"I cry to you, O Lord;
I say, 'You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.'
Listen to my cry,
for I am in desperate need;
rescue me from those who pursue me,
for they are too strong for me."
- Psalm 142:5-6
past three months, dozens of Christians from Bethany Ministries in
Bakersfield have been motivated to get involved in local pro-life ministry.
Cindi Wade initiated this effort, which she calls "Defenders of Life," as a
response to a tragedy she experienced: the abortion of her grandchild.
Rev. Eugene Ward of Bethany witnesses
outside the abortion chamber.
Late in the evening on Sunday, April 26, a woman called
Terri Palmquist of LifeSavers Ministries to inform her
that her daughter was scheduled for an abortion the
following day. Terri was out of town, but she tried to reach the daughter, Anna, by phone.
Anna, who said she was involved in witchcraft, was very hardhearted; after a long
conversation, Terri challenged her to turn to God.
Anna didn't show up that week for her scheduled abortion, but she continued to
waver. Anna's boyfriend (Cindi's son) wanted her to keep the baby, but he was in
jail, unable to do anything. Two weeks later, Anna rescheduled her abortion. Cindi,
Terri, and many others continued to reach out to Anna; as her scheduled abortion day
approached, they believed that she had changed her mind. Sadly, they were
Cindi Wade closes the memorial service
outside the LifeHouse, at an empty cradle which held a candle and an
infant's dress. "I would have loved to have laid the baby in a cradle like
this," she wept. Finally, the candle was blown out and each participant
released a balloon into the air.
On May 14, Bethany Ministries held a memorial service at the LifeHouse. The
service was open to the public, but most of those who attended were from Bethany.
"We desperately wanted this child, but for now we have to give her to God," Cindi
shared through her tears. She described in detail the way babies are aborted: "they take the body of the baby and rip it
apart, and crush its little head. Then they box it up and ship it to some lab in L.A. If it wasn't for God, I wouldn't be able
to bear the thought, the pain, that this was my grandchild they treated this way.... I got to look at the butcher straight in the
eye, I talked to him and I appealed to him and I asked him 'please, please don't do this, this is my grandchild.'"
Out of the ashes of this tragedy, the Holy Spirit moved in the hearts of many people at Bethany Ministries.
On Judgement Day stood
a young women before God.
On His Holy throne He sat
a word He did not speak,
but a little child came and stood at His side
With a loving glance between
the two, the child came and sat
upon His lap.
She thought what a special child
this must be.
Still without a word, and
all heaven was silent.
The little child looked into the eyes of
the young woman.
What was it about this child she thought.
For she felt some kind of inner bond
with this little one.
She then became compelled to ask,
Do I know you and the child replied,
"Mama I'm the life you did not want."
- Poem by Cindi Wade
Tim and Terri
spoke at Bethany in June, and showed the video Hard Truth. Afterwards, the sanctuary was filled with the cries of God's
people, grieving and repenting before His throne.
Throughout the summer, many Bethany volunteers have become involved in various aspects of the sidewalk ministry, led
by Rev. Eugene Ward, who runs the Bethany Men's Home. Bethany also became the first church to include LifeSavers Ministries in its monthly
budget for missions.
"We're thankful that God used this tragedy to bring glory and honor to him," said Terri Palmquist. "We look forward to seeing how God continues
to use Bethany Ministries."
an effort to move from initial zeal toward long-term effectiveness, Bethany Ministries will host a pro-life ministry training seminar on
Thursday, September 10, at 7 pm at 604 Lake Street. If you are interested in any aspect of pro-life ministry, please participate in this