Nikki wrote the following about this morning’s 7am-11am shift:
This was by far the COLDEST shift I have ever done! Thank goodness for the generosity of Catholic Charities for allowing our vigil participants to use their welcome center to get warmed up, use their restroom and have coffee! It was only Marie (Presbyterians Pro Life) and I for the entire morning shift…although William stopped by for a few minutes. Both of us took advantage of Catholic Charities gracious offer and each took a 20 minute warm-up break.
It was a quiet moring. No clients entered Planned Parenthood…only staff members. (Actually ONE staff member smiled at me and said “hi”!) There weren’t even very many comments from passerbys…I think it was just too cold for anyone to bother speaking. I did see a man and woman walking towards us, however. My initial thought was they might be heading into the clinic…but they walked past the door. Instead, they walked past Marie and her sign and stood in the doorway right NEXT to Planned Parenthood. They stood there for a couple minutes. Marie said they tried to get in, but the door was locked. When they left, they simply walked back the way they came…towards the parking garage on Ninth. The man had his arm around the woman as they walked. I had the thought that MAYBE they were planning to go to Planned Parenthood, but had the wrong door…and when they realized it was the wrong door, maybe seeing the signs that Marie and I were holding made them reconsider…and they decided to leave. We will never know, but it is an encouraging thought. Here are some photos from this morning:
Cecelia, who managed the vigil from 11am-1pm took this photo and wrote:
We were blessed from the moment we arrived for my vigil shift which also happened to be my church’s (St Joes) vigil day. Pattiand Rachael joined me for my 11-1 shift. It was so nice to have Rachael there from the “younger” generation! Some of the younger men passing by took notice of her! This was her first time there and she plans to come again.
As soon as we arrived, we were approached by Maria who is 37. She asked why we were there so I explained to her about the 40 Days for Life and handed her a flyer. She was so glad and shared her story with us. She started by saying how bad birth control is for women. She was on the pill/birth control since she was 17. She ended up developing “nodules” on her liver. So her Dr told her she needed to get off of those because of the estrogen and recommended the low dose pills. So she started on those and soon became pregnant. She was and still is in a serious relationship with a man but they are not married because he has addition problems. Knowing that abortion was not an acceptable option but not being able to care for her child herself, she chose an “open” adoption for her daughter, Mahayla. After her birth, she started back on the low dose pill. The Dr said she wasn’t on it long enough and that is why it “failed”. He had also suggested other options like the IUD but she read up on the problems with those and refused to try them. 3 years later, Maria became pregnant again. This time she gave birth to her son, Joshua. The family who adopted her daughter wanted more children and were thrilled to adopt her baby boy. Maria says that Mahayla and Joshua are in a very loving home and she would not take any money when the kids were adopted because she didn’t want them to think she “sold” them. She is able to see them and receives letters from the family. She is so proud of her children and feels very good about her choice. Here is a picture of Maria with pictures of her 3 year old and 3 month old children.
Maria hopes to join with us at the vigil (probably Tues or Thurs) when she is able. Please pray for her as she is going through a recovery program herself (for co-dependency?). Maria is hoping to makeChristian friends at the vigil and to share her story with others. Please welcome her if you see her.
Towards the end of my shift, two girls crossed the road and walked by us. The one kept going but the other slowed but did not make eye contact at first. She seemed apprehensive. So I asked if I could help her and told her that, if she knew someone who was pregnant, that I had some information to help. So she smiled and said she would like the information. I also told her that the centers listed would be better choices for her. That she would not want to go to PP because they might try to talk her into having an abortion. And she would not want to kill her baby. She seemed relieved to get the information and hurried along to catch up with her friend.
Jessica, Joyce and Provi arrived for the second part of the shift (from 1-3:00). They are seen here withPatti, who was with me:
Joyce brought with her two of her boys, Isaac and Timmy, as well as my boys, Jacob and Isaac. They are in this photo with shift manager, Beth, and Jessica:
We prayed a DivineMercy Chaplet with the boys:
Before leaving with the boys, we posed with the signs that our St. Joe’s Middle School,EDGEkids made when we had our “Life is Wonderful” night:
Joyce reported that while they were there, from 1-3, a woman approached them and said that, although PP performs abortions, they also provide other helpful services. They were able to share with her why we can’t support any organization that assists with the killing of babies.
The second shift manager, Beth, wrote:
Dear 40 Days,
What a beautiful day to start the first full week of our vigil. We had a great turn out with the 11-3 shift covered. Bravo to Aquinas Academy for bring a big group of students and Celia had her handsome bunch of young men with her along with others. Handed out lots of literature and the addition of the big sidewalk folding sign was very effective, easy to see and explained why we were there. Whoever put that together, smart. Now if we had one with FREE HELP, 1. 800. 712. HELP, YOU DON’T HAVE TO HAVE AN ABORTION, (idea taken from the video on side walk counseling that Meredith gave me) just let me know how I can help get that going. I think of the people who are headed into PP and are just too upset to talk with us, if we had a BIG sign like that, that they could see from across the street, maybe that would work.
And after stopping in Catholic Charities to use the facilities, the lady at the desk said that they were our “warming station” now. Great!
Third shift manager, Rosalina, took the following photo and wrote:
Our first day for Forty Days was relatively quiet…The alarm went of at Planned Parenthood and police cars came to investigate. They went inside and then left. What did that mean???? Our prayers and fasting are definitely having an effect. We must continue to pray for an end to abortion.
Your sister in Christ
Thank you to Sandy, Jess and Jeff for coming to the vigil during the the last shift…so that our shift managers didn’t have to stand alone!!!