Lisa Robertson has taken Psalm 107 to heart. Especially the first few words of the second verse which she interprets as: Let the redeemed tell their story.
“And that’s what I’m doing,” says a saved Lisa.
Nearly 700 people listened to Lisa, and her husband Al, the beardless first born of the infamous Phil and Miss Kay Robertson of A & E’s Duck Dynasty show. The mom and dad, their four sons plus their wives and children are America’s favorite back woods family known as the Duck Commander Clan of West Monroe, La. They are a group of kinfolk with deep Christian convictions.
Lisa was guest speaker when the Grand Forks Women’s Pregnancy Center held its annual fundraising banquet at the Alerus Center on Oct. 11.
The Grand Forks Women’s Pregnancy Center, 1726 S. Washington, Street, Suite 70 (in the Grand Cities Mall), is a non-profit Christian agency that for 29 years has provided free, confidential pregnancy and sexual health services to women and men of all ages, including high school and college students. It does not provide abortion services or refer anyone to an abortion clinic.
Because of a break in the filming of upcoming Duck Dynasty episodes, Al Robertson was free to travel “with my best friend,” he said, “You get a bonus Robinson tonight and you will be blessed by Lisa.”
Al’s hair is much shorter than that of his father and brothers, plus he’s clean shaven.
“Somebody has to show you what the Robertsons look like underneath the beards,” he said, just before introducing his wife of 32 years.
Lisa, in her distinctive Louisiana accent, started out by telling about the very sweet Grand Forks welcome they received. Waiting for them in their hotel room were “chocolate covered potato chips,” she said, referring to Widman’s Candy Shops’ delectable Chippers. “My goodness, I about ate the whole bag.”
With that, Lisa began. “How blest I am that you asked me to speak to you tonight,” she said. “It’s very humbling to receive a call saying ‘we need you to come.’ ”
Just like in the 2015 book she and Al co-authored titled, “A New Season – A Robertson Family Love Story of Brokenness and Redemption,” Lisa was brutally honest as she spoke to us.
She told of the abuse she experienced beginning when she was 7-years-old and the destructive habits she learned because of it: dishonesty, low self-esteem, no self-worth.
As a teen she used drugs and alcohol and by 16 she was pregnant. “There were no pregnancy centers then,” Lisa said. “I had nowhere to turn and my parents talked me into having an abortion. I could have blamed God, but the blame and the shame were right here,” she added, placing her hand over her heart. “There’s lots of hurt and pain and my prayer is that no other woman would have to go through that, but they do. Nobody talks about abstinence, but abstinence is God’s plan. It’s perfect. God laid it out.”
For 17 years following, “I thought about what I had done,” Lisa continued, “the guilt, the shame, the grief. But I serve a God who took the pain and guilt away. I will always have that regret and you suffer with that, but you don’t have to. What I want you to walk away with tonight is that if you are pro-God, you are pro-love and when you are pro-love, you are pro-life. God gave life. He should be the only one to take that life away. We’re not saving one baby, we’re saving a generation of babies whenever we change a mind.”
Through the work of the staff and volunteers at the Grand Forks Women’s Pregnancy Center, many minds are being changed.
According to Jill Chandler, the Center’s new executive director, “almost everyone,” who sees her baby via first-trimester ultrasound, chooses life for that child.
Jill and her husband, Brian Chandler, are the parents of three daughters. Some of us know Jill from Hope Covenant Church in Grand Forks where she’s been very active as a teacher and in Women’s Ministries. We also know her from Riverside Christian School where she has served as teacher, interim principal and school board member.
In the Center’s latest newsletter, Jill writes: “Truly, I believe I have been ‘sent out,’ with fresh insights, deep understanding and a very full heart. God has been preparing me for this position, I believe, for a very long time.”
Serving on the Center’s board are: Necole Frances Johnson, Carter Johnson, Destin Coles, Tana Thorfinnson, Randy Schoenborn and Ben Horken.
Along with Jill, other staff members are: Leah Mahlen, Sondra Pergotski, Korrine Olson, Medora Decker, Rachel Gothberg, Suzanne Bethke, Dr. Eric Pearson and Dr. Jody Treuer. And countless are the volunteers who give of their time to the Center.
Besides ultrasound, other free and 100% confidential services provided are: pregnancy testing, options counseling, education on abortion, adoption and parenting, STD testing and treatment, post-abortion support, youth education services, and more.
The night Lisa and Al Robertson were in town, the Center raised $136,876.
“We are thrilled,” Jill said. “We need it. The generosity of this community is amazing. We are serving more clients now with our new location. With our programs and the need for more printed materials our expenses are going up.
To reach the center call (701) 746-8866.
One more thing. At one point, Lisa and Al Robertson’s marriage totally derailed, but was salvaged by their deepening faith in God, the very hand of God in action and their renewed commitment to one another. For some time now, they have been conducting marriage retreats and will host one during a cruise to Alaska from July 25 to August 1, 2017. For information go to: robertsonmarriageretreat.com or call: (800) 889-5265.