Sidewalk counselors are the unsung heroes on the front lines of the pro-life movement. As the 40 Days for Life sidewalk outreach holds its 2018 Summer Symposium this weekend, it’s a fitting time to celebrate sidewalk counselors’ courageous work touching the lives of countless women in this country by offering help and hope in their time of crisis. Because of them, many women chose life — and continue to choose life — for their babies.
One woman, Amy Blackwell, recently shared her story on social media, singing the praises of her personal hero, “the little old man from the sidewalk.” She wrote in a Facebook post about the day she went to an abortion facility to get a consultation for an abortion, and had an encounter she would never forget:
Today I met him! Who is the him? The little old man from the sidewalk. 7 years ago I went to this Hope Medical Group for women abortion clinic. This man was on the side walk (they call it sidewalk ministries. They pray and try to talk to the ladies who are headed into the abortion clinic.)
He turned and looked at me. I saw his mouth moving and in his hands was a rosary. I could see the look and sadness on his face and the eagerness in his eyes to speak with me. I sat there in my car covered in shame for what seemed to be an hour but was around 10 mins. He finally turned around and I bolted out of the car. The Holy Spirit was at work as I was a complete basket case while I was in there….
So after 7 years of thinking of him and loving him for his part in my daughters life, God brought us together today. He, who now I know as Mr. Brocato, has the blessing of seeing the fruits of his labor. He is now 90 years old and not able to stand on the sidewalk anymore – BUT in his place, I now stand.
In a separate video on Facebook, Amy shared her full testimony, in which she said that as she began to get out of her car that day at the abortion facility, “he turned a 180 and stared right at me…. It seemed like I sat there for about 30 minutes… he just kept on looking at me. And I just have to know that man was praying for me. He knew why I was there.”
Amy described the abortion facility as “a dark, musty-smelling place” where she “had to pay $50 for an ultrasound,” and the whole time, she was telling herself, “there’s no way I can look at my baby on an ultrasound and go through with this.”
She describes a deceptive, “beautifully worded” booklet she read at the abortion facility, which talked about “people just not ready to have kids, financially not ready, or emotionally not ready, and they make them into beautiful stories.” But it was all a deception.
Amy was 30 years old, and says she was in “a deep, dark place” mentally at the time. Her friend had printed out information on fetal development and continued trying to talk her out of an abortion. Amy says that for 30 miles on the ride to the abortion facility, she was in a sort of “trance” and wasn’t in a right state of mind until her friend’s words “finally broke” her emotionally and “God used her in that moment” to help Amy realize that she could not go through with the abortion.
She chose life for her daughter, and has no regrets. She says in the video above, “I’m so thankful that I get to look at my little girl every day… She’s a gift from God… that little girl saved my life.”