Sidewalk counseling is a beautiful way to minister to pregnant women, but oftentimes counselors do not get the opportunity to follow up with the women they speak to. That is, until Chantelle came along.
This past weekend, Patty Knap, who works at a pro-life pregnancy center, wrote for Aleteia about an encounter she recently experienced one day at the center.
As Knap had been taking a call, a woman with a small child walked in. Because many women with toddlers visit the pregnancy center, Knap went ahead and asked the woman if she had an appointment, and how she could help.
“I just thought it was about time I stopped by to thank you people. This is my daughter Elisa…you helped me to have her!” the woman said.
The woman, Chantelle, then sat down and joyfully shared her story with a delighted Knap. One day, Chantelle said she drove past a Planned Parenthood abortion facility, which was a block away from the pregnancy center Knap worked at.
Chantelle said she did not have any intention of stopping by the pregnancy center, but she happened to see “the same man praying out front that was there when I went for an abortion.”
Chantelle recalled the man’s kindness and compassion when she had originally visited Planned Parenthood when she was pregnant, so she decided to stop by and greet the man.
“He’s there right now, out front, praying with a few other people, just like he was that day I had an appointment. I just stopped to talk to him,” Chantelle said. “He didn’t remember me, but I remembered him. I said, ‘This is my little girl. You saved her. You were here that day and you made all the difference. She’s just so adorable…I love her so much!’ And he was so happy to meet her!”
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Chantelle’s daughter, Elisa, is now 3 years old and very much loved by her mother. However, had it not been for the man praying in front of Planned Parenthood, Elisa would not be alive. The man gave Chantelle, who was three-months pregnant, resources, connected her to the pregnancy center and showed her an image of a three-month unborn baby. He also let Chantelle know that there were people willing to take care of her child if she decided to make an adoption plan.
After meeting with the man, Chantelle said she visited the pregnancy center and received a free ultrasound and information about the risks of abortion. The center also provided her with more resources if she decided to keep her baby. Chantelle said she left the center that day undecided.
Knap said they were not able to follow up with Chantelle after she first visited the center, so when she showed up with her daughter, it was a joyous surprise for everyone at the pregnancy center. The reunion was filled with clothes and toys and even a car seat that Chantelle needed. Chantelle then told the volunteers at the center she would do her best to help other pregnant women choose life.
“I would just tell them, ‘You will always be so glad you have this child…you have no idea how much you will love her!’” she said.
The work that sidewalk counselors do often goes unnoticed, but Chantelle’s visit shows that they truly save lives. Meeting pregnant where they are at can change the course of their lives—and the lives of the children in the womb.