The Lazy River of God…

The Texas-shaped lazy river that we enjoyed during our time in Houston…read on to find out how this compares to participating in 40 Days for Life!

I wish to write about my experience of attending this past weekend’s 40 Days for Life symposium in Houston, so that all of our 40 Days for Life family in Pittsburgh can, in a small way, share some of the blessings that we received by attending this wonderful symposium.

This symposium was special because of two amazing trips that we were taken on…read on to hear about them:

First, when we arrived in Houston on Friday, the very first thing we did was load all 200+ leaders into four large buses and drove to the mega-Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Houston, which is the largest freestanding abortion clinic in the world.

I had seen pictures of it many times before, but I was surprised at the emotional reaction that I experienced when I actually saw it in person. I took a picture of my face, and as a remedy to my own vanity and pride, I will post it to show you my initial reaction to this monstrosity of evil:

Here is a photo of the people sitting behind me on the bus, you will see in many faces the same look of sadness and horror:

The temperature outdoors was about 3 degrees cooler than hell, as one leader aptly put it. I tried to offer my suffering in the heat for those whose lives have and are being lost in that building, but it was tough.

Pro-lifers poured from the buses onto the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood
Dr. Noreen (center) is a former abortionist, now pro-life. Pictured with two local 40 Days for Life leaders, Kathy and Jane.

Although the heat was intense…especially for us Yankees…It was the perfect way to begin our symposium. Standing in front of the largest abortion facility in the world was the stark reminder that I needed to remember why I was at the symposium in the first place.

Members of the national and international team spoke during the rally in front of Planned Parenthood

I want to share one thought that I had, as our bus stopped in front of this terrible building: While I was still in my seat, feeling so overwhelmed and discouraged…I looked out the window to see many men who are leaders in this movement. They were all busy organizing and directing the gathering crowd. These men included; Shawn Carney, Matt Britain, Steve Karlen, Robert Colquhoun, Brian Wilson and Rev. Brian Walker (among others). As I sat there, wanting to find a hole to crawl into…looking at these strong male leaders, I sensed that they were our warriors. I had the feeling that I was on the front lines of a very dangerous battle and I did not have the strength to fight, but I was so thankful for the leadership of these godly men. I had the thought that fighting abortion is like being in a war, and men are the ones that God equipped to really fight the hard battle on the front line. Me, as a woman, can fight behind the scenes, Through prayer and fasting and organizing people to show up on the sidewalk… which I know, is also on the front lines… and we women also do battle. But still, I really have a sense of gratitude for these spiritually strong men who have answered the call to lead us! I just wanted to say this. I realize that it may sound old-fashioned and not politically correct these days.

After our time at Planned Parenthood we had a gala event with a wonderful dinner and many great speakers which motivated and inspired us, including Ante, whom we met here in Pittsburgh.

40 Days for Life leaders and team members gathered at the Houston Marriott Marquis for a wonderful evening Gala on Friday

The following day, on Saturday, was an all day symposium with many speakers, including testimonies of those who chose Life and also those who suffered from abortion. One of the most powerful speaker panels included two former abortionists, one former abortion clinic manager, and a post abortive women. As they role played a scene from how an abortion would take place, they were unexpectedly brought to tears as they reenacted the scene.

In the above photo, two former abortion doctors, along with a former Planned Parenthood clinic manager, re-enact an actual abortion appointment with a post-abortive participant. It was more emotional than they expected.
This woman gave a powerfully inspiring testimony of being pressured by her doctor to abort her daughter (the young woman seated beside her), who is a beautiful young woman who loves the Lord and who also shares her story with people all around the country.

Saturday night was such a fun time, as we were fed a Texas style barbecue and had the opportunity to learn how to country line dance, which I enjoyed!

Judy and Nikki, having a blast line dancing to country music! I discovered that flip flops are not the ideal footwear for country dancing…next time I will bring my boots!
Pittsburgh team: Beth, Judy, Nikki and Lisa

On Sunday those of us who are Catholic went to Mass together at a beautiful 150-year-old city parish called “Church of the Annunciation”. The church was PACKED and we heard a wonderful sermon about the importance of praying in front of abortion clinics!

Historic 150-year old Church of the Annunciation in Houston was packed with pro-lifers on Sunday!

After Mass, all of us had the life-changing and profound experience of taking a two hour bus trip (four buses packed full of 40 days for life leaders), to Brian/College Station, to visit the former Planned Parenthood building, which is now the site of the International 40 Days for Life headquarters!!! This was truly the icing on the cake of a magnificent weekend!

Group photo of everyone in front of 40 Days for Life headquarters
Dr. Haywood Robinson spoke in front of the former Planned Parenthood where he used to do abortions. Now he works there providing medical care to women who are being assisted in choosing LIFE for their babies! Only God could write a story like this one!

Dr. Haywood Robinson stood in front of that building and told us that he used to do abortions in that same Planned Parenthood…before he met Jesus Christ and was transformed by grace. I was moved to tears to see God‘s power and His Hand in this movement! To see that man standing there speaking to us… to see the transformation in his life and in the lives of so many other former abortionists and workers who were there… brought me to tears. This time they were tears of joy.

Haywood made the analogy of 40 Days for Life being like a lazy river of God. When you stand there, looking at that former abortion clinic, which now serves as the headquarters of 40 Days for Life …and all those former abortion-workers who are now on the side of LIFE… you can’t help but see how 40 days for life is a movement completely of God! With that knowledge, we can feel safe and comfortable (as in the lazy river), because we know that we are in the center of God’s will… as we float along in this movement. It is a wonderful analogy, although I must admit that sometimes I don’t feel like I am floating. I feel more like I am paddling upstream, but that is just because I have the continual fight against my own weak human nature and my own laziness and selfishness! But really, we are in the lazy river of God when we participate in 40 days for life!

Shawn Carney, President of 40 Days for Life, welcomed us to their headquarters in College Station
Pittsburgh girls…Judy, Nikki, Beth and Lisa
Kruno and Ante join us for a team photo…we will miss these guys!

Dr. Robinson made the analogy of 40 days for life being like a lazy river of God.

He probably came up with this analogy because we had a really cool lazy river at the Marriott Marquis, where our 40 days conference was held. This lazy river is in the shape of Texas! (Texans are mighty proud of their state!)

Ante, along with many 40 Days for Life leaders enjoy a Texas barbecue in front of the 40 Days for Life headquarters.

The 40 Days for Life national team had a delicious Texas-style barbecue lunch for us. They truly treated us like kings and queens all weekend! I am so grateful to all of their generous donors who made this weekend possible!

It was amazing to walk through those same doors that Abby Johnson walked through every day to work at Planned Parenthood.

We were given a tour of the building, including one of the rooms in which abortions were performed. Unlike the experience of being in front of the mega-Planned Parenthood in Houston…which was so dark and unsettling…inside of this former abortion facility…which has since been exorcised and blessed…I felt nothing but gratitude and joy.

This is the reception desk, where thousands of women paid for their abortions. This desk has now been redeemed. Notice the iconic photo on the wall behind the glass…the now famous photo of the Planned Parenthood sign being torn down!
We were told that before the interior of the building was painted, but after the exorcism, church congregations were invited to come in and pray…and the entire wall area was COVERED with scripture verses, which members of those churches wrote on the walls. So this space is now LITERALLY covered with the Word of God! This photo was taken of the inside of a closet, which still has a verse of scripture visible.

We went into the very room where the abortions took place, which still contained the table that the women would lay on, (now covered with roses)…but the darkness was not there. Only redemption.

Dr. Haywood Robinson, standing in the very room in which he used to do abortions.
Former bed of pain, now redeemed.

They also showed us the plans for a memorial which they are going to build in the backyard, which will be a large granite wall with 6,400 gold crosses… to memorialize the lives that were lost there.

Plans for the memorial…
This plaque and angel statues will be part of the memorial.
Dr. Haywood and Dr. Noreen…two former abortion doctors, now working to save lives from abortion!
The very hallway where Abby Johnson walked, and so many poor women and babies were destroyed.
I just had to take a picture of the sky as we were standing on that holy ground…God is with us!!!
Photos hanging in the reception area…

This beautiful figurine of Mary, pregnant with Jesus is displayed in the board room

So what are you waiting for? The lazy river of God is waiting for you to JUMP IN!!! Sign up here for the fall campaign:

https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/pittsburgh/

4 thoughts on “The Lazy River of God…

  • August 7, 2019 at 7:47 am
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    Great job Nikki! Thank you for sharing this special trip with us!

    Reply
  • August 7, 2019 at 9:55 am
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    thank you for all the photos and how that just gives such a physical reminder of what happens when people pray and God moves. The photo of the Planned Parenthood sign knocked down and laying on it’s side was one of my favorites. So glad you got to go on this trip and being strengthened in your role.

    Reply
  • August 7, 2019 at 8:05 pm
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    Nikki,

    Thank you once again for writing to us with such honesty and from the depths of your heart and soul – sharing the good and the bad, the glad and the sad. It was wonderful to have a window into the many experiences you had on this trip. I know that putting together such a beautifully orchestrated blog post came at the cost of much time and effort on your part. Thank you for making that sacrifice of yourself once again for all of us.

    Reply
    • August 8, 2019 at 10:11 pm
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      Wow…Nikki that was very well done. Thank you for taking the time to put it together and sharing the experience! It’s one that we will not forget, as it was extremely emotional, inspiring and encouraging. May God continue to bless our ministries as we all stand up together and speak out for life! 🤰💕🤱

      Reply

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