New "LifeHouse" shines God's light
on Bakersfield's darkest corner
For years, the corner of 25th and H Streets in downtown Bakersfield has been known as the site of Kern County's only
abortion facility. But today, it is also the location of a place of hope and light. After fourteen years of ministry on the
sidewalks outside Bakersfield's "Family Planning Associates" abortion chamber, God opened the doors this year for
LifeSavers Ministries (LSM) to move into the building which is now known as the LifeHouse.
On the afternoon of Sunday, January 25, after attending a memorial service for pro-life leader Bill Newsom, a few
individuals gathered at 25th and H Streets for a time of prayer. They noticed a "for lease" sign posted outside the building at
2428 H Street. (This was, by itself, a small miracle, for the psychologist who had occupied the building--who was very
hostile toward the sidewalk ministry-- had a well-established practice, with no intentions of moving.)
"Unless the LORD builds the house,
its builders labor in vain."
- Psalm 127:1
Although the building was now available, LSM had no resources, humanly speaking,
to even consider paying the $1400 monthly lease. But Terri Palmquist of LifeSavers
had been praying for over a year that this building would someday be used greatly for
God's glory. God answered her prayer by moving in the hearts of homeschooling
moms, senior citizens, and other "ordinary" people to give sacrificially, providing finances to initiate the lease, which began
on March 16.
As an expression of God's perfect timing, Norma McCorvey (formerly known as "Jane Roe") came to
Bakersfield on March 27, just in time to officially announce the opening of the new pro-life center. As
McCorvey traced her conversion experience back to the day that Operation Rescue moved in next door to
her abortion facility in Dallas, LSM leaders prayed that this new pro-life center would also bear similar
fruit, with many being "Won by Love."
On March 30, the first day of operation in the LifeHouse, two couples accidentally parked in the LifeHouse
parking lot and entered the back door of the building, mistakenly believing that it was the
abortion clinic. By the time they left, both couples had decided not to abort their babies.
Over the past five months, the LifeHouse has been the site of many life-changing
conversations, and a wide array of ministry activities:
With various pro-life messages displayed in the windows, the LifeHouse has also become a constant visual witness
to those who drive by the abortion chamber.
Of course, many
young women have been provided with free pregnancy tests, along with the
discuss their alternatives and receive compassionate counsel.
On July 6, a suicidal young woman came to the LifeHouse for a pregnancy test, having been referred by
another pregnancy help center. Later, in the counseling room, she accepted Christ as her savior. On another
day, the sound of a baby's heartbeat was heard coming from the counseling room. The baby's mother was
scheduled for an abortion, because she had been told her baby was dead. But midwife Brenda Capps made
an emergency trip to the LifeHouse, and verified that her baby was still alive!
In May, a memorial service was held at the LifeHouse for "Baby Wade," a child who had been aborted a
few days earlier, in spite of weeks of effort by family members and LifeSavers volunteers. But in God's
hands, this tragedy became a great turning point in the lives of several people, and in the ministry of
The LifeHouse also opened its doors to provide temporary housing to various individuals. One woman, four months
pregnant, was homeless due to a marital crisis, and had scheduled an abortion. After a few days and many hours of
conversation at the LifeHouse, she decided to keep her baby. Chinese refugee Zhou Shiu Yon stayed at the LifeHouse after
she was released from almost five years of imprisonment; another Chinese refugee also turned to the LifeHouse when she
was in need of housing assistance.
An employee of the FPA abortion chamber spent several hours in the video room, watching videos and crying. On another
day, a former FPA employee who is now a Christian spent several hours in the LifeHouse discussing tactical concerns with
A few women who have aborted their babies have come to the LifeHouse afterwards for assistance. These women have
been met with love and compassion, provided with post-abortion literature, and referred to the Bakersfield Crisis Pregnancy
Center for ongoing post-abortion counseling sessions.
Some of the many other activities which have occurred at the LifeHouse have included: a presentation on abstinence and
abortion to a church youth group, a baby shower, a "welcome to freedom" party for Zhou Shiu Yon, and a potluck lunch
which followed a funeral for a baby who died shortly before his birth.
Of course, the LifeHouse has also fulfilled its key mission of becoming a resource
center for pro-life volunteers and the community at large. Students have borrowed
books and videos for school projects. Others have stopped by to view a video or browse
through the literature racks.
"But God has chosen the foolish things of this world to shame the wise..."
- 1 Corinthians 1:27
Some individuals may continue to express skepticism about the LifeHouse, but God's hand was very evident in the
establishment of this ministry, and His hand has continued to be evident throughout the first five months of operation.
Please pray that LifeSavers Ministries will continue to follow where God's hand is guiding.
Ministries needs $1400 per month to pay for the LifeHouse lease, in addition to utilities and insurance. In
spite of the great need, God
has continued to provide, and all of the bills have been paid (although some crucial purchases, such as literature, have been delayed). Your regular
monthly donations are especially needed and appreciated. For more information, please request our LifeHouse brochure.