I didn’t tell very many people where I was going, simply because I wasn’t sure about security issues and what we were facing as a team. My family and close friends knew, as well as my church family. I love my church family so much, they had decided collectively that if I got arrested and thrown into prison they would start a “Go Fund Me” account and name it FREE SHEILA! They have my back! 🙂
We had no idea what to expect while we were there, as neither me nor my husband, had experienced communism up close and personal. We were fortunate in that we had incredible guides who had lived there and were able to show us all the sites, sounds, smells, and tastes of this awesome country.
The reason why I was invited on this trip was because of the need for abortion recovery in a place where forced abortion and a one-child policy are very real. We heard many stories regarding this subject that broke our hearts. We visited orphanages with special needs children whose lives were not valued. But I thank God for these orphanages and the people who were willing to sacrifice everything to care for these precious souls. I have been around orphans for many years (check out www.project1418.com) and have a heart for these children, but never have I been touched to my core like I was while I was there.
Can I just say…every life is precious.
Throughout the trip I cannot count how many times I looked at my husband and said, “I can’t believe we’re here!” as if he didn’t know this. My mind was still wrapping around the fact we were literally on the opposite side of the world from our kids.
But the time came to get down to the reason why I was there, and I sensed the weight of what I was doing. I had the awesome privilege of participating in two different women’s retreats leading up to the Sunday I was speaking. The message of Jesus Christ healing after abortion weighed heavily on me. I don’t mean to sound so dramatic but the gravity of the need for our hope-filled message was nearly tangible. I felt as though I was in a wrestling match when I walked onto each stage and opened my mouth to speak. The tears threatened to spill out each time, as I thought about the faces of men and women who have sat silently for years with no hope. It was in the deepest part of me I desperately longed to convey just how Jesus could set them free. I hoped they saw me, saw SaveOne, as a lifeline and they realized their confidence was in Christ and Christ alone.
I was allowed to hold a 90-minute seminar for anyone who wanted to attend after the church service on Sunday. It was truly a privilege for me. About 50 people came and I was thrilled with that turnout. There was much enthusiasm, passion, tears, and grief shared that day with my husband and myself. Not just from women either, but one of the men shared of how he had advised someone at one point to get an abortion and it still bothered him deeply today. He had to fight back tears telling the story and it had been years earlier. Abortion truly does have a ripple effect on those around this choice.
Check out a portion of an email we received after the seminar…
“They basically fully identified themselves with the physical, emotional, spiritual,
relational aftermath related to abortions. We ended our meeting with prayer and trusted
God’s healing power in their lives. In short, I believe there is tremendous need for SAVEONE ministry.”
I’m thankful for those words and will treasure my time in this beautiful country. I am still working through some of the things we experienced and will probably write about those things at a later date. Just know, the harvest is ripe and workers are needed in every area. Please take time to pray for these beautiful people and their country today, and that our message of hope after abortion is resonating in the hearts and minds of those we encountered. We are believing for many chapters of SaveOne to start because of this trip!
I would love to discuss with you in the comments below your thoughts on closed countries, forced abortion, etc. or answer any questions you might have. Let me hear from you!