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PO Box 690 Grangeville, ID 83530
|Silent No More|
|Couple offer healing, hope for those dealing with abortion|
By Lorie Palmer - community editor, ICFP
|Free Press / Lorie Palmer|
|Matthew Clinger speaks to the audience at the May 10 Banquet 4 Life event at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish Hall. |
GRANGEVILLE - "As Christians, it is our mission to fight social injustice," prayed Father Mariusz Majewski, Sts. Peter and Paul Parish. "We have a long way to go before every human life is valued and protected."
Majewski opened the May 10 Banquet for Life event at the SPP parish hall which held more than 230 pro-life fund-raiser for The Hope Center pregnancy facilities in Grangeville and Kamiah.
Guest speaker Kelly Clinger was formerly on the Mickey Mouse Club with Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. She later auditioned for - with 2,000 others - a back-up singer spot with Spears and was chosen. She did this for six years.
"I was living the life of a rock-star," she said. "And that is just what you think it is - sex, drugs and rock and roll."
Living that life brought a world of hurt to Kelly, who finally left when she was raped.
"I met a guy in a club, we moved in together within a month and I found out I was pregnant," she told the audience. "I already had a daughter who was 3 and I made the decision to have an abortion - after all, I could barely take care of myself and my child."
She never told the father of her baby but had a friend drive her to the clinic.
A month later, she found she was pregnant again. Once again, she chose to have an abortion. This time, she let her boyfriend know and he escorted her to the clinic.
Medical complications from the second abortion also led to continual bouts of depression and self-medication, Kelly said.
Once day when the now-married couple drove by a church her husband said, "Why not try it? We've done everything else."
"That's where we met the Lord, and everything changed," she said. "I have found that healing is possible, though I still did not want to talk about what happened - people just didn't talk about that in church," she said.
Through a series of event Kelly felt led to the Bible and Psalm 139:13: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." At that same time a woman from church whom she did not know invited her to a Bible study for post-abortive women.
That launched her and her husband into a variety of activities to offer hope, prayer and support to post-abortive couples. They are now spoksepersons for the Silent No More awareness campaign.
"The guilt [of my abortions] has affected every single relationship I have," a tearful Kelly relayed. "But I will now stand up for life even when it is unpopular and not politically correct.
"I am that boyfriend who drove Kelly to the clinic. I became the husband. Through this turmoil I have realized the men are most often missing in action. The last time I heard of a woman getting pregnant without a man, Jesus was born," said Matthew Clinger to a roomful of applause.
Matthew, a PGA (Professional Golf Association) instructor, said he knew he was forgiven and became a youth leader at his church, "but it still took me years to open up and talk about my experiences."
"Now I tell my story everywhere - even out on the green -- because I want to help others heal and possibly save someone else from the pain of abortion," he said. "The mistakes we made do not define our lives, but only because of the grace of God."
Matthew said he applauded Idaho for their cohesiveness and cooperation.
"Kelly and I have never been anywhere like this where all faiths and denominations come together for a cause," he looked around the room.
He said he feels abortion can end "in our lifetime, when men step up and be men and when every man looks at a woman the way God sees women," he said.
Banquet 4 Life was sponsored by local businesses, organizations and individuals and planned by the Hope Center board and a banquet committee under the direction of Lorraine Roach. Log onto www.hopecentergrangeville.org. To hear Kelly sing at the event, log onto www.idahocountyfreepress.com under "features."
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