Babies remembered at Greencastle candlelight service

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
Natalie Knight lit a candle in memory of the children who were not born as a result of the legalization of abortion 40 years ago.

Though a Christian for much of her life, one woman felt inadequate as a youth, and the search for love led her to make decisions that wracked her with guilt. Ruth Schuler shared the story of her abortions at a candlelight memorial service Jan. 20. Grace Bible Church hosted "Remembering the Unborn", to observe the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade, in which abortion became legal in the United States. Pastor Herm Fisler said that since January 22, 1973, about 55 million children had been aborted.

Schuler recounted a family that did not surround her with love. As a high school student, she became pregnant. When she finally told her parents, they didn't offer comforting advice, but rather, shamed her. She received no support for carrying the baby to term, and so selected the alternative. Her parents took her to a hospital where she was put under for the procedure.

"I just woke up not pregnant, and crampy," she said.

Schuler had two more abortions in college.

"I felt degraded. What have I done?" she thought at the time. "Who would want me for a wife?"

Renewal

She renewed her faith at a Christian camp, fell in love and married a man who accepted her knowing her past. They had three daughters. Eventually she confessed her history to them, and was still unconditionally loved. She credited guidance from Pregnancy Ministries, Inc. with helping her learn to accept God's forgiveness, and to forgive those involved in her abortions.

Schuler said women needed to encourage each other and to be sensitive to all about the decisions they may have made. Working with PMI as the Pure Grace 101 director, she now seeks to encourage healing and restoration of others who share her same experience.

"I'm privileged to help post-abortion women reconcile with God."

By candlelight

A crowd of approximately 60 people participated in the service, with many lighting one of 40 candles in the darkened sanctuary.

Fisler was critical of those who would trade evil for good. He was disappointed that people would get more upset over the bald eagle shot in Greene Township, which carried heavy penalties for the perpetrator, than for the abortion industry that did not warrant any punishment. He noted that President Barack Obama was distressed by the mass murder of 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut, but unaffected by the 3,500 lives lost to abortion every day in America.

Several teenagers took part in the service, including twins Josiah and Jonathan Gayman, 17. "It's good for people to be aware. Every child has a right to live. They are living before they leave the womb," said Jonathan.

Robin Kell, director of the Shippensburg PMI center, initiated the anniversary service. She had been conducting one for several years at the Cora I. Grove Spiritual Center near Shippensburg University. The 40-year mark resonated.

"God just said, 'Robin, let's do this,'" she stated.

Pastor Greg Kell said the memorial was to celebrate the lives of the unborn, who were at home in heaven.