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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 opportunity to 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 LifeSavers.

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 sidewalk counselors.

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.

LifeSavers 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.

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