I’m in the San Diego area today, and looking forward to meeting a lot of people at a couple of events here. But I’m also thinking about what’s going on with 40 Days for Life eight time zones away.
40 Days for Life has spread rapidly through England over the past two years. Despite persecution and attacks from the media and a highly secular culture, the peaceful prayer vigils are having a HUGE effect. Here are just a few examples.
MILTON KEYNES, ENGLAND
40 Days for Life volunteers held a prayer service in front of the abortion facility, with group and individual prayer, testimony and hymns. After a time, a woman came out of the building to complain.
She said the local organizer had agreed that it would be a “silent protest” during operating hours, and that the volunteers “were causing great distress to her vulnerable clients and disrupting her work.” She said if it continued, they would take further action.
“There is, of course, no agreement between myself and the clinic for a silence-only prayer vigil and never will be,” said Andy, the local coordinator. “The police visited us during our halfway service outside the clinic and told me he had no problem with us singing and praying … he wished us a good night’s singing and left.”
Andy said he is amazed that the vigil has had such an effect on the abortion center. “I didn’t expect us to be where we are now so soon into the first campaign!”
Tony, who was praying at the 40 Days for Life vigil on London’s Brixton Street, watched as a couple left the Marie Stopes abortion facility and said they were keeping their baby. “The man was in tears of joy,” he said, “and the woman had a huge smile.”
The couple described their experience inside as “horrible” and “in fact they were dying to get away.”
They said the staff discussed problems that could develop with a high-risk pregnancy, and did so in rather insensitive terms. The man responded with some choice words and they both exited the building.
“It seems no one talked to them before they went in,” Tony said, “so it seems the prayer works even without the chit-chat first, which is great!”
“I am happy to announce that three more mothers have changed their minds,” said Aline in Birmingham.
The first mother changed her mind after seeing the ultrasound of her baby. She saw her child and decided she could not have the abortion. This had an immediate effect on another mother, who decided to keep her baby as well.
“The third expectant mother was approached by a volunteer who made her aware of the consequences of abortion,” Aline said. Still, this woman and her boyfriend went in anyway. “But after a while, they walked out happy and stopped to thank the volunteer who had spoken to her.”
The campaigns in the UK have most assuredly gotten the attention of those who support legal abortion. There’s even an online petition inviting vigil participants to leave the pavement and go home.
A column in the British edition of the Huffington Post bears the title “40 Days of Lies.” The content is as you might expect: “Certainly the tactic of intimidating clinic staff, patients and landlords until a clinic is forced to shut down won’t wash in the UK.”
Robert in England sent the photo above, showing some of the prayer volunteers at Oxford’s first-time 40 Days for Life campaign. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words.
Here’s the link to today’s devotional.
40 Days for Life
PS: Have you had an experience with 40 Days for Life that has had a deep impact on you personally? If you have, please share your story by leaving a comment below.