By Tina McDonald
“God calls on us to defend and speak out for those who cannot do so for themselves,” states Dr. Larry McDonald, Associate Professor of Christian Studies at Truett-McConnell College.
On Wednesday, March 21, five TMC students accompanied by David Kirkland, the Director of Baptist Collegiate Ministries at Truett-McConnell College, and Dr. and Mrs. Larry McDonald answered this call by participating in a pro-life outreach effort to the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens. Teaming up with leaders from the organization “Justice for All,” Truett students interacted and dialogued one-on-one with UGA students about such issues as “When does human life begin?”, “What constitutes or determines our humanity?”, and “If life is worth defending outside the womb, why would it not deserve the same justice inside the womb?”
“The day of outreach at UGA was one of incredible opportunity for an eternal impact, not just for the unborn but also for the individual people with whom we spoke,” says Kelsey Smith, a sophomore majoring in humanities at Truett-McConnell.  Mrs. McDonald concurs: “It was interesting how many times talking about the subject of the sacredness of life gradually ended in discussing our Creator, and His gift of life to us through Jesus Christ.”
Previous to this day of outreach TMC students received training by “Justice for All” leaders in methods that concisely and effectively communicated their beliefs regarding the defense of the unborn. “The training and outreach sponsored by JFA is something that every Christian needs to experience,” says sophomore Christian studies major, Dee Jay Faircloth. “We learned not to just debate the issues, constantly pushing our own opinion. But instead we were led to discuss even such extremely controversial problems as abortion while showing genuine care and love for the person with whom we were speaking.”
“JFA taught us how to use the right questions to nudge and guide others toward the right conclusions,” adds Ms. Smith. “We learned to view the people with whom we spoke not as enemies to be conquered, but as individuals in need of the truth of God. We had to ‘earn the right to be heard’ by first listening to those we wished to influence, showing them the care and respect that all human beings deserve. The communication skills I’ve learned through JFA have already changed for the better how I interact with other people.”
“The Justice for All staff was tremendous,” says David Kirkland. “They were thoughtful and engaging, and they handled the questions and comments of UGA students with the respect deserved by any human.” Kirkland also cites an additional benefit of the JFA training, “Our students that were a part of the training event now have specific answers to the questions raised by the pro-choice movement.”
Truett-McConnell College’s President, Dr. Jerry Pounds, says of the college’s work with JFA, “I am very grateful that some of our students, faculty, and staff were able to partner with Justice for All in this significant endeavor on the UGA campus. This was one of many ways we are privileged to be Christ’s ambassadors in our world.”
On a personal note, Kirkland voiced the experience of many TMC participants as he shares, “I’ve always stood on the side that abortion was wrong but practically have never done anything about it.  But after the JFA training I realized I could no longer ignore the issue.  I was deeply touched by the exhibit pictures and given confidence to speak out on the subject with the information the JFA group provided.  I felt good about being a part of the event and have committed to continue to make my voice known on the issue.”
Dr. McDonald agrees: “It is a day we will never forget. We intend that this is only the beginning of continued efforts from our campus in speaking out about the issue of the sanctity of human life and the promotion of options that would spare women and their unborn children from the injustice and devastation of abortion.”
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