Day 10: A Day of Death and Darkness… in Need of Life and Light…St. Alexis in Wexford Does their Part!

Today was Friday.  Many things happened today.  It was a Friday during Lent.  Most people were probably at work or school.  There were fish fries held at dozens of churches all over Pittsburgh.  Most people started their weekend today.  People had parties and went out to dinner.  A normal Friday.  But with one enormous difference.  Babies were put to death today.  Today was an abortion day.

How do we live with that?  How do I, as a Christian, live with that?  A question we can all ask ourselves.  How did the ancient Romans respond when thousands of their fellow countrymen were put to death because they were Christians?  How did the World War II-era Germans and Poles respond when millions of Jews, Catholics, gypsies, and gays were put to death right in their own backyards, because they were deemed inferior?  And how do we respond today when tens of millions of unborn children are put to death because they are unwanted, unloved, or seen as an inconvenience?  I believe the answer is the SAME in each case.  In each of these circumstances, even if most did nothing, many did SOMETHING.  And that something was to PRAY.

We can pray in reparation for ALL of the atrocities against human life.  We can pray for God’s mercy and forgiveness upon us.  We can pray for both the victims AND the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity.

After all, isn’t that what 40 Days for Life is about?  It’s 40 Days of PRAYER.  We cry out to God for mercy.  And we trust that His mercy is abundant.  It is new every morning.  He will gather the lost and broken, hurt by abortion, into His arms and will HEAL them.  Let us continue to PRAY.

Thanks be to God, we have a tremendous team of dedicated prayer warriors each day.  And today was no exception.  Our morning began with ever-faithful Al and Sally, early-morning Shift Managers.

Here is what Sally shared from this morning:

We thought that perhaps we would not see many pray-ers this morning because of the freezing rain weather advisory.  Instead, one, two or 3 people were arriving and leaving all morning.  They were from zip codes all over the Pgh map.  Isn’t it wonderful how God sends all those people to come together to witness for life?  And they respond no matter what the weather.
As Fridays go, PP was slow, but picked up a little as the morning wore on. I saw one couple leave after about 1/2 hour.  The lady was wearing sweats, but I don’t know if she changed her mind or left for another reason.  A man went by with a child in a stroller.  He asked for a baby model to show his girlfriend.  We gave him the model, the little card that goes with it, and a flyer. Planting seeds.

Below is a photo taken during Sally’s shift:

L-R: Rob, Claire, Ann, Bill, Seamus, Lucy and Marge. They all answered the call to fill our empty hours during an abortion day! God bless them!!!

On a related note, please pray for Al, who fell on the ice after his shift today.  Sally reports that he seems to be fine, with no major injuries.  But all prayers are appreciated!  Thank you!

Ginny was our next Shift Manager, who shared this photo with us:

L-R: Shift Manager Ginny, Wanda, Rev. Debbie (from Christ’s Church Ministries), and Rev. Bryan.

Shift Manager Marie reported that St. Alexis in Wexford had a wonderful group of faithful prayer volunteers all during the 11am=3pm shift.  The freezing rain and cold, damp weather didn’t deter them!  

Dedicated prayer warriors from St. Alexis in Wexford brave the elements!
Lillian, who is 92 years young comes to witness regularly! What an inspiration to us!


Here is a photo that Nikki took as she arrived for the evening shift…as St. Alexis’ shift was about over:

Kate (from St. Alexis in Wexford), Tony and Shift Manager Marie


This photo was taken during Shift Manager Pat’s shift:


Pat says: “It’s rare to see both great courage and great humility in the same person. But when I watch John out there in front of PP, I realize that it’s possible.”


Finally, we hear from Nikki, who had her shift at a difficult time of day.  Here is what she shared about her shift:

I am so inspired by all the good people who braved the cold, damp and even freezing rain at the vigil today!  Our 40 Days family is showing amazing unity, I think.  Our “regular” Friday family could  not make it tonight, understandably, since they come all the way from Beaver Falls…and the roads were icy…so Pat and I stood the whole 4  hours together.  I really appreciated him staying the extra two hours with me.  Tony was there, as he has been so often.  John also came and prayed.  Jim stopped for a little while too.

At one point during my shift a professionally dressed woman stopped and with tears in her eyes, asked us to pray for her cousin…who was being induced at that moment, across the river at Allegheny General Hospital.  Her cousin was only 4 months pregnant, but there was no heartbeat and was going through an induced delivery of her baby.  So, Pat and I joined her in a prayer right there on the sidewalk.  She was very appreciative.  Please pray for them.

Later, an African American woman…about my age I guess (late 40’s or early 50’s) stopped to argue with me.  At least in the beginning she wanted to argue.  As we debated the issue however, she began to soften and I hope that she has some seeds planted in her heart that will grow. After our long debate she was happy to take the literature that I had as she left.

The traffic in and out of the gay bar next door was constant.  Our culture is SO in need of God’s grace…and of renewal!  At one point, a man in a wheelchair was having trouble opening the door to the gay bar…and he actually asked me to open it for him.  I really struggled with that!  I didn’t want to do it…I felt like I was opening the door to hell for him…but I did it.  I am sorry Lord.

Friday nights are my least favorite shifts…I hate seeing the couples leave after their abortions.  Two Fridays done…four to go.

Stay strong 40 Days family!  We are a much needed light in a very dark place!

Photo of Nikki taken by Pat. He writes: Although the picture quality isn’t good, I like the way it shows a solitary person  on the streets of Pittsburgh at night doing something that makes no sense at all to the vast majority of people who pass by – especially since most would know that PP had closed for the day. Yet I think that makes the message, the witness, even more powerful.



3 thoughts on “Day 10: A Day of Death and Darkness… in Need of Life and Light…St. Alexis in Wexford Does their Part!

  • February 23, 2013 at 4:34 am

    Nikki I believe that you did the correct thing. I read your post this morning, I went downstairs to pray the Rosary, The Sorrowful Mysteries, which contains Jesus carries the cross by himself. I don’t know why but Jesus purportedly had help carrying the cross. The man did an “evil” thing when he helped Jesus carry his cross to Golgotha. But what he did was blessed. When that man wheeled into that bar, after the door closed you don’t know what he said. But I’ll bet it gave to anyone who heard what you did pause to wonder. Maybe those religious nuts outside aren’t so bad after all.

    • February 23, 2013 at 8:21 am

      Thanks for that perspective John! You’re right, I would have never thought about the man who was asked to carry Jesus’ cross…although an evil deed…it was ultimately for a GOOD purpose! I don’t think my opening the door to allow this man into a gay bar could have been for a good purpose, unless, as you said, it may cut through their negative perception of us. Anyway, thank you for the encouragement!

  • February 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    We’re to hate the sin but love the sinner.

    By opening that door to help someone who has turned away from God and his instructions (laws), you are displaying God’s love to a lost and fallen soul. While he may not understand it now, at a low point in his lonesome state he will remember that touch of God’s love and compassion, and hopefully then to be open to hear and seek more.

    Alternativly if we spurn the person, he will remember and connect that not just with God’s people, but with his understanding of God.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *