Speaker declares ‘value of life’

Published 11:35 pm Monday, September 22, 2008

Gail McWilliams, a mother of five and motivational speaker from Dallas, Texas, encouraged the attendees at Monday evening’s 14th annual Sav-A-Life Banquet with a message of hope and valuing life.

“Everybody has something to see beyond,” she said. “Every decision that you make today will affect generations still to come.

While pregnant with her first daughter, Anna, McWilliams realized that her pregnancy was causing her to lose vision. Doctors encouraged McWilliams to have an abortion, saying that doing so would allow her to save her eyesight, but she decided instead to have Anna.

“The doctors told me that I’d have to choose between my baby and my eyes,” she said. “And I said, ‘The choice is made. I’m choosing my baby.’”

McWilliams’s message resonated with the mission of Sav-A-Life, an interdenominational non-profit Christian ministry committed to helping pregnant women make the choice of life. Earlier this year, the ministry increased space at its Covington County location and also purchased ultrasound equipment, offering free screenings to expectant mothers. The ministry sees approximately 100 visitors per month.

McWilliams made light of her impaired vision throughout the night, joking about how she often would “leave in the wrong car or yell at the wrong kids or even talk to people who aren’t there.” But she explained that her lack of vision is not an obstacle, but an opportunity.

“Eyesight is not vision,” she said. “Vision allows you to see into even the darkest places. I have a great opportunity each day to speak to blind people — people who do not see the value of life in their homes or their families.

“Everyone of us has something to offer this world. No matter what you do, may you be effective.”

Prior to the keynote speech, Sav-A-Life executive director Sandy Robbins was recognized for her 14 years of service to the ministry. Robbins is stepping down as executive director to spend more time with her family.

“I thank God for allowing me to work with this organization,” she said. “I look forward to what he does for Sav-A-Life in the future.”