Couple work to build program to help women faced with choice about abortion
By Dicy McCullough
For the Salisbury Post
When life throws us lemons, we can give up or make lemonade.
Crystal and Eddie Dehart chose to make lemonade.
As a young girl, Crystal knew she wanted to be a mom and imagined six children in her future. By the time she was 25, because of fertility issues and surgeries, she thought that dream was lost.
Depressed and believing she was being punished, it was in her brokenness and pain that she says she felt God lifting her up through the encouragement of others and through prayer.
During prayer one day, she said, God revealed to her that even though she wouldn’t give birth to a child, she would be a mother. That revelation came true in several ways, starting with the adoption of a son.
Crystal and Eddie later became foster parents and today have grown children who have children of their own.
In 2001, Eddie started 911babies, a ministry to save the unborn from abortion. He doesn’t know how many babies have been saved but says there are 36 for sure.
Earlier in 2001, Eddie had been praying for God’s direction and felt led to start a youth ministry in Kansas. Crystal wasn’t sure God was calling them to Kansas but agreed to go if they could sell their house quickly. It sold in two weeks.
Once they were settled, not only did they start a youth ministry, but they worked full time at other jobs.
The morning of 9/11, Eddie was at work when he heard the news of the Twin Towers. He was so overwhelmed with grief, he went into the restroom and cried. Hoping for a word of knowledge, he reached in his back pocket and pulled out his New Testament. The page opened to Romans 9:11 — a verse about unborn babies.
That verse touched Eddie so much, he knew he was supposed to do something to help pregnant women who had no other resources to keep their babies. He went home and shared with Crystal, and 911babies was born.
When asked why this name was chosen for the ministry, Eddie said, “Because when there’s an emergency, you call 911. The number of babies lost to abortion is an emergency. We’re here to help.”
When an expectant mother makes the initial contact to the website, Crystal and Eddie find a church or support group in her community to help. Churches and support groups all over the country are on board, but there’s always a need for more. Information can be found at www.911babies.com.
Although Crystal and Eddie enjoyed living in Kansas, they felt God leading them back to Salisbury a few years ago.
Crystal has always supported Eddie in his efforts with 911babies, but after surviving a heart attack, quadruple bypass and stroke in 2013, she knew she had survived for a purpose and began seeking God’s will for her life.
Eddie began praying too. In January, Crystal says, God gave her the vision for the next phase of their ministry, Life Village.
“Life Village will be a place not only to encourage women, but to take them by the hand and offer shelter for today. Hope for tomorrow,” Crystal says.
Crystal admits she’s never been comfortable with public speaking, but with her passion for Life Village that has all changed. Life Village has given her a confidence she never knew she had. Now she speaks at churches and organizations sharing her vision and asking for help.
Her goal is to give pregnant, homeless women a temporary place to live where they can be nurtured and learn life skills in a Christian environment. The initial plan is to build 12 cottages open to women 18 or older, regardless of race, religious beliefs or financial status.
Life Village will provide the women with a Christ-centered, safe, comfortable cottage where they can gain spiritual, physical and emotional strength to parent, as they work toward self-sufficiency or an adoption plan.
Spiritual training in parenting and life skills will also be provided. The long-term goal is to have a farm on site where women can learn life skills such as gardening and taking care of small animals.
“Building a brighter future for generations to come in Christ is the legacy of Life Village,” says Crystal.
Eddie makes a heart with his hands and says, “Our heart is now complete.”
Life Village is a tax-exempt organization. A fundraiser to help with the purchase of a potential site is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, at Destiny City Church, 2324 S. Main St., Salisbury. Vendors are welcome.
Anyone interested in helping with Life Village or 911babies through donations or volunteer efforts should contact Crystal at 980-330-2961, Eddie at 980-330-2960, or email Eddie @911Babies.com.
Dicy McCullough is a children’s author. Visit her website at www.dicymcculloughbooks.com or contact at 704-278-4377.