“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12
Nearly halfway through the campaign, vigil participants did, indeed, display a consistent, prayerful presence at the vigil location. Read about how courageous individuals from Covenant Community Church, St. Regis in Trafford, St. Joan of Arc and Kiski Valley Presbyterian Church did so in the following testimonies and photos:
First-time vigil shift manager, Sue, took these awesome photos of the wonderful group of folks from Covenant Community Church in Wexford..and a group of teens who came un-expectedly all the way from Ridgeway PA! I am glad that Sue had the company of such wonderful prayer warriors to warm the freezing sidewalk with her this morning:
Sue wrote of an amazing story told by Pastor Jon, pastor of Covenant community church:
The shift, although cold with occasional snowflakes, went really well! We were blessed all four hours of the morning by twelve members of Covenant Community Church in Wexford. Boy, can those folks pray from the heart! The next blessing was a group, including four teens, from St. Leo’s Church in beautiful rural Ridgway, PA — a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Pittsburgh!! Rounding out the group were Lorraine from Madonna del Castillo, Vince from St. Sebastian, and Pat from St. Bernadette. As we prayed we could hear the spring birds singing. At one point we noticed one person (likely a worker) enter the Planned Parenthood doors, but other than that there was no evidence of anything at all going on in the building. Although we encountered a few passers-by during the morning, not one of them was negative toward our group. One gentleman in particular told us he would be with us in prayer for the closing of the clinic.
Pastor Jon from Covenant could not stay as long as he had wanted to, as he had to go prepare for his service, but right before he left he shared a beautiful and amazing story of why this cause is so near & dear to his heart. Years ago, his mother-in-law had been ready to abort his now-wife. She was on the table awaiting the abortionist’s entry into the room — she was all alone in the room — and she heard an audible voice say, “Don’t do this.” She looked all around the room to confirm no one else was in the room. Indeed, no one else was. She listened to the voice and did not have the abortion. Pastor Jon said she was not even a Christian at the time, and did not become a Christian until 8 years later! But she followed that voice — and now Pastor Jon has a wife and three dear children because his mother-in-law listened.
Julie managed the vigil from 11am-1pm and sent in the following photos and stories:
I arrived a bit before 11am to find smiling faces of folks from St. Sebastian parish in the North Hills and Grace from a parish in Ridgeway, Pa. they were probably cold, but they were not gloomy! What a great witness of hope and joy!
At 11am Bill from the Presbyterian Parish downtown and the two ladies from St. Joan of Arc Parish in Bethel Park arrived, they bundled up…and were full of joy! Grace and the two ladies (Joanne and Robine) and I prayed for the 6 intentions listed on the prayer sheet and Bill prayed dutifully out in in full view closer to the street holding the 40 Days for Life sign for those in cars passing by to see the witness to life.
4 high school students an Grace’s sister came back at noon after mass and joined us in calling upon the Sacred and Powerful name of Jesus to shut the place (planned Parenthood) down. We called upon Jesus repeatedly as we read the list of about 200 different titles of Jesus and repeatedly asked him to Shut this Place down in the litany prayer. We all lined the two sides of the sidewalk and people walked between our lines along the sidewalk. As we prayed one woman stopped in the midst of us an spat at us when she heard what we were praying for. Another woman walked by and paused to say,” I’ve had two abortions…. you are doing the right thing” Wow! what a difference in responses! I only lament that I didn’t respond quickly enough to further talk to the woman who had two abortions before she continued on.
Those two hours in the cold wind were not comfortable at all. I was so very humbled because all of those folks I was with today (two more ladies from St. Joan of Arc parish arrived around 12:30pm) were all there longer than me! When I left and the next shift manager came, they were all still there! I believe that Our Father in heaven sees the courageous hearts of these folks who are praying in the cold out of love and crying out for mercy. He will honor our prayers for Planned Parenthood to be shut down.
The young people that were there today came because they know other young people who have had abortions. They had told Grace, who is their CCD teacher, what can we do? How can we help to stop the evil of abortion? Grace answered the call and lead them 2.5 hours away from home to be at the vigil today. Praise God for his work in our hearts and the grace to take action so that the Praise God for the victory over sin and death!
Rose managed the vigil from 1pm – 3pm:
We were blessed today despite the cold during my 1-3 shift. The confirmation students from St. Regis and their leaders get the award for endurance on this bitter cold Sunday! They were standing in the cold for four hours (10 – 2) and were still cheerful and prayerful. We prayed the Scriptural rosary together lead by John Mihm. Nina and Terry from St. Joan of Arc came at 1 as well and stayed till 3. We also prayed some prolife prayers from Fr. Tim and his Litany Against Abortion as well as the “Shut this place down” litany Julie previously emailed with the powerful names of Jesus! One humorous incident. My stomach was acting up and I really needed to use the facilities, so Nina and I walked down to the Cafe and she bought some drinks while I used the restroom. There was a young man and woman behind the counter who were very nice and Nina explained what we were about. She still had her 40 days sign on. I needed to used the restroom again. After her turn in the restroom she told the boss she fixed the toilet as it was leaking Imagine my surprise when I came out and saw who the boss was – the man who would often come down and shout unkind words to fellow prolifers in front of PP. He didn’t seem very hostile, and we thanked him again on our way out. I told Nina about his previous hostility toward us and we rejoiced that we were able show him some kindness. Later, Nina wanted more coffee, so she went back down and I told her to thank him again for me. While he was waiting on her, his back to the door, a young couple went in and were ready to walk back out. Anyway Nina told them to stay and raved about his coffee to them, so they bought some. Later on we saw him come out of his cafe and looked down our way but never came down. I wonder if God is working in his heart – it must be all the prayers!
The third shift was managed by our faithful and dedicated shift managers Jim and Cathy. The church that adopted the 3-7pm shift was Kiski Valley Presbyterian Church. It was their first time ever participating in 40 Days for Life, and I (Nikki) was worried that the frigid weather would discourage them from doing it again…but when I had the privilege of meeting the three young, enthusiastic witnesses that were left from their group at 6:30pm (as our mid-point rally began), I saw that I needn’t have worried! They thanked us for allowing them to join our efforts and said they would be back again next time! Praise God! Here are some photos:
Jim and Cathy wrote:
Fellow vigil participants,
Songs are sung, the candles are lit, the stories are told; now lets get this next 20 days on the road (street) covered. Thanks for the tune up on Sunday night during the mid point. Sorry we had to leave but the 4 hour vigil took its toll in energy. Thanks to all who had participated.
Sunday was a cold day on the street but warm in the prayerful messages and great singing brought to us by the Kiski Valley PCA. Sure hope that they see fit to come again and help lift God up on the streets of Pittsburgh in front of Planned Parenthood.
Camera Shy prayers, Jim and Cathy Shantz
Vigil participants (over 40 of them!) also displayed a prayerful presence at the midpoint rally this evening. The presence of so many people praying at the candlelit vigil despite the cold weather was truly uplifting.
More uplifting stories and pictures will be posted as they become available.