Comedian, speaker and writer, Mike G. Williams, celebrates life at Informed Choices banquet
“Informed Choices” was established in1987 by two women in Wauconda, Illinois, originally as the “Tri-County Crisis Pregnancy Center,” to meet the emotional, spiritual and practical needs of women experiencing unplanned pregnancies. The Wauconda center relocated in 2001 to Grayslake, IL, while a satellite center in Crystal Lake, IL, was established in 1995. The central purpose of its ministry is to encourage young men and women to choose life during a pregnancy crisis. In 2013 there was a name change from “Tri-County Crisis Pregnancy Center” to “Informed Choices.” After having serving the Tri-County area for 27 years, the organization’s annual fund event of Friday, Oct. 3 was the first time members and friends had gathered under the name of “Informed Choices.” Celebrated was the legacy of life. Remembered was long-time friend for Life, Jack Roeser.
Along with FREE pregnancy testing and options counseling, the services of “Informed Choices” have expanded to include limited obstetrical ultrasounds with 80% choose life, parenting and childbirth classes, and post-abortion support. Sarah VanDerLip serves as Executive Director of “Informed Choices.”
Two sister organizations for “Informed Choices” were recently established, “Healthy Choices” for women and “Men’s Life” for men. As to the purpose of “Healthy Choices”, the ministry offers young women preventive care before a crisis presents itself. As shared by “Healthy Choices” Director Paulette Schaeffer, “Far too many teens confuse sex with love.” “Healthy Choices” is able to bring truth and clarity to sexual risk avoidance programs. Many teens don’t understand that they have a choice whether or not to have sex. Classes are taught in health classes in both and public and private schools that life has value and that sex is worth waiting for. Last year 2,700 middle and high school children were reached. The goal during this school year is to increase the number of students receiving the message by 20%.
The counterpart to “Heathy Choices” for women is “Men’s Life” for guys. Mark Putman is “Men’s Life” coordinator. “Men’s Life” was initiated last year. Asked why the need for a “Men’s Life,” Putman likened it to closing a circle, where the circle, now joined, is complete. Saving babies is important. Mothers of babies had a place to go for help, while the minority of men were missed. Men receive one-to-one consultations to help them navigate the issue, so they become accountable and understand their responsibility, ultimately to stop unplanned pregnancies.
Facts and goals of Informed Choices
Sarah VanDerLip, as Executive Director, shared these facts and goals of “Informed Choices.” Technology is the best way to reach young people. Presently contact is 40% word by mouth and 20% via the Internet. There must be more done to reach teens before they schedule an abortion of take the Morning After pill. The “Informed Choices” website has been updated. Texting can now be done with a cell phone. There is however a need for a good Search Engine, so “Informed Choices” appears on the first page of sites related to pregnancy when goggling. Facebook possibilities must also be financed and set up.
Last year 1.2 million women made the wrong choice and ended the life of their child. Offering a legacy of compassion can make a positive difference. “Informed Choices” is a place where young woman can seek help and not be judged as a single women.
The ability to communicate must be reclaimed, along with the vocabulary needed to combat the political rhetoric of pro-life vs.pro-choice, to enable women to make informed choices. Ultrasound has opened “a window to the womb.” When a young woman comes to “Informed Choices” an ultrasound will be done for free, allowing God to be at work.
MIke Williams introduced
Sarah FanDerLip, as Executive Director of Informed Choices, introduced guest speaker Mike Williams.
Never having heard the name of Mike Williams, Thorner didn’t know what to expect. This lack of knowledge about Mike Williams as a nationally-known speaker, writer, and comedian could only be described as an unforgivable omission in Thorner’s life experiences! Williams has recorded 13 CD’s, 4 DVD’s, and written 5 book. Mike can be heard daily on the SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s “Laugh USA.” He and his family live in the Dominican Republic where they direct a Spanish speaking abstinence training program and pastors’ college. Married for 27 years, Mike and his wife have 4 children.
In research done to learn more about Mike Williams and his Christian brand of humor, Thorner highly recommends that you watch this youtube video, “Stupidity is a Gift, Part 1″. Do take the time to watch now and save to hear again and again whenever you are experiencing a stressful day. Another stellar youtube video shows Williams with his guitar sharing his most requested song, “The Eagle Song.” Email here for direct questions about the items by Williams listed below. All products are reasonably prices, many at $10.00, and would make thoughtful and excellent gifts for all occasions.
“Love Is Not A Three Letter Word” (For children over the age of 11); “Never stand Under A Flock of Angry Birds” (Speaks to teenagers); “Men Moved to Mars When Women Started Killing the Ones on Venus” (for the married); “Life Happens: Shut Up, Smile, and Carry A Plunger” (most popular of Williams’ Turkey Soup series); and “I Never Knew How Good Make Up Worked Until I saw You In The Morning” (CD reissued by popular demand).
There is good reason why organizations like Focus on the Family, Gaither Praise Gatherings and many other organization have Williams back to speak again and again. This reason became evident as Mike Williams started in on his comedy routine.
The funny side of Mike Williams
Without losing a beat, Mike Williams asked his audience why they thought he was here at the “Informed Choices Pregnancy and Parenting” event in Kildeer, IL, given his reputation as a stand-up comedy guy. In keeping with his God-given sense of humor, Williams cited as reason number one: “Because I’m the only speaker this organization could afford.” Followed by reason number 2: “To celebrate the 792 lives that are alive in the name of Jesus because of your center.” According to Williams, “God gave us humor as a gift. God also allows stupidity as a gift.” Most of all, “God wants us to learn how to laugh.” With humility Williams spoke of God’s blessing in allowing him to survive after flat-lining twice in a Butte, Montana hospital last year.
Writing about humor is difficult to do, as so much of what is funny becomes funny because of the gestures made and the modulation of the voice by the one dispensing the humor. Then too humor is also infectious, as it serves as a springboard for our own personable enjoyment as we participate in the laughter of those around us.
As such was the entertainment provided by Mike Williams whose antics and words kept his Informed Choices audience laughing throughout his comedy gig. There were many jokes about common ordinary things that when taken out of context became hilarious. One joke about Ex-lax promised to “work while you sleep”; another was a spoof about how batteries are required to have a label because some people might try to drink the fluid; and another spoke of a recent incident in Colorado where children have been prohibited from playing tag because it’s too dangerous. Just imagine, said Williams: “On Monday children could still play tag, and play they did. Then Wednesday morning came and there was no more tag. Just think, whoever was hit last will now be hit for the rest of their lives!” Williams also made much of a small sign he saw on a MacDonald’s drive-through window which displayed this rather made-for-humor message: “We have menus in braille and picture menus for people who can’t read.”
As Williams mused: It would be great if we could all laugh in the middle of a mess instead of years after it has happened. It would certainly help stress levels go down. Accordingly, Williams became the brunt of many of his jokes that concerned his weight and botched medical procedures. In speaking about when he flat lined twice in Butte, Montana, last year, Williams shared this account: The ER doctor in the room said, “Mr. Williams, you’re going to have to stop making the staff laugh. We are trying to save your life.” To which Williams replied: I’m only trying to keep alive.” Replied the ER doctor: “Then keep on with what you are doing, because your blood pressure is down.” Williams blessed God for allowing him to live.
The serious side of Mike Williams
Finally the time came for Mr. Williams to explain what had really brought him to the Informed Choices event to be the featured speaker, and why he does 80 events a year all over the world, having first being asked by Dr. Dobson thirteen years ago to share with Dobson his humor and candid thoughts about his life. Williams recounted the surprising, sordid facts of his very early life without regret or anger, but instead with heart-felt gratitude for how God had provided his birth mother, at the time it was needed most, with a Christian and Jesus-loving home in which to place her youngest son.
Williams described himself as a southside Chicago welfare kid. Although all of us have parents, we don’t get to choose our parents or whether they will be good parents. Williams was the youngest of 5 children. One of his siblings ended up in jail at age 17 for murder. His mother decided to give young Mike away to her mailman, as the only Christian man she had ever met, asking the mailman to take her youngest child out of the hellhole he was living in. The mailman informed William’s mother that he and his wife were too old to care for the child, but that his daughter and son-in-law had been praying to God for twelve years to give them a child. So Williams quipped: “So they got me! Be careful of what you ask for.” So Williams grew up in Harvey, Illinois, with a couple who loved God. He was a rescue kid.
Continuing, Mike Williams related a happening as one having already benefited from the “tit” of a situation, about how he and his wife later on supplied the “tack” response, both of which were the result of God’s doing. A jailed pregnant mother planning to have an abortion, found God through the prison ministry program. Giving her life to the Lord, she gave birth to her child. Out of prison the mother saw a billboard about a pregnancy center and called for help, only to decide that she wanted to give up her child for adoption. The mother had done drugs during her pregnancy. Receiving an out-of-the-blue phone call, Mrs. Williams was asked if she would be interested in the woman’s child. Asked Mrs. Williams, “How many want this child?”, to which the caller said, “You are my last call. Without hesitation, Mrs. Williams replied, “We’ll take him”, even though at the time her husband Mike Williams was at Atlanta’s International Airport. So it was that Mike Williams and his wife took into their home, and later adopted, an eight-month-old bundle of joy to raise.
Following Mike Williams’ remarks, which were justly applauded with much enthusiasm, Williams took charge of the fundraising with all the vigor and enthusiasm he had displayed throughout his keynote presentation. His dedication to “Informed Choices” and its mission left no stone unturned in requesting those present to ask of Jesus what they might contribute. The cost to get one girl of boy through the Informed Choices program is $3.00 a day or $90.00 a month.
Informed Choices is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are tax deductible as allowed by IRS guidelines. Go here to donate and also to sign up for the Informed Choices E-News.
The Concerned Choices centers in Crystal Lake and Grayslake are accredited by the ECFA . ECFA enhances trust in Christ-centered churches