Planned Parenthood thrives on darkness. The last thing they want is for a light to be shed on them…exposing the truth about abortion. As scripture tells us in John 3:20:
Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
Not that those who work at Planned Parenthood are evil…they are not. They are hurting, lost souls in need of a savior. Just like I used to be.
Thank you to the selfless, dedicated prayer volunteers from Holy Wisdom parish for standing vigil for all 12 hours today! I especially want to thank our own 40 Days for Life vigil shift manager and member of Holy Wisdom, for being at the vigil for 8 hours today! Barbara, I don’t know how you did it! You are an inspiration to us all! Here are some stories from the vigil today. More photos and stories will be posted as they come in.
Early morning vigil shift manager Al and Bill started off the vigil this morning:
Sally wrote the following report from her 9-11am shift:
Not much to report today. Close to a dozen couples went into PP early in the morning. By the time I arrived, only a very few single girls were going in. There were 9 escorts. They left before 10 a.m. Up to 11 a.m., about 15 people from Holy Wisdom had come to pray. There were also the usual few early morning Saturday people. Barbara & Richard arrived about 10 a.m. We were happy to see Susan Judge & the ever faithful Ford City father and his 2 grown daughters. The young women have beautiful voices, and they lit up the sidewalk singing the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Passers-by could not help but notice us.
Liz, who is a brand new vigil shift manager wrote this beautiful reflection of her time today:
God must have known I was not ready to be by myself as shift manager yet. I was not ready for the yelling at us from cars, mean looks as people walked by, shown the finger, told we were “disgusting” and watching a couple I had sat across from on the train walk into PP via a back alley. ( I didn’t know there was a back entrance to PP.)
What hurt the most was when a fellow parishioner ( from my own church and leader of a prayer group) walked by and did not stop or acknowledge us (me) at all. The day had turned dark, very cold, the streets seemed bare except for the traffic going in and out of PP and it was only 3:00 pm. Very few people showed up to pray with us.I don’t know how I would have done it without the angel that is Barbara Lewis.I was ill prepared, poorly dressed for the weather and getting sadder and more intimidated by the minute. Through it all Barbara seemed unperturbed, she didn’t seem to hear the comments or see the “gestures” directed at us and in fact APPROACHED a few of those that would glare at us ( explaining to me that they were really ‘hurting inside’). She would even smile her encouragement to me, as my cowardly self seemed glued to the same spot beside a tree. I also didn’t tell you that Barb was there since 11 AM and was planning to stay until 7 PM ( I left at 5pm) All I can say is that I have a LOT to learn but I realized today that I also have wonderful individuals to learn from. However, not all was doom and gloom. A beautiful family from Barb’s church stayed with us for an hour and prayed the rosary. And two lovely ladies ( who wished to remain anonymous) also joined us in prayer.
I have to say that reading Liz’s reflection, I was reminded of how I felt when I first began witnessing at Planned Parenthood in 2009. I had never done any sort of pro-life activity prior to coming to pray on the sidewalk. Talk about jumping right in!
In my readings last week I came across the verse from Matthew (10:16), which tells us:
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”
I had always wondered why Jesus would have told us that he wants us to be “shrewd as snakes.” That doesn’t sound very Christ-like! But then during this daily reading last week (I can’t remember who wrote it)…I read that this passage can be related to the Holy Spirit being represented as both FIRE and a DOVE. Isn’t that interesting? Fire is intense. It is powerful! Doves represent gentleness and peace.
So…what the writer (who I can’t remember who it was) was saying was that We as Christians are called to a sort of “Powerful Gentleness!” Weak, timid Christians…no matter how peaceful and gentle they are…would be no match for the spiritual warfare that surrounds abortion clinics. We are certainly called to be gentle and peaceful and to love everyone we meet. But we are also called to be STRONG in that love!
As Liz was today. Liz, I am proud of you. Well done, good and faithful servant!
Pastor Adam managed the vigil from 11am-1:30pm and wrote:
During my shift, we had seven prayer warriors attend in addition to those who were there when I arrived. There was a light spirit and a bond of fellowship among the people there. Barbara and Richard were definitely an anchor for everyone involved today. What a blessing!
There was a fairly steady stream of traffic going into PP today. We saw several girls who appeared to be going in for abortions. There was a group of three girls who went in arm in arm, weeping. When we offered resources and support, one of them informed us that they were going in for “birth control.” I assume that the birth control of which they speak is really an abortion.
It seemed to me like today was really a day to make an impact on men who are affected by abortion. I say this because I had the opportunity to speak with three men there today. My heart goes out to all of them. The first was Tom, whose girlfriend was in for an abortion. I was able to have a long, serious conversation with him about the implications of abortion, and I believe that we really connected with each other. He insisted that it was his girlfriend’s choice and that he had nothing to do with it. I told him that he had everything to do with it as the father of the child and that he does have a say in the matter. He seemed to really desire fatherhood and told me that when he was 14 his girlfriend had an abortion without ever telling him. He was visibly hurting and I offered him encouragement and advice on living up to the high calling of fatherhood.
I also spoke with Pete, whose daughter was inside having an abortion. He told me that she was an addict and already had one child who was taken away by CYS. He said that he hates abortion and he wishes that she would keep the baby, but she wouldn’t. He said that he would support her. I told him about the valuable post-abortion counseling services that are offered and he took some information.
The final man with whom I spoke was Mike. His fiancee, Barbara, has had two strokes and the couple already has three children. He reported to me that a doctor from Somerset referred them to come to PP and consult for an abortion. I told him what a dangerous place PP was and how they harm women. He told me that he was pro-choice and then quoted some random, incorrect facts. I informed him of the real statistics and offered him encouragement and resources. He accepted the materials.
It was both heart-breaking to see these men who are being denied the rights, responsibilities, and privileges that come with fatherhood, but it was encouraging to talk with them, pray with them, and offer them support during this time. Although they gave lip service to “not caring,” it was apparent in their behavior and language that they were broken, hurting, and powerless in the situation.
I pray that God will raise up godly men in our country who will take a stand and be the supportive men, husbands, and fathers that God has called us to be.
Thanks to Pastor Adam for being a light to men in our city today! We are blessed to have such a wonderful team of dedicated and selfless vigil shift managers! Thank you Al, Sally, Liz, Barbara, Pastor Adam and Maggie for managing the vigil today!
More stories and photos will be posted as they come in…
Your sister in Christ,