50 Years of Building Forever Families
Written by Teddy on October 2, 2015
Milestones help us mark and celebrate the success, longevity and viability of a marriage, a business or a ministry. The greater the milestone, the greater the cause for celebrating.
Fifty years is a long, long time. But that’s the great run that New Hope Family Services has enjoyed, all to the glory of God.
The gala event featured mouth-watering appetizers, delicious multiple entrees and a sweet-tooth pleasing dessert. New Hope Director Martha Raub opened the evening by recognizing the many prolife organizations standing for life in the CNY area. In keeping with this year’s emphasis on adoption, a highly-moving video of a testimony of an adoptive couple was shown. The couple told how they openly adopted a child named Sadie, and how they keep the birth mom included in their family events. The adoptive mom insightfully stated, “Even if you don’t think that you can do it, if you don’t think you have the finances, if you don’t think you have the rook in your house, God can do amazing things, if you just let Him. There are so many kids who need homes … I would encourage people to be open and let God work in your heart.”
The next video featured this year’s Life Choice Award winners, a couple who courageously chose to give their baby to an adoptive couple. The birth mom shared how she initially struggled with the adoption option, then came around to realize that it was the best decision for all involved. The crowd roared with applause as the pair stepped forward to the platform to be honored with this year’s award.
Keynote speaker Dr. Robert Reccord was running on all eight cylinders for this night. He covered the prolife issue from every conceivable angle. His charts gave graphic clarity to the astounding statistics. His sense of well-timed humor gave the message a great sense of emotional balance.
Dr. Reccord opened on an incredibly positive note, citing that the number of surgical abortion clinics in America dropped from 2,176 in 1991 to 582 today, a 78% decrease. The audience erupted in applause and cheers. He attributed that stat to the tireless and effective efforts of prolife people like those in the room.
Dr. Reccord then grabbed audience attention with a graphic listing including such names as Nancy Reagan, Bill Clinton, Babe Ruth, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Marilyn Monroe and Eric Clapton, explaining that every one of them was adopted. He went on to share how the religious leaders of Germany expressed their concerns to Hitler about keeping life preserved at all costs. The Fuhrer replied with a smirk, “Life, ah, yes. For life, you can leave the results of that in my hands, and not have to worry.”
Reccord followed, “Six million Jews destroyed later, millions killed in a war that spread across the world, and we came firsthand, front hand-center, face-to-face with reality- that if, indeed, the gift of life is to be preserved, it must happen under a government driven by one person or even a small group. But itself is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. For only that kind of government understands the value of life and will fight for life with everything it’s got. And therefore we better preserve the one we have.”
He then posted staggering, mind-blowing graphics indicating that abortion has killed 38 times more Americans than died in battle in the last 12 wars combined, 1 in every 4 babies in America is aborted, and that it would take in excess of 342 Hiroshima type nuclear bombs to kill as many lives as did Roe. V. Wade. In America, one child dies to abortion every 26 SECONDS!
Dr. Reccord showed another chart revealing the underpublicized facts that 1) abortion can increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer by 30%, 2) after an abortion there’s a higher risk of cervical and ovarian cancer, 3) abortion can cause infertility and complications in future pregnancies, and 4) the risk of suicide following an abortion is 6 times higher than in women giving birth. The well-versed speaker observed how the deceased baby isn’t the only victim of an abortion. Others seriously damaged and victimized by this heinous practice are the mother, the father, and all of us.
The message began winding up with a powerful personal testimony as Dr. Reccord related how he suffered as a rejected child who had been neglected and abused. His mother declined aborting him, but died very early on in his life. His alcoholic father threw him out whenever he wanted to have a party. He would throw him and his two brothers into a dark cellar and forget about them for hours and even days on end. He decided to give away Robert’s two older brothers as a bargaining chip. But the last one, the small one, Robert, he had promised to a woman if she did him some favors. She could get the aid to dependant children, and open up a bar because of the child he had given to her. Finally he threw little Robert out and Robert went from home to home, but nobody wanted him.
Robert ended up in southern Illinois with a couple who’d been told to never have another baby for fear of the baby dying due to her poor health. They heard about Robert and begged the caretaker to allow them to take him if they so chose. They found him playing out back, stinking from sores due to advanced infantigo. The couple ran and picked him up and took him home.
His voice choking with emotion, Reccord said, “Because two people stepped out when they didn’t have to, and where most wouldn’t want to and where many wouldn’t dare to, God has given me a life that I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for.”
Dr. Reccord closed with one of the most gracious and effective appeals for support I’ve ever heard. The speaker prefaced the appeal by showing pictures of his outing with his wife to do hang gliding over the Swiss Alps. He likened going off the edge of the cliff to launch his glider to his listeners going over the edge to double what they had planned to give to New Hope’s fund raising event.
Time Warner Cable anchor reporter and huge prolifer Lacey Leonardi graciously emcees’ the evening, with North Syracuse Baptist Church providing music, and Peter Hoffman running sound. Sign language was provided by Amy Lynne and Pamela Newton. Pastor Mike McGuinness of Wellspring Family Life Church gave a wonderful opening prayer, while Lou Giordano offered a delicately phrased closing prayer that gave the audience the opportunity to prayerfully consider giving a generous donation to New Hope.
This was one special night to remember!
About The Author
John Petrilli is editor in chief and a staff writer for the Syracuse-based online Christian newspaper, www.goodnewscny.org. John has also authored numerous op-ed pieces that have reached print for the Syracuse-based Post-Standard newspaper. His literary work covers a wide spectrum of topics including but not limited to Christian living, evangelism, prolife issues, community interest stories, personal interviews and feature stories on cross-cultural ministries and organizations impacting the central New York community.
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