Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Finding True Hope: Piroscka Ventura's Story

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Watch Piroscka's Video Story

Leslie Basham: Apart from God’s intervention, all of us want to control our own lives. Piroscka Ventura was no exception.

Piroscka Ventura: I was god. All my priorities were turned around. It was first me, then my kids, my job, and my husband was the last one. But by God’s grace, He saved me!

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of The Quiet Place, for December 14, 2018.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: We’re well into the Christmas season, which is supposed to be a time of joy. But even while outwardly celebrating, a lot of women are carrying a lot of pain and a lot of shame. Perhaps you know what that’s like.

Today we’ll hear a story about a woman who carried shame for years because of her sin, most dramatically in relation to aborting multiple children. And we’re also going to hear how this woman discovered true hope.

She went from an attitude like this:

Piroscka: I was an angry person. I was a bitter person. I even felt some measure of hate toward my boyfriend.

Nancy: And she’s become a woman whose heart sounds like this:

Piroscka: True hope is the Word of God. True hope is Christ . . . and true hope is freedom. True hope is knowing that Christ will be there for you regardless.

Nancy: Her story will illustrate how you can be free from shame and experience that true hope.

Now, if you’re the parent of a little one, you need to know that today’s program will include the topics of pregnancy outside of wedlock and abortion. So if you have children within earshot, you might want to get them busy somewhere else. And remember, you can always listen back to today’s program at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Piroscka: My name is Piroscka Ventura. I’m originally from Dominican Republic, and I was raised in Santo Domingo.

Nancy: Piroscka grew up in an intact, religious family. Outwardly, everything seemed fine.

Piroscka: I was part of the choir. I was part of the youth group. But I didn’t have a personal relationship with Christ. I knew the presence of God and the essence of God, but I didn’t know God.

Nancy: At age fifteen, she began to date. One day, at age nineteen, Piroscka began to suspect she might be pregnant.

Piroscka: I was concerned, and I communicated that to my boyfriend at the moment, and I was offered to drink a tea.

Nancy: She didn’t understand what the tea might do. Certain herbal teas can induce a miscarriage.

Piroscka: I was just told that if I drank the tea, I would get my period.

Nancy: She was young, confused, and she bought into popular thinking.

Piroscka: For me, I thought a baby was formed almost at the end of the period of the nine months of the pregnancy. At the beginning, I was always told there was just a group of tissues that were forming, not that at the beginning of conception there was already life inside me.

Nancy: At some level, we all try to excuse or justify wrong and ignore a guilty conscience, and this was true for Piroscka, too.

Piroscka: For me, I was not even committing a sin since I never confirmed with the test that I was actually pregnant. But that action revealed the condition of my heart because in reality I wanted to get my period back without . . . Unconsciously, I knew what I was doing.

Nancy: Well, whether or not drinking the tea actually took her child’s life, the results were: No pregnancy. That relationship didn’t last much longer.

The next year, at age twenty, Piroscka met the man she would eventually marry.

Piroscka: It was actually a trend back then that if you had a relationship kind of established, you also had an intimate relationship. So I fell into that.

Nancy: Not many months after that, she confirmed her suspicions with a test: She was pregnant.

Piroscka: At that moment I felt desperate. I felt very nervous. Because I did not know what was the answer that I was going to get from him, and I did not know where to go to or who to go. I felt ashamed and embarrassed.

Nancy: She didn’t want to admit the truth to her parents.

Piroscka: The only person that I thought was actually going to support me and give me a positive answer was my boyfriend. And, to my surprise, when I went and shared the news with him, the answer was, “No.”

Nancy: “No” to keeping their baby.

Piroscka: So I had very mixed feelings . . . a lot of mixed feelings. From one side I was asked not to continue the pregnancy because I was not going to receive the support from my boyfriend. And on the other side I was thinking, I want to have my baby. I was dreaming of having my baby at that moment and realizing, Oh, maybe we could get married. Maybe we could continue a relationship with the baby.

Nancy: Piroscka felt trapped.

Piroscka: I cried a lot. I felt alone, that I did not have any other choice. I was afraid to lose him if I would go against his decision. So it was like a way to please him also. I realized that I put that into the balance into my decision, too. I’d rather just keep him than keep my baby.

Nancy: Abortion has been constitutionally prohibited in the Dominican Republic since 2009, but even before that, the whole subject of abortion in that country was very “hush-hush.” So there wasn’t a lot of discussion. Piroscka simply went along with what she was told to do. Others made all the arrangements for her.

Piroscka: I remember I was very nervous. When I was taken to this place, I felt like I was an abandoned person that was getting into a dark place, not even realizing what was going to happen in that room. I remember getting in there by myself inside the room. I remember the green walls in this place that was not even a clinic.

Nancy: She can’t remember the procedure itself, but afterwards . . .

Piroscka: I felt devastated. I was very weak. I was in pain, a lot of pain.

Nancy: This was hidden from her family. So, after recovering for a while, she had to go home and pretend everything was normal.

Piroscka: I remember getting into my room, crying and desperate because I felt horrible after what I did.

Nancy: A driving factor for Piroscka was her desire to maintain an image. She envisioned the ideal life and worked hard to make it happen.

Piroscka: I was a person who thought I had everything under control and had a perfect life. I always tried to project an impeccable life in front of others. I didn’t want to damage that image of me. I think that was also a reason why, at the end, I didn’t have the courage to say “no.”

Nancy: A year later, she discovered she was pregnant once again. This time, though, things were different.

Piroscka: My heart started to get harder and harder and harder, and I felt my whole sense of being changed completely.

Nancy: She knew her boyfriend would tell her to terminate this pregnancy, too.

Piroscka: So this time I said, “Fine. I know what I need to do.” I planned everything.

Nancy: She went to a clinic for the abortion. For Piroscka, the sense of control was intoxicating. She was unwittingly falling for the same lie the first woman, Eve, believed in the Garden of Eden, thousands of years ago.

Piroscka: I felt I was becoming my own god. I had the plan of doing the things when I say it and how I say it, and God was totally away from my life. I was god.

Nancy: the next year, her dreams of a perfect life seemed to come true when she and her boyfriend married.

Piroscka: We’ve been married for twenty-seven years now. Praise God!

Nancy: As you may know, sometimes abortion procedures can actually keep a woman from being able to have more children. Thankfully, this was not the case for Piroscka.

Piroscka: By God’s grace I was able to have children.

Nancy: They moved to Miami, Florida, and God blessed them with four children. But Piroscka’s perfect life began to unravel when their oldest child, Khristopher, was born with a brain tumor. He needed special care throughout much of his childhood. Piroscka’s guilty conscience accused her.

Piroscka: I thought God was punishing me. I thought this was a way of me paying for the lives that I took.

Nancy: Circumstances were completely out of her control.

Piroscka: But my heart was different. My heart wanted to change him because I wanted a different outcome out for my son.

Nancy: They decided to move back to the Dominican Republic, thinking it would help Khristopher’s health.

Piroscka: Not knowing that God had a plan. I call it a divine break for us in our life.

Nancy: They began attending a solid, Bible-believing, Christ-exalting church where they heard the gospel clearly.

Piroscka: I remember when I was sitting in church and the pastor was preaching about surrender. I was a person that wanted to control everything in my life, and I didn’t want to let go.

I remember I was trying to battle with God and say, “God, no. I’m not going to give You this control. I’m not going to give You my kids. I’m not going to give You my husband.” Everything was under my control—remember, I was god. I had all my priorities turned around. It was first me, then my kids, my job, and my husband was the last one.

But by God’s grace, He saved me. He called me. He had that surprise for me, for my family, and that day I remember I said, “I can’t do this anymore. I can’t control this anymore. I don’t know how to do things anymore. I can’t change Khristopher. I accept him the way You sent him to me, God.”

Nancy: She understood her need to give everything over to Christ.

Piroscka: And even then, I realized what Christ did for me in the cross. I realized what sin is. I realized that I’m a sinner. I realized that He paid for my sins on the cross, that not only my sins at that moment, but the sins from my past, the sins from my present, and the sins from the future.

Nancy: In retrospect, the very health challenges in their son Khristopher that brought the family back to Santo Domingo were what God used to save Piroscka and her husband.

Piroscka: He used Khristopher, my first child, the one that I did give life to, He used him to give life to us.

Things started to change. Interests started to change. Music that we wanted to listen to started to change. It was amazing. Sometimes our kids looked at us, and they were like, “Who are you?”

I started to volunteer translating the Revive Our Hearts programs into Spanish. This was amazing! I mean, this woman talking to me—I thought she was only talking to me. Every single message that I heard from Nancy was a message for Piroscka!

Nancy: Well, I can’t take any credit for that, for sure. That’s the power of God’s Spirit applying His Word to individual situations. I’m just a tool in His hands.

Piroscka: God used Nancy in the beginning of my Christian life to align me correctly in the way that God wanted me to be as a woman of Christ.

Nancy: Pressures in the education of their children caused Piroscka and her husband to move back to Miami. But now they knew Jesus.

Piroscka: This time we had the armor of God with us, and this time we were prepared.

In 2015 I attended Mujer Verdadera, a conference in the Dominican Republic.

Nancy: This was the very first international True Woman conference, and it was hosted by the same church that Piroscka and her family had attended. One of the speakers was Dannah Gresh, and Jeanine Martínez translated for her.

Piroscka: I was already living in Miami, and I flew all the way from Miami to the DR to attend the conference and be able to meet all my friends from Aviva Nuestros Corazones and the church and everybody.

Dannah Gresh (speaking at the conference): So, when I use my high school Spanish today, you have to promise me you won’t laugh.

Piroscka: In one of the sessions, Dannah Gresh was talking about that secret that keeps you in bondage, that secret that points at you, that, even though you are saved, even though you have received Christ into your life, the enemy uses that to keep you a slave because he doesn’t want you to open your mouth. He doesn’t want you to share. He doesn’t want you to heal.

Dannah (speaking at the conference): When we take our masks off, we don’t just get closer to one another, we’re brought closer to the Lord.

Piroscka: And that secret that you have not shared with anybody, that you still have inside you . . .

Dannah (speaking at the conference): I want to ask you a question, What makes you lonely? What’s the sin, the secret that you’ve never told anyone before? Do you really want to stay in that place of loneliness?

Piroscka: I remember that my heart started beating so fast again.

Dannah (speaking at the conference): Or is today your day for freedom?

Piroscka: I had never shared my abortion experience with anybody.

Dannah (speaking at the conference): If you are physically able . . .

Piroscka: I knew at that moment that God was asking me to share that secret.

Dannah (speaking at the conference): You have a secret that you need to tell, a sin you need to confess.

Piroscka: It was hard. I said, “God? Really? You want me to share this? Why?” Even then I battled to do it. And then Dannah said, “Turn around and look for that friend, that sister that you want to share your secret.”

Nancy: Now, I remember this moment vividly. Women of all ages knelt to pray. Some of them were sobbing—loudly. The tile floor near the platform was literally puddled with tears, and Piroscka was one of those women seeking the Lord. A friend came and knelt next to her, but she couldn’t speak.

Piroscka: It was like I had something here, stuck. It didn’t allow me to speak any words, to say anything.

I started to cry, and she hugged me. I knew the enemy even then was telling me lies. Even then he was telling me, “How come? Why are you going to share this secret with her?”

Nancy: Shame is a powerful tool in Satan’s hands. She felt his accusations.

Piroscka: She’s seen you praising God these last three days, and you’re going to share this secret?

Nancy: But God gave her the courage to tell the truth.

Piroscka: I shared my secret with my sister-friend, and that’s where I started the healing process.

Nancy: The next year, Piroscka was able to attend True Woman ’16. While she was there, she interacted with a Revive Our Hearts staff member named Carla. Carla told her that prior to joining Revive Our Hearts, she had served as the director of the pregnancy care center here in Niles, Michigan.

Piroscka: I was like, “Really?” It was something that really caught my attention.

Nancy: So when she got back to Miami, she did some investigating.

Piroscka: To my surprise, there was one pregnancy health center not even a mile away from home.

Nancy: She applied to volunteer there as a counselor, helping women, many of whom were feeling just as hopeless as she had once felt. She knew it was no accident she was here.

It wasn’t long after she started volunteering at that pregnancy health center that the leadership there asked Piroscka to attend a weekend retreat. It was a Bible study specifically designed for women who have experienced an abortion.

Piroscka: One more time, I said, “No! I don’t need this.”

Nancy: She didn’t want to open up old wounds. She was worried about what they might ask her. She wondered if it might be better just to let the past stay in the past.

Piroscka: It was more like, “No, I’m saved. Christ paid for my sin in the cross. They’re there. They’re hanged there. He paid for my sin. It’s done. It’s finished.” They said, “Yes, we know that. We know that you know that, too, but you need to go through the healing process.”

Nancy: So she did. It was a study by Linda Cochrane, called Forgiven and Set Free.

Piroscka: This was the best encounter of my life with Christ.

Nancy: For Piroscka, completing the grieving process was so helpful.

Piroscka: We were able to mourn our babies. I was also able to mourn two miscarriages that I had between my Kevin and Kyle and Kathryn and Kevin. So those were losses, too. I gave names to my babies.

Nancy: Piroscka knew that she would need to share her secret again. This time, at home. She was praying about when and how to tell the kids. Her children knew their mom was at a retreat, but they didn’t know any of the details. Her teenage daughter was the first one to ask about the weekend.

Piroscka: She said, “Mommy, tell me, how was your retreat? What was it about?” I was like, “Wow. Jesus, You want me to share it just now? I can’t believe it, God.”

I said, “Kathryn, you have brothers and sisters, and these are their names. I made the decisions when I was nineteen and twenty years old.”

I started to counsel my daughter, even telling her things that she should do and not do. I started to share the Word of God with her right there. We cried. I asked for forgiveness. She hugged me.

Nancy: And pretty soon the scene repeated itself with Kyle, her youngest, and then the other kids.

Piroscka: They were so sweet to me. They hugged me, and they said, “Mom, it’s okay.” Then when I went to my husband, it was the first time that my husband and I ever talked about it.

Nancy: They had known the Lord for a decade. It had been twenty-seven years since her first abortion. And now, the grieving and healing could start for him, too.

Piroscka: He did not know how much I suffered, how much pain I went through. I shared that with him. We cried. I showed him the certificates, and I said, “Listen, these are your babies.”

Nancy: Linda Cochrane writes, “Women have found that naming their baby helps them to identify their loss. Many have experienced great emotional release in naming their aborted baby.”

It was true for Piroscka and her husband. She now sees it as one of her God-given purposes in life to reach out to hurting women as she helps comfort others with the comfort God has extended to her and the true hope she has found in the gospel.

We asked Piroscka to define true hope.

Piroscka: True hope is what you look for when you are lost. True hope is, like, when you’re thirsty, and you’re looking for that fresh water that can just help you with your thirst.

Sometimes we look for the wrong hope. Sometimes we look for places where we think that we’re going to find that hope. But it’s not.

True hope is the Word of God. When you start receiving the Word, when you start digging into the Word, it’s like fresh water coming into you. It’s like you’re getting all that dirt out of you. True hope is Christ. And true hope is freedom. That’s true hope for me.

Nancy: That’s a great reminder from our guest Piroscka Ventura. We each need to go to God’s Word each day as our source of true hope.

Today’s program has been so encouraging, and I pray many listeners—maybe you—will find freedom from shame through complete, full forgiveness in Christ as a result of hearing Piroscka’s story.

Revive Our Hearts is able to minister to women like Piroscka because our listeners like you believe in this ministry and this message, and they want to see it continue and multiply.

I’m so grateful for every person who prays for us and who gives financially to make our various outreaches possible around the world.

As I’ve been telling you this month, we’re at a key juncture in the future of this ministry. We need strong support from our listeners here at the end of 2018 in order to keep these ministries going in 2019.

We don’t want to see any of that ministry interrupted or halted, and I know you don’t either. So would you pray that God would meet our year-end needs?

I want to say a huge “thank you” to everyone who has already given toward our matching challenge of $750,000. Those gifts are so important to us! And if you’ve wanted to help meet this challenge but you still haven’t taken that step, well now’s the time. This challenge will come to a close December 31, and we don’t want to see any of that matching amount go unused.

So what does it mean to give toward this matching challenge? It means your gift of whatever amount will be doubled. So if you type in $100 as you’re giving online, just know that when you hit “send,” your gift will become $200 as friends of the ministry match your gift. They’re matching each gift up to $750,000.

So don’t miss this opportunity! To make your donation today, visit us at ReviveOurHearts.com, or you can call us at 1–800–569–5959.

Now, throughout history, a battle has raged between earthly rulers and the true King. That battle for rulership still continues, and we’ll talk about it on Monday. I hope you’ll be back with us.

Now, to close our time, we asked Piroscka Ventura what she would say to a woman who has a secret she needs to share. Here’s what she said:

Piroscka: I can guarantee you that the feeling you feel after you share that secret is indescribable because the freedom and the fullness that you feel gives you everything that you need and all the energy that you need to move forward and to live a completely free life. The truth will set you free.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is helping you find true hope in Jesus. It’s an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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