“Return to the Lord, your God. For gracious and merciful is He.” (Joel 2:13)
Tomorrow is the first day of Lent. Are you ready? I’m not! It always makes me a little anxious as I consider what I will do, how I will encourage my children, when I can fit in more prayer, and on and on. Thankfully, as I read from “The Word Among Us” magazine, I got a new perspective for looking at Lent.
They write, “The last thing anyone wants to do is reduce this season of grace to a to-do list. Your heavenly Father is ‘gracious and merciful.’ He is calling out to you so He can bless you. Our works during Lent are meant to arise from a heart that wants to know a deeper freedom from sin and fear – a heart that is looking to God for more of His love. We don’t do them to prove ourselves to God or convince him to bless us. We do them because they can help us feel the presence of God. We do them because they can change our hearts and make us more like Jesus.”
So take a deep breath, soften your heart, and keep it open to the Lord this Lent. He will use whatever effort you make over these next 40 days, no matter how small, for your good and the good of others.
Need some ideas of ways to “return to the Lord”? Here are a few:
1. 40 Days for Life begins TOMORROW! – There are four aspects of this worldwide campaign to end abortion: prayer, fasting, peaceful vigil, and community outreach. See “Upcoming Events” below to find out more about this mission which has had amazing results in converting abortion workers, closing abortion mills, and saving babies. Vigil locations are in Downers Grove, Aurora, and, for the first time ever, in Wood Dale (Kick-off Rally tonight, Tuesday, at 6:00 pm, 203 E. Irving Park Rd). Please pledge to spend at least one hour this Lent at the location closest to you. It can be very hard for the site organizers to make sure that a vigil is manned every vigil hour of every day for all 40 days. Each location is run by a courageous local volunteer, NOT a member of the 40 Days for Life staff. So please help these faithful organizers by signing up today at www.40daysforlife.com . Click on “Locations.”
2. Life Advocacy Day in Springfield, March 26– Visit your state Congressmen in person and make an impact! You will be provided with all the background to speak with authority on the issues. See below for details.
3. See the “41 Ways to be Pro-Life” document under the tab "41 Ways to be Pro-Life" Choose one thing that you will do this Lent to promote LIFE.
4. Vote in the primary on Tuesday, March 18 for solidly pro-life politicians. The primary is so important! Choose who you want to vote for in November TODAY; otherwise, on election day in November, you may end up having to choose between the lesser of two evils. Go to http://illinoisfamily.org/actions/voter-guides/ to see a voters guide that shows where the candidates stand on key issues, like same-sex marriage, rights of conscience, pain-capable unborn child protection act, parental rights, and more.
SPECIAL PRAYER INTENTION
Maria and Laura’s father Frank is in kidney failure and will be undergoing kidney transplant surgery this Friday, March 7. Maria will be donating her kidney for him. We ask for prayer for healing and full recovery for Frank and Maria, but also prayers for our entire family, especially Laura and our mom, who will be called upon for much support. Thank you so much!
VIGIL OPPORTUNITIES FOR THIS WEEK
Please see the vigil schedule (under the tab "Vigil Schedule") for days of the week and times when faithful people will be praying outside of Chicago-land abortion facilities. Be especially aware that every day during the Lent 40 Days for Life (Saturdays and Sundays too!) you can join a vigil in Downers Grove, Aurora, and Wood Dale.
News from the last two Thursdays’ Forest View vigils:
** On Thursday, February 20, we estimate that EIGHT children died at the hands of a “doctor.”
** We were sad to see this high number of deaths, the highest we’ve seen at Forest View on a Thursday since early last November. However, even on days like these when it seems that our presence is fruitless, we can see that our presence has indeed borne fruit when we look at the many Forest View employees who have quit. We recently received a copy of the renewal documents for Forest View from a wonderful woman, Jean, who helps at the Pro-Life Action League. From these documents, it is clear that many of the workers have left the deadly business of abortion. Some of these we knew by name, like Ramesh, Amber, and Brenda (see below!). Others we only knew by face. But still we rejoice and pray that it was through the intervention of God that their hearts were touched and they sought a new life-affirming career. For more evidence that Dr. Goyal’s abortion empire (He owns 6 mills in Illinois) is crumbling, read this interesting article by John Jansen: http://prolifeaction.org/hotline/2014/goyalmailing/#more-36801 There is also a link in the article where you can see the renewal documents with lists of employees names. It is very helpful if you pray at a one of Goyal’s clinics so you can reach out with love (and by name) to the employees.
** On Thursday, February 27, we estimate that again FIVE women chose death for their unborn child.
** One of our 7:00 am counselors, Dawn, was able to speak to the friend of one of the women. The friend told Dawn that she was there to be supportive. Dawn explained to her that the best way to support her friend would be to get her out of the abortion mill. Dawn told her about the devastating mental and physical effects abortion has on women. Read more about the traumatic effects here: http://bloodmoneyfilm.com/blog/post-abortion-after-effects . Sadly, the friend could not break free from the bonds that kept her quiet, silently witnessing to the death of a child.
Pray for These Forest View Employees
- Nancy: Office manager and post-abortive woman
- Dr. Goyal: owner and operator of Forest View and 4 other suburban and 1 Chicago abortion mill
- Samantha: Was “just answering phones” as a way to make money for culinary school 3 years ago when we first met her. Now she has quit school and appears to be thoroughly invested in the business of abortion.
- *Carmen: New employee, cashier, Catholic. Has Women's Center and Project Rachel cards to give to women inside the clinic. Pray she will be inspired by the Spirit to hand them out.
- *Amber: New employee, Nurse’s assistant, Phlebotomist, Finds abortion “interesting,” refused abortion for her own unplanned pregnancy. Not listed as an employee!
- Brenda: She is no longer listed as an employee at Forest View! Praise God!
- *Marisela: She has been sarcastic to us in the past, often sent out to bring unsure women back in.
- *Lisette: New employee, beautiful young woman whom we spoke to for the first time this week.
* starred have a copy of the Abby Johnson letter. You can print a copy of the letter here: www.attwn.org/wp-content/themes/attwn-child/images/attwn-onepage-lightbackground.pdf.
Our vigil update writer: