My husband and I were involved in the Mafgia ministry before ever meeting the founder, Antionette Duck. Becoming involved was an answer to prayer that had not yet been whispered. Truly, the Lord directs our paths in ways we cannot even imagine.
Just prior to joining the Seventh-day Adventist church in 2010, Antionette, then a young law student who had fallen in love with our message, became interested in what the Seventh-day Adventist position was on abortion. She had been blessed by our faithful stand to trust God though the heavens fall. She had no reason to think that our faith in what the Lord could do with a crisis pregnancy would be any different.
Years before, when Antionette’s mother was pregnant, alone, and afraid, a nearby Baptist church offered her help. Her mother was in a destructive relationship and was planning to return to her home in California to have an abortion. But the Baptist’s ad, “Hey, I’m alive,” in the local newspaper, caught her attention, and she made an appointment. They were able to confirm her pregnancy but would not assist in an abortion. She agreed to go back for counseling.
When she returned for counseling, Antionette’s mother picked up a vintage 1965 LIFE magazine that premiered photographs documenting the life of the pre-born photographs from conception to birth. She saw tiny hands with fingers, feet with toes, and was able to read about heartbeats, brainwaves, kicking and movement. It changed everything! She didn’t know what the future would hold but she determined that she and her baby would face it together.
That baby was Antionette. Along with her mother, Antionette has been a spokesperson on behalf of the unborn since she was a child.
Now, Antionette had to make a decision of her own. With shock and disappointment she learned that the Adventist church was non-committal regarding the issue of abortion. While sitting at potluck one Sabbath, she shared her hurt and confusion with friends. Should she join a church that goes contrary to her own convictions about the sanctity of life? Visitors sitting at her table overheard the conversation and spoke up. “Don’t just join. Join and do something about it.”
In September of 2010, Antionette joined the Seventh-day Adventist church, and in the early spring of 2011, she founded the ministry, Mafgia.
“Taken from Scripture, the word “mafgia” (maf-GEE-ah) is Hebrew for “intercessor.” We are committed to interceding for the sanctity of human life, at every level, from conception to death. Through education and thoughtful dialogue, we seek to take captive every imagination that has exalted itself above the knowledge of God.
What’s more, the Mafgia is a ministry dedicated to interceding for reconciliation, for the total and complete life-giving healing the LORD purposes to write on the heart of every post-abortive woman, and man. We are committed to the message of redemption and the freedom that redemptive grace brings—total, complete, and possible here and now.
It is the beginning of a redemptive grace revolution.”
Later that year at the 2011 Generation of Youth for Christ conference in Houston, Texas we met Antionette. When she shared her story with us, I realized, as I stood there listening to this beautiful young woman, that if I had not had an abortion, my firstborn would have been close to her age.
After leaving an anonymous note at her booth, I left the exhibit hall crying. My heart was breaking and yet, I could not fully understand why. I had confessed my sin of abortion years before but there were still unresolved emotions and pain that I had never confronted.
God is good to forgive us of our sins but often those sins come with pain, grief, and other consequences that need to be dealt with. So often the issue is tucked away and ignored yet the unresolved grief continues to surface in other areas of our lives.
In the year that followed, we invited Antionette to come and share her story with our church and others in the area. The response was amazing. Everywhere she went, Adventist women opened up about a past abortion. It became very evident to me that I was not the only one suffering from a secret sorrow.
It was during this time that I became acquainted with Rachel’s Vineyard, non-denominational Christian weekend retreats for post-abortive men and women. It is a place that provides a safe, confidential and non-judgmental environment where the painful post-abortive emotions can be addressed and the process of restoration, renewal, and healing can begin.
In March of 2013, I attended a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat and my life changed forever. For the first time I had the courage to acknowledge my aborted babies. I was given the chance to grieve and in doing so, I was able to forgive myself.
In the spring of 2013 I joined Antionette, and became a part of Mafgia. The Lord blessed and the doors opened for us to provide education and hope to women and men of all ages. The letters we have received from as far away as Australia, Trinidad, and Ukraine confirm to us that there is a need for reconciliation and recommitment to the Great Physician, Jesus. To trust Him in a crisis honors Him more than at any other time in our lives, and shows the nations around us the power of what our God can do on our behalf.
While helping the disheartened break free from their bondage and equipping those in need, our light shines like the morning sun, and restoration quickly appears; righteousness goes before us, and the glory of the Lord is our rear guard. We cry out for relief, and the Lord answers and says: Here am I. And the old waste places will be rebuilt, the foundations will be raised up, the breach will be repaired, and the paths to dwell in, restored. (paraphrased from Isaiah 58)