Friday, February 19, 2016

From 40 Days For Life: DAY 10: “We save more babies in the winter”

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,
This just in – it’s cold!
Well, it’s certainly cold for many 40 Days for Life locations where extreme temperatures are requiring lots of sacrifice and lots of clothes.
I’m reminded of what Brian Gibson, the leader in St. Paul Minnesota, said prior to a really chilly campaign in 2008:
“It’s not cold; it’s just inadequate clothing!”
40 Days for Life CEO David Bereit did a short audio interview with Brian before that campaign.
We’ve posted a portion of that interview that is still timely, especially if you’re in an area that experiences such frigid weather occasionally, but not on a regular basis.
To listen, go to:
In the interview, Brian shared a remarkable observation: “We save more babies during the winter than we do during the summer.”
He said when people see the sacrificial dedication of volunteers out praying in the cold and wind and snow, it shows how much you really care about the innocent lives that are on the line.
Now that’s something to think about the next time you think it might be too cold to pray!
(And if you’re in Australia, New Zealand or South Africa … I hope you’re enjoying summer!)
Ithaca, New York
There was snow on the ground when Mary Anne, the 40 Days for Life leader in Ithaca, left home on her way to the vigil site. When she arrived, there were a dozen people in prayer at what they call their “street chapel” outside Planned Parenthood.
“It was so touching to me to see that,” she said. She’s also seeing changing attitudes towards life in Ithaca, with more churches – and more pastors – taking part in the vigils. 
That in turn is impacting the community. “We saw that,” Mary Anne said, “with cars honking for life.”
Planned Parenthood now has two escorts instead of one. Still, she said, “This is Ithaca, a culturally diversity community coming together in unity, breaking through the barriers … we are all in this together.”
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Nikki in Pittsburgh says she was humbled that volunteers vowed to keep their commitments in extreme cold conditions – especially one particular shift manager.
“I sent her a text message around 9 am, asking if she wanted to reconsider closing early,” Nikki said, “and she texted me back that she is fine and would stay all day. Wow!
The cold weather may be helping to warm hearts.
Two passersby told vigil participants that they supported the “right” to abortion. One said she had never been able to discuss abortion so calmly and logically, and her talk with volunteers gave her something to think about. The other actually said he could be changing his mind on the issue.
“The most encouraging thing to happen today,” said another volunteer, “was that a couple who were about to enter Planned Parenthood noticed us praying.” They slowed down … turned around … and then left. “Thank God for this opportunity!”

Today's devotional is from Rev. John Ensor of PassionLife.
Day 10 intention

Pray for your local pregnancy help center: for those who answer calls from women considering abortion, those who provide ultrasounds, and those who personally help mothers prepare to parent or place for adoption.

Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

—Psalm 82:4
Reflection from Rev. John Ensor

When a woman arrives at her local pregnancy help center, the hard work of "rescuing the weak" begins.

They listen to her. What desperate circumstance is driving her?

They act. A professional ultrasound and medical care is provided.

They pray, "God use us." Then, they take up her burdens and work towards life.

It is cross-bearing for the child-bearing.

Recently, I prayed for one volunteer who was working with one mother in her struggle. Here is what "rescue the weak" looked like in this one case:
  • Aug 3: She made an appointment for Thursday to get an abortion and while she feels terrible about it, she also feels like she has no choice. Pray that her heart is changed!
  • Aug 10: She is 12 weeks along but missed her appointment. She had some good conversations with people at the pregnancy center. She is now considering adoption.
  • Aug 13: Things are down again. She now has an abortion scheduled for Monday. Pray!
  • Aug 17: Missed appointment! God is working in her life.
  • Sept 1: We've hit another rocky period. She has an abortion scheduled for tomorrow. She found out today that her parents are planning a trip to visit her and she is panicking.
  • Sept 15: Missed third appointment. But feels like she has no choice. Please pray today
  • Sept 20: She fears her parents but has agreed to another ultrasound (a breakthrough).
  • Sept 22: I was there with her for her ultrasound. She saw her baby moving and made the realization that she wants to carry her baby.
Please keep praying against attack by the enemy. We are overwhelmed by seeing God's hand move in this situation and are so very thankful for the prayers lifted up by each one of you. God is good!

Father, we praise you for this one sister who gave herself, heart and soul, to rescue this one mother and baby. O may you empower the hundreds more today who are serving in our pregnancy help centers. Grant those answering calls, providing ultrasound and following up with a bold spirit of truth, love and perseverance.
Printable devotional

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For life,
 Shawn Carney
40 Days for Life