HOW DO WE EVANGELIZE 40DFL?…BY KNOWING OUR STORY
Whenever I get the chance to give a talk about 40 Days for Life (40DFL for short), I get a little excited. Excited, because it means I get to tell our story.
These talks start with me meeting the audience where I’m guessing they are. They’re probably thinking: “Hey, there are a lot of good things I could be doing with my time, why should I consider participating in 40DFL?” So I’ll begin by presenting a few convincing arguments to demonstrate there is no evil in the world today greater than abortion. Then I’ll tell them that, when it comes to concrete and proven results, there has never been a greater solution to this problem than 40 DFL.
And then to explain why…by telling our story…
“In 1998, Planned Parenthood opened an abortion center in Bryan/College Station. People of faith rallied against it, but in time the office was built and Planned Parenthood opened. Each year, the goal of ending abortion in the Brazos Valley seemed to slip further away. But four members of the Brazos Valley Coalition for Life realized they needed to ask God how He would have them end abortion in their community.
So in 2004, they gathered around an old wooden table for an hour of prayer. During that hour of prayer, they found themselves drawn to the timeframe of 40 days-a timeframe God consistently uses throughout salvation history to transform His people. How might God transform Bryan/College Station in 40 days? As that hour of prayer progressed, the four individuals felt themselves called to launch a 40 day campaign of PRAYER AND FASTING, COMMUNITY OUTREACH, AND A CONSTANT, PEACEFUL VIGIL to end abortion. They also vowed that even if no one else would join them, together they would cover the entire 40 day, 960 hour, around-the-clock vigil.
Finally, they gave their new project a name: 40 Days for Life…
…In less than six weeks, more than 1,000 new volunteers helped ensure all 960 hours of the vigil were covered. A grassroots, door-to-door effort reached more than 25,000 households. The campaign made local, state and national news. And the local abortion rate dropped by 28 percent.
In 2007, the original 40 Days for Life leaders launched the first ever nationally coordinated 40 Days for Life campaign, spanning 89 cities in 33 states. Before long, campaigns had been hosted in all 50 states. And then the world came knocking.
Hundreds of cities in dozens of countries across all six populated continents have now hosted 40 Days for Life campaigns.” [NOTE: This is all taken from www.40daysforlife.com.]
I’ll then go on to tell them about the 16,004 LIVES SAVED, the 191 ABORTION WORKERS WHO QUIT, and the 104 ABORTION CENTERS CLOSED. And I love to add here that this includes the site of that first campaign in College Station…which is now the international headquarters for 40 Days for Life! (Personal note: When I get to this part of the talk my throat starts to constrict and my eyes start to water.)
So here’s the point of all this, perhaps it might be worthwhile to have in the back-pocket of your brain the essential point of our story so that you can, at some unexpected moment, share our gospel.
Always be ready to make a reply to anyone who asks you to explain the hope that is in you.
1 Peter 3:15
7-9 AM, Nikki & Peggy:
The rain held off for my shift, it was warm and dry and I was feeling a little bit of guilt, knowing that all the rest of the people who come today or probably going to get soaked! But, it was a very quiet and peaceful shift. I was with my shift buddy Peggy and faithful volunteer Jon for the entire two hours. Towards the end Mary stopped by to pray. She was on her way to see her new grandbaby who is being born today. That reminds me, Angel is also having her baby today! she was the young girl who came here for an abortion last April and changed her mind! Priscilla also came to pray and at 9 o’clock I handed the torch over to Judy, Chuck and Meredith from Lincoln Place Nazarene Church. Pray for those who went in this morning to kill their babies, pray for lives saved and hearts changed! Pray for a young girl who is being pressured to abort by her friends and has decided that she will have the abortion. Please pray for her today but she will change her mind.Nikki
9-11 AM, Judy & Meredith:
It was damp but not wet when LP Nazarene (Chuck, Meredith & Judy) arrived on the scene this morning. Priscilla was already there waiting for us. It has been such a privilege to pray with her on the sidewalk these past four weeks. Midway through our shift we were joined by Mike Maley and then Bill Harrison for a brief period of time. It was not long before we were using our umbrellas and we needed them the rest of the shift.
There was a fair amount of people coming and going from Planned Parenthood. There were a few that were polite and stopped momentarily to acknowledge that we were speaking to them but they did not take any of our handouts. However, there was a young couple who took a card from Meredith. Sadly, we know of no babies that were saved on our shift, however, we know God is answering our prayers to close Planned Parenthood!!!Judy
11 AM-1 PM, Fran:
Those who braved the wet weather came and gave witness to what it means to be a Saint. My God receive their prayers and bless them. It rained pretty much from 11 to 12. But nothing stopped them.Fran
1-3 PM, Carolyn & Cil:
God bless Fran for being there when we arrived and for staying on into the next shift! She said we could leave before the next shift arrived.
God bless Fr Jim for coming to the Vigil with us again!
We had a brief moment at the beginning when it wasn’t raining. But then it started up again non-stop.
Several rosaries were prayed along with other prayers. Carolyn and Fran are great prayer warriors!
Had a chance to talk with an abortion bound father on 3 occasions but the mother was determined to go through with it. The young man told us to keep doing what we are doing.
It was an emotional rollercoaster of a day. It helped that we had supporters who stopped to talk with us. One beautiful lady explain how she never knew that she was adopted until 5 years ago. Her mother told her before she passed but her father had already passed. She was very surprised to learn that as she had no idea that she was adopted. Her parents were so loving. Many adopted children are raised in loving homes despite what the pro-aborts say. She took our material and plans to share with her coworkers about her story and the help that is available. She is raising her two special needs children. Although they can be a challenge she said that they helped to change her life for the better. She may come by with her daughter sometime to pray.
3-5 PM, Helen & Anita:
Umbrellas were all but useless, and the rain drilled through our layers of coats, socks & sweaters. No matter! Our rosaries, Divine Mercy novenas and happy presence overtook all annoyance with weather.
We were privileged to be there on behalf of God’s precious babies. When this place is closed, we can laugh at the wonderful sense of joy and love that comes with prayer and the reassuring confidence of our angels.Helen
Vigil closed early at 5 PM today.