I just got an e-mail from Canberra, Australia asking if they can do a 40 Days for Life in 2011. I’m just trying to make it through this fall!
Honestly, the international enthusiasm for this lifesaving campaign has been unexpected since we first launched 40 Days for Life in the United States just three years ago.
Here’s a quick tour of some of the international campaigns that are seeing amazing results.
MONCTON, NEW BRUNSWICK
Moncton is one of nine campaigns in Canada right now. And as you might suspect, there are signs in French that read “40 Jours pour la Vie.”
The sign the woman is holding is a translation of the poster the man is carrying — “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”
“The prayer site across from the Dr. Georges Dumont Hospital is tremendous for public exposure — such a humungous amount of traffic all day long,” wrote Peter Ryan in New Brunswick Right to Life’s blog. “If those people did not know before about the hospital doing abortions, they sure are finding out now.”
HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA
The 40 Days for Life team in this Canadian location employs bilingual posters as well. The two languages are English … and Mandarin Chinese!
“We have many Chinese students attending St. Mary’s University and they walk past us as they go from school to the main street of Halifax,” said Julie. A Chinese pastor did the translation, and he invites Chinese students with questions to contact him.
“Abortion is a given in their country,” she said. “All of these students will not have any brothers or sisters.”
As is the case in Moncton and Halifax, abortions in Holbæk are done in a hospital. 40 Days for Life vigil participants hold two large banners outside.
One offers a familiar pro-life sentiment: “Abortion stops a beating heart.” The other reads, “Choose Jesus. ‘Whoever receives one such little child in My name receives Me.’”
Susanne in Holbæk reports the campaign is getting much positive attention — though there was a young woman who stood across the street with a banner of her own that read, “Thank God for free abortion. We already have too many disregarded and unwanted children present in this world.” She was soon joined by several others.
“We kept on praying and called for Jesus to intercede,” Susanne said. “They disappeared as suddenly as they came.”
“We had the first member of staff tell us she has quit her job there,” said one of the 40 Days for Life prayer volunteers outside the Marie Stopes abortion facility in London. “We should continue praying and being there for the rest.”
In addition, at least three more babies have been saved from abortion!
The London campaign is receiving a lot of support — though not every passerby has a favorable view.
“I am used to abuse in the hospital,” said one volunteer, who is a nurse. “But the anger I heard out of the businesswomen was difficult to take. ‘Stop abusing women!’ I heard repeatedly. They seemed completely unaware that I am a woman, too!”
Where to from here?
The London team has received inquiries about the campaign from interested people in Russia, Ghana and Colombia. I’ve also gotten e-mail from people in France and Spain, asking about to bringing 40 Days for Life to those countries.
Let’s see what God has in store!
Here’s today’s devotional from Rev. Rob Schenck, President of Faith and Action…
DAY 15 INTENTION
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:
40 Days for Life
PS: What’s new with 40 Days for Life in your city? Please leave a comment below.