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DAY 37: Saving lives in the UK

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

The 40 Days for Life campaigns in the United Kingdom continue to get media attention. However, much of it is less than complimentary. Even the headlines reflect the abortion industry’s claim that vigil participants “harass” their clients.

Of course, a picture is worth a thousand words – and the pictures always show the harassment claim is a pure fabrication.

Robert Colquhoun, our international outreach director, takes a look at a couple of UK campaigns today.

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LONDON, ENGLAND
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First of all, please watch this brief video (above) on behalf of the 40 Days for Life vigil in London’s Ealing section. This is a very successful campaign which is led by Iulia, who came to London from Romania.

The vigil takes place outside an abortion business located in a building that formerly served as a Christian house of healing, which is why there is still an image of the archangel Michael on the outside wall.

The campaign has witnessed 19 children spared from abortion thus far. One of those mothers told counsellors that she was moved to seek their advice after seeing people kneeling in prayer opposite the Marie Stopes abortion facility.

“The couple is Christian and in a very difficult financial situation,” Iulia told me. “I talked to them for one hour, telling them about the help we offer … but they could not believe me, as no one has ever helped them. They were very touched by the thought that someone they’ve never seen before could love them so much!”

Another vigil participant spoke of an older woman who approached with a plastic bag.

From this bag, she took out handfuls of white cherry blossom petals, and scattered them near the abortion facility’s entrance. “She knelt down, said a prayer, and quietly left without a single glance,” the volunteer said. “It lasted all of two minutes, but her actions spoke volumes.”

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CARDIFF, WALES
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The Cardiff campaign has faced more than its share of opposition, both on the pavement and in the media. A couple of stories from their local press showed what the volunteers must contend with.

One article featured the headline, “Pro-life campaign accused of harassing women as they visit Cardiff abortion clinic.” But the photo accompanying the story showed a more accurate picture of the vigil, as about a half dozen volunteers stood in a peaceful circle of prayer.

The same newspaper featured a commentary called “Those who stand in judgement should take a look at themselves.” The writer actually put these words into print: “Each lunchtime I find myself resisting the urge to lob my sandwiches at them, or simply shout in their self-righteous faces, ‘WHY?’”

This is a sign the prayer volunteers are doing excellent work, when you have silly articles in the secular press. They are a solid campaign!

Thanks to Robert Colquhoun for today’s international update!

Here’s the link to today’s devotional.

For life,

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

PS: I’m really enjoying your stories of local 40 Days for Life campaigns posted on the 40 Days for Life blog. If you have news to share, please reply below.

Another abortion center closes!

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Yesterday, I spoke at a 40 Days for Life kickoff event in Lakeland, Florida. Over the weekend, our national director, David Bereit, helped launch the campaign in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

Steve Karlen, our North American outreach coordinator, has visited Shreveport/Bossier City, Louisiana; Little Rock, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee. Robert Colquhoun, our international outreach coordinator, spoke in Cardiff, Wales.

Those are just a few of the 253 locations that start 40 Days for Life at a time when many Christians are entering the season of Lent to prepare their hearts for the Resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday.

LONDON, ENGLAND

As we get ready to start this journey of prayer, fasting and peaceful vigil, I want to share big news — the first international closure of an abortion location following 40 Days for Life vigils outside its doors!

This unprecedented closure is from the heart of London — at the BPAS abortion business in Bedford Square, where five campaigns have taken place.

This now makes 45 abortion centers where 40 Days for Life vigils have taken place that are now totally shut down!

LUBBOCK, TEXAS

A new article from Baptist Press focuses on these closures. The report highlights the closure of the Planned Parenthood abortion center in Lubbock, Texas and features an interview with the campaign’s young 40 Days for Life leader, Krysten Haga.

You can read the interview at:

http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=42103

If you’ve not taken part in 40 Days for Life before, I hope these stories show what can happen when you put your trust in God and step forward in faith.

The campaign runs from March 5 through April 13. Find the 40 Days for Life location nearest you. Click on that city’s name, and then sign up to get involved however you can.

I’d like to personally invite you to join the journey – as we look forward to seeing what miraculous blessings God has in store!

Here’s the link to today’s devotional.

For life,

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life
Let’s pray, fast, and shape history together starting tomorrow!

DAY 38: [VIDEO] A new generation

Friday, November 1st, 2013

“They’re so young!”

That was the reaction of abortion advocate and former NARAL president Nancy Keenan when she walked out of Union Station in Washington, DC and saw the massive crowd at the March for Life.

She’s right – the pro-life movement is young and that is encouraging news. It’s not hard to find the next generation of pro-lifers — at 40 Days for Life vigils!

Enjoy this inspiring video from a 40 Days for Life event in Virginia attended by an entire school … as well as quick looks at other locations where youth are courageously stepping up to change the culture.

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MANASSAS, VIRGINIA
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40 Days for Life national director David Bereit went with the entire student body of St. Michael the Archangel High School in Fredericksburg to go pray at the 40 Days for Life vigil in Manassas.

Watch this hope-filled short video that captures the excitement — and includes numerous students’ own words about the vital importance of youth involvement:

Share this video with any young people you know … and watch closely for a few national leaders who came out, and stay tuned to the end to see surprise appearances by second- and third-generation pro-life family members.

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FORT WAYNE, INDIANA
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“We were very proud to be represented by the youth of three of our local schools on an abortion day when they marched and stood in the rain at the vigil site,” said Evelyn in Fort Wayne.

There was also an abortion center client who had an appointment for her abortion – but walked out soon after she arrived. “The abortionist had actually come out to the parking lot looking for her, but she took off right before that,” Evelyn said “She had not returned at all that day, so we are very hopeful that she will not be back!”

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BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS
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“We had members of the Confirmation class and youth group at St. Stephen Parish in Framingham pray outside a Planned Parenthood facility in Boston on Sunday afternoon,” said Rita in Boston.

“There were prayers in English and Spanish and some had made their own signs. It was wonderful to have the younger generation with us giving witness to life!”

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MARYSVILLE, WASHINGTON
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“We had two local church youth groups join us on the streets,” said David in Marysville. “They were really moved by the experience and are both coming back out.”.

He also spoke with the music director at his church, who wants to have their girls’ choir sing at the vigil site. “There have been so many amazing things that have happened that I can hardly remember them all,” he said.

Here’s the link to today’s devotional.

For life

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

PS: What’s new with 40 Days for Life where you are? Please let everyone know by leaving a comment below.

DAY 21: Be not afraid

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

The second half of this 40 Days for Life campaign starts today!

How would your city change if there were 1,000 fewer abortions every year? What about 2,000 fewer abortions every year? That’s what has happened in Jacksonville, Florida since they did their first 40 Days for Life campaign back in 2007.

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JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA
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One thing had to be overcome for those numbers to become a reality in Jacksonville: FEAR.

When we are challenged to pray at an abortion center, fear certainly comes to mind. Fear is normal, because the vigil can be hard — especially the first time. But this fear also offers an opportunity to stretch us … and increase our faith. And faith in God will always overcome fear.

As we enter the second half of this 40 Days for Life campaign, here’s a short video I made in Jacksonville earlier this year that illustrates this.

Now … find one of the 306 campaign locations near you … and remember that it was our Lord himself who told us to “be not afraid.”

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BEAUMONT, TEXAS
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Eileen in Beaumont is also reaching out with words of encouragement to invite people to take part in the 40 Days for Life vigil.

“Please remember, all of us who come on a regular basis were once newcomers,” she said. “Yes, we too, had our jitters the first couple of times. But like everything in life, we soon overcame our fears with the grounded truth that Jesus Christ is present with us. He protects us, guides us, consoles us.”

Eileen said some people are nervous about what sort of sign to bring to the vigil. However, she said the primary sign each participant brings is “the love in your heart.”

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POUGHKEEPSIE, NEW YORK
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40 Days for Life participants in Poughkeepsie are stepping out in faith with not only their vigil at Planned Parenthood but other community outreach activities as well.

Pamela writes that the prayers are being answered. “Last Wednesday, the day when surgical abortions are performed,” she said, “eight prayer volunteers were present.”

They watched as a couple left Planned Parenthood – and had a long discussion in their car. “They hugged each other and then left the facility smiling,” she said. They departed without having the abortion.

Here’s the link to today’s devotional.

For Life,

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

PS: Please keep the stories coming! If something great is happening with your 40 Days for Life campaign, please leave a comment below.

DAY 1: Discover what God can do!

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

40 Days for Life has officially begun in 306 cities across America and around the globe!

I just spoke at a 40 Days for Life kickoff event in California, David Bereit, our national director, helped get things started in Birmingham, Alabama, Steve Karlen, our North American outreach director spoke at the Dallas, Texas kickoff event, and Robert Colquhoun, our international outreach director, is launching campaigns in London.

To celebrate the launch of this campaign, here’s a BRAND-NEW short video that shows what God is accomplishing through 40 Days for Life — and how YOU can make a lifesaving impact over these 40 days.

In this short video, you’ll meet people whose lives are forever changed … because of faithful, prayerful volunteers … during 40 Days for Life.

In the video, you’ll meet people whose lives have been forever changed … thanks to faithful 40 Days for Life volunteers.

You’ll hear from former Planned Parenthood managers — and a woman who chose life for her baby, simply because people were outside the abortion center praying for her … and her child.

Please share this video with everyone you know … so they can discover what 40 Days for Life is all about — and so they can join you in this worldwide movement to end the injustice of abortion!

40 Days for Life location nearest you. Click on the city name — and sign up to get involved!

Here’s the link to today’s devotional.

For life,

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

September 7 celebration of Texas abortion center closure

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Hundreds of pro-life advocates from dozens of states are already making plans to travel to Bryan/College Station, Texas for BREAKTHROUGH 09.07.13 – the September 7 celebration of the most historic abortion center closure in the 40 years of legalized abortion in the United States.

The celebration, which was first announced late last week, is set for Saturday, September 7 from 10 AM to noon in the public right-of-way outside the closed Planned Parenthood abortion center at 4112 East 29th Street in Bryan, Texas.

David Bereit, national director of 40 Days for Life, said, “The announcement that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Inc. was shutting down its controversial abortion center in Bryan/College Station generated widespread excitement due to its significance as an epicenter of the American abortion debate. This is a turning point in the struggle to end the injustice of abortion across our nation.”

The Planned Parenthood abortion center in Bryan/College Station has gained nationwide attention:

  • Site of the first-ever 40 Days for Life campaign in 2004, an effort that has since grown into a worldwide pro-life mobilization of 575,000 volunteers in 501 cities around the globe; those volunteers have witnessed 7,536 babies saved from abortion, 39 abortion centers closed, and 83 workers quitting their jobs in the abortion industry
  • Place where former abortion center director and Planned Parenthood employee of the year Abby Johnson experienced a conversion, quit her job, and became an outspoken pro-life advocate, going on to found And Then There Were None, a new ministry which has since helped 77 other workers to leave the abortion industry over the last year
  • Impetus for the formation of the Coalition for Life, the grassroots organization which Planned Parenthood credited for making the community “the most anti-choice place in the nation,” and responsible for what Planned Parenthood described as its “most consistent and active” opposition in the nation

In addition to Bereit, speakers at the event will include:

  • Lauren Gulde, founder of the local Coalition for Life
  • Marilisa Carney, former director of the Coalition for Life
  • Shawn Carney, campaign director of 40 Days for Life
  • Abby Johnson, former director of the Bryan/College Station Planned Parenthood abortion center who became a pro-life advocate
  • Bobby Reynoso, executive director of the Coalition for Life

You can RSVP to attend the free celebration event online.

VIDEO: Secret to pro-life success

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

As America prepares to celebrate independence this week, we are a nation in the midst of tragedy and turmoil:

  • More than 55 million children have been killed by abortion …
  • Millions of women — and men — have been scarred by their abortion experiences, and left with lives of regret …
  • The fundamental building blocks of society — marriage and family — are being pummeled from all sides …
  • Government is out of control with politicians and judges sacrificing the future of the nation for their personal and partisan agendas …
  • … and our religious freedom is under attack.

There is only ONE solution to these problems … and that solution is explained in this new video.

The video is of the keynote address I delivered at the Heartbeat International conference in Dallas, Texas — and I’ve been humbled to receive more positive feedback from this presentation than from almost any talk I’ve ever given.

I hope it encourages you — and helps you understand what’s needed to fix our broken culture. Enjoy … and share with others!

For those in America, have a blessed Independence Day … and let’s declare our independence from abortion.

For those in other countries, may God richly bless your nation as we work together to end this tragedy … for once and for all.

For Life,

David Bereit
National Director
40 Days for Life

PS: Later this month, applications will open for those wanting to lead a local 40 Days for Life in their community. This video will lay out the vital foundation that is needed for a highly successful campaign.

DAY 37: The finish line

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

We can see the finish line from here – so keep going! People are tired, weary … but aware that the need for prayer remains great. And if you haven’t been to a 40 Days for Life vigil yet, it isn’t too late. In fact, today would be a great day to start!

Find the location nearest you!

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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
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People have come to join the 40 Days for Life vigil from the nearby communities of Daly City, San Ramon and San Bruno – people who “responded YES to praying for the mommies and their babies,” as one team member put it – including mothers and their children … and a group of Catholic nuns.

Vigil participants are facing a new challenge, though, as one of the city supervisors wants to expand a bubble zone around abortion facilities from 8 feet to 25 feet – a move that could push the peaceful vigil farther away from the abortion center. The supervisor cited alleged harassment of Planned Parenthood clients in his call for changing the requirements.

“There’s no harassment whatsoever,” Ron Konopaski, the 40 Days for Life coordinator, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We’re here to help the woman in any way we can and save the baby from being killed.”

“We are working with Life Legal Defense Foundation,” one of the team leaders said, “but need your prayers and willingness to be present with us to stop this infringement of our constitutional rights.”

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ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI
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The number of faith communities taking part in 40 Days for Life continues to grow.

Caroline in St. Louis sent a link to this video of a prayer hour at the vigil organized by Lutherans for Life. Members of several area Lutheran churches gathered to pray and sing in the public right-of-way outside Planned Parenthood.

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GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN
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“I went for the first time to a 40 Days for Life Campaign in Grand Rapids, Michigan,” said Mary, who wrote about her experiences on the 40 Days for Life blog. “There were only a handful of people there, but one man’s dedication was truly impressive.”

The sun was shining, but it was very cold with a strong west wind – “a day I’d rather be doing something else than stand and pray in front of an abortion clinic with my 14-year-old daughter,” she said.

The man she’s talking about took a day off from work to be there. He arrived at 6 that morning to fill a gap in the schedule. “He stayed til 6 pm – maybe longer,” Mary said. He did take a break from time to time – but only if he was sure other volunteers would man the vigil until he returned.

“You would have never guessed that this was his first time here,” Mary said, “and I’d bet it won’t be his last either. What an inspiration to us all – especially to my young daughter!”

Here’s the link to today’s devotional.

Yours for Life,

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

PS: I’m really enjoying your stories of local 40 Days for Life campaigns posted on the 40 Days for Life blog. If you have news to share, please reply below.

DAY 30: Mile-high commitment

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

As I have just returned from the mountain-top experience of visiting all six 40 Days for Life campaigns in Colorado over two and a half days, Shawn Carney asked me to share this quick report with you.

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COLORADO SPRINGS
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Upon landing at the airport, I went directly to the Focus on the Family campus where I met with members of their staff and recorded a radio interview. I then met with the local 40 Days for Life leadership team for a two-hour, no-holds-barred Q&A session where we discussed every aspect of growing and improving the effectiveness of local pro-life efforts.

We then headed out to a midpoint rally in front of a Planned Parenthood abortion center (which was just sued for allegedly forcing an abortion on a woman and then botching the abortion). Freezing temperatures combined with strong blowing wind and snow made for challenging conditions, but didn’t daunt the dozens of faithful volunteers.

See for yourself in this very snowy video:

The next morning, local Catholic Bishop Michael Sheridan invited me in studio for a radio interview. It was a very moving discussion and Bishop Sheridan shared his enthusiasm about 40 Days for Life.

To hear that interview, click the arrow:

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ALAMOSA
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Next up was a three-hour drive to Alamosa, population 8,682. After my GPS got me lost on dirt roads trying to get to their location, I finally joined a handful of prayer volunteers at the vigil in front of Planned Parenthood. After praying together, we visited the local pregnancy resource center to meet with and encourage their staff and volunteers.

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DENVER
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From Alamosa, it was a five-hour drive to Denver. I arrived just in time for a candlelight prayer vigil and midpoint rally outside the mega Planned Parenthood abortion center — shortly after an ambulance had to rush a woman from the facility to a nearby hospital.

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FORT COLLINS
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Early the next morning, I headed north to Fort Collins, where we had a midpoint rally at a campus ministry before going to pray at their vigil outside Planned Parenthood.

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GREELEY
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Then I drove to Greeley, where I joined more than a dozen volunteers peacefully praying in the middle of the day outside another Planned Parenthood office. While we prayed, a car pulled up and the driver said she felt called to stop and give them a donation to support their important work.

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BOULDER
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The final stop of my whirlwind tour was Boulder. We gathered for an hour of prayer outside of the Boulder Abortion Clinic (late-term abortionist Warren Hern proudly advertises that name on the building) before moving to a nearby church for a midpoint rally.

While praying with the faithful people of Colorado, I was deeply moved by their “mile-high” commitment to speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves — even in the midst of challenging weather, persecution, and opposition. May we follow their inspiring example!

Here’s the link to today’s devotional.

In Christ,

David Bereit
National Director
40 Days for Life

PS: What’s new with 40 Days for Life in your community? Please share your story by replying below.

DAY 25: National media coverage

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

From the Washington Times in the US to the BBC in the UK … local and national 40 Days for Life leaders are getting huge exposure through secular media coverage.

These outlets help introduce 40 Days for Life to a new audience and share the fruit of what YOU are doing locally.

Here are two examples … from the United States and Wales.

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WASHINGTON TIMES
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The Washington Times published an online commentary about 40 Days for Life that I wrote along with David Bereit, our national director.

This article refers to the HUGE campaign – in 261 locations – that is going on in this, the year that marks the 40th anniversary of legal abortion in the United States. The message we deliver is that “God is listening and He does hear us.”

This was a tremendous opportunity to tell the online readers of a major publication about the campaign that is currently under way – which is a huge plus because this site is read far beyond the Washington area.

Read the entire column in the Washington Times.

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CARDIFF, WALES
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PHOTO: ITV

The first 40 Days for Life campaign in Wales is getting media attention – a television report on ITV and a radio appearance on the BBC. Both news services interviewed pro-abortion spokespersons as well, who generally mischaracterized the vigils as “intimidation.”

“We’re having lots of conversations in the street and certainly raising awareness,” said Clare in Cardiff, with “lots of listening to men and women with their stories of abortion experiences.”

This campaign has also seen intense opposition in the streets – including a group that organized a “pro-choice street party” in an attempt to disrupt the vigil. One volunteer said 40 Days for Life is raising awareness, though “I truly have never felt the brunt of so much hatred.”

You can see a short video clip and read the story from ITV.

Here’s a 5-minute excerpt from the BBC Wales interview (click the arrow to start):

Here’s the link to today’s devotional.

Yours for Life,

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

PS: How has your community been blessed during 40 Days for Life? Please let me know! You may share your reply by responding below.

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