This is the biggest 40 Days for Life campaign yet in Canada, with 18 locations from coast to coast.
Over the years, I’ve been to four 40 Days for Life campaigns in Canada … and last year, I spoke at a national Canadian pro-life dinner in Calgary. In all of my visits, I’ve been inspired by enthusiastic, vibrant, diligent — and young — pro-lifers.
Here’s just one example of a Canadian campaign where faithful people are praying and fasting for an end to abortion, overcoming challenges … and changing individuals and communities.
“Community is a pretty special thing,” said Paige, a 40 Days for Life blogger in Calgary.
For this campaign, the leadership team has made an effort to encourage different communities to take blocks of time and pray together — congregations, bible studies and small groups, for instance.
“We believe it will make our communities stronger as we hear from God, and allow ourselves to be changed by Him,” she wrote. “As a result, we’ve seen more full days taken, more people borrowing courage from their friends and fellow believers and more hours covered in prayer. We are encouraged — and believe that this will be our most successful campaign to date.”
Calgary’s team has some built-in challenges, thanks to local restrictions. There’s a bubble zone surrounding the place where abortions are performed, so vigil participants are restricted to a small area on the sidewalk across the street. And they are not permitted to have more than four people praying at a time.
“We’re facing a difficult situation here at the Kensington clinic,” one volunteer wrote. “We’re not allowed to speak unless spoken to.” Because of that, a lot of thought has gone into the signs that some people hold while they pray.
“The signs that we wear at the Kensington Clinic are likely the last pro-life messages that these women will see before making a final decision about the wee life they are carrying,” she said. “We want the signs to be compelling — because this is life and death we’re talking about.”
The messages are short and sweet — so they can be read by women driving to the abortion center:
- You are loved
- Life is a gift
- It’s your child
- Look at the ultrasound
Some of the women with abortion appointments arrive by taxi. One volunteer took note of that as she prayed for the people going in and out of the building. “I prayed for taxi drivers,” she said. “I prayed that God would work through these taxi drivers.”
She wasn’t seeing anything, but did feel that God was at work. She kept praying, but everyone who arrived at the abortion facility went in. When a taxi pulled up, “I prayed like crazy — don’t let her go in God!”
The door opened, and stayed open for a moment. But no one got out. The door closed again, and the taxi drove away with the passenger — a young woman — still inside.
Had she come for an abortion but changed her mind? There was no direct way of knowing, but the young woman “looked relieved and at peace. This was in harsh contrast to the other women that came out of the clinic, every one weeping, limping and broken … now I believe we are making a difference!”
“And so we’ll pray on the sidewalk in groups, and overflow into the park when we pass our limit of four on the sidewalk,” Paige said. “We’ll pray on our feet — stomping out the cold — or on our knees when He bids us come … and our communities of faith will powerfully change the community at large by our peaceful, prayerful presence and outreach.”
Here’s the link to today’s devotional.
40 Days for Life
PS: Prayer DOES change things! What changes have you seen through your 40 Days for Life campaign? Please leave a comment below.