Day 38: Thank You to Sidewalk Advocates, St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, and Faithful Individual Volunteers

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Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”  

They said to him, “We also will come with you.”  

So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.  

When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

 Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?” 

They answered him, “No.” 

So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.”  

So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish.

-John 21: 3-6

 

Peter spent several years as one of our Lord’s closest friends, following Him all over and helping with His ministry.  He watched as Jesus was executed; then saw the risen Lord.  And yet, after all that, he momentarily said to himself, “Hmm…now what?  Well, I guess I’ll go back to being a fisherman.”

We’ve spent the past 38 days praying, fasting, and reaching out to those affected by abortion.  Yet my calendar going forward shows nothing but the kids’ activities, holiday events, etc.  It’s as if I’ve said to myself, “Hmm…now what?  Well, I guess I’ll go back to my old life.”

Don’t get me wrong…I truly believe that God is pleased with our sacrifices and efforts in the Fall 2017 campaign.  We also know from Scripture that He has ordained a time for every purpose under Heaven, and that Jesus Himself took His disciples off to pray and rest when they needed to refresh.  So I think it’s okay for the intensity to go down for awhile after the campaign ends this Sunday.

But I really can’t just go back to the way things were.  My brothers and sisters are being hurt and killed at Planned Parenthood year-round, so I need to keep fighting for them year-round.

There are basic ways to keep going.  I can pray daily for hearts to be converted and for abortion to end.  I can fit fasting into my week, maybe choosing a day when I know abortions are taking place on Liberty Avenue (currently Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday.)

There are also more powerful ways.  Sidewalk Advocates for Life, who courageously stand vigil and offer life-affirming alternatives to PP clients on abortion days throughout the year, welcome and train new members regularly.  (Next training session:  Sunday, November 12th from noon-5 PM.  Email 40daysforlifepgh@gmail.com for more information.)  And silent sidewalk prayer partners are also needed to uphold them and to offer them fellowship in their challenging but crucial ministry.

We all know Peter didn’t go back to fishing in the end.  Jesus had a lot more planned for him…as He does for us.

Dear Lord, please call us and strengthen us to continue defending your children even after this campaign ends.  As we cast our nets to catch up those who are vulnerable, please fill them to overflowing with men, women, and children who have been saved and can sing Your praise! 

 

7-9 AM, Barbara and Richard:

Rose, Sally, Al, Harry
Rose, Sally, Al, Harry

Friday morning, before dawn, felt silent, warm and sweet.  People quietly bustled.  Rose arrived.  Jeff arrived with our daily supplies. 

 Harry arrived just in time to help us unpack and arrange items for DAY 38 of our 40 DAY, 12 hour witness.  Harry is from St. Alphonsus Parish in Wexford.  His son (youngest of 5 children) and he are going to a Boy Scout event this weekend.

 Al and Sally arrived and took up their prayer stations.  Faithful prolife veterans, they have publicly witnessed for life in the Pittsburgh area for decades.

 One by one, someone unlocked the PP doors for a worker who went in just as the door closed and locked behind them.  At some point the doors remained unlocked.  At least 3 couples went in.  They looked away as we offered prolife help.

 Greeted with, “God bless you,” a young man looked away and said, “Shut up!”  Great! I thought.  There’s a sign of life.

 Actually signs of life flourish in the faces and in the hearts of passersby.  So many smile, nod or give us a thumbs up.  We are not wasting our time, or theirs.

 

11 AM-1 PM, Marie:

Thank you to vigil participants from St. Margaret Mary Church in Moon Township, St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Greensburg, and Our Lady of Grace in Greensburg.

 

Your presence made a difference in people's lives today!
Your presence made a difference in people’s lives today!

 

Shift Manager Marie with Sidewalk Advocate Pastor Bryan
Shift Manager Marie with Sidewalk Advocate Pastor Bryan

Today’s 11-1 shift had a good group of faithful prayer warriors.  Fr. Frank from St. Margaret Mary was also part of the group.  There were both positive and negative responses from those passing on the sidewalk.  This group did a good job of faithfully standing in witness for the unborn.

 

 

1-3 PM, Pat:

Shift manager Pat spent much of the shift praying on his knees, what a powerful witness!
Shift manager Pat spent much of the shift praying on his knees, what a powerful witness!

 

 Faithful crew from St. Margaret Mary and also individuals who came from Greensburg

Faithful crew from St. Margaret Mary, and also individuals who came from Greensburg

 

Off duty shift manager Regina and her daughter came to stand with shift manager sub, Katherine. Pictured with other individuals who just stopped by on their own.
Off duty shift manager Regina and her daughter came to stand with shift manager sub, Katherine. Pictured with other individuals who just stopped by on their own.

Not being used to this time, it was a little strange to see so many people – both workers and clients – go in and out of PP.  I was there with groups who came to pray from faraway places such as Moon Township and Greensburg, which gives some idea of how far our footprint extends.  While only there for about 15 minutes, Nikki showed-up since she had some time available.  (Now if I had her schedule, and had some “free-time”, well, let’s just say that coming down to the vigil would have even crossed my mind.)  This gave me the opportunity to leave a little early and head back to work.  Thanks again, Nikki! 

But while I was there, I did have an interesting conversation with Theo (not his real name), a young man in his early 20’s, who has been in the U.S. for only a few years and grew-up in the African nation of The Congo.  The conversation started because he didn’t understand what my sign meant.  It read:  “Shouldn’t human rights begin at conception?”   This lead to an interesting conversation because he really had no idea that abortions were legal in the U.S. and happening, at a rate of about 3,000/year, right inside the building we were standing next to.  He was having a hard time grasping this…as he should.

Please check back throughout the day as more pictures and stories are posted!

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR SUNDAY:
Due to the EQT 10 Miler race, Liberty Avenue and other streets will have closures and parking restrictions on Sunday morning, November 5th, until almost noon.  See maps below for helpful information (thank you, Pat!)

EQT 10 Miler Sector Closure Map

Pittsburgh Parking

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