Thousands of Pro-Life People Attend March for Life Europe Against Abortion
by Bryan Kemper
March 31, 2010
LifeNews.com Note: Bryan Kemper is the president of Stand True Ministries, a pro-life group that reaches out to youth and young adults. He is the author of a new book, Social Justice Begins In The Womb.
When I woke up on Sunday morning, March 28, I knew it was going to be a day I would never forget. I got up early and went for a walk to pray and prepare my heart for this special day; I wanted to be focused on what this day meant.
We started our journey walking from out host home to the metro station, down the hill where we would catch a metro to the city center and meet some of the March for Life team at the Cathedral. After the youth Mass we passed out more flyers about the March, taking advantage of every opportunity to get the word out.
We joined up some of the team from Belgium and Austria and walked over to the Royal Palace to help get the starting point set up. We set up the small Stand True booth off to the side of the steps and helped get the banners hung and signs into place.
I sat off to the side watching this group of young people from different countries, some of them not understanding each others language, all working together to make this event amazing. I was telling one of the girls that the whole set up was so punk rock; she looked at me rather confused by that statement.
I explained to her that it was just a bunch of young people using rolls of duct tape to put up signs and banners, black and white photocopies of the program, a small portable sound system, a generator pulled by a beat-up van and a do it yourself motivation that was pulling this event together.
Here we were in the heart of Brussels, just down the road from the headquarters of the European Union. We were in a nation that has had legalized child killing for 20 years, yet had never had any kind of event like this. No one knew what to expect or how many people might show up. The police were barely blocking off any area for us to gather, letting traffic buzz right by the back of the crowd with no barriers.
I walked over to take a few pictures of the counter-protestors who were calling themselves anti-fascists and was surprised by how most of them were quite old; in comparison, most of the March for Life crowd was very young.
I was getting very excited as the crowd went from hundreds to thousands almost before our eyes. The police were having a hard time keeping the crowd constrained to the area they permitted us as people continued to just pour in.
The program began with a few talks including an encouragement from the Archbishop of Belgium who informed us that he read a letter from the Pope who knew of our March and was praying for us. I met with the Archbishop afterwards and gave him greeting from the youth of America, and I thanked him taking the time to support the youth of Belgium in their fight for life.
The pre-march program finished up with young people from Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Austria, Ireland, The Netherlands, America, Spain, The Congo and so many more countries standing up to represent their nation. We then moved down to the front of the crowd to take up the head banner and begin the march.
I took my place at the end of the lead banner and watched as the clouds started to clear for the first time that day; it had been raining off and on all morning. As we started to walk down the road towards the Palace of Justice the clouds completely parted and the sun shown down on us directly as if it were a spotlight for the March for Life coming from heaven.
The police captain seemed rather confused as we began to march; he kept commenting on how the crowd seemed to never end. He kept commenting on how there were still people joining the march from the back and we were going way over our time allotted.
We arrived at the Palace of Justice and laid down the roses that were distributed to all the marchers and then gathered for the closing talks. There were at least six speakers scheduled to talk, including myself, but the police told us we had less then one our to finish everything up and clear the square.
I was originally scheduled to speak for 30 minutes with a translator. We had to cut my talk down to 10 minutes with no translation being offered. I prayed that God would give me the right words to speak and that people would understand my passion if not my words. When I finished speaking I knew God had moved in that crowd and that even if they did not understand every word, they knew what I said and embraced it.
When I walked off the stage I walked around the back to watch the rest of the talks and take in the crowd. I was blown away as so many people started to approach me, embracing me in tears as they thanked me for sharing my testimony. I could not understand many of their words, but I knew exactly what they were saying.
One of the things that touched me was the amount of grandmas and grandpas who thanked me for talking about Jesus and sharing my salvation story as part of my talk. They were thankful to see so many young people who were living their lives for Christ and were ecstatic to see the birth of a pro-life revolution in Belgium.
After the crowd dissipated, all of the organizers and speakers walked to the old market square at the Grand Palace to have a last meal together and talk about what God had done that day. We talked about the ideas we had for making next years event even more amazing and how we knew we were part of something historical, as the birth of a new European youth pro-life movement was happening.
I have already been asked to speak in at least a half dozen more European cities as young people were inspired to start a pro-life revolution in their own cities. I know I will be in Berlin in September and Ireland and Austria in October and I will be inviting you to possibly come with us to some of these amazing events.
While It was sad to leave all of my new friends in Europe, I am happy to be home with my family again. Please pray for the work of all the amazing young people in Europe and also for all the work I have to catch up on here in the States.
Go here for pictures from the March for Life Europe.
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