Under intense pressure from her family, a young woman in Croatia was planning to have an abortion.
But, as she went to visit her doctor, she encountered 40 Days for Life volunteers standing vigil. They offered to help her keep her baby and gave her their phone number...
...and she took them up on the offer! She has now moved into a home the team helps operate, where she will be safe from those who are pushing her to abort.
40 Days for Life--or as the locals call it, "40 dana za život," has truly become a national movement in Croatia.
This autumn, thousands of volunteers have prayed at 35 vigil sites across a country roughly the size of West Virginia.
The Croatian campaign leaders report that most abortions in the country are procured by married women who already have a child--and do not want a second or third.
To transform this mindset, the leaders have given this campaign a theme: "One Child More." Their community outreach efforts involve sharing testimonials from families with two or more children talking about the blessings of being open to life.
Cedar Falls, Iowa
An abortion-minded woman appeared irritated to see 40 Days for Life vigil participants as she headed into Planned Parenthood.
She stopped to accept resources on crisis pregnancy support before making a cryptic comment: "It's not so much about keeping my baby as it is about keeping my family."
Volunteers simply assured her that they were praying for her. She thanked them and entered the abortion facility.
Moments later she came out, acknowledging that she was pregnant because of infidelity.
"She did not have an abortion that day," said Kie, the local leader. "But please continue to pray that the love of Christ will shine through her circumstances."
A father approaching one of the many abortion facilities in Bogota hesitated after seeing vigil participants praying outside the building.
"The man said he was going to find a solution because his wife was four months pregnant," reported 40 Days for Life Latin American Affairs Coordinator Lourdes Varela. "He had no money or work and had no other way out."
After talking with the 40 Days for Life volunteers, not only did he reject abortion--but he also vowed to pray at the 40 Days for Life vigil every day!
You have heard it was said, ‘you shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.
— Matthew 5: 43-44
Heavenly Father, may we reflect your character of grace and kindness to those who hate us and curse us. Guard our hearts and our tongues as we respond in love to words and actions meant to rile us or cause us harm. Let others see the Hope that is Christ in all we say and do.