I have to say how proud and humbled I am to see the dedication of so many selfless souls from St. Catherine of Siena parish in Beechview, North Park Church in the north hills and many others who suffered the cold rain and wind today at the vigil! The people who work at Planned Parenthood and who walk by our vigil must certainly realize that this cause we stand for…the cause of LIFE…is so important to us, that we are willing to stand in the elements to witness for it. No doubt, our presence there has had an effect on many people.
The weather tomorrow is supposed to be even worse than today and we have two hours (from 9am-11am) where our shift manager, Marie, is scheduled to stand alone. When it is really cold and windy…like they are predicting tomorrow…our vigil shift managers REALLY need at least one person to be with them, so they can leave to get warm if they need to. Please stop by for a bit tomorrow if you can…even if it’s only for a half hour! At 7am, there is just one prayer volunteer (David) scheduled to stand with our shift manager Rev. John. With it being so cold, it will be difficult to be outside for two hours. Please consider coming to the vigil for one hour tomorrow so that David or Rev. John can take a break if they need to.
Our mode of operation tomorrow is going to be survival. There won’t be any signs, flowers or fetal models on the sidewalk. Just souls praying. In the freezing wind. For the babies and the moms. It won’t be a good day to be holding literature or signs….but prayer from the heart will be our offering. Please come stand with those who are there.
Now for the reports from the vigil today:
Dean was the vigil shift manager from 7-10am this morning. Although it was still fairly warm, the rain was constant. Three dedicated individuals from St. Catherine of Siena in Beechview came and prayed for the entire four hours! Dean wrote:
First of all let me thank Jeff Burgman for giving me a ride to the vigil today. When I arrived Bill and Mary Anne were already there. My shift was mostly uneventful but, that’s a good thing.
On days like this the silver lining is that the inclement weather may help to keep potential clients away. Our presence must have upset one woman who passed by with her two children. She yelled at them, “Keep the f*** away from that”, (our baby display). At least she noticed us and thus a seed was planted. We can only plant seeds, God grows them. I didn’t really notice anyone but the P.P. workers going inside. Btw, has anyone noticed how drab and lifeless their windows look. It has all the appearance of a place that is just about to go out of business. I wonder…… Special prayers for warmth and well-being to those at the vigil on Thursday. God’s love – Dean
Cathy managed the vigil from 10am-1pm and wrote:
It was wet, but at least not too cold this morning. When I arrived MaryAnn and two ladies from her church, St. Catherine’s in Beechview, were there with Dean. Later, Liz from St. Louise, Cindy from Faith Community Church, and Andy and Amber Stites from North Park Church came at various times through the shift. It was good to pray with these wonderful people. There was
not a lot of activity in and out of the clinic, mostly workers, a few clients. However, Liz recognized one of the abortionists going in, though it is not an abortion day. Received a few positive comments from passersby, and one even asked if he could give a donation and did. I did see Emil standing outside his cafe for a few minutes, but he didn’t come up. We need to keep praying for him.
Liz took these photos:
I (Nikki) arrived for my 1-4pm shift, with my friend Maria who has been coming with me. The first thing I saw upon my arrival were the beautiful smiling faces of Liz and Cindy:
Liz is a brand-new shift manager and has just recently over-come her fear of witnessing on the sidewalk. It is inspiring to see people who are dying to self…doing something that does not come naturally…because of their love for the Lord and for Life! Cindy signed up to be at the vigil for three hours today and bravely endured the cold rain!
North Park Church in Wexford adopted the hours from noon till 3pm. The first prayer warriors from North Park were husband and wife Amy and Andy…pictured here with Cathy:
A few others arrived from North Park Church…Mother and daughter (Beth and Sharon)…along with the group’s coordinator, Jim. We had prayed many written prayers…but it was getting difficult to handle the wet pages, so Beth suggested that we sing instead. I had some laminated lyric sheets and we all had fun raising a joyful noise to the Lord:
Two ladies joined us on the sidewalk. Susan, who had signed up online for the 3pm hour and Marilyn from St. Bernard just showed up. They were both prepared for the cold and were ready to pray!
While I was there, I had opportunity to witness to a woman who came out of Planned Parenthood and engaged us in a conversation about her pro-choice views. Also, a young man stopped to talk. He is homosexual and thought that we would be against him. He was adopted after being in the foster care system and did not have a good experience growing up. He sadly informed me that it would have been better if he had been aborted. I was able to share with him the Good News of Christ, and told him that God loves him, and that there is a better way than that of this fallen world. He didn’t seem to believe me…but maybe seeds were planted in his heart that could grow at a later time.
Barbara and Richard arrived to relieve me at 4pm. It was getting colder and windier by the minute. Diane was on her way to pick up the sandwich board signs because they were blowing all over the sidewalk. I told them to just leave early if they got too cold…since no one was signed up to stand with them anyway. Jeff ended up coming at 6 and told them he would take over for them. They were so frozen at that point, they gratefully took him up on his kind offer. When I called to check on him at 6pm, he said that Marilyn from St. Bernard was still there with him!
May God bless all who suffered today….and who will suffer tomorrow…because of their love of Him and for His babies.
After Barbara and Richard thawed out she sent the following report from her shift:
We get a catalogue that features outdoor clothing for the truly adventurous. The adventure photos that accompany pictures of clothes for sale show people engaged with nature in conversations completely outside anything most of us would find enticing. But the photos are truly engaging. On page 21, your eyes search vertical columns of grey beige rock until they find the tiny red dot that is a person, clambering up the rock.
An American citizen advocating against abortion, standing vigil outside an abortion site sometimes feels like a tiny red dot. The propaganda of the giant grey mountainous legalized, federally subsidized abortion industry is designed to make prolife efforts appear ridiculous and a waste of time. The abortion “question” was settled by the Supreme Court in January, 1973. Be a good sport. Get over it.
But we take heart, those of us American citizens who are engaged in this conversation with the federally subsidized abortion industry. In his March 12, email Shawn Carney includes a photo and article about the first ever 40 Days for Life campaign in Croatia.
Looking at the pictures in our catalogue, I look at the adventurers and wonder, “What are they thinking?” When I stand with the others in the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil, looking ridiculous, not amazing, I don’t worry about what I look like. I feel the adventure. So do all the other people, nationwide and worldwide who stand and pray with us.
First-ever 40 Days for Life campaign in Croatia.
Wednesday, 4 to 6
Thanks for persevering in prayer, fasting and public witness for an end to abortion!
Your sister in Christ,