One of the unexpected blessings of joining a 40 Days for Life vigil is making friends you would not otherwise have met!
During last fall's 40 Days for Life campaign, Michelle and her team in Bellingham, Washington, befriended a homeless man, who then joined the campaign team.
"He ended up walking [to the vigil] from the homeless shelter each day for 40 Days, praying as he walked around Planned Parenthood," Michelle said. "He also came to trainings I held at my house."
After the vigil ended, the man moved to Alaska, but recently, Michelle was delighted to get a call from him--and to learn that he's continuing to stand vigil in front of Planned Parenthood.
"I told him I would send him a box of signs," Michele said. "He was thrilled. ... We are so proud of him."
Not everyone in Bellingham is as friendly to 40 Days for Life participants.
40 Days for Life outreach director and former Planned Parenthood manager Ramona Trevino recently visited the local vigil and said that a number of passersby stopped to swear at vigil participants.
But prayer warriors don't give up.
"The volunteers are faithful," Ramona said. "This is a spiritual battle indeed!"
Ramona's trek through the Evergreen State took her across the Cascade Mountains for a visit to Wenatchee, a small and beautiful town of just 35,000 people.
The local Planned Parenthood facility is clearly irked by the presence of 40 Days for Life participants. Signs proclaiming "We Are Open!" are scattered around the property...and the abortion giant is trying to discourage vigil participation by raising money for each pro-lifer out on the sidewalk.
The gimmick isn't working. Ramona said attendance for her visit to the abortion center was high, and nearly 100 percent of the honks and gestures from passersby were positive.
Back in the Seattle suburbs, a huge crowd turned out to see Ramona speak, opposed by just two lonely protesters bearing a banner reading "Pro-Life = Pro-Rape" right above a baffling assertion that pro-lifers profit off human trafficking.
Those protesters might consider that abortion does nothing to help a rape victim...but it is a tool for rapists looking to destroy the evidence of their crimes.
"I am seeing interest [in 40 Days for Life] grow," reported Rebecca, the local leader. "We are planting the seeds of life and tilling soil in a state where abortion is entrenched in communities."
The talk Ramona gave in Renton led new volunteers to sign up for the vigil--and also reinvigorated longtime prayer warriors.
"Ramona’s visit was a great boost for us, in that she helped fire up some of the seasoned volunteers to come out or even do more," wrote Mary, the local leader.
"We really enjoyed every minute of it," said Mike, who attended the prayer rally.
I believe I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the LORD!
Good and loving Father, keep us stouthearted in Your word of truth, placing all our faith and hope in You. Give us the patience to wait for Your providential care. As we repent of our own sins, give us the courage to speak the truth in love and to be ready to forgive those who offend us. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.