Do you remember this picture? It was posted on the blog during our fall campaign. I was drawn to the signs these good people of Ft. Wayne, Indiana are holding. You know where I’m going with this now, don’t you? It’s that painful four-letter word you see in their signs that comes after PRAY. But guess what folks, if we truly want this victory more than Satan, we’re ALL going to need to “step-up it up a notch” (sorry, but sometimes sports analogies do work best). And stepping it up a notch means doing a little more FASTING.
We’re about halfway through this campaign, so consider what I’m about to say here your “half-time speech.” First of all, if you’re not fasting from something specifically for this campaign (i.e., above and beyond what you’ve decided to given up for Lent), ask God right here and right now to show you what little thing you can begin to offer up TODAY – and continue for the next three weeks. Why? Because it might just make the difference in a life being spared and a heart being converted. How’s that for a motivation?
OK, now for those of you already fasting from something specifically for this 40 Days campaign, is there some little sacrifice you can add to your daily routine from now until Palm Sunday? Of course you can. Don’t be a wimp! You may not want to. I know I sure as heck don’t. But we both know that we can. The trick here is to not think big – not even medium-sized. Think small, little, tiny. That way it’s not only easier to sustain, but you can side-step the excessive pride which can accompany a big sacrifice.
So what do you think? Can you skip salt (or pepper) at dinner? Can you make your commute home from work without the radio or CD player? Can the TV or internet go off after 8 PM? These are just some suggestions to get your juices flowing. If things like this seem too big. Fine, find something even smaller. It’s OK. Just don’t do nothing. But remember, pray about it before you decide. And when you have decided, pray again. This time for God to give you the grace to do follow-through (which will also help you to keep pride to a minimum). Remember, fasting is one of our major weapons – and Satan fears it terribly. So use it!
By the way, I recently checked-in with Karla D., the leader of the 40 Days campaign out there in Ft. Wayne. I was a little surprised to find out that they weren’t holding a campaign this spring. Turns out that there wasn’t a need. They haven’t had any abortions there this year. Apparently the abortionist is facing some legal challenges and no one has stepped in to fill his shoes. Hmm. An emphasis on prayer AND fasting in the fall and no abortions in the spring. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
Now on to the pictures and reports:
The morning was deceptive because the temperature was in the 50’s, yet
the wind was so strong that we needed hats & gloves, and our signs
blew around constantly. The wind tried to move one of our large signs,
and would have, except for the storage box that holds the fetal models
being in the way. Many pray-ers were underdressed.
PP was busy, and there were 9 escorts. Pray-ers came from all over:
Hosanna, Peters Creek Baptist, Guardian Angels, St. Anne, St. Maria
Goretti, Sacred Heart, St. John the Baptist, St. Teresa, St. Bernard,
St. Thomas More, Christ Presbyterian, Grove City College, St. Gerard,
St. Killian, Uniontown and Ford City. Wonderful people, all.
A dozen or more roses were delivered, courtesy of Jim Ludwig’s
Bloomgarden in the Strip. Thank you, Jim. We had given a couple of
them away before my shift ended.
All was peaceful, except for one sad man, obviously under the
influence, who told us many unintelligible things while attempting to
stay standing. He was gone in a few minutes. We hope he made it
safely to his destination. Sally
I also met a pro-Life veteran named Darrel from Smithfield (south of Uniontown) who stayed to pray.
Shortly after I arrived, a crew from St. Colman came down, including Deacon Herb Riley, Bill and Arlene Gross and Jennifer Zapata. Jennifer courageously bore her pregnant belly into the cold wind and provided a testimony that no man present could–the miracle of life!
We had a couple people go through who seemed to be abortive, but they wouldn’t speak to us or take any literature from us. There were also several people who went in, probably for birth control. A couple of young ladies took some materials and a couple roses as they pushed they children in strollers. One child was 5 months and the other was about 18 months. After speaking with us, they immediately turned in to PP. By the grace of God, Jennifer was able to stop them before they went in and spoke to them at length. She found out that they were going in for a “pregnancy prevention” course, which included methods of birth control.. She offered them some resources on natural family planning.
We also had a visit from another long time pro-Lifer, Patricia Colonna (St. Maria Gorotti), who was a great encouragement! She and several ladies from St. Colman (Patty Marquis, Betty Dumbrosky, Denise Richardson, Lisa McCann, Sue Buchholz, and Christina Seese) began praying the Rosary as I was getting ready to leave.
I was able to speak with several passersby who offered their support and made some connections that I hope to foster throughout the rest of the campaign. Perhaps we will have a few new vigil participants! One person who passed by, Bob Vogel from Mt. Oliver, stopped by for just a few moments to silently pray for all the unborn babies under attack from PP. He isn’t associated with 40 Days or any church, but he said that he stops several times a week to quietly pray by himself. I offered him thanks for his support and blessed him before he went on his way.
More stories and pictures will be posted as they come in.