Wednesday, March 22, 2017

40 Days for Life: DAY 22: New effort in an ancient city

Deacon John,
For the first time, we’re seeing “40 Giorni per la Vita” in Rome! 40 Days for Life is now going on in a new country ... and a new language.
Robert Colquhoun, our international campaign director, just got back from a visit to Italy … meeting with Chiara, the local coordinator. Chiara is a university student who started her own pro-life organization and has traveled to the March for Life in Washington, DC.
“We met with some of the students and prayed at their vigil site outside the San Giovanni Hospital, where some 1,000 abortions are performed every year,” Robert said. “They’ve made a good start, and I think there is much potential here as there are hardly any groups in Italy doing public prayer vigils at present.”
Robert said Italy legalized abortion in 1978. And while Rome is surprisingly secular, “there are many doctors who refuse to perform abortions – the rate of conscience objections in Italy is high.”
The idea of a public prayer vigil in Italy remains “highly counter-cultural,” he said, “so it is a challenge to overcome that hurdle. But I think there is great potential for 40 Days for Life to spread here.”

Richmond, Virginia

What difference can one person make? More than you might think!
Ann in Richmond shared the story of a 40 Days for Life volunteer who has helped the local campaign grow larger and stronger.
“She joined our team a couple of years ago and immediately showed her level of commitment as she attended meetings and planned events with us,” Ann said.
But this year, she decided to do more. She approached her pastor and asked permission to invite the church to take a more active role in 40 Days for Life.
Her initiative led the Knights of Columbus to print 1,300 flyers that were put into Sunday bulletins. The volunteer then invited parishioners to join her on the sidewalk in front of the abortion center.
The following week, the first group came to the vigil. “They met at the church and drove together,” Ann said. “They brought flowers to leave at the site. And they prayed together.”
The team member said she’d have been happy if just a few had been there.
“In fact,” Ann said, “a dozen came. And they have all been invited to come back next week, same day, same time. This kind of new vitality inspires us all!”

Hollywood, Florida

Friends don’t let friends go into abortion facilities – for any reason!
That was the case when a young couple was dropped off along the sidewalk near the 40 Days for Life prayer volunteers in Hollywood.
One of the vigil participants handed the man a brochure from a life-affirming pregnancy help center. He started looking at the material … but the woman just headed inside.
The man looked at the volunteers and said, “She’s in there!”
One of the volunteers looked at him and said, “Well – go in there and take her out!” And he did!
When she came out, she said the staff had already given her a stack of paperwork and she was being prepped for a pregnancy test.
The volunteers knew that if she was pregnant, the abortion facility’s employees would immediately begin pressuring her to have an abortion. They also knew she would be treated much more respectfully at the pregnancy help center that’s just a few blocks away – and that was the next stop for this young couple.
In the end, her pregnancy test was negative.
But the volunteers’ message to young women remained constant: If you want a pregnancy test, we have a much better option for you than ever setting foot in an abortion center!
Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this, in His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
— Job 12:9-10
Thank you, Father God, for being the Creator of my life and every life. Please give me, and the society in which I live, an appreciation for your gift of life. Please help us set aside our pride and acknowledge that we need you. Show me how I can honor you today in response to all the blessings you bestow freely.
See today's full devotional
For life,
Shawn D. Carney
President, 40 Days for Life
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