Meet Regina, One of God’s Watchmen in Carbondale

Sidewalk counselors offer hope and options to women with unexpected pregnancies.

By Rachel Stella

When Regina heard about new abortion facilities coming to her city of Carbondale, Ill., she was troubled. On the opening day of a local abortion facility, she met with pro-life friends to pray, and then she heard about 40 Days for Life in Fall 2022 and decided to participate.

“That was really powerful — to pray for the end of abortion standing right outside of an abortion facility,” she said.

Regina participated in a telephone conference prayer group that met three times a day to pray for people seeking abortions and for pro-life sidewalk counselors. Then she heard about a local sidewalk counselor training offered by Coalition Life trainers and decided to attend.

“As I saw Jacquelyn role play [with the Coalition Life counseling method] … I realized all the sudden [the clients] have life-giving information in their hands,” Regina said. “If they look down and start reading it, they will have what they need to not kill their babies. I can memorize a script … I can hand out brochures. That is not hard. If that will help save babies’ lives, it will be worth it.”

Toward the end of November, Regina volunteered for one counseling shift each week.

“It’s just amazingly thrilling when a woman decides to keep her baby. There’s nothing like it,” she said. “To know there’s a child who’s going to be born and interact with people, who wouldn’t be there if I hadn’t been on the sidewalk — that’s humbling and awe-inspiring and makes you want to weep.”

During one shift, Regina walked to her car to get something for her fellow volunteer. There she encountered a woman walking to the abortion facility while on a lunch break from her nearby workplace. The woman explained that she thought she might be pregnant but she already had a baby less than a year old and didn’t want a second child so soon. After speaking with Regina’s coworker, the woman decided that she would be open to adoption. She gave Regina her phone number. She was later able to confirm her pregnancy with an ultrasound, and she told Regina that she and the child’s father had decided to keep their baby.

“If I wasn’t there, she would have killed her baby,” Regina said. “But since I was there, she decided to keep her baby. That child is going to impact the world, and hopefully live a life pleasing to the Lord. The impact of one child on our society is amazing.”

Despite the hardships of extreme weather and hostility from others, Regina considers it a privilege to suffer along with Christ.

“If there’s no one on the sidewalk, the woman will go in and have the abortion,” she said. “If you stand on the sidewalk, there will be a few who decide to keep their babies, and you can be a part of that. If you have the opportunity to save three people’s lives in a year, would you do it? Yes, you would do it! Take some of your free time and go volunteer!”

She takes inspiration from Scripture: “I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth” (Isaiah 62:6-7).

“God is telling us, ‘Hey, don’t give me rest until I finish this work. Will you not take rest until you finish this work, too?’” Regina said. “We’re not going to stop praying until abortion is gone.”