Our reflection today comes from 40 Days for Life:
Blow the trumpet in Zion! Proclaim a fast, call an assembly. Gather the people, notify the congregation. Assemble the elders; gather the children and the infants at the breast... Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep and say, "Spare, O Lord, your people." Joel 2:15-17
The toll of abortion cannot be measured. We hear estimates of almost 50 million innocent victims, but that's only one aspect of the harm that has unfolded in abortion's wake. There are also the mothers and fathers of these millions, as well as the grandparents, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins. Unborn lives destroyed. Lives of the living shattered.
It's overwhelming and depressing, but even in the midst of such unfathomable darkness, the church teaches us to have hope. Yes, it was indeed Calvary that followed Christ's 40 days in the desert, but without Calvary there would have been no Resurrection -- His victory over death that opened the gates of heaven to those who believe in and follow Him.
The psalmist encourages us to go humbly before God as we seek His will: "A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me... Give me back the joy of your salvation and a willing spirit sustain in me... O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise" (Psalm 51:12, 14, 17).
We are called to be God's messengers; or as the Apostle Paul told the Corinthians: "We are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ: be reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:20).
That is the true message to all we encounter at the abortion centers and in our communities who have been deceived by the Culture of Death. We don't bring condemnation; we bring God's good news.
UPDATE ON CRISIS PREGNANCY FROM LAST EMAIL
It is with a heavy heart that I give the news about Rashonda’s abortion. Despite many texts to her, she took the RU 486 pills and killed her child. I know that I am not mourning this loss alone. So many of you reached out to assure of your prayers, offer to adopt the baby, and many more words of encouragement. It is through these prayers that God will work to bring about good from this situation. After the abortion, Rashonda told me that she knows it was wrong, and I offered her information about Project Rachel (www.hopeafterabortion.com ) which she very much appreciated. Only God knows where she will go from here, but she knows that she is not alone and told me that she prays every day that God will forgive her. To find out more about RU 486 and that it can actually be reversed go to: www.abortionpillreversal.com/how-the-abortion-pill-works.php
News from the last two Thursday Forest View vigils:
** On Thursday, September 12th, we estimate that ONE child lost their life at Forest View.
** On Thursday, September 19th, we estimate that TWO women paid to have the lives inside them ended.
**We praise God for the low numbers of the last 3 weeks! We are trying to figure out what is happening and why. We do know that Dr. Goyal’s Hinsdale clinic has cut back to committing abortions on one day only, Tuesday.
** Forest View still commits abortions on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. However, Thursday is the only day that there are pray warriors present, leaving three days when a woman can come to the clinic and not find any “choice” or hope. If you are available to pray on a Tuesday, Friday, or Saturday morning, it would be a real blessing. There is even another abortion mill in Des Plaines farther north on River Rd. that does business on Tuesdays. You don’t need any special training, signs, or brochures to stand outside a clinic and pray – just the desire to bring the light of Jesus to these dark places. You can even just grab a friend and stop by on any one of these days. If you let us know of your plan, we will let others know and they can join you.
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16
We have a very urgent prayer request today. A woman who chose life at Forest View on Thursday, Aug. 29 is now considering abortion. We met Rashonda when she came by herself at noon for a pregnancy test at Forest View. I was able to talk to her before she went in and took her to the Women’s Center where she received confirmation of her pregnancy and compassionate counseling. I saw her leaving and could see the fear there, so I offered to take her out to lunch. Rashonda seemed to feel more relaxed at lunch and, despite the fact that she hadn’t told anyone about the baby yet, she sounded like she had made a choice for life! Then last week we met at the Women’s Center for an ultrasound of her then 7-week-old child. Her eyes filled with tears as she watched the baby’s beating heart. Afterwards, we “talked” through texts and she told me that her parents had “accepted” her pregnancy. But after that something changed; last Monday she texted that she would be seeking an abortion. That is the last text I got from her. She is ignoring my texts.
This Bible verse tells us that prayer for one another can accomplish much, so it is with this confidence that we ask you, righteous men and women, to lift up this young woman and her child in prayer. We pray it is God’s will to save this baby’s earthly life and Rashonda from a lifetime of regret. We trust that no matter what happens, however, God can make good from any situation.
News from the last three Thursday Forest View vigils:
** On Thursday, August 29th, we estimate that EIGHT babies’ lives were ended at Forest View.
** A young man walking down the sidewalk approached us to tell us that his wife had an abortion about 2 years ago and he knew nothing about it until it was over. Matt told us that he still “cries about it all the time,” especially when he looks at their one year old child. Clearly, abortion does not just hurt women. I gave Matt a Project Rachel brochure for him. Please pray for his healing and ability to forgive his wife and for help for her come to terms with the abortion, since Matt told us, “She doesn’t care.” There is help available specifically for post-abortive men: http://healingafterabortion.org/For-Men
** Remember in the last update, we told you that Laura had been passing out many newspapers from Human Life Alliance (www.humanlife.org ) to passers-by? Well, one of them stopped by to tell us that she read it and couldn’t believe what happens during an abortion. Eileen was disgusted by what she read and now is convicted in her pro-life belief. Do you know someone who is lukewarm in their pro-life belief? Pick up one of the newspapers in the vigil kit at Forest View any Thursday morning to give to them or order some for yourself to pass out to friends. The facts about abortion are very convicting. People need to know.
** On Thursday, September 5th, we estimate that ONE woman chose to end the new life inside of her.
** We don’t know why there were so few abortions this day, but we do know that Forest View does abortions on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. However, Thursday is the only day that there are pray warriors present, leaving three days when a woman can come to the clinic and not find any “choice” or hope. We wonder if the clinic tries not to schedule on Thursdays to avoid the chance that they receive the truth and light. If you are available to pray on a Tuesday, Friday, or Saturday morning, it would be a real blessing. There is even another abortion mill in Des Plaines farther north on River Rd. that does business on Tuesdays. You don’t need any special training, signs, or brochures to stand outside a clinic and pray – just the desire to bring the light of Jesus to these dark places. You can even just grab a friend and stop by on any one of these days. If you let us know of your plan, we will let others know and they can join you.
** I spoke to one of Forest View’s new employees. She is a young woman named Amber. I explained to her that the prayer vigils are peaceful and we are there for her if she ever needs anything. I gave her one of Abby Johnson’s letters for clinic workers (http://www.attwn.org/wp-content/themes/attwn-child/images/attwn-onepage-lightbackground.pdf), but Amber told me she “likes working there.” When I asked her what she liked about it, she said that she finds the medical aspect “interesting,” as she is a certified nurse’s assistant and phlebotomist. In gentle terms, I tried to understand what exactly she found interesting about the way children are ripped apart by vacuum aspiration abortion. She responded, “I try not to think about it,” and after a bit more conversation, we parted ways with a wave and a promise that we are only there to help. Please pray that a seed has been planted and Amber’s conscience will awaken to help her “think about” what she does with her medical training.
“Lord, you have probed me, you know me: you know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar.” (Psalm 139:1-2)
If you’ve never read all of Psalm 139 from beginning to end, give it a look! It begins with the reassuring and remarkably humbling idea that God our Father knows each one of us individually and intimately. He watches over us intently and knows even our unspoken thoughts (verse 4). The Psalm goes on to describe how His love follows us everywhere and he never abandons us. Even if we were to try to hide from God (verse 7), His hand would guide us (verse 10). In verse 13, the Psalmist proclaims, “You formed my inmost being; You knit me in my mother’s womb.” This has great meaning to the pro-life cause as it clearly describes how the all-powerful hand of God reaches inside the womb to handcraft each new life. And His work is wonderful (verse 14)! Further, each new creation’s actions are foreseen by God and “written down” as each day was shaped before even one came to be (verse 16). However, the Psalm changes its tone near the end with a warning to those who “deceitfully invoke Your name” (verse 20). The psalmist goes on to forcefully condemn these people.
This is the part that struck me most as I read Psalm 139 today. Among all the beauty and wonder of being a chosen creation of God there is a stark contrast to those who do not honor God’s creation. With Respect Life month coming up in many churches this October, it is sometimes suggested that we should focus more on other life issues, like the poor, hungry, and sick. While I agree that those groups should be a focus of efforts, abortion must be the main one. Because it is one of the only life issues (along with same sex marriage) where there are people who are in direct and loud opposition. This opposition even deceitfully invokes God’s name and continually spreads falsehoods about the “goodness,” “justice,” and “rights” of these actions. So today carry with you the awe of God’s personal attentiveness to you and stand strong in defending the unborn whom God’s hand is “knitting” today!
News from the last three Thursday Forest View vigils:
** On Thursday, August 8, we estimate that SIX babies’ lives were ended at Forest View.
** TWO women chose LIFE!
- The first couple arrived in a car with WI plates. We see many cars from Wisconsin, in part because of Illinois’ almost non-existent abortion laws. In WI there is a 24 hour waiting period between a woman’s first visit to a clinic for counseling and the procedure. There is also a law requiring written consent from a parent or guardian for a minor, not just parent notification as was just ruled enforceable here in IL. To see a chart comparing some states’ abortion laws: www.guttmacher.org/statecenter/spibs/spib_MWPA.pdf I approached Star and Tony, both in their 20’s, with an offer of hope and free help. Star told me she “had to do it” but wouldn’t say why. As I looked at Tony, he seemed to be less sure, so I appealed to him to save his child. He smiled but did not try to stop Star from walking quickly into the clinic. About 30 minutes later, they came out with a change of heart! Star was still concerned, however, as she confided that there may be problems with her and the baby. I gave her a brochure about the great pre-natal program they have just up the road from Forest View at Resurrection Hospital and promised we would all be praying for their family. Praise God!
- The second woman to choose life, Boo, arrived with her friend Pasant. Both are 20-something Hispanic women. They rushed in at first ignoring my pleas, but later Pasant came out for a cigarette. I asked her if she saw a burning building and knew a child was inside would she go in to save her? She said she would and then told me that she was against the abortion. So I pointed at Forest View and said, “There’s your burning building. Get in there!” I armed her with a rosary, a fetal model, and brochures and sent her in. About 45 minutes later she came out with a smiling Boo who immediately asked for her own pink Rosary since Pasant decided to keep the one I had given to her! I have a feeling this precious little baby is a girl, so I handed her a pair of hand-knit pink booties (which received a joyful “Awww!” from Boo) and told her she would be surrounded by prayer. God is so good!
** There was another possible save that day. A 17 year old girl, Leslie, came with her teen boyfriend, Diego, to get a pregnancy test at Forest View. Laura talked to them before they entered and brought them to the Women’s Center for one instead. It turns out that Leslie had had an abortion when she was 14 because her mom had pushed her into it. Her test at the Women’s Center was negative, but Leslie still felt sure she is pregnant, but just too early to tell, so the great counselors at the Women’s Center set up a follow-up visit. We are hopeful that whether she is or is not pregnant, she will now receive counseling and education to make life-affirming choices in the future.
** On Thursday, August 15, we estimate that SEVEN women chose to end the new life inside of them.
** Although no women that we know of chose life, Laura passed out many copies of the Human Life International informational newspaper to people walking by on the beautiful day during their lunch break. This community outreach is part of our mission to educate and spread the truth. We pray many minds were opened that day.
** On Thursday, August 22, we estimate that again SEVEN families were forever changed by the loss of a child.
** Nema and her husband came to abort their third child. Each stopped to talk to me separately. Nema told me she “can’t take care of another.” I told them about free help, but neither husband nor wife was willing to make sacrifices for their third child. We pray they find healing and forgiveness.
** One of our early morning prayer warriors had the opportunity to talk to the boyfriend of one of Forest View’s employees whom he drops off every Thursday. The young man told us that Brenda doesn’t agree with abortion and is looking for a new job. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this, but PRAY!
Our vigil update writer: