Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: Here’s Jason Jones.

Jason Jones: I saw a young woman walk out after having an abortion. She walked out, and with her first step she began to cry. I watched her walk—probably to catch the bus or the train—alone, just crying, and it breaks your heart. It just breaks your heart.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Wednesday, January 22.

For the last couple of days, Nancy’s been talking with three young people involved in the pro-life movement. Earlier this week Rebecca Porter, Kelly Roy, and Jason Jones shared their own dramatic experiences with abortion. If you missed those stories, you can hear them at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Today they talk about their burden to save others from the pain they’ve experienced. Here’s Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I sat at a banquet last night and listened to some stories of people who are committed to this movement. They’re activists. And I thought, This has got to be a really hard calling, a hard battle.

Do you ever get discouraged in the battle?

Jason: I’m on the board of directors at the pregnancy center. When you’re counseling a young woman, and she doesn’t make the choice for life, it can be a really rough day.

Or when you’re in front of an abortion clinic, you’re sidewalk counseling, and you see woman after woman go in—a mom walks in with a baby and walks out alone. You look at her, and you know what’s in store for her. It’s devastating.

I remember once when I was taking a group of young people to an abortion clinic that’s within sight of the White House. It was Sunday, and I just wasn’t thinking it was open. So I wasn’t prepared.

We walked over there, and I was telling them how we were going to come and pray; we were organizing a prayer event. As we were there, I saw a young woman walk out in sweatpants and shoes without heels. We know when we sidewalk counsel what that means: She’s leaving after having an abortion.

She walked out, and with her first step she began to cry. With each step, she began to cry more. I saw her take a left at the sidewalk. She was Ethiopian, this beautiful Ethiopian woman. I watched her walk—probably to catch the bus or the train—alone, just crying, and it breaks your heart. It just breaks your heart.

Then, on the other side of it, you get to meet the children whom God has used you to save, and that’s an incredible experience. But to say it’s not difficult—I think it’s the most difficult ministry in the world because day in and day out we live within a culture of death.

You can have your own private peace—go to church, go to breakfast with your family afterward, come home and watch your kids play in the backyard—and really shut your family off to what’s going on out there.

But we’re not really called to have a private peace. We’re called to be there at the foot of the cross. It is sometimes very difficult. But in the end it’s all worth it. And I thank God. It is the greatest grace to be active in the pro-life movement. The grace that comes with it—you can’t even begin to explain to somebody.

Nancy: Do you really believe that abortion could be ended?

Rebecca Porter: I do. Yes. And the reason why is because it’s on God’s heart. He’s shown me that all that I do needs to be in His strength and not my own because it is tiring, and you do encounter so much. When you hear testimony after testimony, and even when you give your own, it’s draining because you’re just ministering and sharing.

But He wants you to go with His strength, do it in His strength. I recently had the pleasure for the first time of knowing . . . you don’t always know who chooses to keep their babies. But I recently had the amazing experience to be able to talk to a girl. Her boyfriend called me because he knows what I do. I was able to share my story with her, and she gave birth not long ago. I was able to hold this baby, this little girl who was a peanut.

The mother was considering abortion during the same month of pregnancy that I had mine. It was just so powerful to see that.

I do believe abortion will be ended because it’s on God’s heart, because He’s sovereign, and because He’s God. He’s using us in such a powerful way to speak a message that is shedding light into people’s hearts. Change is needed in our laws, but change is needed in people’s minds and hearts also.

Nancy: I know you’re talking to a lot of college students. Kelly, you’re involved with Campus Outcry, which is an arm of the Justice Foundation. You’re on secular college campuses?

Kelly Roy: I am. Yes.

Nancy: What are you hearing? What are you sensing as you’re talking with these students?

Kelly: Well, my heart has been for the campuses since I started with Operation Outcry, because I realized that this is the highest age group that is targeted for having an abortion. So it’s been my heart to reach out into the campuses.

We have women like Rebecca who are speaking on the campuses also. But what I’m finding is that I’m not what they expect. When we come in, they’re expecting someone to preach to them and to say something to them.

But we have a pro-life message through our experience. When I come in I say to them, “I made the choice that some of you are fighting for”—because there are pro-choice young adults who come in to listen to our message. “I made that choice, and this is what happened to me. This is my experience, and this is what’s happening to thousands of other women.”

They sit there, and it’s hard for them to say anything. We’ve been able to reach out. We always go onto these campuses with the resources in the area for post-abortion recovery, so that you’re not going in, opening up a wound and then just leaving. You always want to have that healing. So we provide that.

We just talk to these kids. I was at a campus recently, and there were some kids who were in the middle of the road on this issue. They said, “We never thought of that.” People think here and now, at this very moment. We need to explain to them, “No, it’s not over.”

I have a friend of mine who says, “I didn’t realize until my son was three years old, after I was married. I gave birth to him; it didn't realize when he was born. He was three years old, and one day it just hit me like that.” And she began to weep, and that began her healing process. It may happen in stages. But it’s just something that happens.

These kids are responding, and they’re hearing it. Our main goal is to get those who have walked through it into healing. But our goal is also to stop them so they’ll at least think before they begin to have that relationship outside of marriage. It’s just worth it.

Rebecca: There are other choices besides abortion. We want to encourage them about adoption and about single parenting. Thankfully, there are a lot of other groups and organizations now that are trying, especially on college campuses, to help these young, pregnant students.

So just to make that information available to them, to educate them, is very important. As Kelly just said, when you share your own personal testimony, “This is what happened to me,” they can’t argue with that.

About 72% of relationships will end after the abortion, which is very sad. So many of the young girls will have the abortion to keep the boyfriend. They take the life of their child, and then he's gone.

Kelly: It's an automatic wedge in the relationship, and it keeps growing and growing. The gap gets bigger and bigger.

Nancy: It seems that if we’re going to have any real serious advances in this whole movement of choosing life, we’ve also got to deal with the way of thinking about sex and purity. That’s where the floodgates are, in the worldly view of sexuality. Promiscuity is what is putting so many women in the position of having to make that kind of choice.

Jason: I think we’re making progress there, too. All the studies show a polarization among young people. We’re seeing more and more young people choosing chastity, but we’re also seeing more and more young people living more reckless and dangerous lives.

In the 1970s and 1980s, there was a general culture of—I hate to use this word—a “tepid” promiscuity. They were promiscuous. But now we see young people who are very, very, very promiscuous.

But then, there are more and more young people who are choosing chastity.

You asked if we’re going to win. And I think, yes, because the culture of death—the seeds of its own destruction are in it. Pornography is devastating our young people. But the fruit of this devastation is that these young people are then inoculating, I think, the kids that are going to come up behind them.

Why are more people today that are pro-life? Why are 72% of those under thirty pro-life?Planned Parenthood cannot lie to them. Young people have become ever more sophisticated with their messaging. The abortion industry is spending millions and millions of dollars trying to shape their opinion, but they can’t. And why not?

Because so many of them have direct experience with abortion, whether it was their own abortion or an abortion a friend had. You cannot lie to somebody after they’ve been directly involved in abortion.

The abortion industry is good at silencing them. But we are going to end abortion. And it’s going to happen so fast. I think we’re approaching the tipping point. The key to the ending of abortion is the voice of the post-abortive woman, because the culture of death is supported by this worldview of relativism.

But moral relativism only accepts personal experience as truth. So they hear the women who’ve had abortions. The dictatorship of moral relativism—within its own self, it cannot silence the subjective opinion of women who have had abortions. That’s why I think the testimony of men who’ve had abortions is so strong.

I've talked to abortionists, abortion-rights activists, and they'll even be rocked back on their heels. They'll say, "I honor you and your experiences and how it impacted you." They are sort-of defenseless against the message of those who suffer from abortion.

Nancy: That’s helpful to hear, Jason. I think, from where I sit, there’s a tendency to think that until the Supreme Court overturns Roe vs. Wade, we can’t make serious headway in this battle. But you’re saying it doesn’t just depend on what happens in courts.

Jason: You can stop abortion tomorrow, and I’m going to tell you how. Write the biggest check you can to your local crisis pregnancy center. If that child and that mother that come into there tomorrow, you will stop abortion.

You’re not just saving a child’s life; you’re saving a whole lineage. Because from that woman and her child, there are going to come children and their grandchildren and a whole civilization in that one child. So we can stop abortion tomorrow by volunteering at crisis pregnancy centers, by sidewalk counseling. We can end abortion for that child and for that woman.

Now, in the general culture we need to vote with integrity, as Christians. We should never support a candidate that does not support the intrinsic value of every human life. We need to respect the dignity of all humans. It’s important for evangelization because—as Francis Shaeffer talked about pre-evangelization—it’s hard to talk to somebody about Jesus Christ if we don’t respect our own dignity, and if we don’t treat people with the dignity they deserve, which the incarnation taught us. So it’s very important.

I’m hopeful. And we should never feel helpless because through this radio program, through this radio network, and through our local crisis pregnancy centers, we can stop abortion every day.

Nancy: I hear you all stressing the importance of post-abortive women speaking out—speaking out not only about the pain and the hurt that they have suffered, but also about the redemptive work of Christ, the grace of Christ, the liberating power of the gospel and the truth. Those stories are really, really important. So speak to the woman listening who has had an abortion but has never had the courage to come out about it.

Kelly: I would encourage you to pray, seek the Lord, and let Him give you the comfort and assurance that He will walk you every step of the way. When I stand before people, and as I’m sitting here right now, Jesus is sitting right beside me. I couldn’t do this if He weren’t with me. So even though, yes, it is a hard thing and a fearful thing, every time a woman or a man shares, the truth wins. It overcomes the lie of the enemy. You can do it.

Now, not all of us are called to speak as publicly as the three of us are. But as I tell the ladies who go through my Bible study, you just may be speaking to the women in your Sunday school class or the women in your church.

Or you may be speaking to a family member—maybe a niece who is going to come to you because she’s so afraid she can’t go to her mom—and she’ll say, “Aunt Susie, I’m pregnant, and my boyfriend wants me to abort.” You may just be able to share your own personal testimony of tragedy with her. And that may save then that family member’s life.

So everyone has the opportunity to share the truth, whether it’s publicly or just one-on-one. But every time the truth is told, we win. Jesus wins, and the enemy loses.

Jason: When we share in our families and in our churches and in our schools and in our church-run schools—especially that these are abortion-free schools. I once spoke at a Christian school, and I asked the young people at the end if every one of them could promise me that they would never, ever have an abortion and never allow an abortion at this school while they’re here. I asked them to please stand up if they could make that promise.

The entire school stood up in unison. Afterwards they got complaints from the parents that I would ask these children not to have abortions. The principal received complaints.

I sometimes am confrontational. So at the end of my speech that was supposed to seek reconciliation with these parents, I said, “Now, if you can all promise me that you will never, ever coerce your children to have abortions, can you please stand up?” That’s how I ended my talk. And half the parents stood up, and the other half kind of scowled at me.

But I think they’re post-abortive, so many of them. Oftentimes some of the most virulent pro-abortion people are the most post-abortive. They’re struggling with this pain. They cannot admit what they were involved in.

I once had an “abortion-rights”—again, I like to put that in quotes—activist say to me, “Every time you say that, you are hurting women who have had abortions.” They recognize that. They want to deny the reality. They think if they just put their head in the sand—“We deny it. We pretend it’s not a human being. We pretend we’re not losing our children”—that it’ll be okay.

Rebecca asked me at breakfast the other day, “Has my family broken the generational curse?” It kind of took me aback that she asked me that because at seventeen, after the abortion in my life, all I talked about was abortion, and all I’ve done since is work to end abortion.

My mom and my dad sort of pushed back from me, and my aunt, and my relationships with a lot of folks in my family. I was losing friendships with relatives I was very close to. I’ve since found out that my mother, my father, and my aunt are all post-abortive, something I never would have thought. I never, never would have thought.

My own mother used to say to me, “I would never have an abortion. I’ve never had an abortion.” But sure enough, she did have an abortion. And my father was responsible for an abortion.

It was midnight one night and he was counseling me after I was getting ready to graduate from college. He was counseling me how that I should look for something else to do instead of this silly pro-life thing that I'm always doing. One thing led to another, and I said, "Dad, I lost a child to abortion, and I'm not going to stop until it's done."

And he said, "Well, you are not the only one in this family who has suffered from an abortion." I looked at him, and he said, "I'm responsible for an abortion, too." He didn't say it like that, but he admitted to his involvement in an abortion.

So when we think that we’re the only ones in our family and in our church who’ve had abortions that’s just not true. Sometimes I think, “Do I know anyone who’s not been closely touched by an abortion?” I think, probably not, not at all. It’s important that we speak out so that others around us can heal.

Nancy: One of the things you’ve done to speak out is in the movie industry.

Jason: Yes.

Nancy: Tell us a little bit about the one movie I know you’ve been involved with that some of our listeners are familiar with.

Jason: The movie is called Bella. It’s a beautiful little film. I was the co-executive producer.

I met these three gentlemen that we called the three amigos. They wanted to start a company that promoted the dignity of Latinos in film. They were sick and tired of seeing Latinos always playing the Don Juan characters. Their first film was Bella. They shared the project with me, and I said, "I'll do anything you need to help with this."

They said, "Well, we need money."

Nancy: What drew you to the project.

Jason: What I saw in the script was the portrayal of a young woman struggling with a crisis pregnancy. It was done in such a sympathetic way, in such a loving way. It promotes adoption and the dignity of the child in the womb, and also healing and redemption.

When I read the script and when I saw the finished product, we were in Mexico City when I first saw it. I called my wife and said, "I know the greatest director of a generation and no one knows his name yet. It is Alejandro Monteverde.

It was Alejandro's first film out of college. It won one of the most pretigious film festivals in the world. It was the smallest budget film every to win Toronto. I was recognized by the Smithsonian Institute. But more important than that, it set so many women and men to healing. It's responsible for so many babies coming into the world.

We do need to engage the popular culture because it’s really the church of the masses. So many people never go to church. But they pay $7.50 a week to go stare at a screen. It’s really an opportunity for us to share truth, beauty, and goodness.

Nancy: We heard the star of Bella speak at a banquet last night.

Jason: Yes.

Nancy: He told a very moving story about how God had used not only the film, but him as part of that film, to save one particular life.

Jason: Yes. Eduardo is incredible. He is known as the “Brad Pitt” of Latin America. He’s been a huge celebrity around the world, especially in the Spanish-speaking world, since he was seventeen. But after he found Jesus Christ, he just gave it all up and said, “I’m not going to do a movie again that objectifies women or that portrays Latinas in a negative light.”

The problem for Eduardo was he was the Don Juan, the Casanova. So that meant he got no roles. But he said, “So be it.”

Then he realized, “If I’m going to have a role that I like, I have to become a producer.” So his life has been a sacrifice, and a beautiful sacrifice. But a young man who was his friend, as Eduardo says, “B.C.”—before he became a Christian—got his girlfriend pregnant. They’d scheduled an abortion, and Eduardo found out about this.

Eduardo literally got on a plane that night and spent several thousand dollars to fly from L.A. to Miami. He bought the ticket that night so he could get there before the abortion, which was scheduled that morning.

He shared the film with them, and the guy still wasn’t convinced. Eduardo said, “Well, look, if you don’t want the baby, I’ll adopt the baby.” In the movie, Eduardo’s character, Jose, adopts the baby of a friend who’s struggling through a crisis pregnancy. And as Eduardo says, after seeing Bella 200 times, he was motivated by the . . .

Nancy: By the character he had played.

Jason: But even before that, Eduardo’s goal and Alejandro and Elia Sevrino’s goal was that their “Oscar” would be just one baby. They asked God that this film would save one baby.

To research his part, Eduardo went to a Planned Parenthood at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning. He was very naïve. He brought his notepad and a pen, and he was going to go talk to women in the waiting room and say, “You’re going to have an abortion. How do you feel?” so he could get information for his role.

Well, a big, burly security guard picked Eduardo up and threw him out onto the street. So he saw the sidewalk counselors. This was totally alien to Eduardo. He took his notepad, and he started standing behind the sidewalk counselors, taking notes as they were talking to the young women.

So he’s taking notes, and then one of the counselors grabbed Eduardo and said, “Do you speak Spanish?”

He said, "Yes." They thought he was one of them; they didn’t know he was just an actor doing research.

So they pushed him in front of this young Mexican couple, and they looked up and said, “Eduardo Verástegui? What are you doing here?” Imagine seeing Brad Pitt in front of Planned Parenthood at six in the morning.

He said, “What are you doing here?” And he struck up a conversation with them. He gave them his personal phone number. He took them across the street and talked to them for forty-five minutes, took them to a pregnancy center that was across the street, and gave them strollers and diapers.

He thought they were probably just ashamed they saw him, even though they didn’t know him; they think they know him because of all the telanovela soap operas they see him on.

What happened was that he went off to New York to shoot the film the next day. The day he came back from shooting the film, he got a phone call. (He hadn’t heard from the couple until then.) It was the gentleman he had met in front of the abortion clinic. He said, “Eduardo, we met, but you probably don’t remember me. It was in front of Planned Parenthood. We just want to ask you if it would be okay if we named our son Eduardito and if you’d be his godfather.”

So the goal of Bella was actually achieved before we even began filming.

Nancy: And then that couple that he went to Florida and showed the movie to, that baby was saved. And he had the chance of holding that baby.

Jason: He got to hold that baby, and he got to hold Eduardito. And it’s not an exaggeration: Every day we get emails from women who say they saw the film and they were scheduled to have an abortion, but they chose life.

So we’re collecting all the pictures. There’ll be a book coming out on all of the Bella babies. At this conference, I heard two stories of crisis pregnancy center operators who told me women were scheduled to have an abortion. They went to a movie, just to see Eduardo’s new movie, and they walked out. Instead of going to the abortion clinic the next day, as they had scheduled, they went to their pregnancy center.

Nancy: It’s not an overtly Christian or pro-life film. It is pro-life in the sense that it shows the value of human life.

Jason: It is.

Nancy: But it doesn’t preach at you.

Jason: No. it definitely doesn’t preach at you. But it lives it, and it has a character who lives it. You get to follow the young woman and Eduardo through their ups and downs in the decision. But it definitely doesn’t preach at you.

So God has really blessed us. For me it’s really a privilege to be a part of this team. I still can’t believe it.

Leslie: Jason Jones has been talking with Nancy Leigh DeMoss about the movie Bella, which was released in 2006. Jason had the opportunity to help produce that movie—one way he’s telling everyone he can about the value of life.

We also heard from Rebecca Porter and Kelly Roy. Our guests have been candid and passionate about the effects of abortion, and today’s program wraps up our series with them. It’s called "Fighting for Life," and you can hear the parts you may have missed at ReviveOurHearts.com.

You’re able to hear programs like this one thanks to listeners who support Revive Our Hearts through prayer and financial gifts.

When you send a gift of any size to Revive Our Hearts this month, we’ll say thanks by sending you the CD, Be Still.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss picked some of her favorite hymns and then recorded her first piano CD.  We’ll send you a copy when you support the ministry.  Ask for Be Still when you call with your gift. The number is 1–800–569–5959, or visit us online at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Tomorrow we’ll hear from a woman who was angry with her husband and said, “It would be better if you were dead.” She soon regretted those words. Find out why, tomorrow. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

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