Jesus Lifted High
It turned out to be one of the most anointed and moving ministry outreaches that I have been privileged to be part of in my 24 years as a Christian and 13 years in full-time ministry.
September 13, 2004, in municipal court of Wichita, 12 Christians, Pastor Daniel Thompson, Mattie Thompson, Bruce Garren, Pastor Bill McGinnis, Michele Sheets, Kevin Stanfield, Casey Halbgewachs, Donnie Halbgewachs, Peter Klug, Maurice Grey, Shawn Mumy, and Pastor Mark Holick, were counted worthy to be persecuted for their Lord for preaching the gospel and saving innocent children's lives.
The judge stopped our opening statement. She would not allow us to continue due to its gospel content which, of course, was our only reason to be there. We asked the judge to dismiss the case. We had filed a motion to get our video cameras and the videos we took of the rescue back and had never received them. She declined.
Eleven of us chose to defend ourselves. Michele Sheets had an attorney, Richard Macias, who was gracious enough to help us help the unborn. The city offered her a plea bargain of $50.00 fine to plead no contest. She declined. They countered by dismissing her case entirely.
The city prosecutor then called their first witness against us, Tiller's security guard. He showed up with a man we believe was probably a high dollar attorney of abortionist George Tiller to counsel him on his testimony.
One of the four police officers who testified against us stated that a police officer can not pull his gun unless there is a clear and immediate threat of death or severe injury. This security guard pulled his gun on us, waving it in the air with his finger on the trigger. In addition he cuffed two of us, assaulted one of the ladies, and threatened Pastor Daniel with mace...while he was cuffed.
During cross examination of the security guard, we pulled the city ordinance/law that states that a private security officer can not use physical force. We asked him to read the ordinance and then asked him if he was aware of this law. He said no, and later stated that if he was on Tiller's private property he could use force if he felt it was necessary...so much for the law.
At another point, the prosecution attempted to submit as evidence our own video cameras and tapes, the same ones that we had filed a motion to get but they never gave us. We objected directly and the prosecutor immediately withdrew the request.
The prosecution called four police officers to testify against us. Glory to Him. I doubt that there have been too many instances where the city called four police officers to testify against someone charged with a misdemeanor.
After about three hours, the prosecution rested. We, the defense, had our opportunity to bring glory to our Lord and to be a voice for the voiceless at the gate of this court proceeding. Our first priority was to glorify our Lord. The second was to help our unborn neighbors. Due to the way the day began, it appeared there was going to be little chance of the judge allowing us to testify of either, or even present our defense of 'higher law.'
But the Lord moved incredibly. One would have needed to witness the entire day to appreciate, but the Lord fulfilled Mt. 10:19 marvelously. We called Bruce Garren to the stand who spent the next 10 minutes or so testifying of the Lord and for the children. Through his testimony we were able to show and discuss the picture of baby Malachi. We then called Donna Lippoldt to the stand who spoke of the insidiousness of what abortion does to women due to the coercion and manipulation of boyfriends, parents, etc. She told how approximately 80 % of mothers are pressured into abortions, and that the leading cause of death for a pregnant woman in America is homicide.
Then the Lord turned up the anointing on all 11 of us. Most had decided before the trial not to testify specifically, but the prompting of the Holy Spirit moved many of us to do so. One by one we began to take the stand to gloriously testify for the Lord. At times the prosecutor (a female) was riveted with the testimony being given. So much so, that, out of all of us who chose to take the stand, the prosecutor cross-examined only one of us. There were times when I doubt that there was a dry eye in the house. A number of the saints had come to support us during the trial and witnessed at times even the judge (also a female) visibly 'choked.'
Two of the four policemen came back later to listen to our defense. One of them made a point to tell a saint in the courtroom, who had come to watch the proceedings, that he supports us and we need to keep up the good work. Even the prosecutor at one point towards the end of the trial said that she would like to help Donna in receiving an offering for the sidewalk counselors.
In her closing arguments the city prosecutor, Miss Watson, said that we should be found guilty of trespassing and that it doesn't matter if abortion is moral or immoral, and it doesn't matter if it's right or wrong. In other words, the law is god. I think even the Nazi's could “amen” that one.
However, in the end, Judge 'Judy' Lindspahn found us guilty and fined us $100.00 - $150.00. She could have courageously stood for the Lord, for truth, and for the children. The judge (possibly Catholic) denied her faith, forsook the Word, disavowed the children, and rejected the Lord. The cock crowed 3 times...plus.
Mr. Bruce Garren's synopsis of the day goes like this:
In my flesh where no good thing exists, I tend to want to measure everything on the basis of winning and losing. In that context yesterday's trial was pretty much a loss. Winning for me would have been defined by the judge stopping the trial half way through and declaring us innocent of criminal trespassing because, for the first time, she saw that the unborn are human beings deserving of the right to life, not because that's what the constitution says, but because it's what God's law says. That didn't happen.
But to be honest, as I laid awake last night considering all that God did in that court room yesterday, I realized that I had never been involved in anything in my life that I believe glorified the Father more than that trial. Just hearing my Christian brothers and sister pour out their hearts without shame, because they love the Lord, was life changing for me. Of course it would be marvelous if the judge, bailiff, prosecuting attorney, police officers, and everyone associated with the trial, were moved and changed by our witness for the Lord and the unborn. But the truth is, anytime our Lord is truly glorified it is as good as it can get. Please believe me when I say that your brothers and sister proclaimed their love for our Lord as well or better than any poet, song writer, or theologian ever could. It was an honor for me to be in God's presence and hear them proclaim their love for Him.