Day 1…Victory on the Sidewalk this morning!

There truly was victory on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood today!  Thanks to Fr. Rodolph Wakim from Our Lady of Victory in Carnegie…along with other hardy prayer warriors braved the cold weather to pray for an end to abortion, and to witness to the sanctity of all human life! 

At our kick-off event last night, Fr. Larry Adams of St. Louise de Marillac in Upper St. Clair spoke.  He told us about an experience he had as a youth while attending a March for Life in Washington DC.  He said he came to realize how important the fight against abortion truly is during an especially frigid march.  He was surprised there were none of the usual “counter-protesters“.   He said he realized that for THEM…this was simply a POLITICAL cause!  And…who is going to stand out in the cold for a political cause?  Political causes can wait till it’s a little warmer…at least in the 50’s!  But when it is single digits outside, who in their right mind is going to witness in that kind of weather???

WE ARE!  WhyBecause this is NOT just a political cause to us!  We understand the importance of this cause!  We understand that this is THE MOST IMPORTANT cause of our time!  Each human life is created by God for a unique purpose and is loved by God.  What could be more important than trying to stop the intentional killing of innocent human beings?  How could we let a little thing like frozen noses, fingers and toes stop us?  If it were OUR CHILD…would we let the cold stop us?  Well, as Christians, we recognize that we are ALL brothers and sisters in Christ…and these babies that are being killed ARE OURS!  We are all God’s children and so are all part of one family.  One of these babies that we save could someday grow up to marry one of my grandchildren…and their offspring could be MY descendant!  So, I could be saving my own great-grandchild by witnessing in front of Planned Parenthood.  You just never know!

Anyway, enough rambling from me.  Let’s get on with our stories from today’s vigil!

At 7am Dean was the vigil shift manager and had Bill and Jeff to keep him company for the first hour on the frozen sidewalks.  I think it’s wonderful that our 40 day vigil was kicked off by three men!

Fr. Rodolph joined them from 8am-11am and brought his big, beautiful sign with him!

Dean wrote:

First of all, thank you Andy for taking over my shift at 9:00am. I’m just about completely defrosted as I compose this. You all know Jeff and Bill, who are in the first pic from the first shift.

Thanks guys for standing with me. There seemed to be traffic through the doors of P.P. than usual for a non-abortion day. So, prayer warriors, our work is cut out for us. God hears all our prayers and answers in his own time. Don’t let this frustrate or defeat you.

Patience as we come together as a 40 Days for Life family and be a voice against abortion.  Dean

Jeannie and Pete also joined the little group of prayer warriors on the sidewalk:


Cathy managed the vigil from 11am-1pm and was joined by Pete.  My friend Maria and I arrived to do the 1-4pm shift, and were joined by another Cathy…sister of one of our 40 Days team members (Patty):

Pat and John Mihm came to pray later in the afternoon:

And then Johnny Adams arrived at 2pm to make sure that Maria and I had company until we left at 4pm.  He stayed with the last shift manager, Barbara until 5:

While Johnny, Maria and I were praying, a woman exited Planned Parenthood.  I asked her if she would like some information and she said she would.  She told me she just found out she is 7 weeks pregnant but has decided not to abort!  She is planning to give her baby up for adoption!  She has a boyfriend but just doesn’t think they are ready to be parents.  She said she knows this baby was (as she put it) “Put there by God” and would be treasured by adoptive parents.  She also mentioned that by continuing her pregnancy, she would still have the option to change her mind (meaning that she might decide to keep the baby herself).  We prayed with her and for her, gave her all sorts of resources.  I offered to walk her down to Catholic Charities to talk to them about adoption, but she said she needed to wait until her boyfriend was with her.  I referred her to Bethany adoption services and gave her all the information for the crisis pregnancy centers, and a 12-week fetal model along with pre-natal development information.  She was thrilled that we were there for her and said that it was “meant to be”!  Please pray for “R” and her boyfriend “M” that they stay strong in their decision to bring this child to birth!

We didn’t get any negative comments during my shift.  Quite a few folks stopped to thank us for being there and one man even asked if he could buy us some coffee to warm us!

I think our witness is even more powerful when it’s cold outside!  Our numbers will probably be small during these first few weeks of our 40 days…until it warms up.  But, as I said during our kick-off event last night…God prefers to use a tiny number to accomplish His mighty deeds.  I compared our tiny (but powerful) numbers to the edge of a razor.  Just as a surgeon uses a very sharp (tiny) edge of a blade to cut cancer out of healthy tissue…so God will use us to cut the cancer of abortion out of our culture!

Barbara arrived for her 4-7pm shift:

She wrote:

Ash Wednesday…and this is the last shift of the first day of 40 Days for Life in Pittsburgh, Spring 2014.  Everyone agreed that the weather was cold. The chill crept down and in past our collars and up and into and past our wooly socks.  Traffic roared.  We prayed.  Staff passed in and out of Planned Parenthood.  Passersby walked, children following parents, commuters bussing back to Rochester and Murrysville, students hugging books, everyone looking chilled and tired.  Our first day witness for love and life is accomplished in 12 uninterrupted hours. Joining in prayer were Richard of Holy Wisdom Parish, Ron of Resurrection Church, Jim of Hilltop Baptist Church and Dan of Holy Family Parish in Steubenville. 

Create a clean heart in us, dear God.  Make love the only reason for our witness as we stand here on the sidewalk.   Sustain us as we explain that abortion is never a solution.   Strengthen us to faithfully supply real solutions.    Barbara Lewis, Shift Manager






4 thoughts on “Day 1…Victory on the Sidewalk this morning!

  • March 6, 2014 at 6:45 am

    Know that you are supported by prayers of the saints. I am coming down with a healing for MS, and my mobility is a challenge on some levels, but I anticipate joining you during at least one vigil. As a black Christian, my heart aches that our community does not support this effort and is buying into the lie, and I want my presence to be a witness to expose the lie, especially in this city, where blacks had been historically prolife and anti-PP.

  • March 6, 2014 at 7:07 am

    I really liked the prayer at the end, Barbara. Thanks for that.

  • March 6, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    What a great start for our new 40 Days campaign! A baby promised life, and possible adoption, instead of abortion!

    Please, all of you, pray very hard for “R”, and for “J” from last Friday, and for the lady Beth took to Catholic Charities the Friday before that, so that they will all stay strong, and bring their children to term
    Also, please pray for “S” who is strongly considering aborting. Thank you, all.

  • March 7, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful prayers and stories. I’m with you in prayer every day and reading the WONDERFUL ’40 Days for Life’ book. Keep warm!


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