Thursday, February 23, 2012

DAY 2: Early challenges


Dear Deacon,

I'm home for a few days -- but David Bereit, 40 Days
for Life's national director, is on the road right now
in Texas.

Last night, David spoke at the record TENTH campaign
kickoff event in Bryan/College Station. He's visiting
the 40 Days for Life location in McKinney, Texas today.

From Bryan/College Station back in 2004, we've seen
God take 40 Days for Life to some far away (and some
very cold) places. Here are a couple of stories from
local campaigns facing challenging situations.


We refer to the current 40 Days for Life events as the
"spring" campaign. But don't tell that to the folks in
Alaska! Anchorage has received more than 100 inches of
snowfall already this winter. And it isn't over yet.

Haylee Shields, the local coordinator, sent before-and-
after photos showing the sidewalk in front of Planned
Parenthood -- before and after some of the 8-foot
snowdrifts were plowed away.

All that snow has done nothing to deter the spirit of
the volunteers taking part in 40 Days for Life.

"We're gearing up and getting excited for what could be
the best campaign we've ever had," Haylee said.

"We have been spending time together in prayer, and we
are trusting the Lord to do great things as we follow
His will."

Yes, it's cold. And yes, there's a WHOLE LOT of snow.
But many are answering the call to take a public stand
against the evil of abortion.

"Please remember that we are the visible sign that the
church of God will not stand idly by while abortions
are being committed in our communities," Haylee told
local volunteers. "You can make a difference in this
fight for life!"

To see some photos of the kickoff event -- and the snow
-- in Anchorage, please go to:



The Reno/Tahoe area has been faithfully involved in
nearly every coordinated 40 Days for Life campaign.
But they'd never gotten any media attention -- until now.

This time, the campaign kickoff event generated several
reports from two local newspapers and one TV station.

The event featured testimony from a woman who'd had
three abortions when she was younger -- including one
at the facility where the 40 Days for Life vigil is
taking place in Reno. "I have a responsibility to speak
the truth," she said. "Every time we have the
opportunity to speak the truth, it's a gift."

This abortion center features a series of signs along
its fence, all of them designed to encourage prayer
volunteers to go home. One reads, "Protesters are
terrorists." That's one of the milder ones.

In the past, the abortionist has used a sound system
to blare out obscene music. He has also turned on a
sprinkler system during the prayer vigils. The
sprinklers have been pointed directly at the sidewalk
where the volunteers conduct their campaign.

But they will continue to stand and pray.

"We are going to pray for an end to abortion in our
country," one local pastor told the crowd. "We are
going to appeal to the divine source to bring about a
change of hearts and minds of the people of this land."

To see some photos of the Reno kickoff, please go to:


Today's devotional was prepared for you by Kevin
Burke, executive director of Rachel's Vineyard


May the King of the Universe, who entered this world
as a helpless infant, give us the humility to be


My power is made perfect in weakness.

-- 2 Corinthians 12:9

REFLECTION by Kevin Burke, Rachel's Vineyard

The great mystery of the Humility of God is very near
and dear to the mission of those serving in pro life
and in a special way, post abortion ministries across
this nation.

For those wounded by their participation in abortion,
the door to healing often feels like crossing an abyss
of great fear: fear of judgment, fear of being torn
apart by the pain, by self hatred and rage at those
who hurt and abandoned you, and manipulated you in
your time of temptation.

For men in particular, entering the unknown waters of
emotional vulnerability, so necessary to healing calls
for a different kind of courage that feels deceptively
like weakness.

The door to healing is humility.

It is born in the inability to no longer control the
pain, to live with the consequences of that tragic
decision to reject life. The hearts cries out, "I have
committed a grave offense against my Creator and I am
consumed by regret, grief and sorrow!"

During these forty days let us pray for all who have
participated in abortion and with love call them to
healing and reconciliation. With healing these women
and men can become as John Paul II proclaimed in the
Gospel of Life, "the most eloquent defenders of
everyone's right to life."

Jesus proclaimed, "I am the Vine, you are the
branches" (John 15:5). To bear the greatest fruit, the
branches must be pruned. Each level of pruning of the
vine requires a deeper level of humility so that we
can abandon ourselves to His will.

This is not a lofty theological concept as much as it
is an earthy experience of pulling weeds, tilling
rocky soil, pruning and healing the vines. "If a man
wishes to come after me, he must deny his very self,
take up his cross, and begin to follow in my
footsteps" (Matthew 16:24).


Lord, during these forty days, we ask that with each
day of this sacred vigil, everything in us that
separates us from your perfect will would be pruned
from our hearts and souls.

In this blessed freedom may we experience a powerful
anointing of your Holy Spirit. Filled with confidence
and trust may we proclaim with the mother of Jesus,
"Let it be done to me, according to your Word."


To download today's devotional as a formatted,
printable PDF to share with friends:


For Life,

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

PS: Is the 40 Days for Life campaign in your city
getting off to a fast start? Please share any stories
about the local campaign by leaving a comment below
today's blog entry:

40 Days for Life

10908 Courthouse Road
Suite 102229
Fredericksburg, VA