Nikki’s Reflection on 40 Days for Life in Croatia

Lisa K. and I returned home last night from our 10 day journey to Croatia and Medjugorje, where we had the joy of meeting so many of our 40 Days for Life family and saw the Holy Spirit working powerfully through their campaigns.  Marian asked us each to write a little reflection of our trip, which I am happy to do.

I think I need to start from the beginning, in order to let you all know how God is working so mightily for us through 40 Days for Life!

Last summer a customer of mine gave me a wooden rosary from Medjugorje in Boznia-Herzegovina.  I had heard of the place as a pilgrimage site, but had never really had a desire to go there myself.  I began using that rosary daily and on the third day was suddenly overcome with a desire to go to there!  This happened while I was taking a shower of all things!  I actually began to whine like a little kid (out loud…in the shower!)…asking for God to make a way for me to go.  As soon as I got out of the shower, I ran downstairs to ask my husband if he would mind, (if I could save up my own money) if I went to Medjugorje!  He said it would be fine, (he probably thought I would never be able to save up the money, so he figured he would be safe, LOL!)  Anyway, that was going to be my plan….no matter how long it took…I would save the money and go on a group pilgrimage to Medjugorje.

Three weeks later, I went to the 40 Days for Life international symposium in Orlando, along with Lisa K., Marian and Beth.  40 Days for Life leaders from all around the world attended this conference and I had the privilege of being one of the presenters.  Right after I spoke, I met the leader from Croatia in the lobby of the hotel.  She asked me if I would come to Croatia to speak at their national meeting.  I really didn’t know where Croatia was, and didn’t know anything about the country…and was confused as to why she would want me to come there to speak!  I said to her, “Why would you want me to come?  I don’t speak Croatian, am not a speaker, and have never even traveled outside of the USA!”  But then, something clicked in my mind, and I asked, “Wait a minute…isn’t Croatia near Medjugorje?”  She answered that it was only a 2-hour drive from Croatia, and said that if I came to Croatia, she would take me to Medjugorje!  At that point I think my jaw hit the floor, and I told her the story of how I had suddenly got the desire to go, and had just prayed for a way to go!

So, God is the One who arranged this trip…and I now see why!  It was a life-changing experience to see how the Holy Spirit is alive and working in the hearts of the people in Croatia!  There are only about 40 campaigns in all of Europe…and 26 of them are in Croatia!  They are incredibly organized, with the 26 local leaders reporting to the regional coordinators (Petra, Lidija and Marija), who then report to the national leader (Ante).  They begin and end EVERYTHING with prayer.  They put God before everything else.  We had Mass everyday, Eucharistic adoration and a visit to a shrine…along with many informative presentations and discussions.  Watching the joy and the unity among them made me feel as though God had plucked me up and set me down right into the middle of the early Church in Jerusalem, where all the believers were selling their belongings and sharing with one another.  These people traveled from their own towns to be together for FOUR DAYS!  I felt like such a part of them, that I cried when the conference ended…knowing that I had to leave and may never see them again.  It was a truly beautiful experience.  As a “spoiled” American, accustomed to comfort and affluence…to see these committed believers, who have suffered so much from the war in the 90’s and have just recently been freed from Communism….was a truly humbling and inspiring experience.  Through this experience, God reminded me of the IMPORTANCE of this battle to end abortion.  God REALLY cares about this!  This issue goes right to His Heart…and so we cannot give up or become complacent.  It also helped me to realize how united the family of God is.  Even though we didn’t speak the same language, and came from totally different cultures…we had a strong bond in our love from the Lord.  I felt more at home among them than I do when I am among non-believers of my own culture.  It was beautiful, (or as they say in Croatian…”Lijepo”).

lisa climbing cross mountain

And as for our three days in Medjugorje…it was a gift from God.  I carried the prayers for my family and friends to the top of apparition hill and cross mountain…and through the difficulties of climbing in the heat and on the sharp rocks…thanked the Lord for the opportunity to share in a tiny way with His suffering.  Being immersed for three days with believers from all around the world, speaking so many different languages…but united in our love for God, was wonderful!

lisa and nikki cross mountain

So thank you dear 40 Days for Life family, for reading about my experience.  I hope we can once again unite in prayer, fasting and peaceful witness to bring an end to abortion in Pittsburgh!  The campaign begins on September 27th and ends November 5th.  The schedule is posted and I am ready to sign groups up, so let me know if you are ready to choose your time slot at the vigil at Planned Parenthood.  Email me at nbruni@40daysforlifepgh.com

May God bless you throughout the summer!

Your sister in Christ,

Nikki

40 Days for Life – Croatia

Nikki did such a great job that she got invited to speak in Croatia!! No kidding!!
Nikki did such a great job that she got invited to speak in Croatia!! No kidding!! July 2016

 

Last summer when Nikki spoke at the 40 Days for Life conference in Orlando, Florida, she was invited to attend the national conference for 40 Days for Life in Croatia.  Nikki and Lisa K. are attending the conference and have sent back pictures of their time thus far.  Please check in to see the updated pictures.  Look for Lisa’s reflection and Nikki’s reflection after they return.

Beth, Nikki, Petra, and Lidija trying to figure out the Uber app. It was only our third Uber reservation ever! (The first two were on Friday.) Nikki's got the hang of it now!!
July 2016: Beth, Nikki, Petra, and Lidija trying to figure out the Uber app. It was only our third Uber reservation ever! (The first two were on Friday.) Nikki’s got the hang of it now!!

 

So, Nikki and Lisa left on a jet plane…leaving the driving to the pilot.   Nikki spoke at the national conference in Croatia on Day 2.

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Dear Nikki, Please find attached some photos I took during your inspiring talk. I hope you’ll find them O.K. 🙂 Sincerely, Kruno   June 2017   Croatia  (Thanks for the pictures of Nikki speaking!!)

 

 

From the sidewalk in front of 933 Liberty Avenue Pittsburgh to the sidewalks of Croatia, the message for life is spoken!!

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Katie’s picture… June 22

 

 

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Nikki and Lisa with Lidija, regional 40 Days for Life coordinator for the region of Slavonija.  In addition to overseeing many cities, she also operates the post abortive healing programs throughout all Croatia!
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Petra is the national 40 Days for Life coordinator, under Ante. She is the one who invited us to come to Croatia, and she is a powerhouse of energy, determination, and a great leader and organizer!
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Ante, National director of 40 Days for Life  in Croatia gave a motivating talk. He oversees all of the regional coordinators in Croatia

40 Days for Life- Podcast #62   Ante is interviewed in this Podcast #62.

 

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We needed our Bibles for the talk by Lidija, as it was referencing Scripture. Of course, Lisa and I were unable to read theirs so we read the verses on our phones instead
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Marija is the 40 Days for Life coordinator for the entire region of Dalmatia and Split, Croatia. She oversees many campaigns in many cities throughout Croatia! She and her wonderful husband, Davor, drove us six hours from Split to Cakovec for the conference.

 

 

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Our lovely translator, Dijana, made sure that Lisa and I understood all of the inspiring talks, which were all in Croatian.
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Tomislav is a faithful participant of 40 Days for Life In Croatia. Everyone is young here! Very hopeful!
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40 Days for Life family in Croatia!
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40 Days for Life- listening to the same message we receive in Pittsburgh.

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40 DFL team member Vanja telling us that we have to be close to the Lord in order to be a leader for 40 Days for Life.
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Our sweet interpreter, Dijana, and sweet Nikki

Day 2

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Lisa!

 

 

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The Bishop in Cakovec is very supportive of 40 Days for Life. He celebrated Mass and spoke a life affirming message to us this morning.
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National leaders Ante & Petra give the Bishop a gift of thanksgiving for his support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Taking a break with local 40 days for life leaders, Krunoslav and Danijela.  Krunoslav leads the campaign in Krizevci and Danijela leads at Bjlevar. Although we are of different cultures and nations we are truly United in our love for the Lord and this fight for life! It is wonderful!

 

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Information to hear and take to heart.
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Participants Day 2 including Lisa and Dijana.
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Lisa and I met this wonderful group from Osijek. Sandra (On left) is the campaign director, and Bredrag and his wife Suzana are on her team.

 

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Marko is only 17 years old and lives in Herzegovina, Bosnia and he leads the 40 days for life there! He is also an artist and a really sweet guy!

 

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New friends Lidija from Nova Gradiska, Mira from Slavonski Brod and Jozo from Rijeka

 

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The participants singing, raising hands, and clapping in prayer and praise.

 

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National leaders Ante and Lidija in a fun moment.  Nikki is behind them.

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In any language, the signs for 40 Days for Life speak the same message. The signage is one way we stay united in mission. (editor’s note)

 

Day 3:

 

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Sisters, Margareta and Diana from Bjelovar.
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Krunoslav (on left )was a huge help and a blessing to us by providing much of the translation!  Pictured with Eva from Slavonski and another Krunoslav. Everyone made us feel so welcomed.

 

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Damir is the local leader for the city of Split. He spoke on how to present 40 Days for Life in churches.

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Zmonimir spoke about Chile where abortion is illegal.
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Marija and Petra

 

 

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Vlatka from Calovec

 

Closing  Day:

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Sunday was Croatia’s Independence Day, celebrated at Mass.
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Singing final song at closing of conference. So much joy, love and unity among them!  I started to cry knowing I was leaving.

 

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Ante is an amazing leader for 40 Days for Life in Croatia!

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Ivana was such a help translating!

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Hand made gifts given to us!  It reminded me of our closing rallies!

Connecting for life through the years with 40 Days for Life

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40 Days for Life Croatia 2015
Group from St. Sebastian's
Retro- 40 Days for Life -Pittburgh 2011

 Prayer and Prayer Warriors:  Daily Prayer

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Beautiful shrine!

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Djirdjica and her husband, Mladen, were kind enough to drive us to the shrine for prayer. They are a beautiful couple!
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Praying together at shrine. They really put prayer first here!

Sightseeing:

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Nikki and I stopped at a cafe for “coffee”- which we found out just means to hang out and have something, it doesn’t have to be coffee!

 

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Ivana took Nikki and me to an air conditioned cafe!

 

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Sightseeing with our wonderful and sweet guide, Ivana, along with another local leader, Krunoslav, who was kind enough to serve as our translator during the Bishop’s talk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Church of St. Joseph, where we had Mass every day in Cakovec

 

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National team member Marija walking with Nikki in Split along the Adriatic Sea

 

 

 

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Katie’s picture- Pittsburgh Diaper Drive

 

 

Expect rain… hope like the little girl who prayed for rain… and brought her umbrella to the prayer meeting!!  The chalk drawings may wash away, but the message of hope and life is etched in our hearts— all over this world.

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Father’s Day Reflection 2017

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Vince wrote the reflection for this blog and invites all to pray:

 

 

Sunday, June 18 at 7 am in front of 933 Liberty Avenue.

 

When most people think about abortion, they think about the mother who carries the child and the child itself.  Forgotten many times is for every abortion, there is also a father.  The father is many times thought of as the one who may be instigating the abortion.  Though this may be true, there are many instances when it is not. 

During one of the prayer vigils at Planned Parenthood last fall, a young man approached while we were in the midst of our prayers.  He stopped directly in front of the window that featured a young woman in a poster, with a warm and inviting smile that seemed to say come on in, we will take care of all of your problems!.  This young man stood face to face with this poster for maybe a minute or two and just stared.  He finally spat on the window, turned and faced me and continued to move on.  The hurt in his eyes was overwhelming.  I do not know what his story is, but I think it is safe to say that he is hurting by something that occurred in Planned Parenthood. 

We have to realize that there are many men out there who have been impacted by abortion as well.  Perhaps, the woman they were involved with became pregnant and unequivocally chose to have an abortion, in spite of any resistance from the father.  Let’s face it, if the woman decides to go that route, the man has no say.  What can he do to stop her?  There may be other instances where a man may have no knowledge at all, that he conceived a child, if the woman decides to have an abortion without ever letting him know.

This Sunday is Father’s Day.  It is the final Sunday that we will be reciting all 20 mysteries, on behalf of the unborn, the father’s (& mothers) who lose a child and of course, the ultimate goal, the closing of Planned Parenthood at 933 Liberty Avenue.  For those of you who are fathers, come on out at 7 AM for our brothers who have lost a child through abortion.  Heck, come on out, even if you are not a father.  We would love to see you ladies too!  It takes about an hour and a half.  You will feel better for it.  You will feel even better for it when the day comes that they put the padlock on that place when it goes out of business once and for all, and you know that you had a hand in it.  It’s time to fight the good fight all of you good & faithful servants!  We hope to see you! 

Vince P

 

Fatherhood Aborted   read the extraordinary work the author completed before his untimely death.  The author was a leader with Care Net

Download “Fatherhood Aborted” by Guy Condon & David HazardÂ

Fatherhood_Aborted_iPad_image.jpgAmazon.com describes Fatherhood aborted as a unique look at the emotional devastation men face from being involved in abortion.Â

 

September 27- November 5

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Sue D.  cares for others! Now caring for us!!

 

 

mfl 2017 40daysforlife_button_round

 

Fall 2017 campaign to end abortion in Pittsburgh-  September 27- November 5

I was struck by the sad irony of this word carved into the sidewalk....
Pray to restore liberty for all at 933 Liberty Avenue Pittsburgh, Pa.

 

Sign up to pray.  Join in with friends, a church group, or gather friends together to pray in peaceful witness in front of the abortion facility in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh.   Check out the schedule.

Individual calendar for signing up to witness.   Calendar

Peaceful, prayerful and meaningful witness for life.

Kick off the campaign with us:   sept2017flyerKURT

September 24  5:00 pm at Holy Wisdom Parish,

St. Boniface Church

Kick off information is on Get Involved Too

 

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Practical and monetary gifts go a long way in helping women choose life. Please donate to our local crisis pregnancy centers.

Also, can you help?  Please read this pdf.  Witnessing for life is making a difference!!!! No more walk

WCN is making a difference and needs our help.

Those of us on the front lines in front of Planned Parenthood rely on the wonderful service that Women’s Choice Network provides, (free ultrasound, pregnancy test, and counseling and support of those facing crisis pregnancies). They now need OUR help. Click the link to the PDF to find out how you can help to make sure they are able to continue accepting walk-in clients.   No more walk  

 

 

3-2-17 40days