February 1, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – This morning, after attending my regular Tuesday Bible Study with the men from Harvest Bible Chapel Orlando, I felt called to go and visit the local abortion clinic that was only one mile away from where our bible study is located.
A woman by the name of Kelly Clinger told me about this clinic. She was there last week praying for women to change their minds on aborting their children. She has an incredible story and has really been a light unto the world on the topic of life. I recommend you go and read her story over here.
I have to be honest. I did not want go to this clinic. In the past, I have been more soft spoken about my Christian beliefs and it just hasn’t been ‘my style’ to go do something like this. The Lord pushed me in this direction and every step I took towards that clinic was one that I didn’t want to take. However, my focus this past year or so has been obedience to Christ and I have found that it has been doing wonders in my life to be obedient to what He says. For example, in Matthew 5:37 Jesus says:
“But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.”
I had told Kelly Clinger and another person that I would be at that clinic this week to pray for the women walking into it and here I was, just one mile from it. So, honestly, I reluctantly obeyed. I was scared, nervous and part of me was looking for ways to get out of this commitment. As you can tell, it is important to note that everything that happened at the clinic was not at all by my might but the Spirit constantly pushing me to do what is good.
The feeling of just pure darkness when I walked up to the clinic was almost overwhelming. I hadn’t done a thing and already I was emotionally distraught. I wanted to leave just being NEAR this place.
However, amidst the darkness of the Orlando Women’s Center there was a light.
His name is John Barros.
In my quest to be honest in all things I must admit John Barros is crazy. He is crazy for Jesus. And it shows. And it works.
John Barros has been at the Orlando Women’s Center every morning for almost two years (if my memory is correct). He gets there around 8 a.m. and he stays all day, every day, except for Saturdays. When he is not at the clinic, he is at the nearby prison where he shares the Gospel with violent criminals. John Barros is the real deal. He’s giving it all for the Gospel.
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John pointed me towards his ‘office’ – a stack of railroad ties separating the property of the abortion clinic and its neighboring facility. His ‘office’ contained merely a black bible, multiple DVDs on the truth of abortion and some brochures he would give to women encouraging them to change their minds and perhaps give their baby up for adoption. He also had some Dunkin Donuts coffee that he drank methodically while telling me about what happens at the Orlando Women’s Center (OWC).
John has the face of a man who has been worn down by the countless deaths he has encountered at the clinic. Also on his face is the glimpse of hope that he might be able to save just one more. One more. Just one more in the name of Jesus.
John told me that about 100-150 abortions occur at this clinic each week. My gag reflex set in while he was telling me about how busy “Late Term Wednesdays” could be. On Wednesdays, women carrying a child as late as 28 weeks come for an abortion. The doctor induces their labor via drugs and then has them trot around like “cattle” in the back of the parking lot together to help start the process of labor. Each woman then stands over a glass bowl and births the infant into the bowl of water and the doctor then takes care of killing the infant at that point.
Unreal. It happens.
In the middle of this story a car pulls into clinic. John immediately gets up from his office and asks them if he can give them some information that they can read before going into the clinic. Inside the car are two black women. One is the friend who has come along for emotional support. The other one is a young girl named Stephanie.
Hanging on Stephanie’s rear view mirror in her car is a picture of a beautiful little girl. It turns out that Stephanie already has two kids but she really doesn’t want this third one that she is carrying. But, she is listening to John and it almost seems like she is going to change her mind. Yet, she drove into the back of the clinic, parked and entered the clinic. So sad. But there is more to this story…
After Stephanie went into the clinic I was shocked at how many cars pulled up. At one point there was a traffic jam caused by the number of cars waiting to get into the clinic. It was then I realized how real all of this was.
I saw a woman dressed in a business suit go in for an abortion. It was almost like a typical doctor’s appointment for her; it looked as if she was just going to go to work immediately afterwards.
I saw a father with fierce eyes bringing his crying daughter into the clinic. They pulled up in a car with a Z88.3 bumper sticker on the back (the local Christian radio station). The look in this father’s eyes seemed to tell the story of, “my daughter won’t have a baby out of wedlock and embarass the family,” but I have no idea if that is true. He pretended as though John didn’t exist. He never looked at us. As far as I know, she aborted.
A young man and his scantily clad girlfriend pulled up and the girl just looked at me in disbelief as I prayed quietly by myself in John’s office. The disbelief was mutual. I saw them walk into the clinic holding hands.
Then, John started preaching. With a bullhorn.
Again, my honest thoughts at this point were that John is crazy. He started preaching fire and brimstone and I truly thought it was not helping. I spent a few minutes saddened by this thought because I thought I was right. I mean, how many times have we ever seen someone change their mind when a man is yelling at them about Jesus?
John put my preconceived notions to the test. They failed miserably.
John had his Bible in his hand. He held the bullhorn up with the other hand and preached loudly. Although he had his Bible it was obvious to me it was his physical sword as he had all of its words memorized it seemed. He preached scary stuff from Ezekiel and my thoughts continued to be “JOHN, THIS ISN’T HELPING!” and even “I DON’T WANT TO ASSOCIATE MYSELF WITH THIS GUY.”
Yeah, sorry, I thought it. I was so wrong.
John then preached a story about a young woman who had come to this same clinic many years ago and there was no one there to yell the ultimate truth of the Bible at her through the clinic doors and walls. Not knowing the truth, that woman walked into that clinic and aborted her child.
That girl was Kelly Clinger.
John paused at that moment and you could see the pain in his eyes. You could still see the glimpse of hope as well. It was steady. He was steady. He was doing his calling.
A loud crash came from the clinic as the front door opened and the scantily-clad girl came running out, tears streaming down her face. She looked at John for a split second and her eyes spoke a silent thank you.
A minute later her boyfriend angrily stepped out of the clinic and just looked at John. This boy, we shall call him Beavis, looked at John and said, “I want to hurt you really badly. I have never wanted to hurt anyone as badly as I do you.”
Beavis started walking towards the back of the clinic at this point. He looked at me and again expressed his desire to hurt John.
John didn’t care. John had seen this before. John Barros is the pro-life honey badger.
He quickly called Beavis a coward right to his face and again my thoughts were negative. “THIS ISN’T HELPING,” I thought.
Again, I was wrong.
I watched as Beavis’s girlfriend was nodding in agreement with John back in the parking lot. You see, John knew these boys just by looking at them. Beavis was the type of guy who had successfully pressured his girlfriend into aborting their ‘accident.’ Well, Beavis wasn’t counting on John being at the clinic.
As scantily-clad girl and Beavis drove away I could see her waving happily at John. Beavis gave John the finger. Beavis was exactly what John had called him – a coward.
Beavis needed to hear it. Tough love from the Office of John Barros.
John immediately went back to preaching. While he was preaching with his bullhorn I saw Stephanie and her friend walk out of the clinic and into the back lot multiple times. I knew God was working on her heart so I prayed silently sitting in John’s office.
Again, while John was preaching, another woman ran out crying with her friend. As they were changing their minds and running to their car I heard one of them yell, “We hear you! Ok?! We hear you!”
A young girl then pulled up to the clinic. I tried to talk to her but she told me she was just there for her pills. No harm done.
John then tells me later that there are no pills at this clinic. He’s seen this girl before. She stayed in the clinic and probably aborted her second or third child. It’s habit forming.
I then watched, in my amazement, as Stephanie and her friend walked out the front door of the clinic with smiles. Stephanie had changed her mind. John gave her some material and all the information she needed to get help. She was grateful. I was stunned.
Internally, I was an emotional wreck.
Externally, I was an emotional wreck.
God allowed me to see three different women change their minds and three different lives saved. I saw rich women, poor women, middle class women go into the clinic for abortions. From my one morning at the clinic there was no class or race that dominated the day. Abortion seems to spread the entire spectrum now.
My only regret? I wish I had my wife, Katie, with me. I was talking to a lot of women who were emotionally vulnerable and here I was trying to look like I had it altogether, but wanting to save all of the women from harm. Having Katie there would have been a good level of support and comfort. She could have helped keep me more sane and out of danger. I’ll do that in the future.
I thank our Father in Heaven for this opportunity to see what is real. I challenge everyone reading this to step out with a big heart at least once when it comes to abortion. You won’t like it but God definitely will.
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