By Karen Berhow
There is an old saying “You can take the boy off the farm, but you can never take the farm out of the boy!” Likewise, I may have left the NFP Position*, but the Churchs position on NFP will never leave me! Proclaiming the “good news” of NFP has been a passion for me. Much of Larry and my 28 years of marriage has been devoted to promoting Gods beautiful gift of fertility awareness. You can be sure that I will not miss an opportunity to share Gods plan for marriage and family just as I have always done outside office hours. Many opportunities arise, and rarely are we the ones to bring up the subject. It simply comes up, and we take advantage of it.
Larry and I maintain that most people do not use NFP simply because they are either uninformed or misinformed. When sharing the “good news” it is imperative that we witness with charity and clarity. Therefore, it is vital to ask God to fill us with His Holy Spirit to give us the words to say when these opportunities arise. He never fails.
Wherever we go, we carry NFP information with us. NFP brochures and schedules are thin and flattaking up such little space in a purse or briefcase. We pack a few of Dr. Janet Smiths CONTRACEPTION: Why Not tapes which have converted the hearts and changed the lifestyles of so many. In addition to the information on our 5 local NFP Providers, I always carry the web sites for their national headquarters for classes in other states.
Last winter in Florida, we met a young couple in the motel lobby. The woman was reading a book by Dr. Dobson, so already we were on familiar turf. She asked me if I worked outside the home, and I explained very briefly what I did. She was anxious to know more. She had 4 childrenthe last a difficult pregnancy. Her doctor recommended sterilization. She refused; so he prescribed the Pill. As a result, she suffered a minor stroke. While our husbands were catching the scores of the golf tournament, I enthusiastically shared the “good news” of NFP. She asked if I carried any information. Indeed, I did! I gave her our generic NFP brochure+, the CONTRACEPTION: Why Not tape, and the names and web sites for 5 large NFP organizations. She stated that Divine Providence must have brought us together. This woman later sent me a “thank you” note, expressing her gratitude to God for sending an angel to her with an answer to prayers! Im certainly no angel, but God did use me to carry His message that day.
On a business trip with Larry a few years ago in Puerto Rico, a Christian woman sitting beside me by the ocean struck up a conversation. She observed that I must be Christian also from the book I was reading. It didnt take long before she told me her daughter had been on the Pill long before she was married for irregular and painful periods. I shared with her the many consequences of the Pill in addition to the abortifacient properties. She was very concerned and asked for more information. I reached into my beach bag and gave her the brochure on the Pill, NFP, and safe alternatives for cramping, etc. After returning home her daughter contacted me. She and her husband attended NFP classes and were so thrilled that they have shared the “good news” with several Christian friends who have also become avid NFP users. This young couple is now overjoyed as they await the birth of their first child.
A similar experience happened in Phoenix. A lovely, young, ecology-minded Christian woman who first heard about NFP from our conversations, later contacted me by e-mail. She asked me to please send as much information as I could for a Bible Study she was in with 10 other women who wanted to learn more! She offered to pay for whatever information I could send. Well, their interest and enthusiasm was pay enough! I sent several tapes, brochures, and web sites. The women were ecstatic! They expressed how awesome God is and how they had been deceived about the Pill.
Opportunities arise when you least expect. Dont forget to carry your NFP brochure and small schedule of classes with you. Keep a list of the NFP groups and web sites in your wallet for those acquaintances out of town. Remember, too, that while it is important to witness, we can lose someone if we oversell. So always call on the Holy Spirit to give you the words to say and to quiet you when youve said enough.
For information on ordering brochures and class schedules, contact your local diocesan Family Life Office. For Professor Janet Smiths tapes and other resources, call One More Soul (800) 307-7685 or visit www.OMSoul.com.
GOD LOVE YOU!!
– Karen Berhow, July 2001
NATIONAL NFP PROVIDERS
Billings Ovulation Method: (Telephone: 651-699-8139)
Couple to Couple League: (Telephone: 513-471-2000)
Creighton Model Ovulation Method: (Telephone: 402-390-6600)
Family of the Americas Foundation: (Telephone: 800-443-3395)
Northwest Family Services: (Telephone: 503-215-6377)
www.nwfs.org