||Sidewalk Counseling Training
In San Luis Obispo County
|About Life Matters
Hello! My name is Mike Edwards and I have been involved
in pro-life activism since 1989. My wife, Shay, and I lived in San Diego, California for over 30 years before
moving to the Central Coast of California, San Luis Obispo County.
From 2003 until we moved away from San Diego in 2010 I went to Family Planning Associates every Saturday
to offer alternatives to abortion and to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Although God called me through His word into
this sort of ministry, I can honestly say that I had no idea what I was doing. I tried to do what everybody else was
doing, whether preaching the judgment of God or following people into the clinic with pamphlets.
One Saturday morning a young woman shuffled toward her car, head down and slump shouldered. She had just had an abortion
and now sorrowed for what she had done. As she headed down the sidewalk a sidewalk counselor began to berate and scold her.
If it were possible her shoulders sagged even further and her gait slowed all the more. I thought she was going to collapse.
From that time forward, and with increasing resolution, I knew that without a heart of genuine love for the men and women
going into abortion clinics, I could never reach the hearts of those "stumbling to the slaughter", as it says in
Proverbs 24:11,12, nor could I last in this ministry. I have heard people say that telling the truth is
being loving and that if we do not tell the entire truth we are not being loving. That is not always true. Sometimes, people
can tell the truth in a very unloving manner so as to close down communication, rather than enhancing it. I treat every encounter
as unique, without a pre-planned approach, pleading with the Holy Spirit to grant discernment, admitting that it is absolutely,
entirely, by the grace of God that I am present at the clinic. I remember the pit from which God rescued me and ask for a heart
of compassion for those entering the clinic.
Since taking this approach here at the Planned Parenthood at 743 Pismo Street in San Luis Obispo, God had chosen to bless
my efforts. I have seen more turnarounds in this past year than all the years from 1989 through 2011. I give God every bit
of the glory, but I have learned some things that have helped me be a more effective counselor. It is out of years of failure,
sin and heartache that I have endeavored to compile a sidewalk counseling training manual. Our goal is to offer this training
to every evangelically minded church in the county and beyond, as the Lord leads.
Life Matters, 805-704-9704