As we start another week … how about some good news as a welcome break from the headlines?
Since 40 Days for Life started on September 28, we now have reports of 264 babies whose moms chose life at the last minute – that we know of! People are praying – and bringing a public witness of Christ’s mercy – to 367 locations in 23 countries.
Why not join them? Find the location nearest you and pray for an end to abortion.
Spring Valley, New York
Eileen’s email from the 40 Days for Life team in Spring Valley started off with a big headline: “ANOTHER BABY SAVED!”
A woman walked up to the vigil participants, eager to share a story. She works near Planned Parenthood and learned that there was a young woman in an unexpected pregnancy who had scheduled an abortion. But it was also learned that her problem was not the baby but money. People at this other business were able to help her find a job and life-saving support.
“We never know the full extent of all the prayers and the loving witness for all these nine years,” Eileen said, “but … we see how far prayer travels!”
This was the second child spared from abortion in this campaign. About a week into 40 Days for Life, the volunteers found out that a baby scheduled to be abortion is now expected to be born in March. Eileen said the child was saved by prayer, love and the effort of a grandmother who did not want her daughter to make the wrong choice.
“There is a Spirit that cannot be put into words,” she said, “and that is why we do what we do. We have been called … and we cannot ignore.”
Colorado Springs, Colorado
“Praise God!” said Michele, the 40 Days for Life director in Colorado Springs. “A baby was saved today!”
The 40 Days for Life vigil participants had an opportunity to talk to a woman who’d had an abortion scheduled at Planned Parenthood that day. And she couldn’t wait to tell her story to the people praying on the sidewalk.
She told them she was the mother of three children … and pregnant with her fourth. But she was extremely worried, because the doctors said she had cysts – which were likely cancerous. In cases such as this, an abortion is often recommended.
But once this mom found out her cysts were not cancerous, she went back to Planned Parenthood to cancel the abortion.
“Now three children will be able to welcome a new baby brother or sister into the world,” said Michele. “What a joyful day!”
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“There have been not one but two saves so far at the Lawrenceville 40 Days for Life location,” said a local volunteer. “Praise be to God!”
Brenda, longtime volunteer at the Lawrenceville location and one of the local leaders, writes, “Yes these are the first babies saved of the campaign. This has lifted all of our spirits!”
She went on to comment that although other groups may try to approach things less gently, “We have found that the peaceful, prayerful presence recommended by 40 Days for Life does really work!”
Brenda explained, “Both women seemed drawn to our group and the information we had because we tried to be peaceful and friendly and approachable.”
One was a young and very shy girl who was in obvious distress. One of the women in the group gently beckoned to her to come up. The girl tentatively approached and said she did want the information on free help. She went back to her car and read everything. She went into Planned Parenthood briefly, but then left for good.
Volunteers don’t always find out about lives saved so soon, but they do know the peaceful prayerful presence still has an effect. In fact, people have come back years later to thank them for helping them changing their minds.
“In the past two months,” Brenda said, “two different people have come up to our group at different times and thanked us for being there three years ago when they were considering abortion. After seeing us peacefully praying there, they realized they could not go through with it and chose life for their babies.”
One had a boy and the other had a girl. “We were thrilled,” she said, “but none of us remembered their choosing life because they had never come up to us back then. So we have learned to trust God in all of this.”
Brenda said it’s important to have signs with information about life-affirming resources.
“We try to make sure we always have the information they need to get help on our signs,” she said. We have found that many women are embarrassed by their situation and may not want to talk about it, but would like to know where they can get help. We have noticed some women come and photograph our signs and then drive away. This is why having a phone number, a website or a texting number on our signs is essential.”
It’s also important to include post-abortion information. “Studies show that 40% of the women going in for an abortion have already had one,” she said, “so helping a woman find healing can help prevent that second abortion.”
The volunteers recalled a woman who saw one of the post-abortion signs and ran up to them. She told them she’d had an abortion several years ago and had never told anyone … and then started crying.
“Then she told me something I will never forget,” said Brenda. “She said she felt she could come up to us and tell us this because we looked kind and friendly and approachable. She then told us, ‘Make sure you are always that way. A woman going in for an abortion feels like she doesn’t have a friend in the world and that is a time when she needs a friend more than ever.’”
So, Brenda said, “we have learned that the best sign of all to have is ourselves. We must be a sign of God’s love to all — the patients, the workers and the people just driving by. We never know how God will use us!”
LifeNews.com Note: Shawn Carney is the campaign director for the 40 Days for Life pro-life prayer campaign against abortion.