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Roman 11: 17 The Ministry Rachel's Vineyard came from

Vicki Thorn
For those who know this blog and know me; know that I was director of project Rachel here for the Diocese of Lansing. It was a rewarding experience. For those who are not formilar:  Project Rachel is a post abortion ministry created by Vicki Thorn in the 80's.   She is founder and executive of National Office of Post Abortion Healing and Reconciliation  and Project Rachel. Her drive/calling came from her desire to help a friend of hers who  suffered from post abortion trauma.  Interesting note:  Theresa Burke was a Graduate Student volunteer working with Vicki.  From Ms. Burke's experiences she felt called to create Rachel Vineyard.  

Well as director of PR for Lansing I trained lay volunteers, deacons, priests, counselors on the issues of post abortion and its impact on a woman emotionally, spiritually and psychologically.  I supervised supports groups and their creation, created and ran retreats, lead workshops, counselled post abortive women,  and wrote a blog for the diocese PR website; loving every moment of it. After I left PR a support group volunteer, a counselor and I wanted to continue our work with post abortive women and set up Mercy's Arrival.  For years our website sat and our phones hardly rang; so we thought it is time to disband and go on to other callings.  Well that's all well and good but I forgot that I had placed our little website in Yahoo!'s directory, and recently my phone has been ringing.  Really!  What is God playing at? Now, Yahoo! has no listing for post abortive ministries so we were placed with abortion providers -- God having a laugh?  Don't know?

When these women, young girls, moms, boyfriends call in they want to know what our services are.  They all say the same thing: "I'm calling to find out if you do abortions."  It breaks my heart that those families come so quickly to the decision of abortion and I am going to say something that many will not agree with, but I am with them right were they are.  I don't preach, scold, or condemn. I don't try and talk them out of their decision.  I try to gently speak with them getting to know a little bit of their story, where they are emotionally, spiritually, psychologically.  I believe my role is to give them the best advice I can and to encourage them to get all the facts, then let the Holy Spirit do the convincing and if they decide to go with the abortion...  I give them the number of the local pregnancy center: Shared Pregnancy.  Shared Pregnancy is one of few abortion alternatives that has an ultrasound machine.  I don't know the new staff that well, but when I was with PR the old staff were very gentle and supportive.

So after a week of getting calls I went into prayer and said: "OK God, what's up?"  I have always said that I was not going to get involved with post abortive issues, didn't know how that fit with ministering to moms.  Before I decided to give Spiritual Lives Of Women a go I journeyed with moms who had lost children through miscarriage and one or two PA women; sat and held the hand of Trying To Conceive moms, so what is the difference now?  Am I being prejudice toward PA moms, or is it that from some experiences I have had with SOME Pro-life people I now have a bad taste in my mouth?  If the former is true maybe I need to deal with those feelings and journey gently toward tolerance.  If the later is true, maybe God is calling me to be a person who can reach out a gentle hand of healing?

All these women are dealing with issues of motherhood and its emotionally, spiritually and psychologically impact.  Who am I to ignore this calling?  So is Mercy Arrival another branch from the pruned tree, (Rom 11:17) that is Project Rachel?

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