In the name of The Father, and of The Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Lord Jesus, Precious Gift of the Father, we praise the Father for sending you to us. You came among us as one who serves. You came to heal the broken hearted, to bind what is wounded, to seek those who are lost, to free those in bondage.
We hear in the depths of our hearts, your personal bidding, “As my Father has sent me I also send you”. We are filled with awe and humility at the realization that we are called by you. May our generous and whole-hearted, ‘YES’, allow You to continue your work of healing, comforting, teaching, and setting free the captive and seeking the lost.
Fill us with profound awareness that in order to perform our ministry we are not left to our own resources; we will accomplish your work always and only through the power of the Holy Spirit that you have promised.
O God of the harvest, you called the twelve apostles to share in your mission upon this earth. We have heard that same call and we now rededicate ourselves to that same mission.
May your call once again resound in our hearts. Make us true laborers in your vineyard. Help us to serve your people with love. May the harvest we reap lead your people one day to eternal life with you. We ask this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever.
My whole teen and young adult life I was a very strong Pro Life advocate. Being the weak, human person, we all tend to be throughout our lives, I judged and looked down upon these women and men who chose abortion. Why would they make such a terrible choice? Don’t they know they are killing an innocent baby? What kind of people are they that would do such a thing? Well, God in his desire to open my heart, lead me to the answer to my questions. He put a handful of beautiful people, from Rachel’s Vineyard, into my life. Rachel’s Vineyard is a retreat for post abortion healing. My eyes and heart were opened and I knew I had to be part of this amazing ministry. God sends Rachel’s Vineyard his most broken. They are lost, sad and lonely. They have lost hope. They have struggled through every single day since the abortion in a self-imposed purgatory. They either don’t believe God can truly forgive them, or in many cases they haven’t even asked. They believe they don’t deserve forgiveness, and even if Our Lord forgives them, they cannot forgive themselves. They shut down a part of themselves. They close their mind and try to bury the memory so they can numb the pain just enough to get through each day.
What I’ve learned, is that these are glorious, fallen, children of Our Lord. Don’t we all fall? Aren’t we all in need of forgiveness? I have found that many of them were innocent victims of mental or physical abuse. Often times both. They have suffered the unimaginable at the hands of people who were supposed to love and care them. They are so broken, I often wonder how they’ve managed to survive. But survive they have, and now Jesus has lead them to us. We are humbled and so grateful that He trusts us to be his hands, feet, words and heart to his lambs. What we give these mothers, fathers, sisters, grandparents, friends, doctors, nurses, counselors, and whomever else reaches out, is unconditional, nonjudgmental, love. We give them a safe place to talk about their life and what lead them to the abortion. For many of them, it’s the first time they have actually talked about the abortion with anyone. For some that may be a few months and others it may be the first time in 60 years. We let them mourn their children. Talk about them. Give them a name and identity. We then lead them to put their children to rest in the arms of Jesus, who is loving them more than we could ever imagine. Most importantly, during the retreat, we gently lead them to open their hearts to our all loving and forgiving God. He never left them. He was always beside them. He was waiting for them to reach out, take his hand, and let him heal them.
The faces that leave us on the last day are very different from the ones we see when they arrive. They have made a bond with each other that becomes a family. They are smiling. They hold their heads a little higher. They have opened their hearts to the Lord and are anxious to see where he leads them next.
To Jesus through Mary-Sue Miller
For more information or to find a retreat near you please visit: http://www.rachelsvineyard.org/