Friday, September 18, 2009

The Banquet: Broken into Beautiful

A little over a week ago we had our annual fundraising banquet for the Sav-A-Life Pregnancy Center where I volunteer once a week. In my humble opinion it was a great success! As usual, our directors Felesha and Terri had done a great job with all the planning and coordinating the event. It was the result of months of hard work. And then it's over in two hours!

The Family Life Center was decorated beautifully in our theme colors of black, white, and red. Here's one of the tables before any of the more than four hundred guests arrived.

As people began to arrive there was beautiful music wafting through the air thanks to my son David. He also played while we all ate our meal of a mixed greens salad, pork tenderloin, cheddar baked potato, broccoli cheese casserole, homemade bread and chocolate swirl cheesecake.

Our guest speaker for the night was Gwen Smith from Charlotte, NC. The theme of the banquet, "Broken into Beautiful" was taken from the title of Gwen's new book. You can go to her website HERE to read more of her testimony.

Gwen grew up in a Christian home with great Christian parents and was saved as a nine-year-old child. As a youngster and teenager she was active in church and stood up against sin. After graduating from high school and beginning college however, she said that she began to get slack in her convictions and started doing some things she knew a Christian should not do. By her second year of college she had started dating the young man she would eventually marry. As often happens when we start down that slippery slope of giving in to Satan, sin took Gwen farther than she ever meant to go and kept her longer than she ever meant to stay! She found herself pregnant and unmarried. Never, ever dreaming that she would even consider abortion and knowing in her heart it was wrong, she nevertheless went with her boyfriend to an abortion clinic and ended the life of their firstborn. It seemed like the only solution at the time. Here she was a "good" girl. A Christian. What would people think if she had carried the baby? But now the problem could she carry the guilt and pain of aborting her baby? Time passed and she married the father of the baby. She grew farther from God. She never told anyone about the abortion. Heaven forbid that her parents would find out! But God doesn't turn loose of His children that easily. He will never abort one of His own! He stayed on her heels until she returned to Him in repentance and found the forgiveness and restoration she was so desperately in need of.

Soon after that Gwen felt God calling her into Christian ministry. She knew that she would first have to tell people...including her parents....about the abortion. It was a struggle even thinking about that scenario. But, again, the Lord won out and she took the plunge. When talking about the night she told her parents Gwen said that the thing that she dreaded the most and was afraid would drive a wedge in her relationship with her parents actually was the thing that has brought them the closest! Her parents lovingly forgave her and told her that what she had done was in the past and that they loved her no matter what.

Statistics say that one of every three women in the USA have had an abortion. How many women are there walking your community, your church, your school....that are suffering from the guilt and pain every day that comes from having an abortion? Many women find forgiveness and healing through Post-Abortion Restoration classes offered in pregnancy centers such as ours. God is able and willing to forgive. Usually the problem is that the woman has trouble forgiving herself.

Our Pregnancy Center is nearing the completion of a new building. Please pray that we will see many lives changed through our ministry there. There's a spiritual warfare going on for the souls of men and women and the lives of the unborn. May God help us to reach out and offer the Truth to those who have been listening to lies.

"But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 19: 14



Runner Mom said...

Oh, Marilyn! How wonderful! Loved the pictures and Gwen is just a beautiful lady! I know that the ladies were touched by her testimony. Thank you for your outreach to other women who so desperately need someone to listen...and to share His love!


Peggy said...

Enjoyed reading about the banquet. The pictures are very good . May God give each of you fruit for your labor.

Your friend,

Ouida said...

Wonderful, beautiful article - thank you. I enjoyed reading about everything.

Love you,


Leah said...

Wow!! I make so many poor choices. Thankfully, the closer I walk with Jesus, the more right choices I seem to make.

What a great recap of your banquet. Thanks for allowing us to share in the joy and excitement.

Have a great weekend.


Lisa said...

Thank You for sharing your passion for the unborn with us including the story of Gwen.
You've made me stop and think about how many Gwens I may know who may be hurting and afraid to tell anyone of their deep pain and shame.
May God richly bless your new center and all those who will enter the doorways. May He be glorified in each life.
Blessings ~ Lisa

Jana said...

WOW! Wish I'd been there!

Rose and Luke Shepherd said...

Wow...I had no idea 1 of 3 women have had an abortion. I knew the number was probably high, but never would've guessed it to be 67%.

Deborah said...

This was wondeful, Marilyn. It seems every year I hear from more ladies who have had an abortion.
I wondered if you would consider posting this on the KJV Blog Directory...Thursday This 'n That is available, if you are interested....let me know.

Joyful said...

Marilyn, I have just spent time catching up on several of your posts. From wings to tires, from pots and pans to banquets, my heart has been blessed. So enjoyed seeing your anniversary picture as well. Thank you for faithfully sharing God's Word as He speaks to you day to day.

Spent time in prayer for little Kimmie today too. Trust there is good news for that family.

Love ya,