Wednesday, October 7, 2009

DAY 15: Overcoming the darkness

Dear Mike,

Most 40 Days for Life prayer vigils are conducted
outside abortion facilities that are either in
stand-alone buildings or in medical office parks.
There are, of course, some exceptions.

One of those exceptions is in Halifax, Nova Scotia,
where abortions are performed in a hospital. So it's
hard to know who among the many hundreds of women
entering the hospital are there for an abortion, and
good news about lives changed through prayer is hard
to come by.

Still, local coordinator Julie Culshaw has always
been convinced that prayer works. Vigil participants
were asked to pray for specific people in the
hospital, including a woman who worked part-time as a
counselor in the abortion unit. Julie just learned
that this woman has given up that position and has
asked for a transfer to another ward.

"She said she 'felt such darkness' when she had to
work in the Pregnancy Termination Unit, as it is
called," Julie said. "Praise God; this is an answer
to prayer!"

At another 40 Days for Life vigil location -- this
one will have to remain anonymous, for reasons you
will see -- a local business had been helping the
campaign. The business owners serve as agents for a
prominent national company.

"Abortion advocates have continually harassed the
local agents and pressured the national corporation
to mandate that they disassociate from our 40 Days
for Life campaign," said the local 40 Days for Life
coordinator. "I cannot in good conscience ask them to
place their livelihood as risk."

It's really too bad. 40 Days for Life had been good
for this company's business. Still, the local
campaign coordinator is optimistic. "My heart
rejoices that we were honored with this level of
persecution and the opportunity to persevere and
witness to God's truth and pray for His glory to be
revealed in the strength and sustenance He provides
for us to continue onward."

Sometimes, the truth is revealed in other ways.

It isn't often that anyone from Planned Parenthood
agrees to publicly debate abortion; but in Lubbock,
Texas, a Planned Parenthood representative agreed to
take part in a discussion organized by a group of
pro-life medical students at Texas Tech.

But once a notice of the event was published in the
newspaper, the Planned Parenthood spokesperson backed
out, reportedly saying he would be unable to
participate in anything related to 40 Days for Life.

"The question is," asked Dan in Lubbock, "if abortion
is such a good thing, in their view, why isn't it
robustly defensible 24/7?"

The answer is simple: They cannot argue the facts.
There is no defense for abortion ...

... And that's something even children understand.

It was a dark, rainy day in Richmond, Virginia. Becca
was headed to the abortion facility to pray at the
40 Days for Life vigil with her 3-year-old daughter,
Anna. "As we drove to the clinic," she said, "I
explained to her why we were going, what we would be
doing there, and who we would be praying for."

While they were standing in the rain, Becca took
Anna's picture. It's the only time Becca can ever
recall that Anna didn't smile for a picture.

See the photo online at:

Anna is only 3 years old, but she understands. Please
continue to pray that all may see, with a child's
eyes, the darkness that must be overcome.

Here's today's devotional from Rev. Rob Schenck,
President of Faith and Action...


May God's people awaken to the fact that we are our
brothers' keepers.


Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to
pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up
against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the
Lord said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He
said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?" And
He said, "What have you done? The voice of your
brother's blood cries out to me from the ground."

-- Genesis 4:8-10

REFLECTION by Rev. Rob Schenck, Faith and Action

"Methinks he doth protest too much ..."

The Bible is filled with passages that speak to our
obligation to care for our fellow human beings. From
the many commands in the books of Moses enjoining
love of family, neighbors and even strangers, to
Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan, the injunction
to care for others is inescapable.

In this account, the guilt-stricken Cain tries to
shrug off his obligation to his own kin by dismissing
it as an unreasonable duty. A la Shakespeare, though,
"methinks he doth protest too much." Cain's objection
doesn't stem from his sense of proper boundaries of
responsibility, but from his own self-centered sense
of self-preservation.

Christ said, "Greater love has no one than this, than
to lay down one's life for his friends" (John 15:13).
This is the standard of divine love. It required God
to sacrifice what was most precious to Him for the
temporal and eternal well being of all humankind (see
John 3:16). Though on a much-reduced scale, he
expects us to do the same.

Trying to duck our obligation to others is futile. We
can't get away with simply dismissing others,
especially the most vulnerable among us: the
pre-born, the disabled, the sick and the aged. As
with Cain, God sees and hears their suffering and
will call us to account for what we do -- or do not
do -- for them.


Father, help us to embrace the fact that we are our
"brother's keeper." When, due to selfish motives, we
try to cast off this responsibility please call to us
to account. We would be pleasing to you and to our
"brother." Through the help and grace of our Lord and
Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.


To download today's devotional as a formatted,
printable PDF to share with friends:


For Life,

David Bereit
National Director
40 Days for Life

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