Spiritual warfare has always been an unavoidable aspect of LifeSavers
Ministries' work, especially in the early days. Steve explained that the
volunteers experienced an oppressive "sense of impending doom, an anxiety"
Passion for babies, compassion for moms:
a firm foundation for two decades of ministry
like "the feeling that a soldier gets when they go into battle."
But as the trailblazing sidewalk counselors remained faithful to their calling and refused to surrender to the enemy, God gave them victory. "The fear went away, and the action then took place," Steve said. "God walked with us, and He gave us the words to say. And it was really powerful."
Stephanie explained that her young children would often become feverish before her scheduled ministry time, but she stayed focused anyway, saying "we can go to the hospital after my shift." Afterwards, the "child was perfectly fine."
"For the first time in my life I really was experiencing spiritual warfare," Stephanie revealed. "We recognized that something was going on; somebody didn't want us at the clinic."
"God walked with us, and He gave us the words to say.
And it was really powerful."
Sometimes the oppression took a very physical form. One day as Steve walked near the abortion mill holding his young child, a gold Mercedes lunged up over the curb, threatening to knock Steve down. Steve later discovered that the driver of the gold Mercedes was abortionist Edward Allred, millionaire owner of the Family Planning Associates abortion chamber chain. "I think he was just trying to intimidate me," Steve concluded.
On another occasion, FPA staff members came outside with syringes to pop balloons which were held by children of LifeSavers members. When a child tried to protect his balloon by putting it behind his back, one of the staff members reached behind his back with the syringe, jabbing it into the child's back.
"We also discovered that about 40% of the girls who came into the clinic were Christians, which totally blew my mind at the time," Steve remarked. "The fact that a lot of Christian girls want an abortion shouldn't really be that big a surprise if you understand the legalism and religiousity that a lot of churches manifest towards people who commit sins."
When a leader at a large Bakersfield church warned their members to stay away from LifeSavers, Steve sensed the need to reach out directly the congregation. Steve and another pro-lifer mounted a billboard-sized photograph of an aborted baby on a pickup truck, and stood outside the church offering literature to members challenging them to become involved in saving children. "It was amazing," Steve recalled, "the outreach touched many people who were motivated to become involved in the ministry." Today that church is known for its strong public stand against abortion.