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Jeremiah 1:4-5 has always held a special significance for Jack Hibbs, the lead pastor at Calvary Chapel Chino Hills in Chino Hills, California. The Scripture reads: "Now the Word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; and before you were born I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet to the nations.'"
While Hibbs says he wouldn't hold himself up to be as important as the prophet Jeremiah, the megachurch pastor says he knows for a fact that God has "called me from the womb."
On Christmas Eve in 1957, Hibbs says his mother "put her two older children to bed in their apartment, boiled a metal clothes hanger and proceeded to lie down on the kitchen floor, where she attempted to abort her third child." Hibbs told "Calvary Chapel Magazine" that "fortunately, someone came to his mother's rescue and the abortion failed." She went to the hospital, and 21 days later, on Jan. 15, 1958, "God saw fit to let me come into a world where I wasn't wanted."
Hibbs' father had left California months earlier to go to work in Alaska, leaving behind a pregnant wife and his two older siblings. He was told that his father was frustrated that his wife was pregnant again and that he wanted to get away. He told her that "when he returned, he didn't want to see a third child in the home."
Hibbs' mother was raised in a Catholic orphanage in Hawaii for most of her life previous to being in California. Hibbs says she "hadn't received the nurture and love that a young child so desperately needs." She married Hibbs' father at a young age, thinking it would be a way out for her and the life she had lived.
"At that time, my mom was living in fear," Hibbs says on this video from his ministry, Real Life with Jack Hibbs. "Having two younger children, she basically caved into the pressure. She attempted an abortion to end that pregnancy and to end my life."
And for that, she suffered greatly. She was taken to the hospital when discovered, and it was there in San Diego on Jan. 15, I was born.
"You might think, 'what a sad story that is,' but not really, in the sense that God had a plan. Even through the years that I grew up, I had developed a severe stutter. I stuttered from the moment a kid is supposed to start learning how to talk, all the way through to when the Lord touched my tongue, and that was a miraculous thing. I tried to blend in, but I couldn't because I stuttered, and it was really embarrassing. Of course, I was teased a lot."
Growing up, he said he never felt close to his dad and felt rejected by him. He grew up an angry child. It was during his teen years that Hibbs overheard his mother telling someone on the phone about the abortion attempt.
"I was a junior in high school and didn't really care, although I never forgot about it," Hibbs says.
The rest of his story is history, and he began to be mentored by a young pastor named Greg Laurie in the late 1970s. He gave His life to Jesus, and he says it was then that God really began to work in his life.
Calvary Chapel Chino Hills began as a home Bible study/fellowship church plant from Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa in 1990, and today the church ministers to over 9,000 adults weekly.
The above story is why the pro-life movement is so important to Hibbs, especially during January, designated as the Sanctity of Human Life Month.
"We are insane to murder defenseless babies while God looks on," Hibbs says. "It is the very same God that commanded us to defend those who have no voice and to protect those who are destined for crushing. This is exactly what we see in the offering of abortion.
"I understand that many women have been talked into abortion and many women have believed it is the right thing to do. My mom attempted an abortion on me because she was scared to death. My dad was gone, and she was simply terrified. She barely spoke English, she was here in America and she was scared.
"I am not condemning any woman. I wouldn't condemn any woman. I don't care what she's done. Regarding abortion, I would never point my finger at her. There is healing and there is recovery. What I'm talking about is moving forward."
Hibbs says he believes America can still be used by God in a mighty way, but only if its people repent of its ways, including the travesty of abortion.
"I think for America to experience a recovery, I don't think it's anything else but us repenting of our offerings to Moloch and getting back to God with repentance," he says. "We need to own that. I think God would turn this nation around in short order if we said, 'Lord, please forgive me for allowing this or for me voting for candidates that support abortion.'"
For the rest of Hibbs' amazing story, watch this video.
Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.
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