By Chaplain Ayesha Kreutz, Bond servant to Christ, Wife, Mother, Teacher and President of the Frederick Douglass Foundation of NY
It is funny while so many others are coming out of the closet too often we Christians are going into the closet.
Too many followers of Christ have bought into letting the enemy steal your light, steal the seed God has given you to sow. We have an enemy who wants to keep us from being fruitful. Do not be too extreme or actually tell others about Christ for fear you might offend. You can dance, worship, give, preach, just keep it inside the walls of the church. I think If we thanked Jesus more our perspective might change a bit.
Second I want to thank our veterans, if we have any veterans here tonight please stand, so we can all give you a hand clap, It is because of people like you and your sacrifice to this great nation that we have the freedom to gather like this here today and we should never forget that.
Third if you are a pro-life warrior who has been in this fight for 15 years or more will you raise your hand, I want everyone to look around at the hands raised right now and remember these folks. I want you to pray for them and think about them, encourage them and take some time to get to know them. This is one of the toughest and loneliest ministries. The way the enemy attacks these folks is ferocious.
True Christianity is a radical commitment to Jesus Christ, not just going to church on Sundays. If you desire to become a man or woman of God, consecrate yourself to Him; you will reap the rewards of entering into His wonderful light! It is not easy and it stretches you beyond what you are capable of trust me I know,
but He said: “ you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light” and these folks are a wonderful example of that. It is time that we demand personhood for everyone, once and for all. So get to know those who had their hands raised, learn from them, what worked and doesn’t work, figure out how they have been able to stay in the heat. These guys have wisdom and love to share with us and we would be very wise to grab their coat tails and learn from them.
Lastly I want to thank my husband. I love you Babe, If you are a married woman you know how important it is to have the greatness of your husband beside you and Matt is that. I could not do what I do without him. His love, kindness and wisdom strengthens me and keeps our family straight.
What I want to do tonight is to give you some hope, and share an excerpt of my testimony.
But, I want to try something a little different and start with right now, and then go back to the beginning, kind of like when you watch a show and they show you where your at and then show you how they got there. I am not sure if it will be effective and it might suck but I am giving it a shot. I figure I am with the choir, this is a perfect opportunity to test things out. I mean how did I get here in front of ya’ll? How did I get to the point where I would be able to say the following?
Visit us and sign the statement of concern
We all know what happens when a small group of people get to decide who is “Fully human” and who is not. When you
consider someone less than human, it becomes much easier to abandon, whip, murder, rape, lynch and enslave them, all while justifying it….. Just ask the Jews, the Native Americans, the slaves, the disabled and today, the pre-born, also known as the “fetus.”For far too long in our society, we have cultivated a culture of death and rejection instead of a culture of life and acceptance. In the 40 years since Roe v Wade, while blacks represent only 14% of the population, we represent over 30% of all abortions committed in America. And in Rochester that number is 36%.
I cannot sit by and just be silent. As Walter Hoye says: My people are dying (let me take a bit from him)
Since 1973, more than 15 million black babies have been killed by abortion. That’s 1,200 black babies every day. Abortion alone accounts for more deaths in our community than HIV/AIDS, violent crimes, accidents, cancer, diabetes and heart disease combined.
These numbers are no real surprise considering that 60% of Planned Parenthoods are strategically located in minority communities. Margaret Sanger wanted to pull the “weeds” out of society. She actually considered pre-born black babies to be “weeds.” If that does not offend you, let me, as a woman who was once a black baby, be offended for you. I am a person, and as a baby, I was a person.
Today, for every 100 black babies born alive, there are another 77 black babies killed by abortion. In New York City, it’s even worse. There, a black baby is more likely to be aborted than to be allowed to live.
According to the Tuskegee Institute, in 86 years, the KKK lynched and killed about 3,600 blacks. Today, abortion-mills kill more blacks in three days than the KKK did in 86 years.
This is a civil rights issue of our time, the personhood of all people. Every person bears the image of God. Any person, therefore, demands our utmost dignity, respect, and protection—man, woman, boy and girl—from the womb to the tomb.
It was once said, “If Slavery is not wrong, then nothing is.” Well today I say, “If abortion, the Killing of an innocent, helpless and voiceless child, is not wrong, then nothing is.”
It is up to us to pick up the mantel and defend the voiceless, the least of us, the most vulnerable among us.
In 1787 we asked, “AM I NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER?” and we overcame.
In 1837 we asked, “AM I NOT A WOMAN AND A SISTER?” and we were victors.
Today we ask, “Am I not a child, a son or a daughter?”
I know this is not a popular fight, but it is a moral fight, a fundamental fight and if you are one who has been losing your will or your passion I encourage you to Get your fire back! It’s not over until God says it’s over.
Start believing again. Start dreaming again. Start pursuing what God put in your heart. Or Cry out to Him and ask,, what would you have me do?
What part can you do? 1 hour a month? 10 hours a month? 1 hour a day
Will you allow yourself to be set apart to be used by God?
Its hard, I know, but just Repent, be reformed and let yourself become a dedicated instrument of righteousness for His name’s sake. We need to start making a dent in the blood guilt that is on our land.
As you heard there are some crazy facts that put this all in perspective a bit more between that and what I have personally gone through you will see this is all very close to my heart.
So, Yes, I have had an abortion I was 14 years of age and I would love to tell you that testimony and all I learned and how I was forgiven and set free but time is pretty short So I am going to just share the other end of things the Almost abortion.
See even after that abortion and coming to terms with it, for the most part, I got pregnant again for the sixth time out of wedlock, and I knew the Lord when I got pregnant out of wedlock for the sixth time. I didn’t have a strong foundation, but I did have a personal relationship with Christ that I was developing, and was well aware of God’s Word and Will. I also had no excuses for succumbing to the sin of my flesh.
I had just moved back to Rochester, running away from turning back into my old self, figuring okay, I will start over again. What I didn’t know is that I was pregnant, but within the first couple weeks of being back, I realized I was and was feeling discouraged even more. I was living with my best friend in her three-bedroom house, with her husband and their three kids, in her unfinished basement with my two kids. And here I was with the nerve to be pregnant. All I could let myself think was I have nothing.
That next Sunday, I wasn’t going to attend church with Tiffany because I had set up an appointment to have an abortion the next day at Planned Parenthood right on University Ave. I knew it was wrong but saw no other way out. Ihad just had a baby, I had superficially “repented,” and then boom straight away again I fell into the temptation of my flesh and the need to feel loved. In the end, so Tiffany didn’t get suspicious- she knew me very well- I went to church that Sunday KNOWING there was nothing God could say or do at this point to change my mind. I had the perfect plan of manipulation. I had this relationship with Christ and I knew that I knew that I could have an abortion, then repent and God would forgive me.
In the end I knew that this was best–for me (so nobody would know of my mistake, again) for my other two kids that I could barely take care of, needing state assistance, and even for those who looked up to me as a spiritual guide. My life was just a mess. I was supposed to be the one who made it out and be an example of what God could do, and yet I fell into the same trap I had before I was saved. How could God possibly use me if I were to have another child out of wedlock? I was afraid that I would be causing them to turn away from God, saying look at her: if that is what it means to be Christian why bother with it anyway? And so Hopelessness was my muse. The Whispers of Satan grew and festered, and I refused to talk to anyone. I was too embarrassed and ashamed even to talk to my BFF, nor did I tell the father, with whom I would never want to raise a kid.
Through the grace and power of God, I was introduced to Terry and Jerry Crawford via Bethel Christian Fellowship and Candy Giles.
I cannot imagine a world without faithful servants of the Lord like Terry and Jerry, Mike and Rescue Rochester. What if people really did just give up on the whole abortion issue and left people like me to our own devices and hopelessness? What if no one was on the front lines, no one willing to be the hands and feet of God who consider it worth the time and effort? That’s a bleak world that I’m glad I don’t have to live in anymore.
Terry and Jerry met with me that Monday- the day of my scheduled abortion. Now, let me tell you, I did have a plan. I figured I would meet with them and then go to Planned Parenthood for my appointment. Planned Parenthood, by the way, had told me that they have a pill I could take now and have the abortion in the privacy of your my home now, so no one has to know. It is like forcing your body to have a miscarriage, they said, and I was like “WHAT?? Really?” That had solidified it for me, getting me to think, “Okay, I can do this. No one ever has to know.”
As I sat across from the Crawfords at Bill Gray’s restaurant with my young infant in tow, they started sharing with me something I had not been hearing. They started sharing with me love, encouragement, compassion and hope, with no signs of condemnation!
I told them I had no choice and that their efforts were in vain. Yet they pressed on, reading me and letting me know that it was okay. And you know, having been raised in an atheist hippy home and being influenced by the liberal media all the time, I thought that Christians were condemning and mean. I did not expect the compassion and understanding that came out of them. I thought, as fellow Christians, they would be ashamed of me, and I thought God would not be able to use my family and me for His purpose if I let the world see my dirty sins. And they said no, not only can God still use you- look at King David and all He did- but we have people that would let you live with them- you and your two kids so that you could disappear from everything while you are pregnant, have the baby, then they would keep the baby (as an open or closed adoption), and no one would have to know you were ever pregnant- if that is what you want… I said: “WHAT??? REALLY??? No way!!!”
I thought that this is just stuff from the movies and is not real life. Why would someone take my kids and me in just to have me keep my baby and/or to adopt my baby, especially if they already had kids OF THEIR OWN? It blew my mind, but they explained that this is because God has a plan for you and your child. God loves that baby, and that baby
deserves a future.
A chance for a future? – I wondered at that. Terry and Jerry made me realize that God had entrusted me with this baby and this thought popped in my head: if God believes in me, it changes everything. God spoke to me: “Don’t give up on me, Trust me. I have a plan, just own up to what you did and do not sin yet again. Don’t use a lie to cover up a lie. Just let me be your guide and your path- I will work it out.”
I now consider this event to be a knot in my life line. There is a period of time before the knot and one after the knot, and as every day passes, the part before the knot becomes smaller and less painful than the time after the knot.
I had decided that giving my baby up for adoption was her best chance at having a real family and that that would also be best for my other two children and for me. I stayed with Blair and Marybeth after the birth, who I believe are here tonight as well. They were all incredibly supportive in my decision to keep the baby, which is a whole different story, and I remain close friends with them all to this day. Jerry Crawford actually walked me down the aisle at my wedding.
Today, as I watch my daughter grow up, I often think of Rescue Rochester, Terry and Jerry and how God is perfect. I also think about how the enemy is a liar who comes to lie, steal and cheat us. He cheats these children out of a future and a destiny. Life is not just about me but also about all those around me. God is faithful and true, and He loves at all times. God, through those who want to cultivate a culture of life and acceptance instead of death and rejection, held me steady and breathed life into my hopeless spirit.
As it says in Psalm 23:3, “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
Today, because of who God is and because of the faithful, bold and resolved pro-life people like those that run
Rescue Rochester who have answered His call, we can love them both, mother and child.
Another of God’s children was saved, and today you see my little eight year old Shalom Ari-Ella Beth-el Maxine running around with her destiny and purpose intact. We can all be living testimonies of Gods goodness.
Today, I am not just a sinner saved by grace,
HE has Anointed my head with oil –
My cup is running over, goodness and mercy shall follow me ALL of the days of my life!!
No longer of this world but A Citizen of Heaven,
I am an AMBASSADOR of JESUS CHRIST
Part of Gods household, the Household of faith
I am a Saint of the Living God, I am a child of the Most High, and that makes me a prophet, more than a conqueror through Christ, marching in a triumphant procession, overcoming the devil by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony, and I know, I have been bought with a price, and I am redeemed by Jesus Christ.
I am married now to a wonderful man who loves and adores my children as much as he does me.
After living through this, I decided I could be silent no longer. God welled up in me a passion so great I could no longer be silent, and I knew that I had to speak out and be a voice for the voiceless.
You can get the full testimony (not just an excerpt) and more HERE or for a review of the book HERE