Friday, October 23, 2015

From 40 Days For Life: DAY 31: End of a dark reign

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,
A Virginia community gathered this week to celebrate.
For some people, it might have been easy to think that an abortion facility that had been open for 27 years would never go out of business.
Thank God, the local 40 Days for Life leaders in Manassas, Virginia didn’t ascribe to that mentality. Instead, they directed campaign after campaign in front of a place that many thought was there to stay.

They believed in the power of prayer ...

... and they saw those prayers answered when the abortion facility where they had prayed – a business that had taken thousands of lives over those 27 years – closed its doors.

It happened there ... and in 63 other locations where 40 Days for Life vigils have been held. Will your city be next?

Manassas, Virginia
Abortions took place for 27 years at Amethyst Health Center for Women in Manassas. But that all ended late last month.
Through heat, rain and snow … faithful volunteers had prayed outside that facility for years – prayer that included fourteen 40 Days for Life campaigns.
This past Sunday, volunteers gathered for prayer at Amethyst one more time … and 40 Days for Life’s national director, David Bereit, shared some words of appreciation for all that had been done to bring about this victory, and thanked all those who had helped coordinate 40 Days for Life campaigns over the years for their leadership.
Mike Baldwin, the current local director, has invited the Manassas volunteers to continue praying.
There are other 40 Days for Life vigils taking place in Northern Virginia … and he said there remains a need for prayer in Manassas. He’s asking people to keep “praying for protection against another abortion center opening up in our area.”
Roanoke, Virginia
“A lot of people come to Planned Parenthood to get services like ultrasounds,” said Sean, the 40 Days for Life leader in Roanoke, “and are turned away because Planned Parenthood only gives those to women getting abortions, apparently.”
Volunteers are able to give information to women leaving Planned Parenthood … letting them know there are life-affirming centers in the area where they can get free resources.

“We also get to pray with people as they are driving away,” he said. “Our witness out there is so important. We can show them that they don’t need to ever come back!
Sean thanked 40 Days for Life national director David Bereit for coming to their rally last weekend “to encourage and challenge us.”
Volunteers were offered a three-fold plan of action:
          1. Pray more fervently
          2. Visit the vigil more frequently
          3. Invite ten friends to come pray
If you haven’t been to a vigil yet … there are 307 of them! Here’s where to find the one nearest you:
Virginia Beach, Virginia
“Why do people believe Planned Parenthood provides free or low-cost care?” asked one of the 40 Days for Life volunteers in Virginia Beach.
A young couple left Planned Parenthood because the abortion business wanted to charge them $30 for a pregnancy test. The young mom said, “I already know I’m pregnant. I want an ultrasound to see how far along I am.”
They were very happy to hear that they could get not only a free pregnancy test but also a free ultrasound at the nearby pregnancy resource center

Here’s today’s devotional from Rev. J. Kirk van der Swaagh, Pastor, Conservative Congregational Christian Conference.
Day 31 intention

For the medical community, that the truth they know about the human body may become awe and wonder at the God who made it.

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.

— Psalm 139:16

Human beings — God’s tapestries.

Psalm 139 is a psalm that reveals the enormity and otherness of God. His divine attributes are on display: omniscience (2-4), omnipresence (7-12), loving-kindness (17-18), justice (19-20), righteousness (23-24), and omnipotence.

Yet, when it came to express this last attribute, what example did the psalmist use — God’s creation of mountains, seas, or far-flung galaxies? No, he used none of these. To express the wonder of God’s unparalleled creative power the writer mentions the fashioning of the human in the womb (14-16).

The Hebrew word used to express God’s forming of us in the womb, raqam, is the same term for needlework or embroidery. In other words, we are a tapestry that displays God’s artistic mastery.

And, like the artist who knows his creation down to the last detail, God intimately knows us. This reality provokes the writer to awe and wonder. He proclaims, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

What is true for this psalmist is true for each human being. Each is fashioned by God and known by him and we can proclaim on behalf of each, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Gracious God, help us to appreciate the wonder and beauty of Your creation. Help us proclaim on behalf of every one of our fellow human beings, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” May the knowledge that we are intimately known by You shape our lives and actions. Amen.
Printable devotional

To download today’s devotional as a printable PDF to share with friends:

For life,
 Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life