On the podcast today I have a new friend joining me! Bethany Bomberger is the author of ProLife Kids! And her heart is on fire for what is happening in the culture. Listen in, I know you’ll be encouraged!
Transcribed version of podcast is below.
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- Psalm 26:6-10
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Bethany Bomberger has been an educator for two decades. She has taught in both public and private schools, working with thousands of children, youth and adults of all ages. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Family Studies from Messiah College and a Master’s Degree in Education from Regent University, Bethany has spearheaded innovative educational programs in her classrooms and the communities where she lived. She is the Co-Founder (along with her hubby) and Executive Director of The Radiance Foundation, a life-affirming organization that is rooted in the belief that we are all created in God’s image and have undeniable purpose. As a public speaker, she addresses large and diverse audiences with inspiring messages of faith, hope and Christ’s love. Married to her best friend, Ryan, Bethany is an adoptive mama who loves to celebrate courageous birthmoms and the beauty of adoption. She embraces the challenge and the blessing of homeschooling her four bold and compassionate pro-life kids: Rai Rai, Kai, Aliyah and Justice.
Hey everybody. This is Heidi St. John. Welcome to the Heidi St. John Podcast. Today is Friday, February 14th. It’s Valentine’s day you guys. Happy Valentine’s day. This is episode number 885. It is Meet My friend Friday and you guys are going to love this episode. I have a brand new soul sister on the show with me today. Bethany Bomberger is here and we’re going to talk about her brand new book, Pro-Life Kids and why we need to teach our kids to stand for life in the culture today. Stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged.
So thanks for tuning in today, everybody. Lots of things are coming up on my calendar. A week from today I will be in Lakeland, Florida with my friend Kathy Barnett and Elizabeth Johnston and we are going to be bringing Faith That Speaks to Ardella Baptist Church in Lakeland, Florida. I hope you guys will join us. We are so excited about what God is doing and really we want to just speak some truth into your hearts and equip you to get out onto the battlefield. So the Florida Faith That Speaks Conference begins a week from today in the evening and there’s still time to get your tickets and I’m telling you what, this is going to be a conference like no other that you’ve ever been to. You’re going to feel left encouraged and equipped and inspired and you guys can check it out and get tickets at heidistjohn.com/events.
Also, I want to let you guys know that in two days, Early Bird registration ends for Faith That Speaks in Thousand Oaks, California. So if you’re anywhere near Godspeak Calvary Chapel in the Los Angeles area and Thousand Oaks, come on out. We expect to sell that event out. And again, you’re going to be so encouraged and inspired and the Early Bird rate ends for that in just a couple of days on February the 16th.
All right, I am so excited. I learned about this woman named Bethany Bomberger because somebody sent me a book that I fell in love with called Pro-Life Kids and I actually think I did a little Instagram live about it. It was a book I hadn’t ever seen before, really teaching kids how to be pro-life. And it resonated with me because we’re watching the other side of the aisle doing the exact same things to our children and teach them why life isn’t valuable or why our gender is fluid and all these things and they’re lying to our kids. And I was so thrilled to see a woman come out and create a book for children about the pro-life issue. And so I started looking her up and sort of figuring out, Hey, is this somebody I’d want to have on the show? Is it somebody I want to promote? And she absolutely is.
Bethany has been an educator for two decades. She was a teacher. She taught in public school and private school and has worked with lots and lots of kids and adults and she’s got her bachelor’s degree in Education and Family Studies from Messiah College and a master’s from Regent. And I just found out because like I said, I didn’t know anything, but now I do. She’s also the Executive Director of The Radiance Foundation, which is a life-affirming organization that’s rooted in the belief that we are all created in God’s image and have undeniable purpose, which is absolutely God’s heart. So Bethany, welcome to the podcast.
[Bethany] Awesome. Heidi, I’m so glad to be with you. It’s an honor.
[Heidi] I am so excited that you’re here. You and I have obviously a lot in common in the fact that our hearts are just on fire for what’s happening in the culture right now, and to speak a message of hope and healing into the culture, which we know comes from God’s word. And that’s really what you’re doing. So before we get kind of talking about how you got to write the book, I want to introduce you to my audience because you’ve not been on the show before. You’re married to your amazing husband for 15 years, right? And you’re a homeschool mom.
[Heidi] So tell us about your family.
[Bethany] Awesome. Well, yes, my husband is amazing. My best friend, and we have walked through 15 years of life together, married. For 10 of those years, we have run The Radiance Foundation together and The Radiance foundation, it’s our heart to illuminate that every life has intrinsic value. It is irreplaceable, irrevocable, and unique. So we educate different audiences on a myriad of social issues in the context of God-given purpose. So we tackle the really easy subjects of abortion and adoption and parenting and povertiness-
[Heidi] Right into the deep end.
[Bethany] … Yes, and race. Just throw it all together and it’s our heart that we would motivate people to take their knowledge and their faith and actually impact their sphere of influence. And a lot of what we do comes from our own stories of transformation. My hubby was the first of 10 in his family adopted and after being conceived in rape and understanding the courage of his birth mom, you know, we knew from the get-go that we’re passionate about being pro-life, pro-family and we were passionate about adoption. And so we have both adopted and biological children.
[Bethany] And I had shared really briefly already, Heidi, I know that I shared this with you, but it’s February 14th which is actually a super special day for me because in 2004 I had walked away from the Lord for a bit and found myself pregnant. And on February 14th was it an ultrasound where I saw my first born and had just this defining moment with the Lord, saw her little heart, which looked like a beating piece of rice and my heart and his heart. And I just went home and I said, “Lord, I got to give my heart back to you.” And he brought me to Psalm 34:5 which says, I sought the Lord, He delivered me from all my fears. And those that look to Him will be radiant and their faces will never be covered with shame.
[Bethany] So as we parent and as we run The Radiance Foundation, and as we talk about these difficult and really tackle what’s going on in our society. We come from a perspective that says regardless of the shame, the guilt, the hurt, there’s a God that exchanges all of that for His radiant glory. It never gets old. Whenever we talk about any topic, it’s relevant. And so we are passionate, not only sharing our faith and this message of freedom with the world, but in our house with our own children.
So we talk a lot, age appropriately, about these issues. My youngest son, we adopted him. He’s been with us since he was two months old. We have two biological and then my eldest was a step-parent adoption from Ryan when we got married, she was one. So these are things that we’re passionate about. This is what makes us tick and this is why we wake up in the morning and we believe that it’s the time to be bold and know what we believe, why we believe it and understand that facts are on our side.
[Heidi] That’s right. It really is a message of healing. Like you know, I’ve been speaking for the pro-life movement for a long time like you have. And I think that the wind is at the back of the pro-life movement right now. It just seems to me that we’re seeing an advanced a lot, largely because of ultrasound technology. You know, the science is in our faces all the time, so it’s undeniable what’s happening. But I’m curious, when you went in for that ultrasound on Valentine’s day in 2004, was this just a regular appointment? What brought you there?
[Bethany] As I mentioned, I’d walked away from the Lord for a bit and was in a very abusive situation and knew that I had become pregnant. And so it was a Saturday morning. The place was pretty empty. It was like 9:30 and the only person in the whole medical facility was this one nurse walking in. And I said, “Hey, I’m supposed to have an ultrasound.” “Oh, I’m the tech.” So I walked in just to confirm the pregnancy and the Lord just was so kind that this was His heart for me on Valentine’s day. He loves to woo us back to Himself, and I just made that decision that day when I saw that ultrasound, like okay, enough being numb, emotionally numb and being selfish because I had a degree, I had a job. And so often we feel that we can be self-sufficient and tackle the world, but God wants our hearts and He wants us to use our gifts, our talents, and our heart and our calling together. So that was the morning I went back to Him.
[Heidi] That’s so awesome. And the beginning too, I’ve heard this so many times over the years, how the Lord uses what the world would take as a failure, right? And God says, “Oh no, I’m going to redeem that.” That right there is a redemption story. It’s just beginning. And you were able to grab hold of that and hold of the promise. This is why I love the pro-life movement so much because your husband, conceived in rape. I was just talking to you a minute ago about Kathy Barnett, who’s speaking with me this year out on the road for Faith That Speaks. Her mother, same story. Her mother got pregnant with her at the age of 11. These lives have value and the circumstances of their conception don’t diminish that one bit.
[Heidi] And so I love that you’re able to get out there and speak to it and you’ve put your finger on the pulse of something I think is so important, which is we need to teach our children from the time they’re very young, how precious life is. And that’s kind of the heartbeat it looks like to me behind your book, Pro-Life Kids. Tell me about that project and sort of how you decided to write it.
[Bethany] Well, as a teacher in the classroom for all those years and then a homeschooling parent, I’ve spent so many hours with children and I really just believe that kids can be empowered from a very young age to stand up for what is right and what is good. And children are naturally pro-life. And I believe that as adults we can foster that natural inclination by being intentional about creating a culture of life from a very young age. And it’s my passion to see that there’s a replacement, that we’ve replaced the fear that many parents, teachers and adults have of talking about hard things, talking about different difficult social issues. Let’s replace it with the tools, the confidence that comes when you have the tools to address these issues age-appropriately. And like you said too, too often Christians are silent while our culture is screaming a lie. There are so many people that are reaching for our children at younger and younger ages and we need to teach them before a broken world reaches them.
[Heidi] Yeah, that’s right.
[Bethany] And yeah, in my house, I am not afraid to talk to my kids about social issues because I know that I don’t need to give them every detail in order to be effective. I begin everything, all our heart is to start with a foundation, which is biblical, which will be the standard by which they’re going to weigh every bit of information for the rest of their life. That’s my hope and prayer. And so we tackle these issues out on the road and when we’re in with our family, we want them, our kiddos, to feel comfortable talking about this. My son was adopted from two months old. That’s not an issue of shame. That’s a powerful story-
[Heidi] That right.
[Bethany] … and shows how God loved him and had a plan for him from day one. So literally one day during my private quiet time with Jesus in the morning, the Lord just spoke to me and it was really in poetry form. And so when we did our family meeting, which we tried to do almost every day, I just read that to them and I just looked at my husband and he looked at me, he goes, “I wonder if that would be a great kid’s book.” Because we want to, we are motivated by the fact that if you turn on the TV, if you turn on different shows, if you turn on the news, pro-life worldview will not be seen to you. Parents, teachers, educators, there is not a large base of tools that will allow for these types of discussions to happen so what happens is we go silent. And I just am saying mamas, papas, teachers, aunts, uncles, we don’t have the luxury of silence.
[Heidi] Amen. Preach it.
[Bethany] So we have to be able to have these tools that are engaging. So I’m honored that the Lord brought me to Ed Koehler, who was our phenomenal illustrator, which was another God journey. And really within a number of months we watched this initiative unfold and our first print run, we thought we’d have for about a month and a half. It’s sold out in two and a half days, so we’re on our third print run. We have sent books and boxes of books around the world, places like Dubai, Italy, Mexico. There is a gaping hole when it comes to, “yes, let’s talk to our children about hard issues” and I want to fill that gaping hole with things that will allow folks to feel empowered to engage.
I guarantee, Heidi, our conversations in high schools, college campuses and at conferences would be radically different if we saw that children encounter Jesus at younger ages and understood from a very young age that a culture of life is something that will grow in their hearts because once you value humanity, you can’t close your eyes to things like abortion. Children, they need to be taught that dismembering a child is okay, it is healthcare. That’s something that doesn’t…
[Heidi] What a lie in healthcare
[Bethany] Come on. Right.
[Heidi] I just, every time they say that, I’m like, “Are you for real right now?” Like you’re going to… You would tear a child out of what should be the safest place in the whole world and not just end their life. No, no, no. You got to torture them dismember them, poison them, inject their hearts with poison. What kind of madness? I was talking to Elizabeth about this last week on the podcast. We were saying if this was happening in the streets we would be rioting. Because it’s sanitized because it happens behind closed doors in “clinics” we’ve allowed this and it is poison and you’re right, our kids come out. I was thinking when I’m writing notes like crazy because I just so love your heart.
[Heidi] And your writing, you know I wrote down that you said children are naturally pro-life and I thought right. And they also come out, they’re also natural nurturers and we take that away from them. They naturally understand the difference between boys and girls and we’re trying to remove that from them. And we’re doing it at younger and younger and younger ages, which is why I think your book is resonating so much because what you’re saying is, hey, how about we take back the narrative? How about we take the narrative that the enemy so cleverly has stolen from a church that has been silent really on the issue of abortion. The church has largely been silent. I mean, yes, we go to the rallies and we do the thing, but we’re not talking about it on Sunday morning because heaven forbid we should lose some tithing members of our church.
And to me, to come out right from the get-go and say, we know that our children are born to us. They come as nurturers and they are naturally pro-life. I’ve watched my… Our youngest is nine now and she’s still playing with dolls and she’s always got a doll strapped to her back and she’s always got a baby in the baby carrier and she tucks those babies in and she’s so careful with them. Why? Because she’s going to be a mother herself someday. And why are we… We’ve stolen this from our children and I so love that you’re bringing it back. Another thing I love about the book is that you do more than just talk about the pro-life movement. In the book. You highlight children with disabilities as being valuable. You’re highlighting children of color. So you’re saying, listen, God has a plan for all of us. It doesn’t matter our race, it doesn’t matter our ability or our disabilities if we’re here, we were meant to be.
And I love that you did that. Tell me kind of the reasoning. I mean I think I know what you’re going to say. I’d just like to hear you put voice to it. When you highlight like a child in a wheelchair, for example, what’s the message you’re trying to send to the little young ones who are reading that story?
[Bethany] Right. You know, all these years teaching I’ve grown to love children’s lit because I understand that not only is the text profound, but the imagery is profound.
[Heidi] That’s right.
[Bethany] As Children sit and read, my heart was that they would find a reflection of themselves somewhere within these pages and they would begin to take ownership over how God created them and see that how they were created is unique and it’s special and that the world can’t label what God allowed to be special for you. The world can’t label that and say that it’s not special or somehow that makes you less of a human. And so that’s why I said, I just give shout outs to Ed Koehler because, and even when you go to prolifekids.com, there are downloadables that are free that you can, that are coloring pages.
[Heidi] Yeah. We’ve downloaded them here-
[Bethany] Oh good.
[Heidi] … at the Homeschool Resource Center. We have a little stack of them out in the kid’s corner. And so you can go there at any given time and see kids coloring pages of kids and just declaring, hey, we value life, here at the Homeschool Resource Center, we value life and just to teach these kids how precious it is and how it should be protected. And I love that you’re doing that. I want to …and we’ll link back to Pro-Life Kids in the show notes today because I hope everybody runs away with a copy of it because it’s fantastic. But also I want to talk about The Radiance Foundation. So this was in my show notes, but I obviously did not do my homework because when you said, “Oh, we’re the founder of The Radiance Foundation,” I Googling it and I was like, “Oh my word. This is amazing.” I so love what you’re doing, you and your husband, at The Radiance Foundation. Can you talk for just a minute about what the Radiance Foundation is and what you guys are doing?
[Bethany] Absolutely. And I love that we live in a time where Google makes sense for us.
[Heidi] I know.
[Bethany] What used to be like six hours of studying and making phone calls, we can now find the in six seconds online. So it’s perfect.
[Heidi] That right.
[Bethany] Our heart, as I mentioned earlier, we had this little motto, illuminate, educate, motivate. So our heart is to illuminate that every life has purpose. So we educate about these very difficult social issues. Now my background, like I’ve mentioned, it’s in teaching. My husband Ryan, his background was in ad agency work. He was a creative director, ran an agency for a while as well. And so as we have taken many hundreds and hundreds of hours of looking into and really dissecting these social issues, we’ve wanted to create content that is well-researched and allows folks to understand what’s also a biblical perspective, but it is fact-based because history and science backs up the Bible.
And so what our heart is, is to create a material and to be able to present it to the mass population and say, “hey, listen, these are the stats. You’re not going to find them anywhere else.” So we have downloadable fact sheets. Ryan writes, he’s an awesome writer. He has of course his own book, but writes for many different outlets. And what we want to do is bring to light what is really going on in Planned Parenthood. Let’s look at their numbers. Let’s just take what their annual report is showing us and let’s begin to understand things you’re not going to understand on mainstream media, for instance, that over the last 10 years, every single service to women has plummeted except for abortion, which is up 4% and has brought in their profits have increased 600% in 10 years.
But we look at these different issues and we say, let’s marry the facts with the emotion and let’s be equipped to really give the world an educated answer for the junk that we’re getting in and let us know what we believe and be motivated by the fact that facts are on our side. My hubby, one of his mottoes is less activism, more factivism. Because you can a million activists these days who are running on emotion and we’re humans, we have emotion, but let’s marry the emotion with fact, which then brings us to factivism. So then we can approach, we can actually have a voice in this society, in this culture and speak up for what’s right and good.
So we’re just so blessed. We have a number of community outreaches that we also do, Sally’s Lambs, which is one of our outreaches to birth moms who have chosen to place for adoption. And we also have had just the honor of partnering with organizations and running media campaigns across the nation that all highlight these different social issues.
[Heidi] Yeah, you’ve done a great job with that. You’ve got some billboard campaigns that I was noticing and I love that you’re focusing on really what is the genocide of the black community, right?
[Heidi] Because we’re seeing so many… Right, right. I mean, in New York City alone, which is where Planned Parenthood is massively situated, I read a statistic not too long ago that more black babies are aborted than born alive there. Why are we not shouting this in the streets? Like don’t you… Wake up. Like Margaret Sanger, who was the founder of Planned Parenthood was a racist. She was a eugenicist.
[Heidi] And I’m thinking that it should be on every billboard in the nation. I can imagine Planned Parenthood doesn’t like you guys very much.
[Bethany] Oh, they hate us. And they honor Maggie. They have Maggie Awards. Every month they give out these awards. Hillary Clinton I believe, has been a recipient of the Maggie Awards.
[Bethany] We thought the fact that her burst is now in the Smithsonian under this section on freedom and it just makes you cringe. And it just reminds us how irrational so much of our thinking has become. Because when you don’t have the truth, you just believe the dilution, you believe the lies. And yes, that is a big part of what we’re talking about too, is the fact that abortion in the black community is often five times that of other communities. And that is not a mistake. That is by design.
[Bethany] Like you said, if you look back at Margaret Sanger and her Negro project, it wasn’t the Asian project or the Caucasian project, it was a project that she said, let’s eliminate “poor black undesirables.”
[Heidi] Unbelievable. Unbelievable.
[Bethany] Yeah, so we just pray that the truth would rip through that veil that so many folks, those lies, that just veil so many folks to believing that things like abortion are the savior of a community and they are the uplift out of poverty, which obviously is not the case or else when it became legal, we would see poverty diminished and that never happened because it’s simply a lie.
[Heidi] Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. And you guys are also, I mean you’re tackling a lot of cultural hot buttons, which is another reason why I love what you’re doing, but you have head on decided to tackle the issue of fatherlessness, which is I think one of the biggest problems in the culture today. And I know this is certainly true in the black community and I’ve talked about this with several of my friends on the podcast before. It’s an epidemic of fatherlessness and what you’ve done is you’ve created, it looks like it campaign, to say, “listen, fatherhood begins in the womb.” Like that’s when it begins. And encouraging these men to step up. How’s that going?
[Bethany] Right. So for a number of years we’ve run different media campaigns that highlights that dads matter. And when we look at history and we see the legalization of abortion, so many people want to tout that as freedom for women. But what it really did was empowered men to have sex and leave. It gave them an out, it kept it sort of quiet. And so now we’re seeing the effects of that. That means that we have the highest percentages of fatherlessness we’ve ever had in our nation. That two-parent families are diminishing like wildfire.
[Heidi] And again, by design, right?
[Bethany] Completely by design, because once the dad is out of the picture, then the State can come in and try. We know that it doesn’t work because look at how it comes out, but the State wants to then step in and take over a role and there’s a reason, we know as Christians there’s a reason the Lord created a family unit that included a mother and a father because there’s power in that. And the enemy knows when there’s a division in an institute that God created not only for individual comfort and success, but for that of a society, then they know if they can come in and put a wedge in there, then it just causes chaos and it causes brokenness in individuals, brokenness in a society. So that’s a huge part of our hearts too, is just being champions to say, fathers, step up. Don’t be another statistic. You matter.
[Heidi] That’s right. And the culture has done, unfortunately, a very good job. And this started way back in the 70s. I can remember watching sitcoms and I was a kid and the dad was always the dummy in the family, right? Dad was always the dummy and we were always making fun of him. And the mom would come in and have to fix everything because dad is so dumb. And I’m thinking, “Oh my goodness, it’s still happening today.” We’ve emasculated our men, right?
[Heidi] And then we, first we said they didn’t matter. And if they stuck around, we emasculated them. And the feminist movement, which is a joke, I can’t stand the feminist movement. I think it’s hurting women. That’s hurting women almost as much as abortion is. It’s just a different kind of hurt.
[Bethany] Yeah because it’s fake, it’s fake feminism.
[Heidi] Absolutely. And I’m thinking, man, if there were just more people who are willing to stand in the gap and say, no, we actually need our fathers, we need men in the homes. There’s a reason why God said in His Word, I created you male and female. For this reason, a man should leave his father and his mother and be united to his wife. And God created the institution of marriage. God created the family. And I always think, man, if God created it and said it’s good, we better be supporting it as believers. And really getting out ahead of this stuff. And when you see people who are in your community that are struggling and suffering, come alongside and say, man, I’m praying for you. How can we help you? How can we put feet to this thing we call faith?
[Heidi] And you guys are doing a beautiful, beautiful job of it. So I’m excited. I really, I wish we had more time because I could talk to you for two and a half hours, I can tell already. But if people want to find you and your sweet man online, where’s the best place for them to do that?
[Bethany] Radiance.life is our main website. Prolifekids.com is where you can go to find Pro-Life Kids book and other things that are part of that. There will be, each month we’re adding things. We’re adding videos and curriculum and things that are in the pipeline to come and work together with that, but prolifekids.com, radiance.life. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, although they’re trying to silence us, right, and they’re trying to shut us down-
[Heidi] That’s a shocker.
[Bethany] Don’t get me started on that. But as of today you can find us there, but that’s the easiest way to do it is prolifekids.com.
[Heidi] That’s amazing what you guys are doing. For those of you who are just as encouraged as I am by Bethany and her husband and all that they’re doing for the gospel and the culture today, you can find out more about the Bomberger family and about Pro-Life Kids and all that at heidistjohn.com/podcast, and go to the show notes and all these links will be there for you as well. Bethany, it has been an absolute joy to have you on the podcast. Thank you so much for joining me.
[Bethany] Awesome. Thank you, Heidi.
[Heidi] For more information about today’s podcast, please visit me online, heidistjohn.com/podcast. I hope you guys have a great Valentine’s day. Go do something with the ones that you love and be sure to do it in front of your kids because they need to see you guys loving on each other. All right. Have a great weekend everybody, and I’ll see you back here on Monday.
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Heidi St. John
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