Aug 15, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – According to his doctors John Barros shouldn’t be alive.
Between cancer that required four surgeries, two brain aneurisms that required two more surgeries, and an accident when someone ran into his back with a vehicle, leading to yet more surgeries, it’s a marvel that Barros is standing, let alone maintaining the grueling schedule that he does.
Nine hours a day, six days a week, Barros holds vigil outside one of the country’s most notorious late-term abortion mills – the Orlando Women’s Clinic – where he preaches the Gospel and reaches out to abortion-bound women.
But for him, it’s beyond worth it. After all, in the past three years of sidewalk counseling, Barros has helped over 1,000 women change their minds, and keep their babies. But, for all of the hours that he has spent in prayer and outreach outside the clinic, Barros insists that he deserves none of the credit.
The story of every girl who comes to the clinic is different, “but the answer is the same,” he says. “The answer is always found in Jesus Christ. That’s what we’re here for, to lead them, point them to Jesus Christ.”
“I just show up here, and watch Him show off.”
About all of his physical challenges, Barros says, “As I look back God was just stripping me of all my pride, everything I held valuable everything I held dear. … All these things I thank God for because they’ve all shown me that He’s in control, every bit of it, that he’s sovereign.”
Barros, a teddy-bear of a man whose slow, warm voice belies the intensity with which he pursues his life-saving mission, is the subject of a new short film produced by Phil Leclerc of the Leclerc Brothers film agency.
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“As a filmmaker I’ve seen all kinds of impactful things, all over the world,” says Phil in the film. “But when a friend first shared with me about John and his work out in Orlando I found it almost hard to believe.”
After nearly a year of deliberation, Barros gave Leclerc permission to spend a week following him as he tried to turn women away from the doors of the abortion facility and guide them into the arms of those who would provide them with the assistance they needed to welcome life.
Some 400 abortions take place per month at Orlando Women’s Center, which is owned by James Scott Pendergraft IV, the same abortionist that was hit with a $36.7 million judgment for his involvement in a 2004 botched abortion that left its intended target alive, but severely disabled. Pendergraft, who has had his license suspended five times over the years for other shoddy practices, also owns several other facilities.
Taking on this abortion juggernaut hasn’t been easy. Barros recalls that three years ago, when he decided to pursue what to many would have seemed an impossible scheme of full-time sidewalk counseling, he sat outside the Orlando facility and prayed, “God, if you really want me to sit here. If you really want me to call out to these people full time, please take care of my family.”
He adds, “And, through literally miraculous things at times, he has taken care of us.”
Barros’ hope is that the short film about his work will inspire others to step forward and follow in his footsteps. He has started a website, whowillstand.net, where he encourages others to take up sidewalk counseling.
“As you can see I do not look like Brad Pitt, more like Shrek, I'm handicapped in many ways but Jesus Loves to use Broken Vessels,” he writes on the Youtube page where the video appears. “He is calling for His People to Rise Up so please go and see what He Will do through you.”
Watch the short film here.