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May 16

Welcome to the West Side

They cleaned the house from top to bottom, refinished floors and painted. “I have never felt God’s love that much,” Maricruz says.

Tampa Dispatch: A Sign From God Saves A Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

Editor’s Note: In an interview conducted by Chris Meehan, Rosa, a 21-year-old college student from Lakeland, Florida, describes meeting Linda Scrofani (Tampa) last May, when Linda and fellow branch member Pat Benito were working as sidewalk counselors at a Tampa abortion facility. We’re not using Rosa’s real name.

On May 12, 2009, I found out I was pregnant. I was living alone and going to college. My father is a strict man. I was afraid.

I was considering an abortion, and I called a clinic to make an appointment. I told the lady on the phone that I was spotting every day. She said, “We’ll check it out, then you can consider your options.” I made an appointment, and two close friends drove me from Lakeland, Florida, to Tampa.

We were walking toward the clinic, when a woman [Linda] called out, “A pretty flower for a pretty girl.” Then she looked at all of us and said, “Three pretty flowers for three girls!” That drew me toward her. She gave us the flowers—pink carnations—and then she asked, “What brings you here today?” I lied at first and said I had an appointment to see a doctor. She followed up, asking what was happening. I told her I had found out I was pregnant.

She asked, “Honey, do you know that this is an abortion clinic?” I started to cry, “Yes, I do know.” She asked if she could hold my hand and pray. I said, “Please.” Afterward I said, “You are what I was waiting for. I have been praying every day to God to show me a sign and let me know if I was doing the right thing for myself.”

After that, I saw a lady walk out of the clinic. She looked so dead. The man with her had his hands over her shoulders. He looked relieved, but you could see from the way the woman walked that she had no more purpose. She was gone.

I decided to keep the child, and it was like a big heavy weight lifted off my shoulders. Linda gave me a great big hug. After listing several centers that I should call, she asked if she could call me. She said I could call her if I needed any help—that she would be there for me.

The sun shone the whole day after that. It was beautiful, gorgeous. I sat down on the curb and cried. It was the hardest decision of my life.

After that, every month Linda called me and talked to me on the phone.  I gave her my address and she mailed me a laminated list of baby names and a journal to write in. She also came to the hospital and gave me a painting of Mary holding Jesus.

My son Jowell Anthony was born on Christmas Day. He weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces.

I live at home with my family now. Jowell is getting big. He wakes up smiling, which makes my day. My father now loves his first grandson and comes to kiss him when he comes home from work. Jowell is a happy baby.

I believe God acted in Linda’s actions. She was like an angel.

Responses

  1. Mary Kay Gleason says:

    Such a beautiful story! Sidewalk counselors ARE angels. Keep up the good work, Pat and Linda! And may the Lord's love and kindness continue to shine through you into the darkness with a pure and life-giving light! God bless dear Rosa and her little Jowell too. How wonderful, too, that her parents are have accepted them into their home, and now enjoy their little grandson. What a gift to all!

  2. Joan Meeks says:

    Good to hear those stories. We know God and His Holy Spirit is leading us to reach out and pray with others more often, not just those we know. See you soon.

  3. John Xenakis says:

    Praise God! The more surface area we--our brothers and sisters--create with the Lord, the more front lines Jesus gives us. Way to step out in the front lines with Jesus!

  4. Jen Havard says:

    This story was especially wonderful for me to see as I just met Pat Benito at the POP Women's Leaders Conference in SB, AND, she was in my discussion group! So, great job, Pat, and Linda! God is working through you to reach these women at a very difficult time in their lives. Praise God.

  5. Annette Atterson says:

    Praise God!! Another life was saved! Great work, sisters!

  6. Cynthia Moody says:

    I'm an underway member of the Tampa, FL branch; however, I've been in Mozambique for the past 10 months, serving with the Peace Corps. I don't get on the internet much, so I missed this beautiful testimony when it was posted. I'm so thankful to have found it! I'm reminded to pray more for what Linda and Pat are doing to reach out to pregnant women in crisis. May the Lord continue to bless this life-changing ministry! Psalm 139 comes to mind. . .

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