Sunday, October 26, 2014

From 40 Days For Life: DAY 33: Changing lives in Mexico

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,
Three stories today ... from first-time campaigns in three different countries, including Mexico ... where 40 Days for Life is having a huge impact in that nation’s largest city!

On this first day of the week, let’s recall Psalm 118: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!”

Have a blessed Sunday!
Mexico City, Mexico

“We have witnessed the transformation of more and more people,” said Lourdes, the local leader in Mexico City. “They frequently send us messages about how 40 Days for Life has impacted their lives.”

Several more lives have been saved at the vigil. In one case, a seminarian walked up to speak a woman who was arriving at the Marie Stopes facility. He was dressed in clerical attire. She took one look at the collar and left – he didn’t have to say a word.

Lourdes said another girl arrived in a taxi. “When she saw us, she started to cry and stayed in the taxi. Employees from the facility went to her to talk to her and convince her to enter … but she refused and left.”

The Marie Stopes center has obviously felt the impact of the vigil. They’re now offering credit card payments with no additional fees for three months. They’ve put up a banner that says “it’s good to pray but it’s better to educate” – a reference to their sex education programs.

Employees also gave flyers to the security guard – with typical “your body, your right to decide” talking points. But the officer gave all of the flyers to the vigil participants … and asked if he and his partner could get 40 Days for Life t-shirts.

“The community participation has been amazing,” Lourdes said. “A group of young people from Puebla came to support the prayers this past weekend. It was astonishing!”
Osijek, Croatia

Kristina says more than 400 people have taken part in the 40 Days for Life vigil in Osijek, with many of them praying every day in front of the Clinical Hospital Center. The media have been following the campaign – and one TV report noted that the number of abortions has gone down.

That was confirmed by an inside source, who wrote, “Your prayers are so strong, and the number of abortions is decreasing every day. The Holy Spirit enlightens them!”

“God's presence is amazing,” Kristina said, “and people are so happy and cheerful. From the beginning it has been obvious that God leads the initiative, and one of the reasons is that a huge number of people in the city of Osijek and nearby places fast and pray every day for the success of this initiative.”
Llanelli, Wales

There’s no abortion facility in Llanelli … but there is a 40 Days for Life vigil. It’s taking place in an area called the Sunken Gardens, opposite the Llanelli town hall.

This campaign is getting attention – from the people … and from the media.

A campaign spokesman told one reporter: “The aim is to pray for the end of abortion. It is a ground-breaking peaceful prayer vigil to pray for the change of hearts and minds to save the lives of unborn children, their parents, and for the workers in the abortion field.”

Here’s today’s devotional from Fr. Terry Gensemer, National Director of the Charismatic Episcopal Church for Life.
Day 33 intention 
May we absorb the truth that God is paying attention to us, and to each human life, personally and individually.
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor.
— Psalm 8:3-9
How often we ignore the phrase, “stop and smell the roses” and instead submit to the all-too-urgent task at hand. Is this tendency what keeps us, at least in part, from acknowledging that God’s care for His sacred creation is paramount in His own mind?
The Psalmist speaks of God’s handiwork: the heavens, the work of his “fingers,” and then points to God’s masterpiece – human life. He declares to us that God is mindful of us. God keeps His masterpiece in His thoughts.
God, the creator of the awe-inspiring heavens, is not distracted by the tasks before Him. He is not pulled away, as we might be, by thoughts of something “more important.”
God is paying attention to and attending to His crowning glory, His masterpiece of creation, which cannot be duplicated or replaced, which surpasses the beauty of all other created things – the human being.
There is no way to adequately describe how God feels about us as human beings. There are no words to fully portray His love, compassion or desire to be in communion with us.
Perhaps, the closest we can come, is to contemplate the thoughts of a mother as she gazes for the first time at her newborn child. God cares for Life.
We, as His followers, should take time to consider the life He has created and called upon us to love and protect.
Lord, you are the creator of all things. Guide my thoughts to consider your creation in all of its majesty, beauty and holiness. Guide my heart especially to your creation of precious human life.
Help me to comprehend how essential life is in your own heart. Teach me to appreciate, love and protect all human life through your son, Jesus Christ our Lord, 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