EL CENTRO â€“ Over 100 people showed up at the Speak Up Imperial Valley rally at Bucklin Park in El Centro Saturday evening to mourn the more than 3000 babies aborted each day since the Supreme Court declared abortion legal in 1973.
Supporters had placed 3000 luminarias on the hillside next to the speaking area. Each white sack contained a candle and had been decorated by Sunday School children, adults, friends, and supporters throughout the Valley.
Laura Hula, Brawley, looked over the row after row of white sacks and said, â€œIt looks like a huge cemetery.â€
Marty and Debbie Ellett of Real Hope Center organize the event each year.
The Center counsels men and women who are considering abortions or who have decided to keep their unborn child and need help, either with everyday items like clothing or emotional support.
â€œThe Real Hope Centerâ€, according to Ellet, â€œseeks to reach out to hurting women, men and children with the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.â€
At the speaker podium, Marty Ellett swept his hand over the landscape of 3000 luminarias flickering in the fading light. â€œThis is a visual image of 3000 babies dying each day. But the women donâ€™t need judgment from us, they need our grace. We must show compassion.â€
Ellett went on to say that abortion is not the unforgivable sin. Donâ€™t pile on to these women, instead give them hope.
Deby Ellet shared with those gathered a recent call she received from a distraught husband and wife. They were looking for the abortion pill because they already were struggling financially with their small family and they didnâ€™t think they could survive with another child.
Deby said that the Center promised to help them anyway they could, but they needed to keep their unborn child.
Norman Chandler of Turning Point Ministries and his wife, Stacy Chandler of WOVEN, both shared their testimonies. Stacy said that she had come last year by accident, after attending a shower for a friend, she saw volunteers putting up the luminaries and remembered Speak Up Imperial Valley was that night.
She stopped to help and later listened to the testimonies. Although a Christian and believing that Jesus had forgiven her abortion years ago, she realized she still carried the guilt and the shame. She attended Deby Ellettâ€™s three-day Recovery Weekend.
â€œI didnâ€™t realize how my past abortion still caused suffering and hurting in my life. I got help that weekend, I had a healing deliverance through Christ.â€ Stacy said.
As Norman Chandler revealed, his wife is persistent and insisted he attend the corresponding program for men lead by Marty Ellett.Â Chandler didnâ€™t believe he needed it, he felt he no longer carried the burden of abortion in his soul.
Chandler eventually did attend the bible study and said, â€œWithin twenty minutes I found myself crying over the loss of my child.â€
Now Stacyâ€™s womenâ€™s ministry, WOVEN, is teaming up with Real Hope Center to open counseling in Brawley. Presently, the Center only has an office in El Centro.
The Center struggles daily with keeping their doors open. They are willing to train volunteers who have a heart for the unborn, and donations of baby clothes, diapers, car seats, accessories, and checks are always a blessing for the ministry.
The Recovery Weekend is held twice a year and every part is confidential. If interested, contact Deby Ellet at (760) 352-2253. The Real Hope Center is located at 548 B Main Street, in El Centro.
Visit their website at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Real-Hope-Center
To donate financially their mailing address is Real Hope Center, P.O.Box 1605, El Centro, CA 92244.