I have been thinking about wounds a lot lately. My husband’s brother, Ron, has been suffering with a very large leg wound for almost a year now. It completely covers his entire calf, all the way from his knee to his heel, and even wraps around to the sides of his leg. The only part of his lower leg that is not a wound is his shin. It is extremely painful for him, and he has to suffer daily through bandage changes in the hospital. (If you could, please say a prayer for his healing…thank you!)
Why am I talking about wounds in a pro-life message? Well, I think there is an analogy that we can learn from here. You see, our nation is suffering from a terrible wound. The wound caused by legalized abortion has been festering and growing for more than 40 years, and has left a gaping hole in the soul of our nation. The bacteria of immorality and godlessness has infected this wound and has left us stinking and putrid in the sight of God.
When God first broke my heart over abortion in 2009…being a brand new, on-fire Christian who LOVED the Church….I was horrified to find out that many Protestant church denominations actually condone abortion. And even among the churches that believe abortion is wrong…the SILENCE was DEAFENING! Most pastors would not say the “A” word in a sermon, for fear of causing division or hurting post-abortive people in the pews. Now, thanks to 40 Days for Life, at least twice a year for the past 4 years, abortion is talked about and opportunities are published in church bulletins to pray and witness for life in hundreds of churches all over our city. And do you know what? Healing is beginning to happen! In fact, take a look at this graph, which shows the rate of induced abortion for the state of PA from 2002 to 2012…
Notice the blue line…that is the number of abortions (per 1,000 live births) for southwestern PA. Pittsburgh is where people from Southwestern PA come for abortions. We can see the rate of abortion in southwestern PA was hovering around 25% from 2002 until 2008. In 2011 it dropped to 23%…and in 2012 it plunged to 21%! It was the fall of 2010 when we began holding our 40 Days for Life vigils…uniting the Body of Christ throughout Pittsburgh in prayer, fasting and peaceful witness. This graph ends in 2012…the state of PA has not released any statistics from 2013 yet, but if this trend is continuing, it is a visible sign that healing has begun!
My brother in law fears his bandage change every day. While the wound is uncovered, the nurse pours water with bleach onto the wound, causing him terrible pain. He cries in pain for hours afterward…but the treatment is working and the wound is beginning to heal. Wounds have to heal from the inside…which is why healing has to begin in the CHURCH! When the CHURCH is healed, health and new skin will spread to the culture around us. The treatment is painful for sure. No pastor enjoys causing his flock pain by talking about abortion…but it is by bringing it into the open that healing and restoration can happen. In between treatments, the soothing ointment and gauze coverings can be applied…while we heal in between campaigns. But right now it is time to clean the wound again…as the fall 40 Days for Life is approaching! Beginning at 7am on Wednesday, September 24th…and ending at 7pm on Sunday, November 2nd…our peaceful prayer vigil will take place on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood in Pittsburgh. Lives will be saved and hearts and minds will be changed. Souls will turn from sin and return to the Lord. And YOU CAN BE A PART of this awesome movement of God in our city!
As of today our vigil is half-filled, with 52 churches already scheduled for four-hour shifts. Go to https://40daysforlifepittsburgh.com/church-vigil-schedule/ to view the current schedule and to see which time slots are in need of a church to adopt. Then, please contact me to add your church group to the schedule!
Please consider using our attractive full-c0lor bulletin inserts in your church to let everyone know about 40 Days for Life! to view them, go to https://40daysforlifepittsburgh.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Campaign-Flyer-fall-2014-full-page.pdf and contact me to let me know how many would like. They are just $4 per hundred.
Our awesome 40 Days for Life team is all ready to go for the fall campaign! Our vigil shift manager schedule is filled with these beautiful, self-sacrificing people who commit to be at the vigil to welcome participants and to make sure the vigil never breaks down! Here is a photo of about 20 of our 30 vigil shift managers, at a recent gathering at my home:
We look forward to seeing you on the sidewalk this fall!
Thank you and may God bless you!