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June 6, 2024

From Dutch

This week Ceci and I will be spending time with our amazing DSM staff for a time of staff enrichment. Since we have employees in 4 different states, we feel it’s important that we spend time together periodically, face to face. While away, I’ve asked 5 of my ministry friends to share with you.

Today, our good friend Kelsey Bohlender is sharing about a subject that is dear to Ceci’s and my hearts. For several years, Kelsey has been an advocate for life, and currently directs a non-profit adoption agency in Kansas. She and her husband pastor a church in the Kansas City area.


A Heart Like Jesus

Welcome to Give Him15. I am Kelsey Bohlender and today, Dutch asked me to brief you on the state of the Life Movement post-Roe v. Wade.  It’s been almost two years since the Supreme Court victory for the sanctity of life moved the battle to the states. I live in Kansas City, the heart of America. From my porch, I can see the vast expanse of the Kansas sky in my backyard and the fields of Missouri across the street. As in the days of abolition, Kansas and Missouri find themselves on opposite sides in this battle.  Missouri became the first state to outlaw abortion after Roe. Next door in Kansas, Planned Parenthood took advantage of the failure of the “Value Them Both” amendment and erected a new abortion center in Kansas City, solidifying its position as a regional abortion destination.


I direct a non-profit adoption agency founded as a prophetic statement to the value of life. Many thought the overturn of Roe would cause the number of adoption placements to rise; however, the opposite has occurred. Adoption numbers nationwide have taken a steep drop. No one agrees on why, and the data points are inconclusive, but some suspect it is due to the ease of medication abortions available via telehealth or even on a simple website. While adoptions have dramatically decreased, the abortion rate has increased in 2023, the first full year after the reversal of Roe. A reported 11% increase in abortion post-Roe makes today’s numbers the highest rate of abortion in the United States in the last decade (per Guttmacher Institute).(1) Planned Parenthood continues its mission, now stating that abortion is for all genders. Websites like “Plan C Pills” teach minors how to have an abortion without parental consent and give instructions on how to manage an abortion in the comfort of your own home. The reversal of Roe proved a staunch victory for pro-life contenders in America, but the opportunities that lie before the life movement are more complex and perhaps, more important than ever before.


As friends of Jesus, we must continue pray, but we must also DO. Taking action extends the reach of our intercession, bringing answers into the tangible realm. 


While the adoption of babies has drastically decreased since Roe, there are still thousands of adoption-ready children in the mission field of the American foster care system. To be pro-life is to be radically pro-child, from the cute babies to the teenagers aging out of foster care without a family. My friend Lou Engle says, “The most prophetic thing you can do in this present age is to adopt a child.” By operating in the spirit of adoption (Romans 8), we mirror the gospel and display the manifest wisdom of God (Ephesians 3:10). True religion is to care for the fatherless (James 1:27), and the Lord wants the lonely set in families (Psalm 68:6). The Church becomes the answer to the life issue because adoption is a prophetic statement that we value children. What if we can actually repair the breach and restore the nation by the righteous act of adopting children? (Isaiah 58:12)


We can easily talk ourselves into doing nothing. Age, busyness, family, and even involvement in ministry can be a roadblock to taking action. Opportunities to change history rarely come at convenient times and are often very costly. We can learn this from heroes like William Wilberforce, George Whitfield, Martin Luther King, Jr., and others who gave their all for the sake of life and freedom. As Lou Engle profoundly suggests, “Reason is the guillotine of faith.” Faith must guide our response in these opportune times.


The opportunity to take action did not come conveniently for my friends Wallace and Rachel. Married for twenty years with three beautiful teenagers, they were busy managing a construction business, serving as itinerant ministers, and taking care of their family. Life was full with almost no margin. When they heard about a sibling group who needed an emergency home, reason (as well as many of their friends) told them to say “no.” Barely scraping by financially, they had no space in their lives or home to bring in more children. But something made them pause to consider their response. You see, Rachel’s mother is an intercessor. 


A native Hawaiian, Rachel’s mom, Kaulana, stepped up to write history when her own house was full. With three teenage daughters, her prayer life spawned an open-door policy for any in need, which meant that Wallace found a place at their table when his life hit a rough patch. One day, Kaulana’s mother, Kaina, the matriarchal grandmother, looked at Wallace and declared, “You are a part of our family,” before she suddenly passed away. That moment changed the trajectory of Wallace’s life. He was accepted into a family and had a place to call home. 


Fast forward to 2022, when Rachel joined daily prayer meetings at Zoe’s House Adoption Agency, making bold declarations for foster children and praying for God to open the homes of the church for all in need. Never did she anticipate becoming an answer to her own prayers, but one day as she intensely prayed from Psalm 68, Holy Spirit whispered to her, “The foster kids are the spoils; go get them.” 


The Lord had prepared Rachel and Wallace for the day they got a text to pray for a sibling group needing a family. Wallace will tell you his heart immediately said yes. “Because of what Rachel’s mom and grandma did for me, I always wanted to be open to making someone feel like I felt when they took me in,” Wallace shared. Rachel was more reasonable - she knew the text was very clear: these children didn’t need a bed for the night; they needed adoption. Rachel told Wallace, “Babe, this is FOREVER!” His response was, “But Rachel, these kids have never had a forever home.” 


The days after their initial “yes” were filled with their church springing into action, helping get their house ready to receive more children, bringing clothing and shoes, meals and coffee, and even money when the state system failed to send the promised subsidy. After a roller coaster of 18 months and the unwinding of trauma in the lives of the children, on May 10, 2024, the adoption of Jose and Grace was finalized, and their names were changed forever. In the courtroom, a social worker told them, “This doesn’t happen like this; families don’t say yes to a sibling group and then actually follow through to adoption.” Wallace and Rachel say the church family carried them over the finish line. When they didn’t have what they needed, the body of Christ came through. The church became the wrap-around care that empowered their yes. 


In the last scene of the movie Schindler’s List, Oskar Schindler quotes the Talmud (Sanhedrin 37a), “Whoever saves one life saves the world entire.” The movie depicts Schindler lamenting through sobs, saying, “I could’ve bought one more.” While the movie took creative license and there is no proof Schindler ever spoke those words, in reality, he saved over 1,000 Jews from the Nazi death camps by employing them at his factory in Poland.

What if the legacy of the church becomes that we serve 1,000 children in foster care and help them find a way home? There are thousands more who need a family, but what if we could help 1,000 - could we begin to repair the foundations of America? To be successful, it will take families to adopt, and others to wrap around them, like friends did with Wallace and Rachel. The life movement has an opportunity before us. The problem will be families saying yes to adoption, not children to be adopted. The harvest is plentiful…will we make room at the table?

Pray with me:

We declare the release of the spirit of adoption so that the lonely may be set in families. Father, empower Your people to make room for the fatherless and open their hearts and homes to Your inheritance. Let light break forth in America as the Church rises to the opportunity to care for the children. Let there be light, and let there be LIFE!  In Jesus Name, amen.

Click on the link below to watch the full video.

Today’s post was shared by our friend and adoption advocate, Kelsey Bohlender. Kelsey and her husband Randy have 10 children, 6 of whom are adopted. You can find out more about Kelsey and how you can help adoptive families at


  1. Gibson, Candace and Maddow-Zimet, Isaac. Despite Bans, Number of Abortions in the United States Increased in 2023,  Guttmacher Institute (March 19, 2024).



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