|400 hear Kiessling's pro-life message at Holyoke banquet|
|Written by Darci Tomky|
Proclaiming the message “God created you—on purpose for his purpose,” 400 people attended the annual fund raising banquet for A Caring Pregnancy Resource Center at the Phillips County Event Center Saturday, Jan. 23.
Guest speaker Rebecca Kiessling took the audience through the ups and downs of her life—a life impacted by adoption, rape and abortion.
Kiessling, who grew up in an adopted family, explained that in her search for her birth parents she discovered the bitter reality that she had been conceived in a rape and had been almost aborted twice.
Even though she had known abortion was bad, she didn’t give it much thought until then. “Now it had to do with my very existence,” said Kiessling. Feeling like people were now judging her life, she struggled with her value, asking herself, “Who would ever love me?”
As a young woman, Kiessling fell into the lie that she would have to make herself attractive and successful so people wouldn’t say she should have been aborted. “I would have to prove to the world I was worthy of living.”
Born exactly one year before the court case that would make abortion legal, Kiessling said she is alive today because her “pro-life heroes” decided her life was worth living.
Even though she was conceived in the worst case scenario, Kiessling emphasized God takes evil and turns it into good. “Being thankful for my life doesn’t make me pro-rape,” she said, noting there is a huge moral difference between pro-life and pro-rape.
When pro-life people make an exception for rape, she said, it’s like looking her in the eye and telling her she shouldn’t have been born.
Grounded in her faith, Kiessling asserted, “I wasn’t lucky, I was protected.” She now knows God has a purpose for her life. “The rapist is not my creator,” she said, knowing she is a child of God. “He thought I was pretty valuable.”
Referencing the saying, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make any noise?” Kiessling asked, “When a baby is aborted and no one is around to see it, does it matter?”
Kiessling urged the audience to educate and empower women like “true feminists” should. Encourage them to have the baby, saying “You can do this!”
In addition to sharing her story at Saturday’s banquet in Holyoke, Kiessling also spoke to about 200 people at the two other banquets held in Morgan and Yuma counties Thursday and Friday. The Pregnancy Center has been hosting fund raising dinners since its start 11 years ago.
Executive director Jan Loesch addressed the crowd, saying the Pregnancy Center strives to be “a beacon for women.” Audience members sang the song “Shine the Light” with the lyrics “Together we can make a difference, be a beacon in the dark of night, share your faith, hold it high, shine the light.”
Serving six counties in northeast Colorado with offices in both Holyoke and Brush, Loesch said the Pregnancy Center aided 105 men, women and babies this past year, including 15 in Phillips County alone.
Fourteen babies were born to the Center’s clients last year. Loesch said three women considering abortion came to the Center for help, and she was thrilled to report all three delivered their babies. On average she sees 4-6 potential abortion cases a year.
Free services offered by the Center include pregnancy testing and counseling, prenatal and postnatal support, counseling resources and referrals for adoption, information and education on abstinence and relationships, post abortion help, a lending closet for clothing up to 12 months of age and mentoring programs.
The Center has also been coordinating an educational program called “WAIT Training” for students in area schools.
Ellie Beal of Amherst serves as treasurer for the Center. Linda Fuesz of Haxtun was in charge of ticket sales for the fund raiser while Martha and Lee Thompson of Wray coordinated food preparation for Saturday’s banquet. Around 80 people from northeast Colorado volunteered at the annual program.