A few years ago John Hof invited me to join his team at a charity golf tournament and I’ve gladly joined him every year since.
Charity golf tournaments are occasions for wholesome fun and last Saturday’s tournament was no different. Although the skies had a lot less blue than we had hoped for, as John and I headed over the mighty Fraser River to the picturesque landscape along the foot of the majestic Coastal Mountains we were not going to be deterred. The proceeds of this charity golf tournament were going to support the Crisis Pregnancy Centres of Vancouver and Burnaby (the ‘Centres’) and a few drops of rain were not going to stop us from contributing to their efforts.
In the weeks and days leading up to Saturday’s event John and I had been busy soliciting funds in an attempt to meet both our personal and team goals. Even with the means of modern technology and communication this involves some effort. Thankfully, on the evening prior to the event, we surpassed our goal of raising $4000.00!
Truth be told, I had to push myself out the door at 6:30 that dark and dreary Saturday morning. Especially after just being home for two days following a weeklong trip through Alberta. But those thoughts quickly disappeared when Brian Norton offered me a rambunctious greeting upon my arrival at the Golden Eagles Golf Course. Brian is the Executive Director of the Centres and his infectious smile and enthusiasm rival that of a young child coming down the stairs on Christmas morning.
Day after day, Brian toils selflessly in his capacity as Executive Director. He exemplifies what it is to have a servant heart and is always setting aside his own desires to do what is best for others. Brian’s character is mirrored in the mission of the Centres. Their mission is to provide compassionate help to women experiencing unplanned pregnancies, post abortion grief, domestic violence, and sexual assault. They are on the frontlines of assisting some of the most vulnerable people in society and regularly help women make informed choices that set them on the path to a better life.
You would think that the work of the Centres (much of which is done by volunteers) would be appreciated and valued by everyone, but that is not the case. As I wrote a few weeks ago, Joyce Arthur and her pro-abortion friends can’t stand the fact that some women may choose for life after being assisted by staff and peer counsellors at the Centres. Ms. Arthur has openly stated that she has her sights set on crisis pregnancy centres in order to expose their religious foundations and “deceitful tactics”. In a 65-page document titled, Exposing Crisis Pregnancy Centres (CPCs) in British Columbia she asserts that crisis pregnancy centres were “using graphic videos and pictures to shock and horrify young women about abortion” and that “CPCs won’t say up front they are religious and will lie about being religiously-affiliated to get a woman into the centre”. In view of this document being public and possibly affecting how the Centres were viewed by British Columbians, a Notice of Civil Claim was filed against Ms. Arthur on October 12, 2012 alleging defamation. Last month a judge decided to dismiss the lawsuit and today the Crisis Pregnancy Centres of Vancouver and Burnaby issued a press release saying they won’t appeal the ruling.
In spite of the unjust attacks they will undoubtedly continue to receive from Ms. Arthur, Brian Norton is resolved to continue serving women in their time of need. He says, “Notwithstanding what an activist with a stated political agenda against CPCs may allege, we think the opinion that counts is the opinion of our clients.” Norton then lists just a few comments left by clients on their ‘exit forms’:
- “Thanks for listening to me and giving me a way to solve my troubles.”
- “I have no words to say how thankful I am for all your love, help and support.”
- “It was really good to know there is someone to support me and listen to me.”
- “Wonderful people in your [charity]. Words cannot describe all the appreciation I feel so deep inside.”
Norton also shares sentiments left by their most recent clients who came seeking help for their post abortion grief issues:
- “I found a peaceful, supportive, safe and loving environment.”
- “I felt very loved and accepted.”
- “Great healing took place in unexpected ways.”
- “Very caring, loving. A safe place.”
“Women facing crisis pregnancies or experiencing problems following an abortion,” concludes Norton, “can have confidence that our Centres adhere to the highest standards of counselling ethics and provide accurate information and non-judgmental help.”
This is exactly the attitude one needs when faced with the aggressive tactics of those who celebrate abortion!
Never again will I feel bad about getting out of my warm bed on a cold, rainy morning to do my miniscule part in ensuring they have the financial means to carry out their mission. It is my prayer that Brian and all those who labour with him for the good of others will do so with steadfast resolve!