Even in a vocal, pro-abortion cultural climate, a 40 Days for Life campaign can thrive. But it takes sacrifice from the participants.
This is especially true in places where volunteers endure persecution almost every day.
This week, Steve Karlen – the North American outreach director for 40 Days for Life – visited the three campaigns in Oregon. There he witnessed the faith and courage of those who aren’t afraid to be voices for the unborn … no matter what obstacles they face.
Here is Steve’s report.
It’s a very prayerful, very enthusiastic group in Salem.
There are two volunteers, Tammi and Lori, who take 12-hour prayer shifts at the vigil. TWELVE hours! I asked them about their extraordinary sacrifices, but they seemed just too humble to offer many details.
The volunteers in Salem told me about unusual happenings they witnessed at Planned Parenthood.
They saw an older man bring a pre-teen girl in for an appointment. After a while, they left. But later that day, the same man arrived – with another pre-teen girl. While it appeared rather suspicious, the police told the prayer team there was nothing for them to do.
We had a great time of offering encouragement to the volunteers in Beaverton. Some of the vigil participants here are saddened at times because they live in a pro-abortion community.
It didn’t take long for me to understand what they were talking about. Some teenagers even walked by and heckled us and praised the devil.
I reminded the Beaverton team that Jesus didn’t start out with big numbers … and that our persistence in the face of long odds is a prayer itself.
The Planned Parenthood center in Beaverton offered a sure sign that the campaign is making a difference. They’re doing a “pledge-a-picketer” campaign. That’s where they ask their supporters to donate money for everyone who comes to pray on the sidewalk. They had a less-than-impressive $37 per prayer volunteer committed.
I arrived to meet a very upbeat crowd in Eugene, where they’d set up a tent with signs, balloons and a sign-up area in the parking lot across from a huge Planned Parenthood mega-center.
Lynda, the local leader arrived with her pastor. Pastor Steve opened our time of prayer. We were joined by members of Marist High School’s pro-life group.
It was really an exciting visit to Oregon!
Thanks again to Steve Karlen for today’s report.
LifeNews.com Note: Shawn Carney is the campaign director for the 40 Days for Life pro-life prayer campaign against abortion.