Twenty-two years ago, the Lord called me to take the position of Oregon Right to Life Executive Director. It seemed a daunting task, but God assured me that He would be with me every step of the way. True to His nature, He has led me through the years, teaching, guiding, inspiring and encouraging. Much encouragement has also come from you, the wonderful pro-life community. I’ve received cards, letters, scrawls on little pieces of paper, and encouraging words as I’ve met some of you in person. Each came at a time when I needed a little pick-me-up.
In the last twenty-two years, Oregon Right to Life has grown to be a powerful and influential organization for the unborn. Oregonians hear the voice of the unborn speaking through the Education Foundation’s many outreaches, which include booths in 40 events each year, pro-life speakers who regularly make presentations in schools and at church events, the new Latino Outreach program, which has taken off faster than I ever imagined, Camp Joshua, which has trained over 400 students to be pro-life leaders in their communities, schools and professions, and the annual ORTLEF poster, essay, and oratory contests which teaches children of all ages to speak up for the unborn.
When I first began, I could probably have counted the pro-lifers in both the Oregon Senate and House on my fingers. Because of Oregon Right to Life’s Political Action Committee, and thousands of your annual PAC tax-credit donations, it is now rare to find a Republican in the state capitol who is not pro-life. (Democrat legislators are, unfortunately, very resistant to the truth about the unborn.)
The wonderful pro-life legislators have been the reason for Oregon Right to Life’s lobbying successes. Even though pro-life legislators have been outnumbered these last few years, Oregon Right to Life’s lobbyists, working hand-in-hand with them, have been able to defeat most of the pro-death bills.
I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that the pro-life movement in Oregon is strong, healthy, and growing.
Now it is time for me to go. God, who many years ago called me to come to ORTL, has now called me to other responsibilities.
The ORTL board of directors has searched for, vetted, and now hired my successor. I could not be happier to tell you that they found the best person for the job right here at ORTL, Lois Anderson. I have worked side-by-side with Lois for the past 17 years. She carries the same passion for life and the same ideas and goals for Oregon Right to Life as I do. It is with complete confidence, peace, and joy that I leave my position in Lois’ hands. Most of you are familiar with her already, so you can be assured the transition will be seamless. She will begin as the new executive director on September 1, 2017.
It has been an honor and privilege to be able to serve God, unborn children, those threatened by assisted suicide, and you for these past 22 years. I am confident that God will continue to bless this organization and save many lives through it. May you continue to find courage and compassion as you speak out for those who cannot speak out for themselves.
Thank you for your many years of service and for being a voice that confirms the sanctity of life for all ages of folks from conception to the end of life.