Sunday, September 30, 2012

Day 5 - Holy Ground

i have walked this sidewalk countless times.
Our Campaign Director tells the story how his wife asked him to participate in 40 Days for Life and at first he didn't want to, but he did it anyway... and now praying on that street corner feels like slipping into his favourite pew at church. He has met with God there too many times, and now it has become Holy Ground.
We've all vigilled in rain or snow... in sunshine or wind...
That street corner - and the entire sidewalk down 5th Avenue across from the Kensington Abortion Clinic - has become a place of prayer. Hundreds have spent combined days, weeks, maybe months praying for the unborn.
Come, spend an hour - let yourself be changed.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Day 4 community outreach vigil

Martin arrives to pray after i've been there alone for about 20 minutes. He's a cancer survivor who arranges his bus schedule so that he can stop and pray for an hour on his way home from the gym.
It's not a friendly afternoon.
i wonder if it's the subconscious hum of what has been happening politically in Canada with the abortion debate - but people seem more aware and sometimes it seems to draw anger.
Martin is friendly though, and gives only the smallest grin at the surprisingly loud and long lecture he receives from a man driving by in his vehicle. As the man passes me, he almost shrieks, "DID HE TALK YOU INTO COMING HERE??!!"
i have to smile.
Martin is definitely in the minority being a man who comes to pray at our vigil. It is mostly deeply, passionate prolife *women* - who come here to pray. Many - maybe most - of us have borne children of our own, and this perspective makes us especially tender to the plight of the little ones losing their lives in the Kensington abortion clinic across the street. Some of us have held our own miscarried babies in our hands, and marvelled at the Creation of a Holy God - and been forever awakened to what it really means to have an abortion - having held our own much loved, longed for children in our hands at the exact stages of pregnancy that they're being killed across the street. What a funny assumption that i, a woman, would be unable to recognize injustice on my own...
Martin seems to take unfriendliness in stride, so i decide to too.

i long to talk to the woman who hangs out her window yelling, "It's NONE of your business!  None!!"
i want to talk to the woman who waits till she passes us and then yells, "Get a life!" It is precisely because i *have* a life that i am unable to remain silent over the senseless taking of it.
i wish for the opportunity to engage, to explain and to defend -  but sometimes, our community outreach involves only replying with a smile and a nod - sometimes it involves being willing to wear a sign, and go out of our way to take a bus to 5th Avenue instead of heading straight home. Sometimes it involves letting rosy cheeked little ones play in the park for an hour while mama prays.
Always - with 40 Days for Life - community outreach involves prayer and a willingness to humble ourselves as we ask God to bring about change.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Day 3 - faithful

i'm reposting this from last fall's vigil. Did you know that when Calgary 40 Days for Life began, there were only 8 volunteers? Those 8 volunteers managed to cover prayer, fasting and public vigil at the Kensington abortion clinic for 12 hours every day for the entire 40 days.
None of them say it was easy... But their faithfulness - their signing of every 40 Days for Life email tenderly with, "for the little ones" - their heart cry for hope and mercy; it's contageous. It's contageous because it's our calling as believers to act justly to love mercy & to walk humbly with our God. Praying that God helps us all to be faithful today...
One of the dedicated organizers for Calgary's 40 Days for Life -
Taking her turn praying in the pouring rain...
Sometimes it would almost make you throw up your hands in despair to try to make it to that busy sidewalk to pray. 
There's company to prepare for, it's pouring rain, there are children who desperately... *only*... want mama. 
But you force yourself to step outside the house that you so rarely leave in these busy child focused days - and sneak off with a friend to find an hour to pray. 
There's traffic on those wet crowded roads... and when you finally arrive - there are lost keys, buzzing phones and dirty looks. 
It's no wonder we so often close our eyes to pray - to make every effort to take our eyes off of the temporary - and for one hour - to focus on the eternal. 
We pulled around the corner onto the street where the Kensington Clinic sits - and we both cried out - "There's someone there!"
She can't possibly know how here very presence buoyed us.  She can't imagine how her faithfulness inspired
She had just been yelled at - as she stood dripping wet on the sidewalk - a lone figure, praying for those in crisis.  She was carefully averting her eyes from the 2 figures fast approaching lest we bring more abuse... but when we got close enough, we recognized each other and laughingly made introductions. 
There are so many, many hindrances, aren't there?
These hindrances added to our general unease over praying in public, our discomfort at the idea that we're "making a scene", or our sensitive hearts worrying that we'll hurt people loved by God rather than helping anything or anyone... it makes it almost impossible to imagine a 40 day prayer vigil outside of the city's bustling abortion clinic.
Almost impossible. 
But with our God... nothing is impossible... and i'm not willing to quit. Mother Teresa is famously quoted as saying, "i don't pray for success, i pray for faithfulness".  & so i'll come home wet, to a crazed messy house... i'll show up late, or frazzled or hurting & broken... but i'm convinced that the hours dedicated to prayer are not wasted.
God, make me faithful...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Day 2 -

It was day one... and i wanted to be there. i had checked the vigil calendar and there were few holes, thanks to our faithful friends at St. Peter's church.
This year it has been our goal to have organizations and churches take chunks of time together - or even whole days of the vigil - and many have stepped up to this challenge. What a beautiful thing to see churches, couples, friends and families praying together.
Is this something your church would consider doing?
can you see the teeny babes in the rosary this grandmother uses as she prays for an end to abortion?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Kicking off our sixth campaign

Hello everyone,
And welcome aboard to the new folks! Our e-mail list has grown larger than
ever, and is now includes almost 250. Thank you, and welcome to every
one of you.

The 40 Days for Life is beginning today, Sept 26, and we already
can see that this will be our most successful one to date.
The vigil calendar is filling up nicely, particularly on the days that
are blocked out for different groups or organizations.
Please use the Vigil Calendar (at so we
can have the optimal coverage.

Please participate as much as you can to this effort. The effect on
our community will be immeasurable!

We had a great Kick-off meeting last Saturday, and
55 people attended and were treated to a wonderful program including
opening/closing prayer by Pat Worsley from First Alliance Church,
prayers by Jojo Ruba from Faith Beyond Belief Ministry, Ken
Vandermeullen from Thornhill Baptist, and Shafer Parker from Hawkwood
Baptist Church. We had Paige playing keyboard and singing, and then
she also led us in song.  It was very uplifting.

Thank you everyone who came. Don't miss our mid-point rally on
October 20th, same time, same location. (West Hillhurst Community Centre).

With 250 folks on our e-mail list, and only 480 hours of vigil (40
days x 12 hours a day), do you realize that if everyone participates
just two hours, every hour will be covered?  And if everyone prays
four hours during the entire vigil, then every hour will have at least
two people.

How great is that?

I included our 40 Days for Life flyer, a site map I created, and then
the actual 2002 Court Injunction, in case anyone is interested.

Thank you and God Bless.

For the little ones,

Dave Odland - campaign director
Calgary 40 Days for Life

(Attachments available upon request).

"Like" our facebook page to receive regular updates - or contact us to get your name and email on regular outgoing list! We can't wait to see what God will do during this campaign!