Day 34…St. Coleman’s in Turtle Creek & West Hills Baptist Patiently Endure for Love of Christ

Helpless.  That is what we were before Christ came as a man and willingly suffered and died to save us.  He knew we could not save ourselves.  We were dead in sin…not even knowing that we needed to be saved!  But He…Magnificent…Holy…God of all Creation…loved us SO MUCH that he allowed himself to be beaten, scourged, mocked, spit upon…and crucified on a cross.

While I was standing in the cold, COLD rain for 4 hours this morning, I thought I was suffering.  Of course, my suffering doesn’t begin to compare to the suffering that Christ endured.  This past weekend the shift managers and vigil participants suffered under the persecution of many intoxicated passersby.  They were mocked and spit upon.  Again, nothing compared to what Christ went through for us.

The comparison is this;  We were HELPLESS in our sin and so because of HIS LOVE for US, Christ endured suffering and persecution to save us.  It is the same for the unborn babies in the womb that are in danger of abortion.  They are HELPLESS too!  And, just like Christ had to suffer to save us when we were helpless…sometimes WE have to suffer to save the unborn, who are helpless to save themselves!  When we look upon Jesus as He is nailed to the cross, we can’t help but know how much He loves us.  When passers-by see us standing in the cold rain for hours upon end…even if they hate us…they see how much we LOVE our unborn brothers and sisters.  And, if they are willing to stop and engage us in conversation, we can let them know how much we love THEM too!

Thanks to Dean who stood with me from 7-9am and Rose who was with me from 9-11am.  What faithful, gentle, soldiers for the Lord they both are.

At 11am three members from St. Coleman’s arrived to do the first half of their church’s shift.

Witnesses from St. Coleman’s in Turtle Creek, along with Bill

Two ladies from St. Coleman’s came to stand from 1-3pm, also representing Catholic Daughters of America.  They have witnessed for life many times before, so they were “pros”, which was a good thing…since we had a mix-up with the shift manager schedule and there was no vigil shift manager on duty with them.  But, that didn’t deter them one bit…they continued on with their witness!

Pro-life veterans from St. Colman’s and Catholic Daughters

I went back to the vigil for an hour at 3pm to fill in for another shift manager, and was there to greet the next group…the faithful pastor and his crew from West Hills Baptist Church:

Dave, Pastor Walker and Karen from West Hills Baptist

While we were there, a very angry African American man stopped to rant and rave at us, calling us racist because we had photos of black babies on our signs.  We tried to talk reasonably to him, but it was impossible.  When the next shift manager, Pat, arrived, he knew exactly who I was talking about.  He said this man stops often during his shift to yell about us being racist.

Thanks to Pat and Beth for doing the rest of this evening’s shift at the vigil!

Beth sent in the following report from tonight:

Dear 40 Days Family,
What a great group we had for our shift, Monday, 5-7.  There were beautiful prayer warriors from West Hills Baptist Church in Moon township, who even brought snacks (yeah), Ken, who left a note on the front seat of his car to remind him to stop and stay, people from St. Basils in Carrick and regulars like William and Greg so the time was always covered with prayer.  Very little action at PP although I did see Kim Evert the executive director leave, rather quickly it seemed.  Bus drivers honked and gave us a thumbs up; we were thanked by numerous people just passing by and the rain stopped.
beth
p.s. A million blessings on the morning shift.  Hell didn’t freeze over but Liberty Avenue came close!

Pastor Bryan, who is a regular witness during our 40 Days for Life campaigns, sent the following reflections for me to share with you:

My thoughts and remembrances from this past week:

1) I finally was able to be on the sidewalk when post-abortion girls were leaving PP.  Their expectation, fed by PP personnel, was that it was going to be a great thing being relieved of the “problem” in their body.  The ones I observed were very different.  No joy.  No smiles.  Just tears, obvious emotional distress and possibly shame as they tried to hide their faces and walk quickly away from us.  Acting on the Devil’s promises never leads to joy.

2) Two notable people I talked to were a young man and a woman in her 40s.  The young man had some thoughts that abortion was not a good thing, but a woman should have a choice.  He came to understand that it is a human being that is killed (my 12 week baby model is a great visual awakening), and left with a firm distaste of abortions and “choice”.  As always, I told him to spread the word to others.

The woman, as we talked, revealed she had had an abortion and nearly died in the procedure.  She subsequently carried two other pregnancies to completion, has a wonderful grown daughter, and had a son but he was murdered 2 years ago.  Fortunately she is Christian, but still carrying grief and self-unforgiveness for the abortion, and now with this added grief on top of it.   She was open to my praying to her right there (it’s interesting how we seemed to be in a bubble insulated from the outside world while praying).  Of course I told her that she needs to actively spread the word about abortion.

3) The other item is what I call “the intolerance of tolerance”.  That applies to the people who consider themselves tolerant of everything, including abortion, but are vehemently intolerant of anyone having a different position.  In reading these blogs, it seems like this activity has been increasing, and was especially bad on St Patrick’s day.  I was also told of a lady who passes through every day and swears foully at us, and I was looking forward to her (these are my kind of people I want to talk to).  She did come through, but rushed away swearing, not listening.

Folks, we need to keep in mind that we are in a spiritual battle.  When people don’t know God and substitute themselves as their own “God”. the Devil steps in just as he did with Eve.  We know the devil is vehemently opposed to all we do, thus the nasty comments, outbursts, and actions we observe.  Even so we are to love our enemies, but be proactive, as in 1 Cor 10:3-5  “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine poser to destroy strongholds.  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”    Whether you can talk to them, get them to take literature or not, proactive includes all the praying we do against the lie, and for the people so deluded to come to know and follow Jesus.  In all, regardless of the person’s words or actions, we are to demonstrate the Lord to them with self control, love, gentleness, patience, kindness (Gal 5:22-23).

Blessings,   Pastor Bryan

Hang in there, we are nearing the finish line!

God bless you,

Nikki

 

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