Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His mercy endures forever. (Psalm 136:1)
God has truly let this campaign’s theme of MERCY come full circle, as we come to the last day of our vigil. But our prayers, our efforts, and our work are not over.
Zacchaeus, a known sinner, had his life changed through an encounter with the living God. Our Lord Jesus tells us, “[T]he Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10)
Like Zacchaeus, the abortion-minded or post-abortive women and men whom we encounter are lost. But Our Lord Jesus has come to seek them! And to save them! “He wants everyone to know about His great mercy and His desire to forgive us, heal us, and bring us peace.” (from http://thedivinemercy.org/library/article.php?NID=4548)
And so, our work is not over. Not if we want to follow Our Lord Jesus, and also work to seek and save the lost, with His help. We must not stop between this campaign and the next. People are in need, and they need US. Abby Johnson once said that those who are leaving an abortion facility looking for help will have NO ONE to go to, if WE are not there. To the best of our ability, and with Our Lord’s help, we must KEEP IT UP.
We thank our shift managers for all they have done. Today’s shift managers shared some of their last-day stories and photos with us:
First, we have a report from Shift Manager Sue:
I covered the 7:00-11:00a shift this morning, Sunday, November 3. Cold!!! Just a little taste of the “spring” vigil to come ….! Wow. The LAST DAY of this vigil. Only Bill H., Kathy L., and Rick T. were the other attendees this morning. They all had to leave by 9:00, though, at which point I became a “loner” at the vigil for the very first time! I did feel a little more conspicuous than usual, but I was not nervous. It was pretty nice that there were lots of cops around all morning, due to the race — more on that coming up ….. I was able to get in lots of personal prayer.
Shortly after I became a loner, a very nice older gentleman with a fabulous foreign accent crossed the street to speak with me. He told me he was a homosexual and then proceeded to tell me that part of our campaign should be waged against “straight guys,” as he contended that a huge part of the reason we have the problem of abortion is because of straight guys. He then went on a bit about how people should pay a lot more attention to the problem of abortion than to the issue of homosexual rights. I listened politely and at least was able to agree with his final point! He said he is a church-going Christian and would continue to pray for an end to abortion. He also thanked me for being there. He was very kind — and also fortunately, he did not stay very long, ’cause I just didn’t know what in the world I was gonna say if he did!
And then the runners came. And just kept coming — and coming — and coming. It was the inaugural year for the “EQT 10 Miler,” and its website said there were over 4,000 runners participating. What a wonderful opportunity to witness! And I couldn’t help thinking it was a shame I was alone and how much more effective our witness would have been with more folks there. Although I was praying the whole time, I kept my face turned to them constantly with a small smile. Many of the hundreds — thousands — of runners looked over, but out of all of them, I got only 4 positive comments from them. One runner even lifted up the back of her sweatshirt to show her pro-life t-shirt underneath!!! So in addition to some positives from sidewalk passersby, that was about 8 total positives to one negative. The negative was from a very young girl, who ran by yelling very loudly, “YEA Planned Parenthood!! And guess what — they don’t even do abortions at this facility!” This kind of thing always makes me so sad. I prayed for a time for her. And for the truth about PP to be known.
The verse “Run so as to win” (1 Cor. 9:24) popped into my head. Yes indeed, that is what we 40-Days-ers are doing …….. and I couldn’t help thinking how far, far more worthy the victory we seek is than any victory any one of them will ever attain for merely running an earthly footrace. I wondered if that ever crossed any of their minds.
And now …… at least a little bit like Paul, we have now “fought the good fight” (at least for the fall vigil) — we “have run the race” (2 Tim. 4:7). And I know that all of us will continue to run this race until we see our victory — HIS victory — since Christ has already won it!!!! Praise God!!!! May He bless you all!!!
Also, a report and some photos from Shift Manager Maggie:
It was a blessed day. My first hour of the shift was spent with a group from Holy Trinity. We prayed the entire time from 3-4! I was also blessed to have 2/3 of my own children praying with me for a short period where we didn’t have anyone. Then Helene Paharik from the Diocese of Pittsburgh showed up with her daughter Baylen, Sister Ann and 3 students from Seton Hill.
Lastly, Chuck came to pray, and shift manager Jeff took on the last hour so I could get my family into a warm place. I was so grateful to Jeff, because there was a very intoxicated man who had earlier stopped by and put his hand on the people from Seton Hill. When he came back he was even more intoxicated and would not listen to me when I told him to move on, but Jeff’s presence was enough. God bless Jeff!!
Our closing rally was great! Thank you to all who were able to attend. Check out some of our photos from this evening:
Faithful pray-ers gather for the close of the vigil in prayer and song
And then as we moved inside….
Finally, we are so thankful to Ariel, the young mom who gave birth to little Zeus about a year ago! She came and spoke to us at the rally, and shared her story with us. Little Zeus was saved from abortion, and we thank God that Ariel chose life for her son– and he is a BEAUTIFUL and sweet little baby boy. Just take a look:
Thanks to Ariel, little Zeus will have a life, and the opportunity to share love. Thank you, Ariel, and ALL mothers who choose life for their children, even when in difficult circumstances. God bless you!