by Danielle Versluys
Our prayer walk team had arrived in Dublin on Thursday afternoon. Even after the long week of walking, we didn’t have much of a chance to rest.
Instead, we had a full day on Friday, busy with Stanton meetings.
On Friday morning, we went to Gianna Care, a pregnancy medical clinic in Dublin. We were there at the invitation of clinic director Carolyn O’Meara, an RN and mother of 2 who has worked incredibly hard to build Gianna Care. She invited us to speak to her volunteers at the clinic, who welcomed us with enthusiasm as we shared about the Stanton Healthcare vision and encouraged them in their ministry.
Carolyn and her volunteers reach out to abortion-minded women who are entering the Marie Stopes abortion referral agency – literally just down the street from Gianna Care. They invite the mothers to come to Gianna Care for a free ultrasound (and a cup of tea), offering them kindness and compassion instead of an airplane reservation to England to kill their baby.
I so enjoyed meeting Carolyn and her sidekick Federica, both beautiful young women (and mothers) who have the passion and drive to see Gianna Care succeed and many lives saved.
We left Gianna Care to return to the Youth Defence office where Brandi and I met with Bernadette Smyth and her husband Derek about the pregnancy medical clinic they are working to open just above the Precious Life office in Belfast.
That couple is a riot.
Bernie breezes into the room, a talking tornado on 6-inch heels, while her dapper husband follows behind with supplies (food and paperwork) in his tattooed hands. Yes, I said “dapper” and “tattooed”. Derek works hand in hand with Bernie at Precious Life, and together they are getting things done in Northern Ireland.
We had a great discussion and were so encouraged by Bernie’s identification with the Stanton vision of free, professional, life-affirming medical clinics around the world. Brandi and I looked at each other in awe after the Smyths left the room for another meeting; we were so excited by the prospect of a new life-affirming clinic opening in Belfast that we high-fived each other. And then we hugged each other for good measure.
God is good, and He knew what encouragement our Irish friends would be as we continue to fight the fight here in America. He knows our willingness to promote the vision of Stanton across the world: compassionate, life-affirming, Christ-centered care for women and their babies. We were grateful for the opportunity to do so on Irish soil, in a country where babies are not killed for profit - a country that serves as inspiration to America and others.