Because Life Matters – 40 Days for Life Campaign

Talking about and praying for the sanctity of life inside the womb is courageous. Generally, vocal supporters of life are viewed as aggressive protestors, and peaceful activists are likened to violent demonstrators. I have been asked, “Are you one of those people that stands outside of abortion clinics and protests?” This question is provoked by destructive pro-life groups that devalue the quality of love that envelops the work of places like *HOPE Pregnancy Center*. Love and peace are the qualities that make pregnancy centers succeed, and it works for activists, too!

The 40 Days for Life Campaign hosts prayer vigils outside of abortion clinics, and its mode of operation is peaceful prayer. It is radical to be peaceful, and prayer is a powerful weapon for change. Hebrews 4:16 says that God asks us to boldly come before the throne and ask for help in our time of need. Right now, prayers are being said at vigils around the world, asking for God’s help in the fight to conquer abortion. Our work for life is meant to be courageous, and our prayers are meant to be bold. It’s because of bold prayers that lives are being affected. The following passage is an anonymous testimony from the kick-off of the 40 Days for Life Campaign, and it is a testament to God’s work and the faithful prayers of his followers:

“It was a lovely morning as the snow fell today at 7:00am, while 8 members from our West Bloomfield team gathered to kick-off the 40 Days for Life Campaign. Many horns honked and several said “God Bless You” as they witnessed our prayers for the sanctity of life just outside an abortion clinic on Orchard Lake Road.

During the 5:00-7:00pm shift, I had the opportunity to witness to a young woman who was offended by our campaign. She stated that it brought back memories of her rape when she was 14 years old and her subsequent abortion, which she defended. I continually told her how sorry I was for her horrible experience, and I let her know that we are all praying for the end of violence, disrespect for life, and manipulation—which is what leads some to a sense that there is “no other way out” and causes them to choose to end a baby’s life rather than defend it.

I offered her information about *HOPE Pregnancy Center*, a Christian Crisis Pregnancy Center that provides free counseling services to mothers and fathers who are considering abortion (teaching them about the dangers of abortion). Additionally, they offer free assistance with clothing, diapers and other baby needs for moms who choose LIFE and permit their miracle from God to come to fruition. I also showed the young woman what an 11-week old fetus looks like (not a “bunch of cells” as the anti-life media would like everyone to believe). After holding the life-like fetus model in her bare hands, the young woman was touched and said she didn’t know if she could have aborted her unborn child after experiencing what a fetus truly is … an unborn baby. Her precious heart was softened by God’s grace. The young woman thanked me, we hugged, and we prayed for her healing.”

It is because of courageous prayer and peaceful interactions that Christians are changing and saving lives. Just this year, the 40 Days for Life Campaign saved 482 lives, and only God knows how many more were influenced. I had the opportunity to volunteer with West Bloomfield’s 40 Days for Life, and one thing stuck with me. I was sent the “Statement of Peace” of its participants, and one statement hit me in the heart. It says, “I will show compassion and reflect Christ’s love to all employees, volunteers, and customers.” You see, in that order, one begins to realize that it is not just moms we’re meant to care for. At the heart of abortion, there are lost people being the hands and feet of destruction. They are blind to God’s love, and working for the enemy. More than ever, our peaceful prayer should be directed toward the lost abortion providers, the volunteers, the mothers, and our own hearts to relay the compassion and love that God has for all of us. The song “Amazing Grace” said it best, “I once was lost, but now I’m found. I was blind, but now I see.” Focus your heart on courageous and bold, peaceful and compassionate prayers for the lost. As we work for the salvation of the unborn, may our lives first reflect the gift of salvation that was perfectly pictured by Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:4-6, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”

With Love,

*Name is a pseudonym*

I Heard the Word

If I tried to place my finger on the right word, it might land somewhere between you and me, seated in the back of a friend’s car, stopped in Michigan’s darkest city, paused in prayer for the light to come. It reminds me I never quite grasp God’s glory – that I never quite have big enough expectations. Allow me to explain.

A sex trafficking outreach at my church has branched out from its suburban hotel outreach in Novi, Michigan to cross with international interests. The North American International Auto Show draws nearly one million people to Detroit, and human trafficking is escalated in the city of Detroit during these two weeks. Minors makeup a large demographic of individuals that are sexually exploited, and information on them is sought by both police detectives and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

I wake up once a month to take pictures of missing kids to local hotels. In the hopes that one child might be seen or found, our team has been dedicated to the search for missing kids and to the hotel staff we educate on sex trafficking. On January 15, our team took the latest pictures and our educational packets into the hive of the Michigan sex trade, and every hotel and motel in Detroit was given a chance to peek into that hive. As I predicted, my expectations were too small for God’s glory.

I often find that prayer is a companion we see as small but mighty, as the mustard seed can move mountains. I regret that I have never seen a mustard seed literally move a mountain, as it would be a wonder of the natural world. However, I have seen such a wonder through the power of prayer. Our team spent months in prayer for God’s protection, His direction, and His motivation to put our hands and feet to work. Then, the outreach came. Prayer was essential. A visiting prayer-walking team and members of our team joined together in their cars and prayed as we traveled through the city. Have I yet stated that God will conquer our expectations and prove them to be inconsequential? Here is what my eyes beheld.

I never expected that I would be calling the Toledo Police on a tip. I never expected that a woman at a motel would listen to us. I never expected that God would put me in a motel in Detroit, have me stand face-to-face with her honest eyes, have me equipped with 12 photos, and have one of those photos spark a memory in her mind. The staff member remembered seeing one of the girls on our posters; she had recently come to the hotel for a room. A missing girl from Toledo made it onto our posters for the outreach, and we happened to visit the motel where she would be recognized.

Prayer, an open conversation with God, is more potent than I can comprehend. It took one million international visitors, all the hotels and motels of Detroit, five carloads of willing servants, and one motel employee to hear the whisper in my ear. I never anticipated the opportunity to pass on information concerning a child’s case. Prayer enabled our outreach serve one lost sheep, and I heard the word – God is faithful.

Much Love,

———♡ P.S.—————————————————————————————-

I work for the freedom of others because I know what it is to be free. FRē exists because police officers, detectives, missing children, and loved ones need citizens to be activists, too. If a whole society turns a blind eye to the oppressed, failing to advocate for the rights of the exploited, how can justice ever be served? Hotels are the cultured world’s brothels. While we freshen up, go for a dip in the pool, and sleep under pressed sheets on vacations and business trips, there are children in hotels being used for commercial sex. Since MKL Jr. Day was Monday, I think his quote is rather timely, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” I cannot stand in comfort, even though it is convenient. I cannot stand on the outside while a child’s rights are being stolen and a society isn’t facing the challenge and controversy before its eyes. Consider joining one outreach with FRē on a Saturday morning, considering asking me for more information on other groups, or consider if your life is too comfortable and it’s time for change.

Isaiah 1:17 says, “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” If you’re considering doing any of those things, I implore you: do them. Did you ever wake up as a kid and decide that your dreams weren’t worth dreaming? Did you ever wake up as an adult and say, “I never want to make a difference in the world.”?? No, I didn’t think so. So, consider what role you want in saying, “I have a dream.” I have a dream today!

“I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.” -MLK Jr.