Joy, my friend and advocate for HIV/waiting orphans and at-risk children, observes, “The [birthmother’s] need extends beyond the sidewalks outside abortion clinics, so the ministry [to her and her child] should extend farther than that too.” I couldn’t agree more. But it is just that thought that can be overwhelming to us who are struggling with what we should do when there is so much to do!
Since doing something is better than doing nothing, last year our family was thankful to learn about 40 Days for Life, a peaceful prayer vigil, held in 40 day blocks of time outside abortion clinics for the purpose of saving lives and closing the clinics. We attended a prayer vigil at the local clinic and a memorial for the babies whose lives were lost at that particular location. Last fall, the lady leading the Dearborn chapter asked if Matt and I would be interested in taking over the ministry there.
We are sharing duties with her for this 40-days campaign which starts in just two days, Wednesday, February 13. I thought it might be helpful to share a few reasons we appreciate 40 Days for Life, and to let you know how you too might be able to get involved.
1) It is peaceful and compassionate. We are pro-life for babies, but also for the moms and dads, and abortionists, and the other people employed by the industry. We aren’t out to degrade or belittle anyone for working at the clinic or visiting the clinic, whether it’s for information or if it is to undergo an abortion. We are there to offer hope and help and attempt to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.
2) It is prayerful. In keeping with Joy’s observation above, some have said in order to save a baby you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to see the mother through the rest of her pregnancy if you convince her to chose life. While that is the ideal, not everyone can help in those extreme ways for various reasons. Of course, there is help available through many ministries and organizations, and we want to do all we can and act as a liaison to assist her in receiving whatever services she needs. However, something everyone can do is pray. And we must remember it’s not the act of praying that is powerful. It is the Powerful One to whom we’re praying. So, we call on Him who says, “I am…THE life,” and ask for Him to work on behalf of those about to lose their lives and to work in those attempting to terminate life.
3) It is visible. If there is an anti-abortion presence outside of an abortion facility, the chances of a client entering reduce drastically. We want to put positive pressure on people considering abortion and awaken their moral conscience to have second thoughts about what they are doing.
4) It is something the whole family can do. Our kids can’t engage an adult and debate the fact that life starts at conception. But our kids can pray; and they can use their own little lives, made in the image of God, to gently remind those women of what that child growing in their stomach will look like in just 24 months, or 4 years, etc. Again, statistically speaking, especially if children are part of the anti-abortion presence, chances decline for that mother actually setting foot inside the clinic.
5) It is one of the rare occasions in America when we can actually bear some of the reproach of Christ. People driving by might yell hateful and profane things at you. The clients entering might engage you in a verbally hostile way. And by no means should we glory in that or encourage it. But it is good for us to remember the path Christ walked. If the world hated Him, they will hate us. Are we willing to bear His shame and to lead our kids in this small step of taking risks for what’s right?
So, if I’ve piqued your interest, here’s how you, your family, Sunday School class, Young Adult Ministry, Women’s Ministry, Post-Abortive Care Group, etc. can get involved locally.
1) Click here to go to the “40 Days for Life” page.
2) You’ll need to register and agree to a “Statement of Peace.”
3) Click on the “Schedule” option to see the calendar. There are step-by-step sign-up instructions on the right of the screen.
4) The clinic, American Family Planning, 4132 Schaefer Rd, Dearborn is open Tues – Fri, 9-1 and Sat, 8-12. The most important times to gather are during those times. You can go by the clinic at any other time to pray with your children or church group. However, we are targeting the times the clinic is open for our most visible efforts because of the reasons I mention above.
5) We are not legally allowed to park in the American Family Planning parking lot nor are we allowed to set foot on their property. When you arrive, you can park on Schaefer Rd a bit away from the clinic, and stand on the sidewalk surrounding the clinic parking lot. You should feel no pressure to, but if you are inclined, you are able to call out to women and the staff entering to offer hope and help, but any communication should be compassionate and not degrading. Of course, if you prefer to pray but not seek to engage anyone in conversation, that is perfectly fine.
6) Stay as long as you want or leave as quickly as you want. If you only have a few minutes to stop by and pray, that’s great. If you can get there before the clinic opens or shortly after it closes to pray when the employees and the abortionist are coming and going, that’s great too. Whatever works with your schedule.
7) If you live in the area, please take a moment to “Like” our Facebook Page, Southeast Michigan For Life, so you can stay connected with other pro-life supporters and be made aware of ways to advocate for life in our area. Also, please help pass the word about this opportunity and what’s involved by “sharing” this post.
I love the admonition in Proverbs 31:7, interestingly enough, uttered by a mother to “the son of her womb” and “answer to [her] prayers.” “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; for the rights of all who are destitute.”
If God has given you a voice, will you use it to speak up for those whose mouths are formed, whose heart is beating, whose lungs are developing, but whose voice cannot yet be heard? Will you use it do defend their right to life? Will you use it to speak hope to the destitute? Will you use it to cry out to the Defender of the defenseless? For “surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.” (Isaiah 59:1)
And therein lies our hope.