Two of our wonderful Vigil Shift Managers have written accounts of their shifts today! Enjoy their beautiful stories:
The early morning sky hues grew from lemon to apricot to blueberry. Four prayer volunteers beat me to our station in front of Planned Parenthood and were already praying together. Laura and Brian from the Couple to Couple League were praying with Barb and Mary Ann from Saint Catherine of Sienna in Beechview, which was the Church who had signed up for the 7 to 11 time. Barb and Mary Ann remained for the whole shift and were joined later by Mary and Rose. Mary Ann has needed a wheel chair since her twenties and looking backshe realized that her handicap was a gift of God. She volunteers with PCUC.
Early in the shift, a man named Steve walked past, slowly. He walked back and we talked. “I would love to get back to God and the Catholic Church, but I am embarrassed. They’ll think I’m only coming back because I’m having trouble,” he said. Wow. Everyone in Church is having trouble. It’s called a Cross. Turning your heart back to God is the first
step. God never left. We prayed together. Steve has a wife and a 9 year old son. He and his wife would like more children.
Brandon, a truck driver, stopped and offered to get us “coffee or something.” I was glad to accept. I was chilly and thirsty and I’m always ready for coffee. No one else needed
anything. He returned with a strong hot cup of the brew of champions. Brandon
encouraged us “not to lose hope.” He reports he has seen people park in a lot nearby and return to their cars when they see the 40 Days for Life people at the PP site. Brandon’s friend died in the past 2 weeks. He had a heart attack and fell over, when Brandon was with him. Brandon reports that in the old days, he had many “best friends.” Now he has a few good friends, but he knows he can count on them to be there for him.
Mike from St. Joseph’s in Verona stopped with us to pray the Rosary.
Barbara and Don are regular Thursday Prayer Volunteers. They live in Butler. They had 3
or 4 homemade signs with Scripture quotes that are beautifully designed. Barbara made them. Barbara is from Poland and is fiercely prolife. She was brimming with love for
God, Mary and everything Catholic.
A woman named “B” was unable to get into PP. The door was locked. We talked, although she was in a hurry. She thinks abortion should be available for raped women. She said she needed to get a pregnancy test. She accepted our pregnancy resource handout.
Her personal circumstances are fragile and she said she would stop back to talk with one of the 40 Days Volunteers when she has more time. She wants to get a better idea about how to direct her life.
YWAM (Youth With a Mission came), including Bill, Diego, April, Katie, Melissa, Abi, Olof, Christian, Ryan and Ethan arrived “from the Burning Bush, a site on the slopes of the South Side.” I asked to take their picture and asked them to show their teeth. Their picture looks funny, with very many teeth showing.
Barbara Lewis, 3/15/12. 7 to 11 Shift
The following accoutn is by Lisa, Second Shift:
Helpful words to women in need
“Today, I saw two young women (maybe teens?) tentatively going in the door of Planned Parenthood. They seemed confused at first when I told them that we were there to help them. They did not respond to me, and walked in the door. Almost immediately, they came right back out! I think the place intimidated them, and they were then willing to take information from me. I explained to them how the pregnancy care centers help women so much better than Planned Parenthood, and they could get all the same testing done there for free. They asked about pregnancy tests, and I told them yes! I proceeded to share with them the fact that Planned Parenthood is more interested in their money, and it is more like a “factory.” But the other places, on the sheet I gave them, would take good care of them. They seemed thankful and glad that they had an alternative to go to! So, thank God for that. Hopefully, these young girls will choose life and be the healthy women that God created them to be. ” Lisa
We had a brand new church take part in our vigil this evening for the third shift! Lower Burrell Baptist Church! Our Shift Manager during the third shift wrote the following:
“Our vigil today turned out really well–There were 7 people there (with their pastor) from the Lower Burrell Baptist Church. They stayed for the 4 hours.”
“We also had a new wrinkle added. A young couple went into the Clinic and came out rather quickly. The girl left and the young man stood outside of the clinic. Then he went inside and came outside with a small sign–hand printed on 8/12 by 11 “I agree with a woman’s right to choose”. Of course, he got thumbs up from several passersby. The security guard called him inside the clinic. The young man came out again and stood outside of the circle (like us). One of the women from the clinic gave him a sticker, which he placed on his jacket. I have no idea what the sticker said. The young girl came back with her ukelele
and stood with him. Vickie showed up and decided to stand beside him and talk with him. He left shortly after, telling her he had to meet some friends. She did find out that the young couple was part of “Occupy Pgh”.” Dee