Day 24:  Thank you to Sidewalk Advocates, St. Teresa of Avila Right to Life Group, North American Martyrs Catholic Church, West Hills Baptist Church, and Individual Volunteers!

Please come to the vigil on Sunday from 12-1:30 so that our shift managers will not pray alone!  Sign up at https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/pittsburgh/ or just show up!  Thank you!

coffee

Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time

we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up.  Galatians 6:9

We passed the halfway point in our fall vigil this week…and I’m ashamed to admit that I found myself losing steam.  I was having a hard time getting up off the spiritual “couch.”  The hectic pace of everyday life kept pushing me along and I just didn’t feel like pushing myself on top of that.  I was longing to do something mindless and treat myself to the few little things from which I’m fasting.

I think Jesus understands.  Fully human and fully divine, He may have even felt the same at times.  But I’m sure He doesn’t want me to give in or give up.  He certainly never did.  So I looked around for some spiritual “caffeine” to get me up and moving.  God provided just what I need through our beautiful 40 Days for Life family.

I was struck by the quote Pat used in his reflection the other day:  “God loves you just the way you are, but too much to let you stay that way.”  God gets that I’m tired, and mercifully, He won’t abandon me in my weakness…but with His help I can do better.

Sue offered comfort with her suggestion to “dream small.”  I don’t have to make it through 16 more days of the campaign all at once…just one day at a time.  Give us this day our daily bread.  Please, Lord, help me to give it all I’ve got TODAY.

Nikki’s passionate warning about the danger of being lukewarm was perfectly timed, while her updates on darling Adrial, Rowan, and Wyatt were just what I needed to get some fire back.  How can I ever get tired of fighting when this is who we’re fighting for?

Let’s pray for one another with TRUST that God will grant us the focus and energy to fight as hard as we can for the most vulnerable today.  And then let’s do it again tomorrow.  😊

 

7-9 AM, Barbara and Richard:

Richard, Al, Sally, Rose
Richard, Al, Sally, Rose

 

John and Bill, son and father
John and Bill, son and father

 

Pink plaid sunrise
Pink plaid sunrise

Sunrise treated us to a pink plaid glow.  Richard and I were joined early by Diane and Rose.  

We decorated the sidewalk with prolife items, trying to set a scene that could welcome mothers to choose life.

 Bill, John, Beverly and Kim joined us.  Cathy stopped by on her way to the airport.  She is going to NC for a wedding. 

 Al and Sally are celebrating their 51 YEARS WEDDING ANNIVERSARY today.  Caesar Emmanuel dropped by, chose a blue Rosary because it is on this week’s Pittsburgh Catholic front page, and asked us to give a shout out to Bishop Zubik.  Life is good.

 Today is an abortion day.  We are trying to change hearts, one at a time.  

1-3 PM, Regina:

My daughter Angela, faithful witness for life, Ginny and I had the great grace of being led by the pastor of North American Martyrs Parish, Fr. Joe Luisi, in all four Mysteries of The most Holy Rosary. The power of this prayer effort was tangible as we lifted up our hearts, minds and souls to God on behalf of the unborn, and in honor of the dignity of all human Life. Heavy foot traffic on Liberty Ave. ensured the opportunity to witness to the supportive, the offended and the indifferent alike. Thank you Fr. Joe! The witness of clergy speaks volumes on so many crucial levels. Hearts were clearly touched by Fr.’s prayerful presence! Some crossed themselves as they passed, while others stopped to engage and seek counsel. People are hungry for God, and need to believe in the geniune goodness of God’s people! That was quite evident today in front of the Gates of Hell. Thanks be to God, the victory is HIS!

Faithful group from North American Martyrs Church, led by Fr. Joe Luisi
Faithful group from North American Martyrs Church, led by Fr. Joe Luisi

3-5 PM, Lisa:

Faithful friends came to pray this afternoon.
Faithful friends came to pray this afternoon.

Quiet shift but loads of intercessory prayer covered the streets thanks to Ginny, Karen and Larry from West Hills Baptist, and the youth from St Monica’s!!!

Thank you for your witness, sacrifice, and love for women and children in difficult circumstances!!!

 

5-7 PM, Barbara and Richard (again, God bless them!):

Slowly the sun faded and a blue grey light washed the streets.  Quietly, quietly, day faded into evening and then dark.  Workers left PP, and the door locked behind each of them, one by one.  Finally the building was empty, dark and hollow.

Richard and I were joined by Karen and Larry, members of West Hills Baptist.  They were here 3 – 7 and appeared tireless.  As people passed, so many stopped to talk with them.

And then, Diane and Tom came, gathered up the items, and drove away.  Another 12 hour shift completed, as we promised.  We witnessed outside, in full view of Pittsburghers, in honor of the tiny invisible babies whose lives were quietly, relentlessly taken here today.

 

A prayer request from Joan, vigil participant:

I was down there today and a young girl came out of Planned Parenthood very upset.  I spoke with her for a few minutes and gave her info and then her friend grabbed her hand and whisked her away.  I hope she makes the right choice!  I could tell that she did not want to go through with the abortion.

 

Please check back later as more reports come in!

Day 17: Thank you to St. Thomas More Church and Individual Volunteers!

king-kong-394442_1920

When I was little, I had a recurring nightmare that made me dread going to sleep at night.  I dreamed repeatedly that an enormous statue of King Kong stood in my backyard and that it came to life every night at sundown.  The only way to prevent King Kong from eating my family was to pull down each window blind in our house so he couldn’t see that we were inside.

In the dream, as soon as it started to get dark, I would run around the house screaming for my parents to close the blinds (since I was too short to reach them myself.)  But everyone in my family was in a trance-like state, moving in slow motion with smiles frozen on their faces, completely oblivious to the danger and my distress.  I think the worst part of the dream was not my impending doom but my powerlessness to make anyone see what was happening.

I know you can relate.

No, not the part about the King Kong statue in your backyard coming to life…but the frustration of knowing that something awful is about to happen and being powerless to convince others of the danger.  We experience it all the time at the vigil–whether it be in a conversation with a passer-by who just can’t acknowledge that abortion hurts women; or worse yet, when we are unable to stop a couple from passing through those dark doors on an abortion day.  It’s agonizing to be aware of the physical and spiritual harm that happens inside Planned Parenthood while so many pass us by in a trance-like state, oblivious to the danger and unable to hear our desperate cries.

Our Heavenly Father speaks to us about feeling powerless through His Scriptures:

“…but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’  I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.  Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”  2 Cor 12:9-10

 I have to admit that I don’t like this passage.  I don’t fully understand yet why God works in this manner.  But… I’ve seen it in action.   I bet you have, too.  So I know we can TRUST God to take our sidewalk offering of sorrow and frustration and use it for marvelous things despite the fact that we can’t always perceive it.  Please go to https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/pittsburgh/ and sign up to join us–or just show up when you can!

 

Barbara and Richard, 7-9 AM

Richard, Al, and Sally
Richard, Al, and Sally 

 

Bob and Rose
Bob and Rose

 

Jenifer, Bill
Jenifer and Bill

 

Bob and Ryan
Bob and Ryan

Rose and Bob arrived even before Diane left early this morning.  Bob belongs to St. Thomas More Parish. He and his fellow parishioners are scheduled to sponsor our prayer vigil in front of PP all day today, 7 – 7.  This being Friday the 13th, Rose shared that she is the 13th of 13 children.  What an awesome gift she is as she brings the fragrance and beauty of her witness to early Friday mornings in downtown Pittsburgh in front of PP.

Al, Sally and Richard shared their happy glow and, in its light, we looked across Liberty Avenue and noticed Bill and Jenifer.  Jenifer prefers to witness over there to give her a chance to share the prolife riches more easily.  “People seem more ready to stop and talk,” she said.

Bob and Ryan shared a masculine vibe as they spoke with a young man who stopped to report that he has no children, but would welcome a steady place to call home.

The women going into PP went in pairs.  Two were accompanied, each by a young man.  Another was a duo that looked like a mother and daughter.  It is awful to be there when a woman opens the door and goes in for an abortion.  She will be hurting when she comes back out of those doors, her baby left behind in the trash.  Some of her hurt can probably be easily remedied – Tylenol and quiet time on the couch.  Her baby’s dying pain can be remedied – rest in the arms of God.  The pain she feels for having chosen abortion will haunt her.  Her heart will suffer at having loved ones choose the “easy way out”.

 

Sue, 11 AM-1 PM

Tony, Carolyn, Ginny, Roseanne and Karen
Tony, Carolyn, Ginny, Roseanne and Karen

I arrived to wonderful St. Thomas More prayers Carolyn, Karen and Chuck! St. Thomas More adopted the entire vigil today! Shortly after Chuck left, Roseanne and Tony came to say the rosary. A little into that, Ginny came from St. Bernard’s…the South Hills was well represented today! The picture shows Tony, Carolyn, Ginny, Roseanne and Karen! It was beautiful weather and we got a lot of positive support and some negative as well. Unfortunately PP was busy enough today…I saw two girls leave and one actually jumped up to click her heels and say how happy she was. Maybe she feels relief right now, but I wonder if she will ever reflect on this day. If so, hopefully she turns to Rachel’s Vineyard or a similar program! We also had a young man knock over the vigil sign and the baby models went flying. I called the police and they were able to track him down and issue a citation!!  Shift manager Lisa came early for her shift with her beautiful daughters. As I was leaving a first time vigil participant (Ken?) arrived. It is so nice to see the new faces as people come to understand the magnitude of this tragedy and take action!

Lisa C. 3-5 PM

day 17 6th shift

Quiet for us on our shift but with abundant prayers in conjunction with the request of Our Lady of the Rosary on the 100th Anniversary of her appearance in Fatima asking for prayers for the entire world!!!
Thank you, Ginny as well as Bill from St Phillip, Gerry from St Thomas, and the youngsters from St Monica. We love and thank you all for sacrificing your time for others and witnessing for our loving, merciful God!

Pat, 5-7 PM

Julie
Julie

 

Mary
Mary

This was one of the quietest and most prayerful evenings I’ve ever had on a Friday night.  Mary was with me for the first hour and we spent most of it in prayer.  She hadn’t even signed-up to come down, but just wanted to pray a rosary or two down here before going to the event at St. Paul’s Seminary this evening.  She was, she said, moved by the Spirit and by the fact that today was the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun which took place at Fatima.  Had she not been there I would have been alone for that first half hour.  

I was praying alone for about 10 minutes when I was surprised by former Shift Manager Julie – also a member of St. Thomas More.  We also prayed together for the bulk of our time as well.  The only strange incident was that, as we were praying, Julie noticed that the pink sandwich sign was on its side.  We hadn’t heard anything so we reasoned that someone decided to put it that way quietly.  Oh well.  

 

Please check back later for more from the sidewalk…

Day 10: Thank You to St. Ferdinand Right to Life Group, Holy Sepulcher Catholic Church, Weirton Pro Life Group, Living Hope Church, and Individual Volunteers!

We are in need of prayer volunteers to join Shift Manager Sue on Monday, 10/9, from 5-7 PM. 
Please sign up now at https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/pittsburgh/or email Nikki to let us know if you can help.  Thank you!

waves

Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.  Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Phil 4:6-7

My dear grandmother used to have a word for a person who is nervous all the time— “worrywort.”  I readily admit that I am one, and have been since birth.   So the scripture quoted above is one of my favorites.  I have it posted on my big folder of bills and tasks.  God has a way of making it pop up in other places, too, when I need to be reminded of it.

True to form, He made sure I saw it this week when I really needed it. I was being hit with wave after wave of troubling news from near and far.  I felt exhausted, as if I’d been struggling to stand in the pounding surf of the ocean.  I know, life is like that sometimes.  Okay…lots of times.

God is telling me to have no anxiety?  Seriously?

Oh, but He is…and as always, He’s right.  When I pray, when I petition, when I thank God, when I put my life into His hands, He never fails to help me.  He grants me new strength and a peace that flies in the face of worldly logic.

God, in His grace, reached out to calm and comfort me over and over again in the past few days.  He put the Philipians scripture in front of me.  He let me run into a friend I hadn’t seen in months who shared the amazing ways in which God is seeing her through a very difficult year.  He inspired Nikki’s beautiful blog entry on Wednesday, which really picked me up.  (Read–or reread–the Day 8 entry for yourself to feel God’s warm embrace!)

It’s very easy to get anxious and overwhelmed as we fight for the sanctity of life.  After all, this is truly a matter of life and death—not only physical, but spiritual, as well.  Blessedly, God has the remedy for our worry and exhaustion.  As we present the prayers and petitions of our 40 Days for Life campaign, let’s do so with thanksgiving and complete TRUST in Him.  Please use this link https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/pittsburgh/to choose a time when you can join us, and then see the pictures and stories from today’s vigil below!

 

From Richard and Barbara, 7-9 AM:

Diane and Tom were just finished setting up as Richard and I arrived at the sidewalk on a warmly cool, slightly foggy 7AM. 

Not long after, staff started arriving at Planned Parenthood.  Today is an abortion day. 

Remembering the rich man and Lazarus in the Old Testament, I always will try to share with a person who appears abortion vulnerable.  I am their sister.  Perhaps they will let me be a part of their redemption. 

One tall young man stopped to look at our fetal models.  He looked at the 10 week unborn baby model and said, “Wow!  Their little body is all there.”  As we talked he told me about his 12 year old daughter who lives in northern Pennsylvania with her mother.  “It got complicated.  She and I couldn’t stay together,” he said about the mother.  Today he has a fiancée who has the implanted type of birth control.  He wishes she would stop it because he would like to have a baby. His understanding about the rules that shape wholeness in life appears fragile.  This morning, I could only share a few loving words and a smile.

A young woman about 20 years old, stopped and leaned against the brick wall of the next door bar, finishing her cigarette.  I took off my prolife sign and walked over.  She was “there just for a checkup,” she said.  We talked for a bit. “Just in case you would ever need this,” I offered her our little yellow crisis pregnancy care information card.  She took it and said if she would ever need it, she might read it.  She walked over and into PP.

A young man walked back and forth in front of PP.  I did not see him go in.  I saw him come out, light a cigarette and stand outside the doors.  I walked over, standing near, outside the gold circle, and showed him a picture of a 10 week old unborn baby.  He asked me why I was talking to him when he didn’t even know my name.  We started from the beginning, introducing ourselves, first names only.  He was polite.  He was decided.  He accepted the little crisis pregnancy care card and got into a car that drove up and took him away.

 

From Marie, 11 AM – 1 PM

Parishioners of Holy Sepulcher praying at today's vigil
Parishioners of Holy Sepulcher prayed and witnessed for four hours at today’s vigil–thank you!

Holy Sepulcher covered this vigil time and it was peaceful and prayerful shift.  There were several instances when people passing would smile or even verbally give approval to our witness.  A vigil participant from the earlier shift (not from Holy Sepulcher) told her story of having an abortion as a teenager and how it had stayed with her till this day.  She is now a mother and grandmother.  What has helped her through this sadness was bringing God back into her life and volunteering at pro-life activities.

 

From Sue, 1-3 PM:

Holy Sepulcher was there for the entire shift–they had signed up for 4 hours! We prayed and handed out pro-life information. Billy came at the last minute and stayed the full 2 hours as well.  He prayed very reverently…I was touched and thought how God must hear him! WTAE also showed up and went into PP for an interview.  He came out and filmed us as well as the A-frame sign. I gave him a 40 Days for Life brochure and verbally gave him the updated statistics. The sidewalk and PP were very busy!

 

From Lisa, 3-5 PM:

Peaceful pray-ers witness for Life!
Your presence on the sidewalk makes a difference!

Thank you, Matthew from Living Hope Church in Latrobe for standing with us from 2:30 on to 5 and was staying when his church gathered from 5 to 7!!!!
Thank you, Mark, Lori, and Mary from their pro-life group in Weirton who prayed, smiled, and witnessed to life!
Benson joined us after school for his 10th consecutive day. Thank you for your witness.  You are an inspiration!! 
Quiet overall for our shift with some “thank you’s” and other negative comments. Prayer prevailed throughout! 

 

From Pat, 5-7 PM:

Thank you to members of Living Hope Church in Whitney!
Thank you to members of Living Hope Church in Whitney!
Benson has prayed with us on ALL TEN DAYS of the vigil to date!
Benson has prayed with us on ALL TEN DAYS of the vigil to date!

I’m so inspired when people come down to the sidewalk from such far distances.  The group from Living Hope Church in Whitney – who came in a big van – drove all the way from the Latrobe area.  They even brought their own pro-life signs which must have made an impression on those passing by both on foot and by car because they were nice and big and easy to read.  And as I was praying on the opposite side of the circle, I noticed Marta (with the dark hair) engaging with a woman in her late 20s who was passing by.  They talked for about 10 minutes and then I could see Marta putting her hand on the woman’s shoulder and praying over her for an extended period of time.  It was a beautiful thing to see. 

And I want to thank Benson, from St. Anne’s in Castle Shannon for spending his 10th consecutive day down on the sidewalk.  I enjoyed both praying and talking with him.  He really inspires me.  

Day 3: Thank you to Individual Volunteers, Sidewalk Advocates, St. Mary of the Assumption Right to Life Group, Cultural Impact Ministry of PA, and St. Regis Catholic Church

 

brothers-457234_640

Hello, everyone!  My name is Jen McDevitt and I will be posting to our 40 Days for Life blog on Fridays during this Fall 2017 campaign.

Growing up as the oldest of four children in a faith-filled family, many of my early memories are of waiting for or welcoming a new sibling into our world.  I honestly don’t remember when I learned about abortion but I do remember being horrified by it.  The fact that I was born in 1973, the year Roe v. Wade opened the door to abortion on demand, further haunted me.

I was open about my pro-life views as a teen and young adult.  One summer, home from college on break, I accidentally found out that a good friend of mine had had an abortion while away at school that year.  She eventually told me the full and heartbreaking story.  She confessed that she had hidden the pregnancy from me because she knew my pro-life convictions but was convinced that abortion was her only escape from an awful situation.  I was absolutely devastated.    It reinforced my stance on abortion to learn from her what happens to the mother as well as the baby, but I was so conflicted.  I knew I should be involved in the fight to end abortion but now felt like I should do it quietly so that no one would ever be afraid to approach me again.

Some years later, I heard about a new effort spreading across the country.  Called “40 Days for Life,” it was all about putting this enormous and overwhelming fight for the sanctity of life into God’s hands.  I was so excited and relieved to learn that the whole 40 Days for Life movement is based on humility and forgiveness–the perfect balance of standing with the mothers while standing up for the babies.

So as 40 Days for Life has grown in Pittsburgh and around the world, I have been privileged to be involved.  The kind, selfless people I’ve met while managing the vigil on Sunday mornings have blessed my life in so many ways.  When Nikki asked me to write for the blog this campaign, I was intimidated–the current bloggers do such a good job of informing and inspiring, and I doubt that I’ll be on their level.  But Nikki herself has said “yes” to God countless times in her leadership of our efforts, and Sue David is now stepping out in faith to fill her holy shoes, so I couldn’t refuse.  Just one more reason that the TRUST theme for this campaign is so fitting!

THANK YOU to all who are putting TRUST in God during this campaign and saying “yes” to Him, working to end abortion with His message of love and forgiveness.  See below for stories and pictures from today’s vigil…more will be added as reports come in!

 

7-9 AM:  Barbara and Richard 

Rose and Al
Rose and Al
Richard and Sally
Richard and Sally

Downtown at Liberty and 7th was cool and light at 7 AM.  People were cheerful and nodded and indicated “Hi.”

When we approached PP, I noticed that the lights were on in their two upper floors.  Today is an abortion day and mothers will walk in and their baby will be torn out and the mother will walk out and leave her baby behind in the trash.  Sometimes I just have to say this out loud.  This is a terrible poverty to be endured by mothers and fathers.  The abortion did not make them unpregnant.  No one looking at them as they come and go would notice the difference between their coming, then going. This horror is invisible.  They try with all their might to suffer invisibly.  May God grant them repentance and make them whole.

Marian and Diane set the stage for our Friday presence.  Bill, Rose, Al and Sally joined Richard and me.

During our first hour, two different men in their twenties, each walking alone, stopped to talk.  One mentioned that he was a war veteran down on his luck.  We talked about the food and shelter opportunities in downtown.  The next young man wondered if we could spare a cigarette.  Neither Sally nor I smoke.

Each man, separately, agreed to join us in an “Our Father.”  It often amazes me how many people know this prayer.  There is an evangelizing presence in Pittsburgh that endures!

Young families passed with children going to day care and Mom and Dad to work.

God is generous.  He makes all things new!

-Barbara

 

11 AM-1 PM: Marie 

Faith-filled witnesses from St. Mary of the Assumption Right to Life Group
Faith-filled witnesses from St. Mary of the Assumption Right to Life Group

These are the people from St Mary’s today.  We got many positive comments.  One man was very sad his girlfriend aborted his baby 17 years ago. 

-Marie

 

1-3 PM:  Hank & Judy 

It was a wonderful day!   A group from Cultural Impact Ministry was there to pray and witness for life.  The group included Jim, Judy, Donna, Vic and Donna and Bill.  Ginny from St. Bernard was also there with Judy and myself.  We greeted many of those passing by and were in turn generally greeted warmly.  We were able to distribute much literature especially the Precious One card which most people accepted when it was offered. We had a long conversation with a lovely young woman who is a student at Point Park and hopefully by God’s grace she will accept the reality of life in the womb.

-Hank

 

3-5 PM:  Lisa 

Wonderful young people offering powerful witness
Wonderful young people offering powerful witness

These lovely young people joined me at today’s vigil. Their smiles and love for the Lord and all human life was so evident! Thank you for your witness to the beauty of life!! 

Also we were joined by the faithful Culture Impact Ministry who manned the vigil beginning at 1 PM and stayed until 4:30 PM. Thank you!

In our family, we love rainbows since they are a constant reminder that God keeps His promises, and the Father can be trusted in all His ways. We were talking on the way home that we may have missed one at our home. But we decided one of our “rainbows” today was Benton who came by himself by bus as a 16 year old. He was our hero!!!

-Lisa

 

5-7 PM: Pat

Nancy, Frank, and Mark from St. Regis
Nancy, Frank, and Mark from St. Regis

Tonight was reasonably quiet.  I was pleased that three of my fellow parishioners from St. Regis in Trafford joined me:  Frank, Nancy, and Mark.  While Nancy was a veteran, both Frank and Mark were first-timers.  We alternated with praying (the Rosary for Life and the Divine Mercy Chaplet) with conversation.  The rain did dampen things a bit, however.  

-Pat

 

 

Wonderful Day 40!

What a wonderful way to end this blessed campaign…there were 22 witnesses for life during the first shift this morning!  And fully half of them were beautiful children!  A special thanks to the Cascino family–mom, dad, and five fabulous kids– who stayed the entire morning to pray, sing the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and inspire us all.

And the closing ceremony this evening was a such a warm and encouraging way to wrap up this campaign and plant seeds for the spring and beyond.  A HUGE thank you to Nikki for allowing God to use her to bring the Pittsburgh ProLife Community together as a family during these 40 Days.  May God bless her, and all of you who offered your sacrifice to bring about His Kingdom!

Wonderful group from Catholic Mom's on day 40!
Janine and her family celebrate her 50th birthday, and thank her birth-mom for choosing life!

Thank you, Sunday Pray-ers!

A huge thank you to the dozen wonderful people who braved the cold this morning to pray for our littlest brothers and sisters in Christ!  The group included a dedicated young woman who came after working the night shift at a hospital and two small prayer warriors who came with their parents.

I have to admit that I was dreading standing out in the weather today, but the title of the daily devotional really encouraged me before I went:  “God will use your sacrifice.”  To all of you who have prayed through this campaign and brought the light (and warmth) of God to that place of darkness, thank you for allowing God to use your sacrifice to do great things for all of His children!

Thank you to the beautiful group from St. Regis in Trafford, PA!  They kept a strong presence at the vigil all morning, joined by the faithful Sunday “Regulars.”

Please pray for “Sy” and an Iraq veteran who both stopped to express opposing views.  They were more or less respectful, but misguided.  May God bless us all with an awareness of the sacredness of human life and of His sovereignty over it.  Thank you again for allowing God to use you to build that awareness!

“Pictures” of Sunday morning

I’m so sorry–for the second week in a row, I did not have a camera with me at the Sunday morning vigil.  I missed such great opportunities for pictures that I’m going to try to describe them instead:

“Photo” #1:  Al and Sally faithfully praying in the dark as I drove up to Planned Parenthood to start the shift at 7 AM.  In addition to holding down several four-hour shifts of their own throughout the week, they come every Sunday morning so that I won’t be standing alone on a dark, deserted city street.  The incredible pro-life service they give all year round, year after year, is truly an inspiration and a blessing.  When they are called home to Heaven many years from now, there will be a standing ovation as they walk through the Pearly Gates!

“Photo” #2:  New friend Mary, who stood and prayed with me for the entire four-hour shift!  I’m so grateful to her for her sacrifice and service, both for the unborn and for myself.

“Photo” #3:  Dear Pat, who prays and witnesses fervently at every Sunday vigil.  If we each had just a fraction of her passion and zeal, abortion would end here and now.

“Photo” #4:  Sweet little sparrows that hop around the sidewalk from time to time.  They make me think of Jesus’ words:  “Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins?  Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God.  Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.”  (Luke 12:6-7) Although we will never meet them here on earth, our God knows and loves every precious child who has been murdered in that dark place.  And he knows and loves us, noticing what we’re doing for the least of his brothers even on days when no one else seems to.

“Photo” #5:  A rosary hanging in the crook of the little tree growing outside Planned Parenthood.  I don’t know if someone put it there because it was accidently left on the sidewalk by a devoted prayer warrior, or if it was put there purposely.  But it was comforting to think of it being there even when we are not, as if the prayers continue after we’re gone.

“Photo” #6:  A sea of black and gold jerseys as people streamed into the city for today’s football game…starting very early this morning!  Can you imagine what would happen if as many people got as passionate about defending life as do about the Steelers???  Let’s pray for the Holy Spirit to ignite thousands of hearts to be “fans” of the unborn, of women in crisis, and of all our most vulnerable brothers and sisters!

 

 

Busy Sunday morning!

Day 33

Sunday morning, downtown Pittsburgh is usually quiet and empty. Nikki has kindly been recruiting vigil participants to come and pray during my shift so that I won’t be standing there alone while the city is virtually deserted. Today, a wonderful group of people answered the call! We had a great turnout, including nine children (one preborn!)
Then, a providential surprise–the annual MS walk came streaming down Liberty Avenue! We were able to witness to hundreds if not thousands of people who were there for that worthy cause. As you might expect, reactions ran the gamut from encouraging to angry. But how great that God arranged for such a large group of us to be praying when we had so many watching!