About a year ago I was asked to become a member of the board of Straight Talk, an organization started by a young lady named Bev Hadland. Its object is to convince teenagers that sexual promiscuity causes innumerable problems and that abstinence until marriage is the true foundation for a happy marriage.
Bev’s book, Hang on to Your Hormones, is both fascinating and compelling and is a must for all teenagers who are searching for meaning in their lives. In one chapter she gives a short summary of her life as a young woman.
Bev had not been raised in a Christian home. She didn’t believe that there was a God and lived her life accordingly. She had two abortions and was living common law with a young man. To relieve the void in her life, she bought a motor cycle and rode around Eastern Canada, dabbling in Zen, Yoga and Transcendental Meditation. All this added up to a large “zero” and she decided to return to Ontario.
Bev, a very personable, attractive and capable young woman, landed a job as manager of a large restaurant. One of the employees was a young girl named Karen, a Mennonite, who lived her religion quietly and sincerely. On one occasion, Bev was holding forth on some of her personal problems and the stupidity of believing in a God. Karen said quietly, “I want you to know that God loves you.”
Bev flared up and demanded that Karen tell her where was God when a friend of hers was brutally raped, when her sister gave birth to a handicapped child, when so many tragedies occur. Karen replied, “God is in the same place He was when His only Son, Jesus Christ, was crucified.”
Bev was floored and this incident somehow forced her to focus on Karen. It was obvious that Karen’s words and actions were always influenced by her faith. As Bev puts it, “Her God was not a genie in a bottle to rub a certain way to get your three wishes but a caring Father who seemed to be very involved in our daily lives.”
On another occasion, when the question of sex was being discussed, Karen said sex was a gift, not to be unwrapped until the wedding night. Although those were not Bev’s sentiments at that time, she admits, “I was impressed.”
Bev began to read the Bible where she found such expressions as, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life,” (John 3:16) and “Before I formed you in the womb I sanctified thee.” (Jer. 1:5). Bev simply says, “I was stunned.”
Eventually the time came when Bev and her boyfriend decided it was time to get married. After much prayer she realized that Jesus Christ was the answer to all her problems. She told her future husband but he would not accept it. She had to choose between God and her boyfriend. Bev made her decision – there could be no compromise. She packed her clothes and went to stay with her sister.
Sshe now had to take a long look at the future. What could she do with her life? She resolved to do all she could to prevent other girls from making the same terrible mistakes she had made.
Speaking at schools on the evil of abortion, Bev soon realized that it was necessary to begin further back. The cause of most teenage pregnancies is promiscuity and casual sex and she decided to start her own organization to teach young people the evils of premarital sex, the failure of contraceptives and the glory and beauty of chastity and virginity.
She became well known for her talks and invitations to speak in schools and at conferences multiplied. She has now spoken across Canada, and in the U.S., England, Japan and Jamaica. The number of young lives Bev has influenced is beyond calculation and it all goes back to a young woman named Karen, who had the courage to “Live her faith.”
Straight Talk’s office at 1669 Bayview Avenue, Toronto is run by Pam Highgate (RN, LPC) who devotes herself to counseling teens with sexual problems, pregnant unmarried girls, young people considering marriage and many others.
Bev sums up her “vocation” in these words: “Straight Talk offers teens an adolescent life with less teen pregnancy and single parenting, fewer divorces, less broken hearts, reduced abortion rates, fewer teen suicides, less chance of infection from sexually transmitted diseases and reduced deaths from AIDS. You can’t argue with the goals. Give Our Teens a Chance.”