This fall, 40 Days for Life turns 10 years old as a national and international movement. This campaign started in College Station, Texas and has now gone to 715 cities in 44 countries.
Today we honor those leaders and volunteers who have passed away from this life after working so hard to save unborn children from abortion.
This week we lost one who, behind the scenes, made 40 Days for Life a reality — my friend Mr. Emil Ogden.
If you have seen God use 40 Days for Life where you live, it is because God used Mr. Ogden to get this effort off the ground. He was a firm believer in that first campaign in his hometown of College Station.
When I asked Mr. Ogden for the seed money to help launch 40 Days for Life nationally, he responded by saying, “I have a good feeling about this.” He gave the first donation to 40 Days for Life — and it was more than he had originally pledged, because he believed that local people wanted to end the injustice of abortion where they live.
Mr. Ogden is featured in the 40 Days for Life book. He grew up very poor and served in World War II. He always put his faith in God as the ultimate guide of his life. When he went into the oil business, he sometimes experienced failure. When he did well he gave his money away … and when he failed he remembered where he came from.
Mr. Ogden was always trying to bring those around him closer to Christ — and his classic personality gave those around him insight to the cause of his joy. I saw Mr. Ogden in many social and professional situations, and the dignity of human life was always a topic he brought up to everyone he encountered.
Mr. Ogden represents so many of the wonderful people that pray and work to end abortion where they live. He also represents the generation that fought in World War II — we lose many of them every month. He is survived by his wonderful wife of 69 years, Clementine, and his six children, 23 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
He was pro-life to the core … and today we highlight his life, which was behind the scenes, but it impacted the world. Mr. Ogden was involved in many things, but his heart was with the unborn — and that is seen in the 13,305 babies we have seen saved from abortion through 40 Days for Life campaigns.
Mr. Ogden never retired and he did a lot in his later years, including finishing college. He is an example that we should spend all of our days speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
Let his life be an inspiration to you as we enter one of the largest 40 Days for Life campaigns ever on September 27. Your prayers and efforts are often behind the scenes — and that is precisely what God will use to end abortion.