The LORD is good to those who trust in him, to the one that seeks him; It is good to hope in silence for the LORD’s deliverance.
For this fall’s campaign we chose HOPE as our theme. And I’m so glad that we did. There have been times while standing vigil in front of 933 Liberty Avenue where my own hope has suffered a few bruises. Watching so many young people walk in and out that door is very discouraging. And so is watching so many people just walk past us who either have no concern or no clue that what they just passed was a modern-day Auschwitz.
But what gives me a good dose of vitamin “H” is reading the stories coming in from across the nation and around the world on www.40daysforlife.com.
Let’s start with Abbey Johnson. Do you realize that it was 5 years ago this October that Abbey Johnson, the Director of the Planned Parenthood in College Station, TX, (site of the first ever 40 Days for Life campaign) left her job and walked into the offices of Coalition for Life seeking the help of 40 Days co-founder Sean Carney? Since that time she has written one of the most hope-filled books you will ever read (Unplanned), founded an organization to give hope and help to those seeking to leave the abortion industry (“And Then There Were None”), and has been able to witness the closing of the very Planned Parenthood which she ran. Just look at what God can do for those who hope in Him.
And how about this. Sidewalk Advocates for Life founder and Executive Director Lauren Muzyka reports that SAFL, which sprang directly from 40 Days for Life and only launched on April 1st, “has now witnessed to over 200 babies SAVED by the grace of God! What a victory — thank you, Lord! ”
And in Buffalo…Three people were praying at the 40 Days for Life vigil outside the abortion center when a taxi pulled up, and a young couple got out. “The man was carrying a bag that appeared to be a change of clothing,” said one of the volunteers. “As they slowly walked directly in front of us, they read our signs and heard our words of prayer.” The couple made eye contact with the vigil participants. “Their faces were full of emotion, but they continued to walk to the clinic. Just before they turned the corner to enter the clinic, they stopped once again to look back at us. They were very somber, but kept going. Only a few minutes later, however, the young man and woman walked out of the abortion business. They again looked directly at the people praying on the sidewalk … and kept on walking!
“We’ll never really know exactly what changed their minds,” said the volunteer. “As they walked away, the man continued to turn around about every ten feet to look back at us. It was as if he was in disbelief of what had almost happened.”
“We are having a great impact on the abortion clinic,” said Mike, the local 40 Days for Life coordinator in Manassas, VA. “Last Saturday, no abortionist showed up. This is extremely rare for a Saturday. For those who were there, it was very rewarding to witness an empty parking lot.”
A young man who joined the vigil in Wilmington, DE, confided that during a previous campaign, his wife was having pregnancy complications and made an appointment for an abortion – and she threatened to call the police if he tried to stop her. So he prayed, asking the Lord to show his wife a sign at the abortion center that would change her mind. Of course, when she got there, she saw people praying and realized that she was about to make a terrible “choice.” Their son is now 10 months old.
“I want to tell you something,” said a woman who drove up to the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil in St. Louis and rolled down her window. “I want you all to know that you are making a difference.” After the 40 Days for Life volunteer thanked her for the kind words, the woman asked, “Can I show you something?” It was a photo on her phone – a happy 7-month-old baby boy. By this time, the woman was in tears. “This is my fourth child.” She then went on to explain how she was planning an abortion because she didn’t think she could take on the responsibility of another child. “But because you all were here, I changed my mind. I have my son because of you.”
Remember, those things you just read about happened with the help of OUR prayers here in Pittsburgh. And at the same time, let’s not forget that the blessings that have come to us, as well as the ones right around the corner, have come and will come as the result of the prayers of our 40 Days brothers and sisters around the world. We have a great unity in this 40 Days family of ours…and doesn’t that give you great reason for HOPE?
And now for our own stories:
From Tim, who managed the 7-9am shift at the vigil this morning:
Day 18 “heaven always hears me”.
Today our prayers were answered. Clinic escorts came as usual this morning but left without putting on their pp vests. No clearly obvious abortion bound women came to the clinic this morning on what is usually a sadly busy day. We can only hope that our prayers were answered and no babies were killed today. Thank God.
Patty, Shannon and Barbara from Unity Church kicked off the dark morning that bloomed with a beautiful sunrise and fifteen minutes of direct warming sun at the vigil site. Let’s hope the clinic closes for a lot more Saturdays and eventually forever.
Please pray with me as “Heaven always hears me.”
Dean was the vigil shift manager from 9-11am and wrote:
It was quiet this morning with no abortions being done. AMEN. I hope and pray when all the days ending in y have no abortions. Not many people were out there today. Patty M. was shift mgr. with me and Bill H. stood with us this morning. I forgot my camera but, I still had my cell phone camera to take a few shots. Pictured some women from Unity Church in Plum. The other picture is of some young women from Grove City College who chose to stand and witness against abortion. My thanks to all of you who support us.
Students from Grove City College
I had a group from Grove City and St. Alexis Church in Wexford. Things were relatively quiet.
We had 3 men who were offended by our praying the rosary and wanted to tell us why were are going to hell.
Bill Henderson came by and knew them and asked them to move along. 2 hours passes by very quickly.
I’m sorry I don’t have any more to share.
Saturday afternoon is soooo busy, lots of people walking by – families, zombies (there was a convention), people coming in and out of Planned Parenthood. The prayer warriors had a balance of a focus on prayer and connecting with passersby today.When I arrived Maggie was with a group from St Alexis in Wexford, we continued to pray together with many people walking by. As we prayed a man stopped and told us we were doing good, and kinda paused to ask for money. I gave him a gift card to Subway. I came prepared b/c I read in a previous blog that someone from 40 days did this. Good idea! He took the subway gift card and I directed him towards where Subway is located.A little bit later two men walked by saying “thanks” or “praise Jesus” someone from the group responded and they turned around to talk to us, I gave them both 40 days fliers and encouraged them to come pray with us, they said, OK and prayed out loud right there on the spot with us! I encouraged them to sign up for a time to pray!Then another man stopped an told us that he doesn’t exactly agree but he respects us for standing up for what we believe in and “now I”m going to go in the gay bar.” He came back around again and struck up more in depth conversation, we listened he then revealed to us that he takes care of his grand niece b/c her parents didn’t want her when she was a baby and he sees her as a gift in his life, even though he hates helping her with math homework. Anyhow we encouraged him in caring for his niece. Julia from St. Alexis asked him questions to learn more about him. When we asked him to pray with us, he didn’t want to saying he’s not sure God exists, so we prayed for him after he left. God bless Tim.A nice group showed up at 3 and the transition was seamless. There are lots of prayer warriors out there and on the sidewalk is the place to meet them! As we prayed the rosary a young man (college student) stopped and looked at the big blue and white sign. One of the ladies from the group started talking to him. I then gave him a 40 days flier and he said he is a student at Pitt and he’s involved in a Christian student group that’s Baptist. I encouraged him to get a group together to sign up to pray and assured him that yes we were praying the rosary now, but it’s not just a catholic group. He said he would check it out.As we were praying the rosary together, a man with his wife and teenage son stopped to read our signs in front of the tree. Then he said hello and told us that what we are doing is great and he is also involved in pro-life activities in Ohio. One of the group invited them to pray with us and they stayed an prayed the whole rosary with us. We then learned that Matt, Shelli, and their son were on the way to Point Park Univ. to visit their other son. Matt then told us a story he said that he tells everyone he meets.Matt told the story that one night he had a vivid dram of Jesus standing before him looking at him lovingly. Matt felt compelled to ask Jesus– Lord why is there so much pain and distress in the world??? Then Matt said he looked at Jesus feet and saw many many babies crawling all around Jesus at His feet. Jesus picked up a baby and said, ” I had given this baby the gift to be able to find a cure for cancer, but you didn’t want him, you gave him back to me.” Matt understood that Jesus was talking to not just him but everyone. IN the dream, Jesus picked up two babies and said, “these two I gave the gift to be world leaders that would promote peace, but they weren’t wanted and they came back to me.” Matt said this happened several times. Everyone was listening to Matt tell about his dream and wow, how impactful!When shift manager Joe came at 4, Matt was still there talking to the group, while his wife Shelli had to go back to the hotel to get something she forgot. Shelli’s not in the photo for that reason. Shelli told me that they are members of Prince of Peace parish in Norton, OH.What a blessed day of encountering the Lord in others! This is God’s work and this experience encourages me to continue to pray for God to bring people to us so we can minister to them while we are there on the sidewalk.Peace,Julie
Joe managed the vigil from 4-7pm and wrote:
Today was filled with food for the soul. Good Samaritan & St. John the Baptist
parishes came this afternoon filled with enthusiasm and prayerful dispositions.
And pray they did with fervor! Jan and Beverly(pictured) kept me company from 5-7pm. I don’t mean to brag, but our prayer sessions were so well harmonized and heartfelt that we would have made the monks, Gatlin bros,& the Supremes envious. Thank you ladies what a blessing you were for me today.
We had a number of interesting visitors. 2 women joined in for a few Hail Marys, as well as a young man(please pray for his wife and him to heal from her abortion that he was against). Tony stopped by to get some information on abortion for his girlfriend Rose who is battling breast cancer. Her daughter is contemplating having an abortion and he asked for prayers. Jordan a new seminarian from St. Monica’s appeared just in time to minister to a troubled man(please pray for him) who was searching for God. Well timed and well done Jordan. And we had 4 young zombies coming home from the convention center that stopped by for some information and babies. How nice it is to be rewarded with the future generation taking interest in LIFE!!!
God is Great,