Natalie N. Brumfield

The afternoon God introduced me to Israel outside a Planned Parenthood clinic

Natalie N. Brumfield
By Natalie Brumfield
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November 30, 2012 (Bound4Life.com) - I was walking the public sidewalk in front of the abortion clinic on my usual Thursday afternoon lunch break, praying. The Planned Parenthood abortion center is tucked between a couple of apartment buildings and some older mansions that are being sluggishly reconstructed downtown. It’s not unusual that this side of the neighborhood is fairly quiet, excepting the common flow of traffic coming in and out of the abortion center.

I was by myself praying.

The traffic seemed to die down at the abortion center and so my eyes were looking up at the buildings as I prayed for Life to flow into our city. I stopped mid-prayer when my eyes fell on someone watching me from several hundred yards away sitting on the steps of an apartment building staircase. People staring at me praying isn’t too unfamiliar. I would wonder what was going on too, if I saw someone praying by themselves and walking the same sidewalk for an extended amount of time.

But something was different about this spectator. And right on time, like always, I felt the Lord nudge me forward, “Go on, go to him.” I wasn’t in a social mood. I just wanted to pray for the babies and moms and then go back to work. As I scanned the abortion center, I saw the parking lot was almost empty. I looked back towards the spectator and felt it again, “Go.”

I started walking and watched for his eyes until I saw the realization that I was walking towards him settle in. He was on his cell phone when I walked up and he politely covered up the mouth piece. He didn’t say a word and just waited to hear what I would say to him.

“Hi. I came over to see you if I could pray with you.”

“What?” He asked looking confused.

“I came over to see if I could pray with you.”

“Yeah, ok. Hold on one second.”

To my total amazement he told the person on the other line that he had to go and he would call them back in a few minutes. Clearly, the boy with the baseball cap with traces of smudged eyeliner on his lids from the night before was not afraid of the weird prayer girl. I don’t want to be the weird prayer girl nor do I like people thinking that of me. But what I do want to be is the prayer girl who follows when the Spirit leads and loves people like Jesus does. This was an amazing moment. The boy with the baseball cap and smudged eyeliner said “yes” to me praying with him. I couldn’t wait to see what God was going to do.

“So what’s your name?” I asked so we didn’t have to be total strangers.

“Israel,” He said matter of factly.

“Your name is Israel? Seriously?” I said in bewilderment.

“Yes,” he said, smiling now.

God had me leave the abortion center sidewalk to go and pray for Israel. I thought it was amusing, but at the same time, incredible. I was praying for Life to come into the city so God sent me one more city block down to pray for a life named Israel. He is God’s child, too, and needed prayer as much as the babies and parents across the street that day. It’s a gift to pray for Life and lay your hands on the shoulders of the person you’re praying for. It’s an intercessors dream come true.

I asked permission to place my hands on his shoulders and without knowing anything but his name and without him knowing anything about me but mine–Israel said it would be fine. I began asking God to show Israel the life that God had planned for him before the foundations of the earth. We prayed for Israel’s identity to be found and that Jesus would reveal Himself to Israel in a powerful way. We prayed for Israel’s gift of art, one of many gifts God placed inside of him. We prayed that the music Israel listened to when he draws would uplift, inspire and give life to him. And we thanked God for the perfect design of making Israel a man… that he was made a man on purpose, for a great purpose. That was the most powerful prayer of all.

My heart raced and tears plummeted as I echoed that prayer out of my mouth. Only to look up and see the man before me curled up with shoulders shaking and tears in his eyes, as well. When prayers like that hit that deep, it is important to repeat until you feel a peace. I kept speaking the beauty of Israel’s design. I kept thanking God for Israel being a man. It was one of the most strikingly simple and powerful prayers I’ve ever had the honor of praying.

When we finished praying, Israel thanked me. I asked if I could have his number not to bother him but text him so encouragement from time to time. Now, I don’t usually do this but again felt a peace in my request. He thankfully agreed and we exchanged phone numbers. And every once in a while for a year, when I thought of Israel, I said a prayer for him and sent him an encouragement. Mostly, I never got a response. But I think of Israel almost every time I go to that Planned Parenthood abortion center. God reminds me that my prayers of Life go beyond the womb, beyond the abortion clinic workers, beyond the moms and dads, and beyond government. My prayers of Life are for every human life,  in every situation, and in every battle.

That was two years ago this fall and while I was sitting on the couch a month ago, I received a text from my friend.

“Natalie? I don’t think you remember me but my name is Israel.”

He has no idea the impact his precious life has made on mine. But Israel told me how much praying together that day impacted his life.

“I’ll lead you to buried treasures, secret caches of valuables—confirmations that it is, in fact, I, God, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name. It’s because of my dear servant Jacob, Israel my chosen, That I’ve singled you out, called you by name, and given you this privileged work.”
      Isaiah 45:3-4 The Message

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Reprinted with permission from Bound4Life.com

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
The Editors

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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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