Sunday, October 11, 2009

DAY 19: Watching God at work

Dear Mike,

Today my family and I visited 40 Days for Life
locations in Springfield, Massachusetts, as well as
Manchester and Greenland, New Hampshire. During those
visits we were told about five more lives saved from
abortion due to the prayers and faithful participation
of local 40 Days for Life volunteers. Praise God!

With 40 Days for Life campaigns going on in 212
different communities, it's hard to focus on any one.
But I keep hearing success stories from Lake Jackson,
Texas -- small victories, for the most part; but those
blessings add up.

Lake Jackson is a community about 45 minutes south of
Houston that is holding its first 40 Days for Life
campaign this fall -- even though there is NO abortion
facility there.

"As we ventured into this ministry, we had no idea
where God was going to plant us," said Shannon Hunt, a
local coordinator. The group eventually found a spot
to hold its vigil -- on a corner near a school.

It must indeed be a good place. People are certainly
noticing 40 Days for Life. Linda, one of the vigil
volunteers in Lake Jackson, said "we had many people
honk and wave in support of life. The Lord's presence
was felt and His power was seen."

One woman rolled down her window and shouted to Linda,
"My baby is alive because of you." The message --
delivered on a street corner in Texas -- is indeed
having an impact.

To see a picture from Lake Jackson's first 40 Days for
Life campaign, go to:

As is the case in many cities, the Lake Jackson
campaign is attracting numerous new people to pro-life
activity for the first time. "This is the first time I
am participating in something like this, and it is
awesome to share this experience," said Gabriella, who
noted the vigil has received very good feedback from
people driving by.

40 Days for Life is giving people something to talk
about -- and think about.

Tim said one of his co-workers was grateful for their
efforts. "It gave him a moment to reflect that he was
adopted and may not be here if laws 40-50 years ago
are what they are today. It was a great message of

The most amazing validation, however, is the fact that
three babies have been saved from abortion through
this community effort in a city that does not even
have an abortion clinic.

Shannon met a young couple who asked what the group
was doing. It did not turn long for the conversation
to turn to the young woman's pregnancy. Abortion had
been suggested. They had already visited a clinic in
Houston. But after talking with Shannon, the woman
said, "I can't go through with it."

Shannon thinks they were already turning away from
abortion when they stopped to talk. "But they needed
one more person to be excited for them; one more
person to affirm the direction they were heading; one
more person, maybe even a pregnant woman, to speak
God's truth one more time so they could finally make
up their mind," she said. "Grace had brought all of us

You may have guessed that the "pregnant woman" sharing
the truth is the speaker, Shannon. (Congratulations,
Shannon!!) There was no one signed up for the vigil at
this particular hour, so even though she wasn't
feeling especially well, Shannon went out to pray.

"I was very, very sick the second I got home that day,
and did not get out of bed for the next three days,"
she said. "God's grace got me to that vigil site
during that empty hour. Imagine if no one had made

As Shannon noted, "even in a town with no abortion
clinic, God is making a difference."

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


We pray for a renewal of our zeal to offer generous
help to the unborn and their families.


If I have despised the cause of my male or female
servant When they complained against me, What then
shall I do when God rises up? When He punishes, how
shall I answer Him? Did not He who made me in the womb
make them? Did not the same One fashion us in the

-- Job 31:13-15

REFLECTION by Rev. Rob Schenck

The ground is level as we stand before God.

Job lived with an awe provoking sense of God's
expectation of him, particularly regarding his
obligation to care for the weak and needy. He knew
that in God's economy everyone stands on level ground
when it comes to our status as God's creatures.
Because of that central truth, we must take care of
each other.

Job also knew that he didn't deserve any of the good
things God gave to him. Instead, those blessings came
to Job from God's benevolent heart. As an extension of
that knowledge, Job instinctively linked his
obligation to be generous to others to God's kindness
toward him.

As in Jesus' parable of the unmerciful servant
(Matthew 18:23-35), Job knew that it is an egregious
sin to deny to others what we enjoy ourselves. He
actually calls down on his own head severe
condemnation and even punishment should he fail to
share with others out of his own abundance (see verses

Proverbs 3:27 reads, "Withhold not good from them to
whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand
to do so." Some things are so obvious that we don't
even need to pray except to ask of God forgiveness and
the power to do what so obviously needs doing.


God, forgive us when we try to explain away the
obligation we have to help others who need help.
Enable us to not devalue them because they are in the
circumstance that they are in, but to see them for
what they are, those, who like us, were formed by your
hand in their mother's womb. 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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