Praise God that a young woman was turned away from Planned Parenthood today! One of our vigil participants (Vicky, also a Sidewalk Advocate), who had gone to the vigil today to “answer the plea” to fill empty hours was able to actually take this young woman from the doorstep of PP to Women’s Choice Network, and also to Catholic Charities! Please pray for “R”, who is 9 weeks pregnant, and homeless. And thanks to Vicky for being obedient to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to go to the vigil today! Because of her sacrifice today, a life may have been saved!
The Holy Spirit is really working through us on the sidewalk…I truly believe that! Today, many people were ministered to, heard about the love God has for them, and saw the value of LIFE witnessed to them! Read on for the details from the vigil today…
7-9am – The “Sue’s” ruled this morning on the sidewalk!
Shift manager Sue M. was scheduled to be all alone during her 7-9am shift, so kind-hearted “off-duty” shift manager Sue D. came to stand with her. Thanks so much Sue and Sue!!! When I arrived for my 9-11am shift, the two of them were praying together…
Sue M. wrote:
I covered the 7:00-9:00a shift this morning. After thinking I was to be alone for my shift, what a blessing to arrive and find Susan D. there to pray with me‼ The usual influx of employees was entering the clinic, including PP Director Kim Everett. We prayed for them. A mom and her young daughter approached the clinic; Susan offered her info and she took it, but her mom hurried the daughter inside. We prayed for them as well. Susan and I then prayed a Rosary, during which Marian arrived to say a prayer before work. But before Marian could get away, we were approached by a 40-something man, a lawyer named “S.” S first asked for a cigarette, stating he hadn’t smoked in years but was craving one. We praised him for his victory thus far and of course tried to talk him out of bumming a cigarette from someone. He eventually did score a smoke — but not until we’d had the opportunity to have a long talk with him. He said that back in 2012 he had taken a friend of his to PP to have an abortion. He said he still thinks he did the right thing by accompanying her and that having a baby would have “ruined her life.” He claimed over and over again that he would never change his mind from being pro-choice, but at the same time he kept staying and talking with us about it, even to the point of making him late for work. When he finally did leave we invited him back to talk to us anytime, said we’d pray for him (which he didn’t want us to), and also encouraged him to come back to get info regarding post-abortive counseling for his friend. And then he actually, in a positive way, said, “Well, keep doing what you’re doing ….. I’m sure I’ll see you again!” Susan and I both think there’s definitely something in him that needs to talk further about his experience and that he’s feeling something (although he denies it). Please pray for the daughter and mom who entered this morning as well as for S — for a change of heart for all of them.
For Life,Sue M.
Now, for my (Nikki’s) report…I have to begin with a little confession. I have been struggling against a slight bitterness and resentment that has been trying to creep in, due to the seemingly apathetic reaction of most people when it comes to witnessing against abortion. Particularly since the 9-11 shift was my church’s time slot…and I was the only one on the sidewalk.
Now, I have to put most of the blame on myself. I didn’t do much to promote this at my church…other than a bulletin announcement and flyers. And, I know that if I have resentment and bitterness in my spirit, that Christ cannot shine through me and I cannot be a light for Him. It’s just hard for us, for whom the Holy Spirit has opened our eyes…to understand why others cannot SEE! Why can’t they see the devastation that abortion is causing and why don’t they feel burdened to do something about it? I think we just have to be patient and understanding…and it is good to take a step back and look at the ways in which the Holy Spirit is working SO POWERFULLY through our 40 Days for Life campaigns in Pittsburgh! We now have 95 churches signed up to witness at the vigil! How awesome is that? And at each of those churches, there is at least ONE person whose heart is burning with love for God and is breaking for what breaks His. So many pastors have sacrificed time out of their very busy schedules to come to witness on the sidewalk! We are blessed to have such a strong, loving and united 40 Days for Life family in Pittsburgh! Thanks to all of you who are participating!
Now, back to my vigil report. I was praying by myself, smiling and greeting the passersby (those who would meet my eyes). One poor woman stopped to tell me that I should be ashamed that I am “villainizing” the women who get abortions. I explained that I was there to help people, and not to villianize. She seemed to be hurting, and she said she knew “from personal experience” what it feels like to have to make that choice. She walked away before I could offer her post abortion literature.
Many people entering PP accepted literature, but they still went in. One attractive, young couple exited the clinic to smoke, so I approached them and offered the literature. The man accepted it, but the woman kept her back to me and refused to look at me. I spoke to them about the help that is available, and the gift that God gives, the need to trust Him, and the harm that abortion causes. It was obvious that they didn’t want to talk, so I walked away and just prayed. About that time, 4 angels appeared on the sidewalk to help me pray …and the big angel was named…you guessed it…SUE!
The first thing these wonderful children did was to give me a gift! They had recently visited the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, MA and gave me a beautiful miniature framed image of “Le Innocence”! That made my day!
After we had finished praying, Sue’s oldest daughter, Silvana, approached me with a serious look in her eyes. She said to me, “I hope that this is over soon…I hope this ends.” I told her that we just have to trust God, that He is working and it will all be okay. What a blessing to see such a wonderful family witness! Thank you God for this family!
After they left, I went back to witnessing and praying and singing silently. The song that I had in my head all morning was Chris Tomlin’s “Good, Good Father“. It is such a beautiful song…you can listen to it HERE.
Soon a young man stopped to ask me about my views on abortion, and to explain why he was pro-choice. We had a long conversation, and I had the opportunity to tell him about Jesus and His love for him. It turns out he is 24 and homeless. He saw the sign on our big bin that said there are coats for the homeless and he asked if he could have one. The coat in the bin was a perfect fit for him and he was very happy to receive it! By the way…Diane says we are out of winter coats. IF ANYONE HAS ANY SPARE WINTER COATS…PLEASE BRING THEM TO THE VIGIL, OR TO OUR TEAM MEETING NEXT TUESDAY, OR TO THE CLOSING RALLLY ON NOV. 1ST! It really is a good way to minister to people on the sidewalk…there are so many people who stop who are homeless and in need! I also gave him a gift card to get a piece of pizza across the street at Monticello’s…(reminder to shift managers…there are gift cards in the bin). He need gloves, and I offered mine to him, but they were fuzzy and “girly” looking….and he said he just couldn’t do it. Happily, while we were still talking, my replacement shift manager, Cathy, arrived for her 11-1 shift, and she had navy blue gloves, which she gave to him…they matched the coat perfectly! The young man’s name is “Drew”. He has a job interview today. Please pray for him.
The next group arrived as I was leaving. Led by Marie P., a great group of prayer warriorettes from St. Vincent Basilica in Greensburg:
All and all, it was a blessed day on the sidewalk for me!
Cathy wrote about her 11-1 shift:
The whole two hours was filled with prayer and a few songs by the lovely ladies from St. Vincent’s in Latrobe. They arrived and set right to “work”. Kathy and Pat, Sidewalk Advocates, came for the 11:00 hour, and later, a parishioner from St. Irenaeus spent some of his lunch hour in prayer.
There was some activity at the clinic, couples or singles going in and out, but no one wanted to talk, just seemed bent on going inside. We were able to give out some literature to passers-by, received a few negative remarks, but more positive, though mostly that ‘stare straight ahead’. I also had my first encounter with the photographer, friendly enough.
Chris managed the vigil from 1-3, and was scheduled to be alone…he writes:
What a rewarding shift! Four prayer warriors responded to Nikki’s plea and kept me company during my shift. There was little traffic in and out of Planned Parenthood, but there was an abundance of positive comments- God Bless Yous and Thank Yous- from passersby. More than I’ve ever experienced, and not one negative comment. Truly uplifting and amazing! Four out-of-town priests stopped by to talk with us, taking a break from the Canon Law conference at the Convention Center. The highlight of the shift was when a young woman, on her way into PP, stopped to talk with Alice. The young woman said she was going in for a “test”, that she was two months pregnant, and homeless. Luckily, we had Vicky, a Sidewalk Advocate who had answered Nikki’s call, with us. Vicky talked with her, called Women’s Choice Network (WCN), and asked the woman if it was OK if she drove her to WCN’s Northside office. The woman said that was fine and they left. Please keep this woman, “R”, and her unborn child in your prayers, praying that she chooses life. Thank God Vicky was there!
Roseann and Rich managed the vigil from 3-5 (thanks Roseann and Rich for filling in for Barbara and Richard!) Sacred Heart parish in Oakland provided the prayer witness during this time. If any photos or reports come in they will be posted here:
Audrey and Jim managed the vigil from 5-7, and St. Scholastica in Aspinwall was Christ’s hands and feet during that time.
It was a very good shift tonight from 5 to 7 pm. Not as much excitement as last week when the Pirates were playing in the wild card game, but the prayers were flowing freely. Prayerful people appeared out of nowhere and joined us in praying two rosaries. There was a mysterious young man who took our pictures and he was a very angry man. He spouted out what he believed to be facts about Planned Parenthood, but his facts were not true, even though he said he is the “smartest man in the world”. Sometimes there is no arguing with someone. But we had more support than we had harsh words. We prayed and felt the spirit of the Lord. It was all good.
The vigil coverage looks good for the rest of the week. Next Monday, 5-7 is empty. Next Wednesday 9-11am and 1-5pm is empty. Go to https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/pittsburgh/ to sign up for hours.
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