No joke! It is hard being in a church like that because you make someone angry and the whole place is P!ssed at you. It is incestuous and you come up with retards.
Sentimentality can get one in so much trouble.
Indeed. It can also be harmful at times just handing out money. Some people are in shelters or programs and they are getting help. When given cash they may abandon the help they were receiving for drugs and the street.
I think it is always handy to have a few printed cards of places to get help, shelters, food, and such. Share the good news, offer to arrange for them to get to or contact a source of help. Donate to the places that specialize in this help.
Could be ~ maybe it isn’t. There is insufficient evidence in this piece to condemn that particular megachurch...
Or, put another way, “judge not, lest ye be judged”.
Look me up if you are ever in my area. I will take you to one such place.
She prayed. And God sent her you.
Painting with a pretty broad brush aren’t you?
My church has 3 or 4 requests per week from people who say they are stranded or in some emergency but when they are asked for some reference say from their home church they are unable to provide one name or number. The truth is there are many, many scam artists who go from church to church asking for money....We are not hard hearted but have grown wise....
For some, I think they want to be lost in a crowd and not have to bugged or asked to serve.
We have a lot of small churches like that, we call them Hayes churches. They had 22 children and they started a church and then some disagreed and started their own church and it still goes on and on. There are probably 15 or 16 churches and most of them have about 15 members and most of them are related.
Wow, you really are quite amazing.
I work in a church and while we use our own judgement sometimes we mostly send them to a clearing house type charity that we donate to.
These women who are pregnant and homeless need to come to a Catholic Church. Most cities have shelters for pregnant women so they can keep their babies.
Depending on the age of the mother, the mother and baby may stay there until she gets her feet back on the ground. My church often donates food to the three shelters in our city.
We understand the salvation formula as:
DEEDS => LOVE => FAITH => SALVATION
Salvation is at the end of the path, not at Baptism.
Been there, done that regarding local missions, at small and big churches.
As others have noted, scam artists appear quite often. Some of my friends caught TB from street missions. We offered to help with several pregnancies, and a local doctor offered rooms in a private clinic, not the county hospital.
Very few took us up on our help. Our strings - no drug use, no alcohol and take vitamins every day. Meals provided if they would show up.
We also tried family intervention ministries - with cops who attended our church. Turned out that one of our detectives recognized several of the people we were trying to help as gang bangers, professional thieves and serious druggies.
Heather, before you criticize the church, talk to them. Perhaps no one thought to talk to the “lady” as you did, or maybe they did not see her - it took you several single minded attempts to discover her story.