Saturday, October 19, 2013

40 Days For Life: DAY 25: Getting soaked didn't stop them

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,
Steve Karlen, our North American outreach director, picked one of the rainiest weeks of the year for visiting the Mid-Atlantic states. But rain is just part of the 40 Days for Life experience.
Here is another report from Steve, who met some very dedicated people — rain or shine!
Lancaster, Pennsylvania

I arrived in Lancaster just as the rain was ending. But the lousy weather didn't stop the vigil.

"Those who stood the vigil mid-day were particularly impacted," said Bob, the local coordinator, "as heavy rains overflowed the gutters along South Lime Street and passing cars splashed the three volunteers who prayed as they struggled to control their umbrellas in the gusty winds."

Thankfully, by the time I arrived on the sidewalk outside the abortion center, the rain stopped and the sky began to clear.
Washington, DC

The vigil in Washington is in front of a large Planned Parenthood abortion center that's not too far from the White House. I had a chance to talk with Libby, the local campaign director; Brett, who led previous campaigns in Washington; and three students from Catholic University of America.

While we were there, Libby spoke to a woman who was on her way into Planned Parenthood.

The woman was told she needed an abortion because she was paralyzed from the waist down. Libby has a medical background and said it wasn't true; the birth would actually be less painful due to the paralysis. She made an admirable effort, but it did not succeed.

Alexandria, Virginia

In Alexandria, there's a vigil taking place outside an apartment building -- the abortion facility is inside.

One of the residents only became aware of the clinic through the 40 Days for Life effort. She is now a dedicated prayer participant and even lets the local team store vigil supplies at her home. This campaign has seen a lot of support from the community, with many encouraging horn honks and positive gestures.

Falls Church, Virginia

Thanks to Laura, the local campaign director, for this photo of the Falls Church vigil. There was a small group there when I arrived, but they were dedicated to praying for an end to abortion and they were eager to find out more about 40 Days for Life around the nation and around the world.
It's very inspiring to meet so many faithful people in all these cities, all joining together to pray for an end to abortion. A powerful experience!


Thanks again to Steve Karlen for sharing his stories from the road!

Here's today's devotional from Rev. J. Kirk van der Swaagh of the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference.

Day 25 intention

We pray for the conversion of all those who refuse to acknowledge that human life belongs only to God.


Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations."

-- Jeremiah 1:4-5

Reflection by Rev. J. Kirk van der Swaagh

To be or not to be? There is no question!

The question of "being" is something philosophers have long pondered.

What is the meaning of being and what is the source? In the passage before us, we have our answer. We have being because we are known by God.

For God to declare that he knows and sets apart the prophet Jeremiah even before he is conceived indicates that our being rests in God's own being. Because He is and because He wills we, therefore, are and do.

The Apostle Paul says as much when he declares before the philosophers of his day, "In Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28).

One of the tragedies of the abortion culture is that life in the womb has been so heartbreakingly devalued. To embrace the arguments of the "pro-choice" crowd one must conclude that the child in the womb doesn't exist, isn't there, has no being.

But nothing could be further from the truth. That child is known by God and, as such, has being.


Lord God, we confess that in You we live and move and have our being. Because You are, we are. May we find grace from You to affirm the being of every human and may we labor to make this truth known to the world around us. Amen.

Printable devotional

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: Have you seen signs of encouragement from your local 40 Days for Life campaign? If so, please leave a comment at today's blog entry: