Twenty-six years ago, when Lenna Fox Smith volunteered to make curtains for Piedmont Women’s Center in Greenville, South Carolina, she had no idea that God was calling her to something much bigger. The center was only about a year old, and what started out as volunteer work one day a week, quickly turned into a job as the center’s CEO.
Now, as Smith gets set to retire at the end of December, the center will say goodbye to their 1,200 square foot house next to an abortion clinic and move into a nearly 8,000 square foot brand-new building across the street that is literally covered in scripture.
The first client that ever came into Piedmont Women’s Center back in 1991 was heading to the abortion clinic next door and ended up on the front porch of the pro-life center by mistake. But that first client decided to stay and wait for the counselors to arrive for the day, and that baby was saved from abortion.
Smith says that they are always experiencing “divine appointments” like that first one. In fact, according to Brenda Bagwell, RN and Director of Medical Services, 177 women came to Piedmont Women’s Center from the neighboring abortion facility in 2017 alone. While there is the occasional woman who decides to continue to the abortion facility, Bagwell says that many women choose to stay once they learn of the free services that Piedmont Women’s Center offers.
The center was originally opened by a small group of Christians who came together to purchase a house located next to an abortion facility. They took a mortgage out on the 85-year-old home and then asked the community for help. And help they did.
Businesses and individuals couldn’t necessarily make monetary donations, but they could donate their time and talents. Piedmont Women’s Center is seeing the same generosity with the new building. Even an original founder of Piedmont Women’s Center has come back to help with the new building as the stone mason.
“They can’t write a check but they can help us with our needs,” said Smith. “Air conditioning, plumbing, concrete companies. Six or seven concrete companies came. We’ve got these big lights shining on our property at 6 a.m. with trucks full of laborers. They dumped concrete and all got out and spread it together. Other companies and people in churches who couldn’t take on a whole project but come together to do heating and air. We put out the call with work days and men showed up like an old barn raising.”
After purchasing the plot of land across the street with money from a generous donor, Piedmont Women’s Center cleared the land and began building with the help of local companies. Smith wanted the people who were involved to be able to express their feelings and thoughts about the new building and the pro-life work being done there.
“We wanted to give everybody a way to express how grateful they are for what God’s doing to protect the lives of the unborn,” she explained. “We put the word out to come write scriptures on the frames. Nobody comes and just writes a scripture. They stay and pray. My first words on the wall were, ‘This ministry and this building are for God’s glory.'”
People of all ages have come a to write scripture on the framing of the new building. Smith says that they come into the center knowing exactly what they are going to write. There was a two-year-old with a sharpie marker in his hand scribbling on the wall wanting to write that Jesus loves them. There was a woman with an oxygen tank who wanted to write a scripture passage that God had given specifically to her for the center. Then there was a woman with a long piece of scripture who walked the building with Smith reading it aloud as Smith prayed.
“It was very meaningful,” said Smith. “If you just go back to Deuteronomy where we are told to write on the door frame of our house, we are living that out. They tell us to be strong and courageous. God is intentionally giving them the words to write on the door frames. It’s a beautiful thing to walk in and see on the beams. It moves your heart to know that this is God’s plan and He’s doing it in His way and He’s doing it quickly.”
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Source: Christian Post