Friday, September 25, 2009

40 Days For Life - A Blessed Beginning

E-mail communique from the New Brunswick Right to Life:
Day 1: A Blessed Beginning

When we started to organize this, our first-ever 40 Days campaign I as campaign director felt unequal to the task. How to fill all those prayer shifts? Fredericton is much smaller than the other Canadian cities that are involved with 40 Days, how can we do it? It’s a secularized environment (government and university town), we don’t even get much pro-life support from the churches. So much to be done. My overwhelming feeling was: this is so much bigger than our team (too few hands, as always) can handle. My prayer: “Lord, help!”

And He has. The prayer shifts have been filling up. Churches previously lukewarm about pro-life are showing interest. A long-time divide in our pro-life movement here is being overcome, as Protestants join with Catholics. People all over the province unable to travel here for the vigil are praying and fasting at home and church. Special masses for life (rare in these parts) are being offered.

So with His grace yesterday we began, Day 1. I was impressed to see how many vigilers brought friends along with them. Quite a number of people who had planned to take part couldn’t or didn’t; but somehow others took their place, we always had at least two present, most times more. Lots of folks taking part who’ve never done anything like this before. Participants saying how they felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. More positive than negative reaction from passersby. A very good day. Thanks be to God!

A blessing rather than a curse

There were a couple surprises. One lady drives by with a sober demeanour slows right now, rolls down her window, the vigilers say to themselves, “Oh, oh, here comes trouble.” But then the lady gives them a thumbs up!

In the evening as I was praying in the dark with an Anglican priest, I heard someone yelling. Looking around, I saw a young couple walking two dogs in our direction. My first thought was, “Oh, oh.” Then she yells again and I make out, “Are you going all night or what?” She got closer and commented, pointing to the abortuary, “You know, I lost my baby (miscarriage), just to think about what they do to babies in there ….” A driver went by and cursed at us. “Boy, is that guy ignorant,” the young woman said. She then asked, “Are you guys with that place next door?” pointing to the pro-life center where I work. “Yes,” I said. She indicated she had gone in to our center one time and received help. When I explained we were on a 40 day prayer campaign, the couple asked if they could come back sometime and join us. As they went on their way, the young woman turned and yelled out again: “God bless you!”

Pretty neat stuff!

Peter Ryan
Campaign director, Fredericton NB
Executive Director, NB Right to Life
Here in Moncton we had an hour of prayer at the George Dumont hospital. The public was friendly (I could see the drivers giving us the thumbs up, not to mention the honks) and, despite the harsh weather, we actually had a few people joining our vigil.

Let's keep up with the good work. Let's pray to end abortion - rain or shine.