The comforting thing about participating in 40 Days for Life is that you just have to show up and pray. You don’t have to say anything to anyone but God.
However, sometimes couples going in for an abortion may come up to you and ask for help. What follows is often critical for the future of that baby’s life. It’s an important conversation ... but not a complicated one.
To help, Robert Colquhoun, our international outreach director, has put together a quick video on three things to say to a woman considering abortion. These are simple and effective ... and they just might save a life!
“A baby was saved today,” said Alejandra, one of the local leaders in Orange. “Praise God!”
While Bishop Kevin Vann and Fr. Bihn Nguyen were praying with 40 Days for Life volunteers outside Planned Parenthood in Orange, a 16-year-old student arrived to have an abortion … and her mother was with her.
One of the sidewalk counselors walked to meet them … and encouraged the young woman to choose life. “She spoke from her heart,” Alejandra said, “and she gave them a list of alternative places to go for real support.”
The teen’s mother said she was in favor of keeping the baby, but the young woman wasn’t sure – and she was becoming emotional about the situation.
“After about 30 minutes of dialogue,” Alexandra said, “the new mom chose life for her baby! We’ll follow up with her. Praise God!”
Ann Arbor, Michigan
One of the 40 Days for Life participants in Ann Arbor was a bit discouraged when a young girl and her mother walked out of the abortion center. He smiled and offered some free resources … but the girl told him “No thanks!” She and her mother continued walking to their car.
He soon learned that the young woman wasn’t interested in the information he was offering because she had already decided to keep her baby! Her mom rolled down the car window on their way out to relay the good news.
“We just thought we’d stop and tell you,” said the girl’s smiling mother. And our volunteer’s response? “I couldn't believe my ears!”
On a recent Saturday, Sandie, the local leader in Ann Arbor, started getting text messages and emails from vigil participants. “When they were at the vigil site to pray, Planned Parenthood had a closed sign posted!”
“We knew that Planned Parenthood had cut back on abortions on Saturdays the past year or so,” said Paul, who’s led a number of 40 Days for Life vigils there. “But in my 10 years of praying and counseling at the Ann Arbor abortion clinic, I have never seen Planned Parenthood totally closed on a Saturday!”
The Planned Parenthood website confirmed that Saturday hours have been cut out entirely.
Sandie said, “This is a sign that our prayer and presence at Planned Parenthood during the campaigns – combined of course with the year-round efforts of others – is working!”
Day 30 intention
Let us pray that pastors may not be distracted from the priority of caring for human lives.
In those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.
— Acts 6:1
More folks learning left some yearning.
It is the dawning of a new day. There is much excitement in Jerusalem. Many who dedicated themselves to the faith became disciples (the word disciple means learner).
The unprecedented church growth was miraculous and undoubtedly brought much satisfaction to the new leadership. The apostles, however, were about to experience growing pains in their master plan of evangelism.
Projects that engage the community, especially those that are evangelistic in nature, are high on the list of priorities for every duty-bound pastor.
Church attendance is a constant concern for every pastor and often his or her worth is measured by it. Unfortunately, just as the original twelve pastors in Acts, they can be so focused on getting people in that they inadvertently end up pushing some people out.
Murmuring is a deplorable deterrent to a harmonious fellowship, yet God used it to get the disciples attention. Those that needed daily attention due to their age and social status were being neglected.
This neglect of the Hellenist widows during the daily distribution of food was causing undue grief and needed to be corrected by the leadership. By God’s grace the problem was dealt with, but the lesson remains.
And during these 40 days, let us pray that today's church not make the same mistake of forgetting the contributions of our seniors, or the needs of the weakest among us, the unborn.
Father, in the Church’s desire to engage our communities with the Gospel let her not disengage from those who need their care and company the most.
Let us gain wisdom from those who have gone before us and cherish their experiences and perspectives. Help us to appreciate every soul in the body of Christ and minister properly to everybody. Amen.
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40 Days for Life