The ProLife Team Podcast 147 | Linda Kile

In a recent instance, God’s fingerprints were unmistakable when Linda Kile shared how the unexpected finding of a logo, created two decades earlier by a talented designer, perfectly suited the needs of their project, affirming their journey and reinforcing the belief that there are no coincidences in their mission.


The transcript was automatically generated and may contain errors.

00:05 :

So, so Linda, I’m excited to have you on the pro-life Team Podcast. Would you introduce yourself as if you were speaking to a room full of executive directors and pro-life friends?

00:22 :

Sure so my name is Linda Kyle i am the Executive Director of the Great Lakes Gabriel Project and I am excited to be with you today awesome.

00:32 :

So tell us your story tell us about this Gabriel project work that you’re a part of. What’s it encompass how did you get started?

00:47 :

So the Gabriel Project, we’re what’s called the Great Lakes Gabriel Project there are the overall Gabriel Project was started back in I think 73 by like the Diocese of Dallas, texas. And basically the Bishop there decided that he wanted women who were pregnant and needing help to have a phone number to call. And so he had these signs printed up it said pregnant need help and he put them in front of his churches. And so they basically were kind of the first real kind of boots to the ground support system for women who were going through a crisis pregnancy. They grew and other people heard what they were doing and eventually our group was started by a We are based out of the Indianapolis indiana. Area we were originally based in Columbus indiana and we started as part of a pro-life group at one of the Catholic churches in Columbus indiana and the pro life group decided that they were going to do a one year discernment about exactly what they were going to do to help pregnant women. And about six months into this one year discernment, the foundress, Eileen Hartman received a phone call from 1-1 Monday morning from the parish secretary. And the secretary said, oh, I understand you guys are doing something for to be helping pregnant women. And Eileen said, Oh yes, we’re going to but for now we’re in, we’re about halfway through our discernment period so we don’t know exactly what we’re going to do. And so the secretary said, well, you know, we have that 5:00 Spanish Mass on Sunday evening. And Eileen said yes and the secretary said, well, we had a woman come to that mass yesterday and she reached out to us and she needs help. And the secretary said, honey, I got news for you don’t have six months to get this figured out she’s popping in six weeks. And so Eileen had been volunteering at the local pregnancy center down there, and she went and tried to get an appointment set up for this gal. And when she was, she had gotten everything all set up and she was on her way out the door and she said, oh, by the way, don’t worry about an interpreter i’ll make sure we have an interpreter. And they went, wait, what? Why do we need an interpreter and Eileen said, well, she’s Hispanic. And their next comment was, is she documented? And Eileen said she’s pregnant. Like, what does it matter she’s pregnant and so the pregnancy center was not willing to help her because she was undocumented. So Eileen went back to her pastor and told him what happened. And the pastor’s comment was, well, we will certainly help her, won’t we and so they did. And within the first, within the next 12 months, they helped 18 Spanish speaking moms just on word of mouth alone. So the ministry grew and the local Catholic newspaper did a story on what Eileen was doing. Other churches in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis started hearing about it and saying hey, we would like to do this and so they got connected with Eileen and she started launching Gabriel projects all over Indianapolis. So they actually we had probably at the at the high point we probably had between 30 and 40 Gabriel Project parishes. And the reason you do a parish instead of just an individual is because when you do a parish Gabriel project you have the resources of everybody involved in the parish so like if you’re working with a Gabriel mom at your church and say the moms car breaks down, okay. So for us Jacob, a broken down car is an inconvenience. For this mom, it’s the difference between losing your job and not having food on your table next week for your kids. So you might go to your go to the back like the back of your church bulletin and say, hey look at this like, you know Bob Smith has his own he’s a mechanic and he has his own garage so then you call Bob and you go, hey Bob, this is Linda from the Gabriel Project we have a mom and you know her car needs repair and if we pay for the parts can you donate the labor and so same thing like if you have a young lady who’s looking for a job you go to somebody who works in HR and hey can we have help you know polishing up a resume so and then you get the prayer support of everybody in the church too. So an individual doesn’t join the Gabriel project per southeast it’s a. It’s a parish based ministry.

06:23 :

Wow, that is so exciting. I love how it’s using the gifts and talents in the in the local body to support and accomplish life saving mission work. How many parishes are currently connected to the Gabriel Project and you know, and how many are not connected and you know what’s that look like?

06:53 :

Well, there are Gabriel projects all over the country. So to answer that question, I don’t know in for the Great Lakes Gabriel project, we actually, Eileen helped start a Gabriel project in Ohio and a couple in the Chicago area and one in New York. And Oh my gosh, we probably had between 30 and 40 active Gabriel Project churches at the high point of our activity. And then in what was it i think it was like 2018 Eileen stepped down and I had been working with her very closely over the last few years and she had decided that when she retired she wanted to have me take over the Gabriel project. So I inherited the Gabriel project in 2018 and so it has been certainly an adventure. One thing that Eileen made very clear to me from the get go was that this is God’s project. This is not Eileen’s project this is not Linda’s project. This is God’s project. And never, never have I seen the Holy Spirit work in people the way I have since I totally surrendered my life to God and embrace the work of non secular work and just working only for the Gabriel project.

08:38 :

Awesome what are what are some more examples of how people have contributed into this? Like going beyond the car mechanic, You know what are some more examples of different gifts or services that have been donated through the Gabriel Project?

09:04 :

Well, at one time we had a pregnancy center where we did the free pregnancy testing and free ultrasounds and our location was up on the northwest side of Indianapolis and we had a crew of nurses who we trained to do ultrasounds and the nurses were on standby. And So what would happen is the volunteer sidewalk counselors who were present in front of the local Planned Parenthood would refer women down to us when they would have women stop and speak with them and they would say, you know what, you can go right down to this building and you know, they’ll give you a free pregnancy test and they’ll give you a free ultrasound. And then the joy of having the Gabriel Project is that then if she’s going to need ongoing, you know, kind of like mentoring and support throughout her pregnancy, then Eileen was able to connect her to a local Gabriel Project church close to where she lives. So we’ve had wonderful support from nurses for many years. At one point we had a mobile pregnancy center. We purchased a 23 foot coachman RV and had it converted into a mobile pregnancy center. And so we had volunteer drivers and we had of course the volunteer nurses would then go meet wherever the RV was going to be they would drive over and meet them there. And so we had that we have people at the at the church level who donate material goods either to their local Gabriel Project closet or so we run two material resource centers. So one of the Gabriel projects over on the east side of Indianapolis started i mean she just started getting so many donations and so they went to the pastor and said we really need some room. And so the pastor said you can have one room in the basement of the rectory. And so she kind of started the Resource Center there and I worked with her over the years her name was is Anita. And I worked with Anita over the years and I would go over and help her like sort baby clothes and make little cute baby outfits you know, take this pair of pants and this shirt and match them up and, you know, so Anita had the little flower Resource Center that has probably been around for close to 20 years. And so we have people who donate material goods like that all the time. We are unique in that we are able to do things that traditional pregnancy centers can’t do. So we can pay rent. We can pay a utility bill. You know, if it’s a matter of saving a child’s life because mom does not have the money for rent. And so what’ll happen is somebody in her immediate support system will be encouraging her to have an abortion and they will often times say, I’ll pay for the abortion. You can’t even afford rent right now how are you going to, you know, how are you going to care for a child and so she would just feel like she has no other option and she would go to the Planned Parenthood and then get connected to us and so if she does need a little bit of extra stuff, you know, a little bit of extra support and maybe some help with a few bills, we’re able to do that. So that has been just a wonderful blessing. We did have so it back up a little bit in 2004 we became a standalone nonprofit so Eileen did all the work and got everything approved and we became a standalone nonprofit. So we work through the Archdiocese of Indianapolis with their blessing, but we are not a part of the Archdiocese. We have a wonderful relationship with many churches and with the staff at the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and we have just a great relationship. So i wish Eileen had kept track of numbers more closely i just, I would love to be able to say like we’ve helped however many hundreds of women over the last, you know, 20 years or whatever, but I just know that we have helped hundreds, hundreds of women and we have made a difference in their lives and in their children’s lives.

14:28 :

That is, that’s beautiful. So do you do you get referrals from Evangelical Pregnancy clinics or is or do you primarily work with the Catholic Pregnancy Clinics?

14:45 :

I mean we’re willing to work with anybody. So we are actually we had to close our pregnancy center up on the northwest side of town a few years ago. There was a fire in the building and the smoke and water damage and the structural damage was severe enough that all of the tenants had to vacate the building. So we actually have not had a physical location for quite a while. I there were at that point in time there were three abortion centers in Indianapolis. The one that we had been working with the sidewalk counselors, which I don’t know about, I don’t know, a few years after we opened, there was a big regional pregnancy chain and they came in and actually got the property right next door to Planned Parenthood and so they opened a very nice, beautiful multi million dollar pregnancy center. And so our numbers had actually started going down because you know it, I mean it was fantastic for the women, right they could walk right next door and they didn’t have to get in the car and drive around the corner and down the street to us so we had actually been discerning about whether or not to stay there when the fire happened in the building so my thought when the fire happened was that there’s 3-3 abortion centers in Indianapolis. Two of them have pregnancy centers within walking distance so obviously, God would only want me to go to the abortion center that didn’t have a pregnancy center, right? Well, you would think so, but not so I spent two years driving up and down this little stretch of Speedway Indiana, trying to find out where, like which building am I supposed to be going to, Lord, you know, and I. And it was just so frustrating i would go and I would say, you know, I would look at a place and I would say, well, this place only has three parking spots that’s not going to work or you know, this place, you know, there’s McDonald’s trash bags all over the inside the landlord didn’t even care to clean it up what makes me think he’s going to be a good landlord for me? You know, so and I just got, I was really struggling with why was it taking us so long to find where we were supposed to open our new center. And so at our fundraising dinner a few years ago, I was sharing some of my distress with our supporters. And i told them, I said, you know, I don’t understand why this is taking so long i said I feel like not only is God not talking to me, but I feel like when I start speaking to him, he puts his fingers in his ears and goes, you know, like a like a three-year old does, right but I really felt like that and it and it caused a lot of heartache for me. And so after the dinner that night, one of our supporters came up to me and said, you know, Linda, I just want you to know, I get the sense that the from the Holy Spirit that your new center is closer than you think. And so I was just like, oh, my gosh, thank you so much for telling me that, you know and so the next day I was talking with my husband and I said, So what do you think she meant did she mean closer in terms of time or closer in terms of distance? And he said, I think she means in terms of distance and I said no no, honey i really think she means in terms of time. Well, so three weeks later I was driving around my little Township area and I started thinking, you know we have a lot of commercial space for lease. So I reached out to a friend of mine who is a general contractor and I said can you please come down and help me look at these places and give me, you know a your perspective on what it would, you know on the feasibility of these places. So he did and at the end of the day, we went to probably five or six different places. And he said at the end of the day we were talking And he said, you know, Linda, you’re really like no matter which of these places you went to, you would have to spend a hundred thousand dollars on build out and then you’re going to have to turn around and pay rent. He goes, you really need to own. And I went, oh, no i don’t wanna own i loved having a landlord it was easy he took over everything, right i don’t wanna own it so no. So the next day he texted me a link for a three bedroom ranch house 10 minutes from my house. And it had gone on the market the day before. And it was. Adjacent to commercial property and but then it was surrounded on the other sides by residential. So I made an appointment we went down and looked at it. He and I went through it a couple of different times, you know, and he was very encouraged and he said I really, this is, you know, this is good. So I got the, I arranged for a showing for our board and our board came up and went through it and we met after the showing and the board basically said, yeah, you know, they authorized me to put in an offer and I put in the offer and they countered and so on Christmas Eve I signed the final offer. So this was our dinner was like the second week of November. So we’re talking from the beginning of November until Christmas Eve and all of a sudden we’ve got a property so then I’m thinking, you know, we’re going to be, we’re going to be good to go well, there have been a lot of issues and struggles. We needed to raise a lot of money in order to cover the outside work that needs to be done like we have to put parking in the front and in the back. We have to expand the driveway. The house was on a septic system and so because we got it rezoned and we’re commercial and we can’t use the septic system, we have to get it back filled. We have to get connected to the city utility i mean we’re already on city water, but we have to get connected to city sewage and all of that exterior site work is very expensive. Anytime you bring in heavy equipment, you’re talking big bucks. And you know, so the interior renovation really is not going to be that expensive, but the exterior stuff is really expensive so we have actually pretty much just hit our target market, our target goal for what we needed to begin work and we are in the process of reviewing estimates from three different contractors. So I think we are getting close to being able to say this is who we’re going to go with and so we’re just super excited about that. In the meantime, about the same time that Eileen retired, I it had been on my heart for a long time that I wanted to do something for the women on the West side of Indianapolis, much like Anita was doing for the women on the east side. And my church did a Lenten giving tree for the Gabriel Project and so I actually was picking stuff up every week during Lent and bringing it and putting it in the RV which lived at my driveway. And then when it went over to the abortion center on the East Side, Anita would empty it and, you know, use all the stuff. Well, she one year she texted me after like 2 weeks and she was like, don’t send me anything else. I’m overflowing and I’m like, we still have like two more weeks of Lent. And my parish is a big parish and they’re very generous and so I’m like, you know, bringing all this stuff home and just putting it on my dining room table thank goodness we have a kitchen table. But I had, so i’m unloading the last huge load of donations. And I walked into my dining room and I put down a bunch of bags and diapers and stuff. And I just went, Oh my gosh, I have so much stuff here i could start another pregnancy or another Resource Center. And I turned around and took three steps and I went, Oh my gosh, I can start another Resource Center. It was like that epiphany, that aha moment, like God has given me the means. So I went over to the pastor. Our church was not in our neighborhood it was on the other side of town because we wanted our kids in a Catholic school so I went to the pastor for the church candy corner from us and I said, Father Rob, this is what’s going on. And I said, I know you don’t have room here at this parish, but I wonder if you have room at your sister parish where you could give us room for, you know, to run a material center. And he marched me down to the secretary and he said, find her a room at Saint Joseph’s Church. And so they did. And we opened up and God has blessed us with just an abundance of supplies, an abundance of volunteers and abundance of clients. So we have actually we started out we were only open there like 4 hours once a week, and now we’re open like 5 hours once a week on Thursday and then two Saturdays a month. So but it just, it’s just phenomenal the way the Lord has worked and blessed us and brought stuff to us so it just it is God’s ministry i know that.

25:55 :

That’s just so that’s so encouraging, just the way that you know, the way that God leads and the way that God is in the details and so you’re currently in the process of getting this building updated still is that where you’re? Is that where you currently are in that story?

26:16 :

Yes, yes so we’re, I have estimates from one of the contractors and then I’m waiting for estimates from the other two contractors. So we’re in pretty good, a pretty good situation. My husband’s office, the company that he works for, they’re actually moving locations and they pretty much decided they’re not bringing any of the furniture or stuff with them. They’re going to pack up and on Friday they’ll walk out of one office and on Monday everything will be at the new office and so he has actually been able to give me office chairs, a whiteboard. One of the ladies from HR reached out and said, well, when she found out, you know what I do, she said, would your wife need like office supplies so I have like 3 or 4 cases of office supplies. I she’s got tables that she sends him pictures and she’s like, can your wife use these and like, Oh my gosh, yes. So it’s just it’s amazing the things that God is bringing to us and I’m not even looking for this stuff yet.

27:36 :

Wow. What kind of volunteer positions do you have at, you know what what’s the range of volunteer positions that would be, you know, that would be available or there not be an opportunity for someone to do at the different Gabriel Project locations?

27:59 :

Well, at the parish level we have volunteers who support us just through prayer. And I say just, but it’s not just through prayer, it’s through pair prayer and that’s all they’re able to do and that’s fine. Prayer is, you know, the grassroots of this entire ministry so we have some people who make we have ladies who make crochet baby blankets and little outfits and hats. We have people who quilt blankets. We have people who buy diapers you know and then there are like the leadership team at each parish and you know what they do and how each individual parish Gabriel Project runs is kind of up to them. So, but like one of our Gabriel Project churches, they have actually monthly meetings and they have a secretary and they have somebody who keeps track of like the pastor let them do coffee and Donuts the first Sunday of every month is Gabriel Project and so they take donations but then they also have like rosaries and medals and holy cards and stuff like that. And so, you know, so every month they get support from people who come through for coffee and Donuts and then at the bigger level, so like when we get our pregnancy center open, which our pregnancy center is going to be called first choice for women. But it’s one St. It’s not F I. R and The funny thing is we have to distinguish that because up in the Anderson indiana, area which is, not horribly far, far away from us, there is an first choice for women. But when Eileen was choosing the name for the original pregnancy center, she reached out to them and said, this is what I want to do is that OK and they were like, oh, yes. You know, so we’re far enough away in distance that if a woman Googles first choice for women in Indianapolis, she’s probably not going to wind up in Anderson, you know, so. And then so for us, like, right now, we have volunteers who work with the moms at the Resource Center. So when mom comes in, like, you know, we have her come in three to four weeks before the baby’s due. And we give away diapers and wipes and a pack and play and sheets and blankets, towels, washcloths, bathtubs, you know, diapers, you know, just whatever she needs that has been donated to us. We help her. And so we have volunteers who work one-on-one with the moms for that. I have a volunteer who just does she posts all of my cash and check donations into a platform for me. I have another volunteer who kind of navigates the system for the company that does the online donations I have. Our whole board is volunteers and so one of our volunteers is our tax accountant and he helps me with, you know, just keeping keeping the finances current and making sure that we’re up to date on everything so, you know, he helps me reconcile. He’ll pull off the bank statement and the credit card statement for Gabriel Project and send it to me and say, OK, here’s this month and I need you to go through and code it and explain, you know what it was for and why we needed it and so we have quite an array of volunteers.

32:07 :

Wow so there’s an interesting story about the logo for First Choice of for women. So at some point we had talked i don’t know when I’ve shared that we had already designed a logo for the name First Choice and it was for a pregnancy clinic group based on John Tabor with the Crisis Pregnancy Centers of Tucson, now currently known as Hands of Hope, along with The Apprentice clinic in the Greater Phoenix area. And the idea was to have a First Choice network for the state of Arizona where it would support all of the Presti clinics in the state with a joint advertising venture and so we crafted this logo. It must have been 20 plus years ago at this point. And so and but that project didn’t go forward. And so when you contacted me, I told you, oh, we’ve got a logo that actually has that name. And so I was able to give that to you and I think we made some color changes to it. But for the most part, we were able to save some money and time because the work had been done 2 decades earlier. So yeah, that was interesting.

33:23 :

Yes, you probably spent more time looking for the original artwork than anything.

33:29 :

Yeah, well, I keep all my email.

33:31 :

Yeah, so I am working with your team.

33:36 :

Go ahead.

33:36 :

Yeah so, yes. And you know, I mean, it was just, it was beautiful because when I saw the original image that you had, I was just like, Oh my gosh, I love that. So it was, it was, it was wonderful you know, there’s no such thing as a coincidence in our world, Jacob.

33:54 :

Yeah, well and that logo, so I don’t know if I ever shared this part with you before. So that logo was designed by a gentleman by the name of Latham Floyd and he is a incredible designer who I used to work with 20 plus years ago. He also designed, you know, some incredible logos one of the logos that many people in the country would recognize would be the Clear Channel logo for like Clear Channel radio or Clear Channel billboards. He was the, yeah, the designer on that project i remember working in the same office space back when he was working on that project we were in a shared office environment and he was, he’s just a really talented, detailed designer and he created that first choice logo for me. I think it probably was on trade back then for something. It’s such a long time ago, don’t it Probably was trade i’m always doing trade to make things a little bit cheaper for somebody. But anyways, all that to say is, yeah, so the logo artist that originally crafted that piece, yeah, that was Latham Floyd back in early two thousands, and yeah probably two thousand, three 2000 and two or one i don’t even know it’s a long time ago, but yeah, yes, it has wait, a minute yeah, it definitely has. Where have you seen God’s fingerprints? Like what what’s the most recent story you can think of or maybe one of the high one of the stories where God showed up and you would like to share that story where his fingerprints were all over, you know something that took place.

35:45 :

Oh, Jacob, when I look back over my life, I can see going back, Oh my gosh, almost 30 years ago, where God was doing things in my life to prepare me for my work in the Gabriel Project. And so the most significant thing I think that happened is so I alluded to our mobile pregnancy center that lived in my driveway. And so when we were just starting out with that, I was, I was the only driver so I would, I would get up in the morning and you know take the RV and drive it up to one of the abortion clinics well, on a particular morning, I was loading the mobile ultrasound unit into the RV and my phone is also a hotline. And so my phone rang and it was this woman and she said, yeah, I’m inside of Planned Parenthood and I’m not sure I want to do this. And I was like, Oh my gosh, well, fortunately, Planned Parenthood was my destination that day. So I said just do me a favor i said I will be there in less than 30 minutes and I said get out of there i said I don’t know how, but just get out of there and don’t do anything until you talk to me face to face. I said if after you talk to me face to face, if you decide you still want to go through with this, you can go back tomorrow. So she came out and you know, she came onto the RV and we did the ultrasound and she absolutely, hands down did not want the abortion. After seeing the ultrasound of her baby, she was actually assigned to a Gabriel project over where Anita in Anita’s neighborhood so Anita was one of her angels and so I did not have a lot of interaction with her on a regular basis, although I did a couple times i took her to a doctor appointment and but we, Anita and I decided that we wanted to do a baby shower for her and I wanted to involve my church so we did a joint shower at my church. And so when we were at the shower, I got to know her a little bit better and I found out, like, her mom is dead, her grandma’s dead you know, So I’m thinking this poor woman, I mean, she’s married, but it’s not, it is not a good, solid, holy marriage, you know. And so I just got the sense that this woman is gonna be in the labor and delivery room. You know, even if the guy’s there, which I didn’t think he would be, he’s not really i felt like she wasn’t gonna have anybody there for her. And so I told her, I said if you want somebody in the delivery room with you, I will be there and so which I mean at that point in time my kids were both in college and so I was able to do that it didn’t matter if I, you know, if I did that so I did i took her up to the hospital for her scheduled inducement and I went up with her and, you know, we got into the room and the father of the baby came when he got off of work he went home and cleaned up and he came up to the hospital and I kind of felt like maybe he thought he was going to stick around for an hour or so and then leave. I pretty much let him know in no uncertain terms. No, that’s not happening you know, like this isn’t my baby. You know, I had nothing to do with the creation of this child, but I’m here from now until whenever this baby is born. So you’re sure not going home. You know it’s your baby, your daughter. And so I just said, no, you’re not. And so some people say I can be a little pushy i don’t know where they get that from. But so anyway, so I was in the room when this baby was brought into the world, and i got to hold her and carry her over and lay her in her mommy’s arms. And as I was driving home from the hospital, so this was like, 4:00 the next afternoon. I’m driving home from the hospital. And I’m just like, why, Lord? Why did you choose me to be there for her like, I don’t. I don’t understand why, you know? But, and I was just humbled beyond words. So it was not a good, like I said, not a great relationship between mom and dad. And so when baby was four days old, I got a phone call that said come get the baby. And I was like what? Ok, I mean, you know, you get a phone call that says come get my four day old baby, what are you going to do? You’re going to drop everything and go get that baby so I was like, OK, so my husband and I it was a Saturday and so my husband and I walked into church Sunday morning with this four day old baby girl and everybody in the church was like, Oh my gosh, is that a grandbaby and we’re like, no not a grandbaby. I go, it’s a Gabriel baby and at this point in time, Eileen was having a fit i mean, when she found out what I was doing, she was just having a fit she’s like liability issues are you crazy what are you doing and I’m like, what am I supposed to do when I get a phone call that says come get the baby, You know? So I said everybody was like, oh, you’re going to adopt this baby? No, we’re not going to adopt her, you know so over the course of the 1st 2 and a half to three years of her life, it is a toss up whether she spent more time at our house or more time at her mommy and daddy’s house. And it got to the point where I had a complete wardrobe for her in a closet in my house year round. And I always made sure I had shoes that fit her and clothes that fit her and so of course my husband and I have two boys and so it took about four seconds for this little girl to wrap her heart around my husband. And my husband just fell for her so hard in fact when she, when she learned to talk, my husband’s name is Greg and she would go, that’s my gag i would go, no, that’s my Greg she go, no, that’s my gag. So she had him wrapped around her little pinky in no time. And so as a result of that, you know, she, she’s our goddaughter and now ironically enough, her dad is going to help do some of the work that we need done kind of on his own time so he’s going to kind of donate back his time to our pregnancy center. So i just, I mean, there are so many instances in my life. When we first got the RV, as it was getting remodeled, Eileen and I were trying to decide what, like, we knew the RV was gonna stay in the Indianapolis area. But Eileen lived in Columbus, which is about an hour South. And we were trying to figure out where, like, where’s the RV gonna live, you know? So my husband and I were at church. Our associate pastor was doing a one day Lenten retreat for all of the different, you know, ministry leaders in the church and so we were there and I was talking with the associate pastor and my husband at the time was laid off, OK. And so at this time, we still had like kids in school, kids in Catholic High School and so I’ve got the only income i’ve got the all the benefits and anyway, so I’m talking with the Pat, the associate pastor and I said, you know, I just really feel like God is calling me to take responsibility for this whole RV program. And I said, you know, father, I would quit my job to do this if that’s, you know, if that’s what God wants me to do but I need to. I want to do it because it’s what God wants, not because it’s what I want. And so he said, Father Jerry said, I want you to spend Lent, the rest of Lent in deep discernment about what God’s will is for you and your life. And I was like, oh, of course, he’s a priest. You know, he’s so smart so I’m like, OK, so we went home and I’m like, discern, discern what am I going to do? So I’m Catholic and a big prayer for the Catholic is a novena and a novena is a nine day prayer usually for a specific intention in your life and so. But I thought that a novena was super rigid and super structured so I thought you had to say the exact same prayers at the exact same time in the exact same place every day for 9 days and I was like, so i’m like, I don’t know how to discern, but so I’ll Google a novena. Ok. So I’m like, I don’t know how I would do a novena, you know nine days in the same time at the same place like I work, you know, like I don’t know how I could do that but I OK, I googled novenas on the first page of the search engine results. Understand every novena is always 9 days. Ok. On the first page of the search engine results was a nine hour novena to help you discern God’s will in your life. And I looked at this and I went and I looked up and I said, did you write this for me or what? You know? And so I’m looking at this and I’m like, oh, I can do 9 hours, OK, I can do 9 hours on either a Saturday or Sunday. So I’m like, OK, I’m gonna do this and so then, you know, I’m driving to and from work that week, and I’m having this conversation in my car with the Lord, you know and so finally one day, you know, I’m pulling into the parking lot and I’m like, and I go like, you know, Lord, I really will quit my job and do this if that’s what you want me to do. But you have to tell me. And I went into work and three hours later I was laid off wow. So I pretty much figured that i know, right so that was my clue that the Lord really wanted me to take responsibility for this. And so, you know what’s amazing? We had two kids in Catholic school we had a mortgage of a thousand dollars a month. We never, we never lost our house we’re still living in the same house i mean, you know, my husband was actually going to school at the time to learn how to do IT work. And so, you know, God has blessed him he finished his schooling. You know, he got a job in IT, Then he got a better job now he’s got an even better job so I mean you know God has always been in my life So anyway and he continues to be active in my life and I’ve seen, I’ve seen him many times like I said just throughout my life I could just there are stories and stories that I could tell you. But Eileen was right this is God’s project i just have to be obedient. I have to be quiet and still and give him the chance to speak to me. And then when he does speak to me, I have to be obedient no matter how crazy it seems or how scared it seems I just have to be obedient and I know that God will bless me.

49:12 :

Wow wow. That’s so encouraging to hear and yeah, it’s beautiful to see God’s fingerprints in a story and then the. Yeah, to have it connect with decision making to have it connect with. And just like the CEO, you know, the several dominoes that got knocked down in a row. One question I want to ask you about before we move on is do you know how that young lady got your phone number when she was in the Planned Parenthood did you ever find out like how did she get your number when she was in that?

49:47 :

Waiting oh, yes. So the well, she actually had, she had picked up a blessing bag from the sidewalk counselors who are faithfully in front of that Planned Parenthood every day. You know, they’re there every morning and so they give out what’s called a blessing bag and it’s got information on abortion it’s got, it’s got like little a little hand lotion and a couple pieces of chocolate, you know, stuff for her. And then on the front is a handwritten note that just says, you know, like, we know you’re scared, we know you feel alone, We’re here to help you and you know you’re stronger than you think and you can do this and if you would like you know, confidential assistance, please call Linda at this phone number. And so that’s how she got my phone number.

50:47 :

Wow oh, that is that is awesome. Well Linda, I’ve really enjoyed hearing your stories and having you on here. Would you share any final thoughts, maybe a word of encouragement to a directors and then wrap this up in a closing prayer?

51:08 :

Oh, sure. So words of encouragement, you know, I mean in the pregnancy help movement, you know we are boots to the ground. Your pregnancy centers are boots to the ground and we’re blessed to be able to take that even a little bit further so my words of encouragement are be still and listen and have an open heart and then don’t be afraid to take that leap of faith because you know, I mean when you are obedient, God will reward you. And I am living proof of that and I could spend hours telling you how he has blessed me personally and you know, professionally just in the work that I have been able to do with all of the wonderful supporters for the Gabriel project. And so just for like, for a closing prayer, I I’m going to share with you, Jacob, a prayer that I wrote shortly after I got laid off from my last job in the secular world. And it is my own personal daily surrender. And so I just say in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. And I say, Good morning, Lord, I surrender myself to you today, God, I give myself over to the Holy Spirit. Use me as you need to. I love you, Jesus. And I want to do your work today and every day for the rest of my life amen the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

52:57 :