Ron NederhoedI am a relatively new board member, having joined in 2009, and a very unlikely one at that. Indeed, my first encounter, face to face, with pro-lifers occurred in the Milwaukee District Attorney's office. The D.A. invited me there to "chat" after I had rather malevolently driven my car into a group of local pro-life sidewalk counselors. They had been peacefully walking around with signs on the sidewalk and the driveway of the office building in which I did group psychotherapy with ADHD children. (Looking back, it was probably a good match!) I saw them as needlessly (partially) blocking my entrance to the parking lot. At the end of OUR therapy session, I promised the D.A. that I would stop harassing the pro-life group.

Some years later God called me to be born again, and I began attending church. Someone invited me to a Pro-Life Wisconsin fundraising dinner. Never one to turn down free food and drink, I went and found that I really enjoyed the Christian fellowship. More importantly, I was blown away by the powerful testimony of the banquet speakers. A nurse and her physician husband, who occasionally did abortions as part of his medical practice, shared their pro-life conversion story. She described how aborted babies were sometimes born alive, then left to die in a storage room. She finally persuaded her husband to stop his abortion practice and they both became ardent supporters of the sanctity of life. I was so moved by their story that I readily got out my check book and began supporting the Wisconsin pro-life movement.

Guided by God to marry after sixty-five years of bachelorhood, I found myself transplanted to Mississippi with a terrific wife, her wonderful complete new family and an incredible church family. One of my fellow church members, Ester Mann, invited me to join her and the other sidewalk counselors at the last abortion clinic in Mississippi. Her passion for the unborn and their mothers, her many years of incredible sacrifice, and her patient mentoring continue to inspire me on my volunteer days on the sidewalk. It was a short step from the sidewalk to joining the Board of Pro-Life Mississippi.

No, no one has tried to run me down on the sidewalk in front of the abortion mill, but should that happen, I'll know God is probably working on a stoney heart that He can eventually fashion after His own sacred heart.