Wheels Down

"God's arms are always extended; we are the ones who turn away." - Philip Yancey
Isn't this quote so true? No matter what we have done, God is always ready to forgive us if we run to His open arms. He doesn't hold a grudge or have a naughty list. He is definitely not going to put coal in the stockings of His beloved children. However, we are often the ones who shrink back. We are the ones who think, "If my friends or family found out what I have done, they will think _______ of me (you fill in the blank). Or, how can I, a dirty sinner, stand in the presence of a holy, clean God?

Do not let man tell you who or what you are. Instead, claim the promises in Romans 4:7-8, "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin."

I witnessed this struggle yesterday. God laid it on my heart about a year ago to look into an outreach ministry of my church - the Prestonwood Pregnancy Center - while I was sitting at a red light. It has only taken me a year to act upon that nudge! In a recent meeting, I asked the Director of Operations where their biggest need was and she mentioned their mobile sonogram and pregnancy testing unit. They have been graciously gifted a second unit so they will need double the number of volunteers.

So, yesterday was my observation day. A time to check out if this need was where God is directing me. As I walked into the unit, I knew this was no ordinary RV! It was equipped with a lovely couch and table area, mini kitchen and bathroom like most RVs, but in the back where a bed is usually present, it had a doctor's table with a sonogram machine. Clearly there is no "recreation" in this vehicle. It is a vehicle with an intentional purpose.
I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I arrived. Since the center is in between training sessions, I had not had any formal training as to protocol or procedures. The only thing I had was a two hour meeting with the Director of Operations. I was so thankful I wasn't jumping in head first and instead, was just there to observe a seasoned, trained volunteer.

But if you know me at all, you know how hard it is for me just to observe....

I arrived at 9:30 am and the first client showed up around 15 minutes later. We saw a total of three patients between 10:00 am and 12:30 pm (each patient requires about 30 or so minutes). Each young woman was concerned because they had not received a visit from their "monthly friend" yet. The first two, a young college student and a young, married woman, were both negative. I am not sure if they were relieved or saddened. It was hard to read their emotions. But I do know that at least one of those two prayed to receive Christ as their Savior.  

Because the Pregnancy Center is a ministry-based service, each client who walks through the doors, whether in the office or on the mobile unit, hears the Good News. That is awesome and powerful...especially for some that are facing life-changing decisions.

The last patient was the one that touched me the most. She was clearly in shock. She was single and in her early thirties. She tried to hold it together, but as she sat on the couch and began to speak, she broke down in tears. She didn't know why she was crying, but she was clearly overwhelmed. As she cried, my eyes started tearing up and I began to choke back tears. I wanted to just wrap my arms around her and tell her that everything was going to be okay....but, I didn't know if that was allowed (remember, I hadn't been through training yet!). So instead, I just sat on my hands and bit my tongue. I sat and listened as the volunteer walked her through the questionnaire. "Tiffany" (name changed) sounded like a young woman who didn't have the baby's father to turn to or a family to turn to, but what I did know, was that she had her heavenly Father to turn to. When it came time for the volunteer to ask her about her spiritual life, she said that she had accepted Christ as a 12 year old girl in a small Baptist church. She felt assured of her eternity even if her current circumstances seemed overwhelming.

The best part of my day was the fact that we not only were able to provide this young, scared, and overwhelmed woman with earthly resources to help her during her pregnancy, we were able to pray with her and for her. We were able to help usher her into the loving arms of her Father.

Sometimes in life, we find ourselves in places we never meant to be. We make choices that may alter our life forever. But, "We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28, ESV) Claim this promise!

I have yet to figure out if the mobile unit is a place where God is calling me to serve for a few hours each week, but I do know that God gave me a precious gift yesterday. He gave me the gift of witnessing His love. Thank you Father for always showing up.

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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1 Comment

Gil - December 6th, 2012 at 12:34pm

What a beautiful ministry. I'm sure you'll be a wonderful conduit of God's blessings wherever you are led.