Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Monday, September 17, 2012

Why I Haven't Been Posting As Regularly Lately - DBQ's 40 Days for Life Campaign

The last couple of weeks I haven't been able to put up as many posts as I would have liked. But there is a very good reason, much of the time I would have had for posting has been taken up with a very important project, doing my part as a campaign leader for the upcoming 40 Days for Life Campaign in DBQ.
I have posted many times about the 40 Days for Life Campaigns & the success they have been elsewhere. With the DBQ Planned Parenthood moving to its new location this year & offering telemed abortions, it was felt by some people  that now was the time to hold a campaign in DBQ. So with the support of DBQ Co Right to Life an application was made to be a part of the Fall Campaign.
I was contacted & agreed to act as the events coordinator. That means my primary responsibility is to plan 3 events, the kick-off rally, a mid-point rally & a closing event to celebrate the success we have had in our local campaign.
After going through the 40 Days training module, the work includes finding a site, setting up speakers & others who will have a part in leading the rally. Additionally, I have been called on to speak at a few places to promote the campaign. Add to that helping with PR & the work being done on other parts of the campaign, a lot of my time has been occupied with this important work.
Now I am NOT saying this to look for sympathy. Anyone who regularly reads this blog knows how I feel about abortion & the importance to put an end to it. They also know the emphasis on the importance or prayer I make as well. So my involvement is only natural & obviously is a priority for my time. I have to be involved or I couldn't look at myself, let alone ask God to bring about an end to abortion when I wasn't willing to answer His call to do my part.
40 Days campaigns do just this.
For those of you unaware of what 40 Days does, let me share a little about it. (Quotes taken from the 40 Days website unless otherwise noted)
"The first 40 Days for Life campaign was conducted in Bryan/College Station, Texas in the fall of 2004. A local pro-life group prayed for an answer about how to reduce abortion in their area, and the answer God gave them was 40 Days for Life. The campaign was put together in a matter of weeks, yet it activated 1,000 people and led directly to a 28 percent decline in abortions in that community."
After the news of the victories won by God spread, 6 other communities held their own campaigns. Like the 1st one God moved to bring more victories at each location. "For some, it was learning that clinics closed altogether or cut their operating hours. Other cities found an outpouring of women seeking post-abortion healing."
So in 2007 it was decided to go national. More than 80 cities in 30 states participated."People who had never been involved in pro-life activities came forward to answer the call. Lives were saved, hearts were changed and people are seeing that prayer indeed can make a difference in the quest to end abortion."
The success lead to scheduling a 2nd nationwide event. It was scheduled to coincide with Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday. Again it meet with success.
Since then they have been held twice a year, in the Spring (Lent) & in the Fall. Over the years they have grown in numbers & even gone international. There have been 440 cities across the United States & Canada, plus cities in Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Belize, Denmark, England, Georgia, Germany, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Poland, Puerto Rico & Spain that have been a part of various campaigns. The Fall 2012 campaign includes the following:
  • 314 locations -- the most ever!
  • 49 US states -- plus Washington, DC
  • 7 Canadian provinces
  • Australia, England, Spain and -- for the first time -- Uganda
  • Many NEW cities ... 46 first-time campaigns
As I said 1 of those new cities is DBQ.
For those wondering about the difference in numbers between the 440 total cities & the 314 this year, the answer is simple. Not every city participates in every campaign, & in some cases, 24 to be exact,  the abortion facilities have shut down completely. 1 of the most recent was the closing last Spring of the Planned Parenthood abortion Center in Storm Lake, IA in 1 March. That site had been the location for a campaign in the Fall of 2011. The vigil was coordinated by Sue Thayer – who once served as manager of that very facility ... until she was fired! In addition a 2nd site in nearby Knoxville was closed as well. (Note: the 40 Days campaign was endorsed by Sioux City Bishop Nickless who also did his part by leading a Eucharistic procession in the Summer of 2011 that stopped to pray there as 1 of its stops.)
In addition to the success closings of 24 abortion facilities the campaigns have seen prayers answered & the following things happen as well:
  • 1,894 individual campaigns have taken place in 440 cities
  • More than 525,000 have joined together in an historic display of unity to pray and fast for an end to abortion
  • More than 15,000 church congregations have participated in the 40 Days for Life campaigns
  • Reports document 5,928 lives that have been spared from abortion — and those are just the ones we know about
  • 69 abortion workers have quit their jobs and walked away from the abortion industry
  • Hundreds of women and men have been spared from the tragic effects of abortion, including a lifetime of regrets
  • More than 2,100 news stories have been featured in newspapers, magazines, radio shows and TV programs from coast to coast ... and overseas
  • Many people with past abortion experiences have stepped forward to begin post-abortion healing and recovery
Some people may remember that one of those workers was Abby Johnson. I have posted about her several times, including her appearance here in DBQ for a dinner for DBQ Co Right to Life.
40 Days has 3 main componants that are at the heart of its success.
The 1st is prayer & fasting. "Christ told us some demons can only be driven out by prayer and fasting. The two go hand in hand. Prayer keeps us rooted in the fact that it is our desire to carry out God's will. Fasting is a sacrifice that helps us reach beyond our own limitations with God's help. Fasting is not a Christian diet; it is a form of physical prayer. You can fast from food, TV, alcohol ... anything that separates you from God." This componant starts even before the actual campaign. People are asked to start early in order to ensure even the preperatory work done is under the guidance & blessing of God.
The second componant is the actual 40 Days of constant prayer vigil before the abortion facility. "The most visible component of 40 Days for Life is a constant prayer vigil outside a place where children are aborted. It is the hope that the vigil can be maintained 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is a prayerful witness to the clinic's patients and employees, and to the entire community, that evil is in our midst and that with God's help, it will be defeated." For most of the sites, the vigil runs 24-7 for the full 40 days. Here in DBQ we will only be praying for 12 hours each of the 40 days due to the smaller size of our community.
The final componant is community outreach. "During 40 Days for Life, the pro-life message is proactively taken to the community through focused, grassroots educational efforts. People are given the opportunity to visibly show their support for 40 Days for Life." Some of this starts earlier by contacting the media & putiing up posters, speaking at Churches, etc.
By now, I think you can understand  my excitement that we are having a campaign in DBQ & making it a huge priority in my life.
Her in DBQ the kick-off event will be held at 6 PM on Sunday, 23 September 2012. The site will be the St. Joseph the Worker School Gymnasium, 2113 St. Joseph ST, DBQ. On Tuesday, 25 September there will be a 6 PM Mass for the success of the campaign at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 170 Montgomery Ave, E DBQ, IL.
The campaign starts on 26 September 2012 at 8 AM & will run each of the 40 days from 8 AM to 8 PM. If you are in the DBQ area please come to the kick-off event & go to the DBQ campaign website to sign up for as many times as you can. If you live elsewhere, you can go here to check if there is a location near you.
Regardless, I ask everyone to start praying & fasting for the success of the campaign, both in DBQ as well as the rest of the locations.
The abortion industry thinks that they are winning the battle because of the support the have from the current administration. They think that as long as they can rake in as much of our tax dollars as possible they won't ever lose the battle. But they also know how effective these campaigns are so they try to downplay what we are doing. The one thing those in abortion industry won't admit is that it will eventually be defeated because this isn't a battle of dollars & cents, it is a spiritual battle. Because it is spiritual, it will be won using spiritual weapons, not merely by politics or education. The victories in those arenas will come about because we were willing to invest the time & effort in prayer, using all the spiritual weapons that God has given us. I don't know how much longer it will take. But if we continue to pray, ask God to guide & bless our efforts & remain faithful to our calling, then hearts will be changed, not only individual clinics but the entire industry will be shut down, abortion workers will be converted, those hurt by abortion (men & women) will receive the forgiveness & healing they need, & untold babies will have their lives spared from death.
The choice is ours. We can say yes & play our part in defeating the "culture of death". Or we cay no & answer to God for our refusal. We must say yes & do our part to bring about the "Culture of Life" God wants. & 40 Days for Life is one of the ways God has provided for us to bring it about.

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