I was so excited that Jessica agreed to write for “Perspectives” this week! She is a dear friend of mine with a heart full of such compassion for others. We have been close friends for over four years, and she has kept up her love for others the entire time I have known her. Jessica’s passion for people has taken her down a different road than she ever imagined.
As I sit here trying to put words and thoughts onto paper, I am watching the cursor blink repeatedly. I am struggling to find the appropriate, most impactful words to describe what Chelsea has asked me write about: my job. You see, I have a unique job. It is controversial, rewarding, and challenging.
I am the Executive Director at a pregnancy information center. The Back Porch is a pregnancy information center that is located directly across the street from an abortion clinic. I counsel women every day who are literally minutes away from getting an abortion.
After my husband and I graduated from Louisiana Tech University, we moved to Edmonton in Alberta, Canada. Canada is a long way from my Louisiana roots, but we know that God has called us here to work in church planting. My husband and I are here to build relationships with people, share the Gospel, and start new churches. When we moved here last summer as missionaries, it was the biggest leap of faith we’ve ever taken.
Leaving everything we’ve ever known. Leaving family and friends. Not knowing if I would get a job. Adjusting to a new culture and lifestyle.
But God was faithful. He provided me with a job at The Back Porch within the week we arrived in Edmonton. I have always had a passion to help women and this job fit the bill perfectly.
In Canada, there are no legal restrictions on abortion which means that it’s an option to the mother for the entire 9-months of the pregnancy. Yes, let that sink in. Also, the Back Porch is one of only two centres in the entire country of its kind. Most abortion clinics have legal injunctions, or bubble zones, that strictly prohibit any pro-life activity inside that zone. If you violate that bubble zone, then you will have to answer to the law. Well, our bubble zone at The Back Porch happens to be very small which allows us to do our unique work in talking to clients in their 11th hour.
I’m not going to lie to you. It’s not easy working where I do every day. There are times when I ask myself, “Can I keep doing this?” I watch hundreds of women each month walk across the street to have an abortion. I watch ambulances pick up clients when something has gone wrong. Some clients leave the clinic relieved and other clients leave the clinic doubled over in pain and sickness. There is no stereotype for a woman who seeks an abortion. I have seen and heard stories that make me cry tears of sadness and utter disbelief and tears of joy. It’s easy to get discouraged when there are more women who choose death over life for their unborn child.
But I know that God has placed me here for a season of growth.
He has taught me that I cannot do this on my own strength. I can only rely on Him to get me through the discouraging times. He has taught me how to be a better leader. He has strengthened abilities that I never knew I had inside me. Sometimes I do need to an occasional escape to the mountains to rejuvenate, but that’s okay because I have learned this past year that God commands us to rest. I can’t do this all on my own.
I could tell you countless stories, but there are those rare times where God gives me a glimpse of exactly why He placed me here. He gives me the pleasure to meet precious babies whose lives have been saved through this ministry! And when I meet them, hold their fragile bodies, smell that baby scent, and look into their beautiful eyes, I say to myself, “It’s worth it. This is what it’s all about.”
Jessica Bennett is a wife and friend who is a Southern girl living in Canada. She enjoys spending quality time with family and friends. She and her husband, Justin, share a love for the outdoors, coffee, and their sweet cat, Millie. Her passion in life is to experience travel and adventure and be Christ’s Love to those along the way.