It was a cold and wet morning in Pittsburgh, but that didn’t stop Pastor Win from St. John’s United Evangelical Protestant Church from driving all the way from Rochester, PA to stand (and kneel) on the dark, damp sidewalk on an abortion morning in front of Planned Parenthood for the entire 4-hour morning shift:
This is the kind of faith that will end abortion! Faith to come all alone on a cold, rainy morning and kneel on a wet sidewalk out of love and obedience for God and for His unborn children! What an inspiration! I had the privilege of meeting Pastor Win, as he was just finishing up his shift when I arrived for my 11am-3pm shift:
I also took this picture of Sally, along with Mary and Lillian, who are year-round prayer warriors in front of Planned Parenthood:
Sally wrote the following report from her morning shift:
PP was busy this morning. An abortionist and 2 students went in. About 10 couples went in to kill their babies. One couple came out after a short time, talking happily to each other. I would guess that a wanted baby is on the way for them.
A good many single girls went it. I had a conversation with “M” who assured me that she was just confirming a home pregnancy test and wants the baby so that her 6 year old son will have a brother or sister. I gave her our resource sheet and one of the little babies in the “blanket” and she did come out in a short while saying that she is
5 weeks pregnant. Let’s hope that her next stop will be at the CPC in her area that I pointed out to her. It was a slow day for pray-ers, (6 of us the entire morning) but the one and only representative from his church more than made up for those who could not be there. He is Pastor Win from St. John (Burrys) church in Beaver County. In spite of a heavy rain that had left puddles in the street, he knelt on the sidewalk about 4 times from 7 to 11 a.m. praying for long periods each time. Al was very impressed.
There were no churches scheduled between 11am – 1pm, so I was going to be alone…but Ed kindly came to stand with me for those two hours! He drove all the way from New Castle and took time out of his construction business to come. It was a blessing to get to know him and to pray with him this morning!
While Ed and I were praying, we were greatly blessed by a visit from another man named Ed. This “Ed” is from St. Bernadette Parish in Monroeville and just stopped by the vigil to encourage us by bringing us coffee and cookies! We prayed a bit together before he left…with our spirits lifted and bodies warmed…by the show of love and the hot coffee!
At 1pm Eileen from Redeemer Orthodox Presbyterian Church came for her 1-4pm shift. It was just the two of us for the remainder of my shift.
Many people stopped to talk with us, and we gave away some of the beautiful roses that Diane was kind enough to supply. Soon we were greatly blessed by a visit from William:
As soon as William began to speak, I could see the peace of our Lord Jesus lives in him. He stopped just to tell us how much he loves Jesus and to thank us for being there. As we talked, I noticed he had a foreign accent, and so I asked him where he was from. He answered that he was from Africa. I then asked him which part of Africa he is from. He said he is from Rwanda. I couldn’t believe I was meeting someone from Rwanda! Let me tell you why!
Last Thursday, I went to St. Vincent College in Greensburg to hear a woman named Immaculee Ilibagiza. She is a survivor of the Rwanda genocide that happened in 1994. She is the author of many books, but the one that tells her story is called “Left to Tell“. (This young man, William, was ALSO a survivor of that genocide! He was just a baby of one year when it happened!)
I learned from listening to Immaculee’s story that in three months, one million innocent men, women and children were murdered during this genocide! They were killed by their friends and neighbors who got caught up in the explosion of hatred that erupted following the president of Rwanda’s plane being shot down. Immaculee lost her entire family to the genocide (except for one brother who was out of the country at the time), but she survived by hiding in the 3′ by 4′ bathroom of a pastor…along with seven other women! A young university student, home for Easter break, she was 115 pounds when she entered the bathroom. 91 days later, when she finally was able to leave the tiny bathroom, she was just 65 pounds!
At one point during her ordeal, she came close to losing her faith. Cramped and trying to stretch, she happened to look out of the bathroom window and saw a band of 200-300 men surrounding the house. She knew they were about to be discovered. She said she was hearing two voices (one on each side of her). One voice was telling her to just give up and open the bathroom door….to just get it over with…it was torture to keep hiding, when she knew they were going to be found. But on the other side there was a “nice” voice. This voice told her to have faith in God to save her! The “bad” voice spoke again. It said, “God doesn’t exist! If He did, why would all this bad stuff be happening to you. And, even if He does exist, He obviously doesn’t care about you or he wouldn’t allow this to happen!” But again the “nice” voice spoke to Immaculee. That voice said, “Just have faith and trust in God. He can do anything! Ask Him to save you!” Immaculee decided to listen to the nice voice and she asked God for a sign. She told Him that she wasn’t asking for Him to save her indefinitely…she just wanted a sign so she could believe. She only asked Him so save her for that day! She asked, “Lord, don’t let them find us TODAY!” She said she didn’t care if they found her the next day and killed her…she just wanted that sign so she could believe in God…that He would not allow them to find her on that day!
After praying that prayer, she fainted. For three hours she was in a dead faint. The next thing she knew, she was aware that the Pastor who was hiding them had opened the bathroom door. He explained what had happened. He said the men surrounded the house. Dozens of them climbed on the roof to see if anyone was hiding there. More climbed in the attic and dozens more combed through every room of the small house. They went through closets, looked under beds, inside suitcases (looking for babies) and in every nook and cranny of the house. But, when they came to the bathroom where the seven women were hiding…the leader of the murderous band of men put his hand on the doorknob to open the door…but then hesitated and turned to the pastor (who was sweating and trembling nervously) and said, “You know what? We trust you! You’re one of us! We know you’re not hiding anyone in here! We don’t need to look in here!” AND THEY LEFT!!!
Immaculee had her faith back….stronger than ever! She never doubted God again after that! She said that although she had grown up with a strong faith and had wonderful faithful parents who educated her in Catholic schools…(her family prayed together on their knees every night) …she had always just taken her faith for granted. IT HAD NEVER BEEN TESTED BEFORE! After almost losing her faith, Immaculee came to appreciate her faith more than ever…and her faith became so much stronger after passing through the fire! She is now a beautiful faith-filled woman of God! It was a gift just to be in the same room with her and hear her tell her story!
I have recently come to realize that faith really is a GIFT from GOD! I TREASURE my faith and am SO GRATEFUL for it! Many people have faith…but I wonder how many have had their faith tested and so have come to appreciate it ever more?
This is why it is important to overcome our fears of witnessing on the sidewalk! Even though we may be scared to death to do it…if we do it anyway…God rewards our obedience by strengthening our faith and we then appreciate it so much more than we did before!
Thank you to Pastor Win and Eileen for representing their churches on the sidewalk today! Thank you for showing us your faith! It is inspiring to see!!!
At 3pm Sheila showed up to take the next shift. Here is a photo of her and Eileen:
Sheila managed the 3-5pm shift and was relieved by 5-7pm shift manager Jeannie. They were joined by prayer participant Bethany. Sheila took this photo:
Overall, there were quite a few women who took our resource sheet, both passersby and visitors to Planned Parenthood. There was a couple who left Planned Parenthood and seemed upset about their treatment there. They were there for a pregnancy test. They were in and out the door in a matter of minutes. They took the resource sheet and they were very appreciative. She said that if she’s pregnant she will definitely keep the baby.
If more stories or photos come in, I will post them here.
Your sister in Christ,
WE HAVE NO ONE SIGNED UP TO STAND WITH EARLY MORNING SHIFT MANAGER CATHY FROM 7AM-10AM TOMORROW (WED)!!! IT WILL BE DARK AND COLD AND CATHY WILL BE ALL ALONE. PLEASE COME AND PRAY WITH HER IF YOU ARE ABLE!!!