May/June, 1998 Volume XII Number 12
Telling the truth at Fort Hood in Killeen
by Debbie Locander
This past November, a group of pro-life Christians visited 13 Texas cities, including 5 colleges for the express purpose of telling the truth about abortion to the "Lone Star State." On Sunday morning, November 16, "The Texas Truth Tour," as the year old vision became known, was launched. Armed with scripture, boxes of brochures, videos, graphic signs depicting the fruit of abortion, and contrasting posters of beautiful babies already born, the little band of about fifteen set out with a plan flexible enough for the Lord to change if He chose to do so.
One unscheduled stop was the city of Killeen, home of the U.S. Army Installation known as Fort Hood. This was a favorite stop on the tour because the hand of God was so obviously controlling the circumstances. Before going to a city, the Texas Truth Tour would attempt to make contact with a local Operation Rescue group not only for information and direction, but also to invite their participation. We did not have a specific contact through Operation Rescue in Killeen, and so we were directed to another group who politely disinvited us. These Christians were involved in opening a Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC) in the area, and felt that our somewhat controversial presence might hinder their project. We also discovered that not only were there plans for a CPC in Killeen, but also a Planned Parenthood wanted to open there. The battle lines were clearly drawn. After much prayer, the leadership of the Texas Truth Tour believed that God was specifically calling us to Killeen, and clearly this was where we were supposed to go. Fallow ground needs a sharp plow to break up the hardened clay and make it fertile soil.
Without directions or recommendations from a contact person, we knew that the Lord would have to guide us directly. God just put Mark Gabriel, our leader, on automatic pilot. He stopped at a gas station and asked where the busiest intersection in the city could be found, and was told, "just follow this road and you'll come right into the intersection where the highway meets the gate of the Army post." There we were, not knowing anything or anyone in Killeen, right on the busiest street, and behold, it was 4:00 p.m., the beginning of the evening rush hour.
We got to the promised intersection and behold again, there stood a gas station that was mysteriously empty. It looked as if it could open any moment. There were products there, but nobody was around. We drove all seven of our vehicles into the station, parked, unloaded our signs, and leaned them up on our cars covering the view from both sides of the highway. Our bread was cast upon the waters. Now we had only to wait for it to return. It did not take long before miracles began to happen.
The first miracle was the arrival of a local black woman who stopped her car, even though she had her two young children with her. She ran up to Mark and hugged him, and then hugged me as well. Speaking to us while holding a cell-phone to her ear she explained, "I was talking on my cellular phone to my friend, and became so preoccupied with the conversation, I didn't know where I was." Then she told her girlfriend on the other end, "I looked around me and saw all these people with pro-life signs and signs of aborted babies. I gotta go girl. Now I know why I am over here on the other side of town. I'm supposed to join these people." This sister confessed to us that at the age of 13 her parents had forced her to abort her baby and she had never completely gotten over that. She parked her car in the gas station lot, got out and grabbed a sign and joined right in with our prayers for the city of Killeen, the media, and for the police officers who had congregated on the lot of the gas station.
Ever since she had become a Christian, she had vowed if she ever saw any type of pro-life demonstration she would join in. Our little tour was the fulfillment of her vow to God. She told us that her prayer also included her desire to find a church providing an avenue for her to start a pro-life ministry in Killeen. Although we did not know of a church in the area, we were able to give her literature and some videos and other pro-life paraphernalia we had brought along-not really understanding why we brought so much of it. God's way and His plan is certainly perfect, though often beyond our understanding. This sister began her pro-life ministry that very day. She used her cell phone to call the media in Killeen and challenged them to come out and learn the truth about abortion. The media did respond and some wonderful interviews took place which were reported in the Killeen daily paper the next day under the heading, "Protest too graphic for some" and displaying a picture of a large poster reading "Am I Now Your Enemy for Telling You the Truth? Gal.4:16"
About six police officers stationed themselves near us on the parking lot. They did everything they could to convince us that we could not stay there, especially since the media was now involved, but we knew that they had to find the owner, and he would have to tell us to leave. This was the miracle of the "empty gas station." It took them about two hours to find the owner, and the miracles that God worked in those two hours were just fantastic.
Encouraged by the way God was working everything out, we watched and prayed expectantly for the next miracle in Killeen. Several other cars stopped, including another woman who came over to us with tears in her eyes. She told us that her daughter was scheduled for an abortion. She said, "I have been asking God for items, pictures, videos, anything that would talk her out of it. Could you give me something?" We gave her what we had and prayed with her that God would do the rest.
When the mother left, I wanted to share what had happened to Jack DeVault, one of the other participants in the Texas Truth Tour. I noticed he was talking to a man, and so I went over to join the conversation. Jack introduced me to Wayne, who is the education minister at the largest predominantly black church in Killeen. Wayne told us about his church and ministry then commented, "You know, I've always been convicted about not doing anything much for the pro-life effort." Just then the lady with the cell phone came over. I introduced her to Wayne, who asked her if she had a home church. She said, "No but I'm looking for one that cares about the unborn." God's hand had moved again, at the very least making a church contact for our sister. Hopefully the introduction would give birth to a strong pro-life ministry and that seed planted in Killeen will grow and remain.
After a time, the police found the owner of the station and we were told to move our cars off the property. Texas days grown short in November, and it was getting dark but the miracles God had planned for Killeen were not to wane with the setting of the sun. We discovered that because this was such a busy intersection, it was equipped with lights that were just incredibly bright. In fact you could see our signs as clearly as in the daytime. We just moved our cars to the side streets and took our signs with us onto the public property, continuing our picket till long after dark. We all prayed, "Lord let your miracles continue."
That evening a young man came over and it was obvious that he had been crying. He told me, "Ma'am, my wife and I were just driving by on our way home from work. I looked up and saw the signs and could not help but burst into tears. She told me just this morning she was pregnant, but she doesn't want to have a baby right now. She wants an abortion and I don't want her to get one. I want her to have this child."
I begged him to go back to the car and bring his wife over or let me come to the car and speak to her, but he said she would not consent to either option. She had only agreed that he could come over and talk to us and get some information. I gave him fetal development pictures and other appropriate counseling literature. I also gave him my phone number, since the CPC was still looking for office space. This young father was so grateful as he left to show his wife the information.
Later that evening when I reviewed the blessings of the day, I marveled at the provision of the Lord. I thought about the man and his wife, the mother and daughter, the sister with a desire for pro-life ministry, and the minister of the church. These were just the few miracles we knew about, perhaps someday we will hear of more. We do know this, that unknown and uncounted occupants of vehicles that passed us in the rush hour traffic got a serious education about abortion and had Scripture put into their hearts and minds. And six police officers who watched and listened to us the entire time were saturated with the Word of God. There are no accidents in God's plan, and He is doing a marvelous work in Killeen. I pray for those who are trying to open a CPC in that city, that they harvest some serious fruit from the Texas Truth Tour coming to town that day.
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