Day 10: Thank You to Our Faithful and Faith-filled Volunteers!

Earlier this week, team member Donna included a prayer in an email.  It read, in part, “You are Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides.”  I had never heard that title before…it really caught my attention. 

Then, yesterday, the Gospel reading for daily Mass was one of my favorites.  It begins,   

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
  Mt 7:7

Later in the day, while chaperoning my daughter’s field trip, several moms were talking about the joys and challenges of having a large family.  While acknowledging the struggle, they kept repeating what they’ve learned over the years:  “God provides.” 

Last night, while asking God to provide me with a reflection for today’s blog post, it hit me that He already had—He had been dropping hints all over the place!  “GOD WILL PROVIDE!”  Always, for our every need, even if it’s not in the way we expect.

We need to get that message out to expectant parents who are afraid they don’t have the resources to care for their child. May God work through us to reassure those women and men that He will provide if they choose life! 


7-9 AM, Barbara and Rose:

I arrived at the sidewalk ashamed of myself because I felt so tired and glum.  Shawn Carney warns that this can happen. It was heartening to remember his saying, “Show up anyway!”   He’s been showing up everywhere and all the time for 14 years, day in and day out, by my count.  Who can be cranky in his company? As soon as Richard and I arrived we were shouldered by the early birds, Diane and Tom, Nikki, Shift Buddy Rose, Sidewalk Advocates Steve and Monica, and the faithful witnesses, Thao and Charlie.  Outstanding!  The sun came out in my heart!  Before we did anything else, we prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, led by Steve.  Steve and Monica share a ride from St. James Parish in West End.  Steve is a Sidewalk Advocate.  This is Monica’s first day on the sidewalk with 40 Days.  Her mother always took the family to the March for Life. She plans to start a prolife library in her parish.  I promised her 2 books for next Friday. I like her idea. Rose prayed and shared volumes of prolife literature with passers by.  Thao prayed unceasingly.  Charlie prayed with her, then left for his work day. Kim arrived to share the sidewalk advocate duties with Steve.  We talked of life and motherhood with the young women going into PP.  We hope our love bears fruit. We brought God to the sidewalk today. God is so beautiful. Peace.

Monica and Steve
Monica and Richard
Rose, Diane, and Nikki

9-11 AM, Kathy and Mark:

Thanks to my prolife pals Terry (Fri regular), Margie (PCUC), Kim (Sidewalk Advocate), and Mark (Shift Buddy) who accompanied me during the first hour of my shift and Mark, Margie, Ken (St. Thomas More) and Dan (Steubenville, OH) who were with with me for the second hour.
Two positive outcomes today.  1) I escorted a young lady “S” to Catholic Charities for a pregnancy test and 2) a young man seeking STD testing accepted the yellow card and said he would go to Women’s Choice Network for it.
Of the people that entered the clinic, two people accepted yellow cards, the others declined. Most passersby accepted 40 Days brochures and Watch Me Grow brochures.

Terry, Margie, Kim and Mark
Mark, Margie, Ken, and Dan

11 AM-1 PM, Sheila and Cecilia:

There was a lot of traffic into the clinic but nobody accepted any literature from us nor stopped to talk. A young man came out to smoke and told me that he accompanied his sister from DuBois. He was not comfortable talking with me but did accept a resource sheet and said he would give it to his sister.


1-3 PM, Elaine and Bernie:

Coming soon, but scroll for more!

3-5 PM, Pat, Val and Mike:

I was blessed to have Val and Mike (from St. Eugene’s in Liberty Boro) with me again as my SBs.  We both prayed and had good conversation.  The atmosphere/attitude of passersby seemed to be more negative than last week when I only recall one “finger” being offered to me.  The best part was that one young woman and her friend who were exiting PP actually accepted my offer of a yellow card – and when I asked if she wanted further information, she actually said yes.  I asked her why she had gone into PP and she said for birth control.  Thankfully Diane had three different brochures that I could give her on the subject.  Thanks for that, Diane.

The sign in PP’s window reads, “We support your choices.” Unfortunately, that’s only true if you choose abortion. If your choice is parenting or placing for adoption, you’ll get no support from PP.

5-7 PM, Bill:

This afternoon Nikki called me asking if I had anyone going down with me to the vigil.  I didn’t, but was expecting a particular volunteer to help out.  She informed me the volunteer had a personal crisis and could not make it and it may be too late to get a response for other volunteers. But Nikki put the word out and within a half hour there was a positive response.  David would help but he may be late coming from West Virginia.  I tried to arrive early and somehow David was already there.  Pat and his crew greeted me and it looked like everything was working out.  We soon got a visit from Jim, the fellow who stopped by for a minute last week.  This week he put on a sign and we invited him to pray with us but he said he was only staying for a few minutes.  He seems to be someone who wants to do something but is still very uncomfortable down here. Soon into our shift a lot of passersby vocalized their displeasure with us.  One young woman told us since we were men we really didn’t have a say.  Another lady told us that she was pro planned parenthood all the way.  An older lady told us to go to hell.  David tried to engage a conversation with her but all these ladies didn’t want to have conversation.  By then another volunteer showed up, this was Ken from Canonsburg and we realized that we really needed to pray.  Through all this nobody was going into planned parenthood.  I think it was after a Rosary was completed a couple came out and I mentioned that she looked fine but was reminded that now they give out the abortion pill.  Finally, Beth from the South Hills arrived and she began praying.  The sidewalk was mostly quiet the rest of the evening.  Tom and Diane arrived to pick up our materials and Nikki arrived to pick up her paintings.  A few of us ended up staying until 7pm praying on the sidewalk.  I’m sorry for the lack of pictures, I’ll do better next time.  Also, I ask for prayers for our volunteer and I want to thank David, Ken, Beth and two different Jims.  God Bless!

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