Thankfully, Steve Karlen, our North American outreach coordinator, packed warm clothing for his five campaign stops across the state of New York!
Today, he mentions the cold conditions that these campaigns have endured. But the weather has not deterred them from standing strong for the unborn.
In fact, courageously facing the cold can make your witness on the sidewalk even more profound … in the eyes of those driving by — and those entering the abortion facility.
Here’s Steve’s report.
GOSHEN and NEWBURGH, NEW YORK
I spoke at a joint event for the Goshen and Newburgh campaigns. Turnout was so good they ran out of parking places!
Planned Parenthood opened its Goshen facility in a spot that’s tucked away from the street. It was supposed to be isolated from vigils; but with the new construction, a public easement was set up, allowing people to stand and pray on land that was once – but is no longer – private property.
The campaign team had to clear out a big pile of snow so they’d have a place to stand. They call it their “mud den.”
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK
Two mothers – Jeanie and Shannon – lead the Syracuse campaign. Between them, they have 14 children … and, of course, very supportive husbands. But in spite of busy home lives, they knew they were called to lead this campaign.
I spoke at an awesome interdenominational candlelight vigil. Pastors from several faith communities participated, including one pastor who is doing pro-life work while he’s home for a break from his missionary work in Ecuador.
Yes, snow fell throughout the whole vigil. We were all freezing! That did not dampen enthusiasm at all.
ITHACA, NEW YORK
As with Syracuse, this was a great interdenominational effort with praise music and pastors from a number of churches leading prayer.
Mary Anne, the local director, and her team have been building a pro-life movement in Ithaca almost from scratch. She has done an incredibly inspirational job building relationships with churches across faith lines and with the local pregnancy center.
Planned Parenthood escorts even came outside during the event … and appeared to give great attention to our vigil.
WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK
White Plains is in the middle of its fourth 40 Days for Life campaign now. Their efforts have been highlighted by their persistence in very difficult weather. This event drew a bilingual crowd, as both English and Spanish speaking Christians took part. One bilingual volunteer offered to translate my talk for the Hispanic vigil participants!
SPRING VALLEY, NEW YORK
The folks in Spring Valley reported that during the campaign, they’ve seen an unusually peaceful neighborhood — and less turmoil.
This is their 12th 40 Days for Life campaign. Over the years they have also seen the community become much less hostile to their presence. One volunteer told me that off-duty police officers even participate enthusiastically … and crime in the area actually goes down during the campaign.
Thanks again to Steve Karlen for today’s report!
Here’s the link to today’s devotional.
40 Days for Life
PS: As always, if you have an interesting story about your 40 Days for Life campaign, please share it! You may add a reply below.