Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 36 - after vigil ends?

Below is a memory from a "visit between vigils" - it's hard to fathom as we vigil at the abortion clinic that it was open before these 40 days began.  It has been open for far too long.
i heard a pastor ask a woman this past Sunday how he could pray for her.  She responded without hesitation, "You could pray Colossians 1:9 for me."
& although this passage was written about a group of believers, if you are lacking the words to pray, i invite you to pray Colossians 1:9 - for all those requiring rescuing from the horrendous hurt and death that abortion brings, and please pray too, for those Christ followers who can't be silent and so continue to vigil and pray at the abortion clinics during 40 Days for Life.
"For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.  We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance of patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.  For he has (*he CAN) rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have the redemption, the forgiveness of sins."  - Colossians 1:9-14

picnic in the park

My friend was already at the park when we pulled up. 
She was pushing her giggling son on the swing set in the green grassy playground across the street from the abortion clinic.   The big shady trees provided reprieve from the blazing sun.  Such a different scene from my first visit all those months ago when the icy cold still held the world in it's steel grip and the sidewalks were treacherous skating rinks. 
i can't drive down Crowchild now without my heart being pulled to that building.
We leave our children running and playing - pink cheeked and laughing at the park...
And each carrying our youngest, we walk to the corner to pray. 
Oh God - give me ears to hear Your Voice...
"Just stand there... and pray... and hurt... and weep...."  He seems to say. 
so i do. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 35 - closed doors

Repost from a previous campaign - we are counting down the final days of our vigil. If you have a story to share, please send it using the "contact us" tab at the top of this blog. We are planning our closing celebration for Sunday, November 4th, 2012 from 2:30-4pm. We'd love to see you there to celebrate what God has done during these 40 Days and to encourage each other to continue until we see an end to abortion.

*please note - we are having some issues with the event page for our closing celebration on facebook. It is not displaying the correct date and time - please spread the word that the correct time is the one noted above.


i didn't make it to the kensington clinic until late in the afternoon. When i got there, the last cars were pulling out of the parking lot. The Canadian flag fluttered in the breeze beside me as i stood on the grass to pray.
At 5pm, a man brought out the garbage bags, and others closed the heavy gate that blocks the parking lot.
And as that building closed it's doors for the day... nurses drove home, business completed, jobs accomplished...
i stood on the street corner and prayed... that i would see the day that they would never open again. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 34 - 105 minutes, 40 Days

Beautiful post from an Ottawa vigiler.
*warning - there are graphic images on some of the webpages linked to in this post.
by catholic mouse (ottawa vigil)
I find a spot on the sidewalk, next to three sisters with umbrellas and a man with a sign.
Already, I’m starting to freeze.
(Is it the temperature, or the knowledge of what has happened right under my nose?)
A stream of the everyday – cars, trucks, passersby – flows up and down the street.
(Cunningham’s “our streets run red” quote* comes to mind. I shiver.)
A girl about my age makes eye contact with me from the bus window.
(What could she be thinking?)
A pre-Halloween princess scrambles to catch up with her mother, across the road.
(You shouldn’t have to see this, sweetheart. Would that there was no need for…us.)
“Hail Mary, full of grace…” from the three beside me. Wet streaks down my nose and cheeks.
(Father, forgive us, for we know not what we’ve done.)
I feel like time has stopped for the few of us.
(Life goes on for the rest…can’t you see something is wrong!? We shouldn’t NEED to be here!)
I don’t need this…my biggest concern today should be grades and parties, not genocide!
(The apathy is killing me. But am I begging them to stand up so I don’t have to?)
A man in a silver car – he pauses, looks at us, shrugs and drives away.
(What does he know?)
Behind us, a little boy, so full of love for his life, laughs and runs from his big sister.
(How many more will be denied moments like this because WE can’t act?)
Another man looks out from his van…a split-second-glance, a dropped jaw, and he’s off.
(What is he unable to face?)
A young father stops his stroller in front of the door. He looks up…way up…to the third floor!
(Were they two of the lucky ones?)
A couple stops to peer into the window of the jewelry store.
(I want to shout at them – “Have you ever thought about the building next door?”)
A pair of teenage girls can hardly walk for laughing…at…whatever was on my mind at 15.
(How many of their sisters and friends have been inside?)
I close my eyes and try to pray again.
(Oh…God…how could this be happening?)
A few more tears…this may be the only time I have openly grieved for what the world has lost.
(And even more, for those who do not know enough to care, or care enough to know.)
*"the sewers of our cities run red with the blood of our children.” - gregg cunningham

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day 33 - october baby

A bunch of us from my church went and saw the movie October Baby on Saturday night. i didn't know what to expect - but  the testimony at the end was a powerful story of God's forgiveness and redemptive love...
It was honestly - so - beautiful.
We'll be looking at having it play at another location in the near future - if you're interested, leave a comment and we'll keep you posted.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Day 32 - Do you believe?

Beautiful update and pictures from our midpoint rally! Mark our closing celebration on your calendar: Sunday, November 4th 2012 from 2:30-4 at the West Hillhurst Community Center. See you there!


by fawne

This battle we face--the fight for life--is often hard and lonely and even downright discouraging at times. I stand on the small space of sidewalk across from the abortion clinic and wonder if my prayers are doing one single thing. Often, there is no evidence of change. Despite my begging prayers that this woman, the next woman, the woman after her, will not open that door and walk inside...most of the time the door still opens and shuts behind her. I am across the street and cannot hear the dull thud of it closing...but I do not need to be over there to feel it right down to my core. Bang. Another death. Bang. Another defeat. Bang. Another loss.

The other day you gathered....those of you who ache to see abortion end....



And you worshiped God together.....


And shared the joys you have experienced and the change you have seen through prayer.


And I witnessed your faithfulness...and today as I sit and pound out words I think about twelve men who are a lot like you.

These men were asked to go on a mission. Is it not the same with you? With me? Hasn't God asked us to go on a mission for the unborn? To be a voice? To intercede with prayer? To plead for justice and to show love and mercy? Did you begin this mission with zeal and excitement?

These twelve men did. They charged into their "calling" and were faithful for 40 days. 40 DAYS! And then ten of them stopped focusing on the greatness of God and started focusing on the seemingly insurmountable walls of the enemy. (Numbers 13, 14)

Can you relate to that feeling? I sure can.

Sometimes I want to quit. I don't want the weight on my shoulders anymore. I don't want to pray without seeing results any longer. The wall I am asked to scale seems to high. The burden I'm called to bear feels too heavy. I cannot see the greatness of God anymore because I'm focused on the impossible-ness of the mission.

I have forgotten who my God is. I have quickly forgotten the way He rescued me from my enemy. I have forgotten that I use to be in BONDAGE but now I am FREE. I have forgotten the miracles, the parting of the Red Sea, the manna on the ground and the water gushing from the rock.


And this hard place....this place of decision....what will I do? Will I choose to believe that the God who sent me on this mission is accomplishing His purpose or will I only see the clinic door as it opens and shuts....yet again?!

I want to be a Joshua. I want to be a Caleb. I want to believe, to be fully confident that the God who sends people on missions (whether it is to spy out a land or whether it is to pray for a miracle across the street from an abortion clinic)....this God, is the God of the impossible.

Last Saturday, I saw some Calebs and some Joshuas....and I take courage from their example. The "walls" we attempt to scale may be high. The enemy we fight against may be strong. But all my fears and insecurities crumble in the presence of the great I AM!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Day 31 - dear God

by alisha - 15 years old

Earlier this year, I went to the sidewalk.
It was cold, the January chill wrapping itself around me like a blanket. I shook inside my thick, winter coat, but not just because of the cold.
It happens here, I thought, suddenly everything becoming more real than before.
It happens here, right across the street.
I imagined the chairs in the waiting room, the sterile rooms filled with surgical equipment. I imagined the fear the women must feel as they walked into the room. Every surgical procedure is scary; I know this well, so I think those precious women must have been scared.
I thought about how it could have been me. If things had been a little different – if there had been a test, if I hadn’t been born into the family I was, if things had been just a little different than they happened to be – that could have been my mother in there, scared, confused, thinking this was her only option, that she couldn’t raise a child who would require around the clock care, the medical bills piling up, that she couldn’t raise me.
I couldn’t find the words to say as I huddled there on the sidewalk. I kept whispering over and over, “Dear God.”
Dear God, what are we doing?
Dear God, that could have been me, but it’s not. Thank you for life.
Dear God, they are hurting.
Dear God, Dear God, Dear God.
I experienced something in those few minutes on the sidewalk that I will remember forever. I realized how real abortion is, that it happened right over there. I realized how precious life is, and how thankful I am for my own.
I prayed for everything that happens inside of those walls, for lives that are forever changed. I prayed they would all know how much they are loved, and how precious life is.
I’m so thankful for mine. In those few minutes, I decided that I wanted to make my life count for something. I didn’t want to be silent.
How can we be silent?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 30 - lifechain update

Our friends at Lifechain (Calgary) sent out the update below. Were you able to be involved in this public stand for life this year?:


We had a great LifeChain, with excellent weather and about 340 people participating.
Some excellent pictures were taken, which we will add to our web page:
In the future we will move the date if it falls on the Thanksgiving long weekend.
We were assisted by the people from '40 Days for Life'. They currently have a prayer campaign underway.
If you wish to participate you can contact them at:
Thank you for joining us.
LifeChain committee 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 29 - despite the circumstances

This is another repost from a previous campaign. Read and be encouraged that each life is a blessing despite the circumstances.


by denise

I was 42 years old when I discovered that I was pregnant with my second child. My only son would be turning 6 soon and my husband had been recently diagnosed with bipolar mood disorder. I was hardly coping, as it was, and I wondered how on earth I would manage to juggle all the pieces of my life to make this work.

When I went to my doctor, his reaction didn't help matters. Originally from overseas, when he saw the positive pregnancy test results he blurted, "Oh, bloody Hell!" So much for congratulations! Then he asked me what I intended to do about it and added, "Do you want to terminate?"

Since I had always intended to have the baby, I left the office in a daze, wondering if I should be seeking another doctor to monitor my pregnancy. But since this was the same office where I'd received assistance when my son was born, I decided to continue with the practice.

A few weeks later I was sent for a routine blood screening. At the time I was unaware that the test was to determine if there were any abnormalities with my child. The test results soon came back. Low risk of Trisomy 18 and spina bifida, but Downs Syndrome was a distinct possibility as my personal number was 1 in 81. The doctor called me and told me I needed to come to his office, an hour away. He broke the news that my baby might have Downs Syndrome. He told me the numbers.

But what he didn't tell me was that the figures meant that if there were 81 pregnant women, in a room, when they all gave birth, statistically 80 of them would have perfectly normal infants while one would have a child with Downs Syndrome. The doctor called a specialist in the city (three hours from my home) and made an appointment for me to go there early the following week. I went home and spent the weekend in despair. Surely my baby was doomed.

My husband took the day off work so he could accompany me to the city. We left our son with his grandparents and went to see the specialist. She was encouraging and told me that she had several other women in her office that day that were also scared, based simply on the results of the routine blood screening. She stated that once there had been a women, she had as a patient, that had been given the ratio "1 in 4" chance of Downs. Yet, when that little one had been born, it was fine. I was sent home and told not to worry so much.

However, a few weeks later, I found myself back in the city for an ultrasound as my doctor was still not satisfied that everything was all right. After the specialist performed the ultrasound, she told us we were having a girl and that there was nothing to worry about.

Finally, for the last couple of months, until my due date, I could relax a little. Since I had gestational diabetes, I had to take insulin shots every time I ate. Then I developed high blood pressure and had to be hospitalized over the weekend. Eventually I was released with pills to control my blood pressure and told that a C-section would be planned in about ten more days. At the time of the birth, I was 43.

When our daughter, who is now 6 years old and in Grade 1, was born, she was perfect in every way. But even if she had not been, would we have loved her any less? Even now, all these years later, some times I look at wee Isobel and wonder what if I had decided that I was too old to have another child or that the risks to my own health (or her potential Downs syndrome) were too much to handle? What if I had decided to have an abortion? What fun I would have missed! I'm glad I wasn't pushed into making the wrong decision by the initial negativity of my doctor but I shudder to think that other children have been aborted in similar circumstances.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 28 - Why Continue?

How many of us have wanted to quit? i know i have... i'm sure that most of us have felt in a moment of weakness that prolife work is too hard/sad/tiring/taken badly/spiritually draining, or there is too much adversity/disrespect/disaproval/pain/anger.  A friend of mine, who works full time in prolife work wrote an encouraging piece for our blog that speaks to us in our vulnerability and answers the question: why continue?
*Warning* all links in this piece lead to graphic videos.


by Ruth Lobo Shaw

Sometimes, I think about all the hours I have logged doing pro-life work- all the 14 hour days, the long days standing outside a clinic, on campus, or on Facebook debating and engaging. It makes me want to quit, leave the country for some place warm and away. But then I think of them, and I persevere.

Some days, I think about all the verbal abuse that I have endured, all the accusations that I hate women by women who scream in my face. I think about the people who have lashed out in anger against me, demanding that I leave, that I stop talking about the babies. I am tempted to run away, close my mouth and never utter another word about the issue. But then, I think about the pain those little ones must feel as their limbs are torn apart and I realize that no amount of emotional pain I suffer even comes close to the physical pain these babies feel. And so I press on.

Often I reflect on the friends I have lost while fighting this battle. All the times I was questioned, judged, misunderstood, rejected or ostracized. I think about how If I said nothing, did nothing then maybe my life would be so much easier and I would be liked. I remember feeling so alone at times, wishing I could put the issue aside and be a normal 24 year old-- travel, hang out with friends and be care-free. But then, I remember that my silence would be a death sentence for these babies and the images press on my conscience. And so, I continue on.

After a long day in the office, I sometimes come home and think about how working somewhere else would be easier. Maybe I wouldn’t have to put in such long hour. Maybe I would not have to critically analyze every project I undertook to make sure it was effective. Maybe my husband and I could go on more dates. And then, an image comes to my mind of a couple going to the clinic with their little one, except they leave him or her there shattered. Thinking about them makes me realize that our little sacrifice as a family could stop this little family from a lifetime of pain and so, I am determined that our family will continue to try to protect these little families from being broken apart.

Sometimes I am tempted to think that maybe I am called to something else. That maybe my talents would be better suited for a different cause, or just at a more "regular job". But then I remember the babies that have been saved through the efforts of so many. And I think about the minds and hearts that have been changed. It was once said that he who saves a life, saves the world entire. This gives me hope for a future more beautiful than our present.

It takes greater strength of character to fight for someone else then it takes for you to fight for yourself. Will you continue fighting for these little ones?

Monday, October 22, 2012

update from our midpoint rally

We had our midpoint rally on Saturday and we had a fantastic turn out - especially considering the snowy, rainy conditions we had here in Calgary!
We had some music, food, an update from our Campaign Director and an encouraging talk from Jojo Ruba, the executive director of Faith Beyond Belief about handling adversity.
Several people shared their stories from the sidewalk - and was it ever beautifully edifying to hear their shared passion for the little ones!
If you missed out, we are planning our CLOSING CELEBRATION for Sunday, November 4th! Please join us as we celebrate what God has done in these 40 days as we've fasted and prayed, held our peaceful vigil at the abortion clinic and made every effort to reach out into our community!
Until then, there are still many spots to fill in our VIGIL CALENDAR and you still have the opportunity to join us in this prayerful effort!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day 26 - abortion robs grandparents

This is a repost from a previous vigil, this entry was sent to us from a blog reader - and outlines some of the painful ripples that abortion brings...


It was around midnight several years ago that I sat hunched over my computer keyboard, the light from the monitor illuminating the dark room. A message popped up from my daughter P. She asked how I was, I responded that I was well and asked how she was doing. She told me she was worried about her brother G, but angry with him too, saying he had been nasty to her lately. I sighed. I knew it was true. Then she said she needed to tell me something. Inwardly I froze. No mother wants to hear these words from her child, especially over an internet connection in a dark room late at night.

My daughter is a terrible typist so waiting for the next message, which I was sure was going to contain bad news, was endless. Finally I read: "I want to tell you something about M (my son's wife) but you have to promise never to talk to anyone about it or M and G will never speak to me again if they find out that you know - they don't even know that I know. Also I am afraid to tell you because you might treat them differently when you hear this." I promise P I will keep her secret, having no idea what she is about to divulge.

P had hinted previously that she knew something about M but I had decided to wait for P to tell me in her own time. M has always been a bit secretive but I chalked that up to the fact that I was her mother-in-law and we didn't have the sort of relationship where she confided anything to me. The next message from P tells me something disappointing about M but then another message pops up. It reads: "but there's more." I decide that since we've gone this far I might as well plunge in all the way.

I type: "she had an abortion?"

There's no hesitation in the response. The single word "yes" pops up on my computer screen.

And all of a sudden everything starts to fall into place. The outburst by my son towards a family member who innocently asked if he and his wife were planning to start a family soon, the estrangement from certain family members, the abrupt move half way across the country and the ongoing prickly attitude towards me, his father and his sister. I feel an icy hand close over my heart. I ask my daughter how she came to learn this information but I know I don't need to check her sources - she couldn't lie if her life depended on it. My daughter feels better now that she has unburdened herself but now I must carry this Cross - the knowledge that my first grandchild is dead. I want to split in half and cry forever.

Instead I begin to blame my daughter-in-law for what has happened and as time goes by I nurse this grudge until I can no longer look at her photo or speak to her on the phone. It's easy to get out of speaking to her on the phone as she has a very soft voice and I have trouble listening to her due to my hearing problems. Since she and I were not close to begin with this new pattern emerges of only speaking to my son when he calls.

As the weeks go by I try to piece together the fragments of information that P has given me and I determine that M became pregnant about nine months before her and G's wedding. This hurts me even more as it feels like she has chosen her expensive white dress and a big party over her unborn child. My anger and resentment continue to fester. I might have found relief if I could have confronted M and G but I had promised P I would not. By now my husband also knows what has happened. He is so ashamed he literally forbids me to talk to anyone about it. We are also terrified that our already strained relationship with M & G will break for good if we confront them even though we would tell them we forgive them.

Being a Christian I keep telling myself I don't hate my daughter-in-law, I hate what she did. I tell myself that God loves her and made her in His image. I tell myself that she didn't choose to abort but that she felt she had no option but to abort. Except that I cannot accept that, no matter how hard I try. My husband and I would have taken that baby in if my son and his wife couldn't care for him. We would have kept him forever or given him back when his parents wanted him. We would have given them money, support, anything to help. But they never asked us.

As the years go by I step up my commitment to ProLife. I want to spare other people the pain I have experienced. I want the babies to live. I volunteer at a pregnancy centre and join prayerful endeavours like Life Chain. Every time we hear a sermon against abortion I want to stand up and cheer - except that the sermons always encourage us to reach out in love and mercy to the post-abortive mothers and all I want to do is shake the living daylights out of my daughter-in-law. I want her to hurt as much as I do. I want her to tell me she is sorry. It's probably a good thing she lives half way across the country from me.

Finally I reach a point where I can no longer sustain this level of personal misery. And it's then that Abby Johnson comes into my life.

Abby Johnson once worked for Planned Parenthood. It was after she assisted at an abortion that she finally came to the realization of what she had long suspected. Abortion was killing babies. She left Planned Parenthood and wrote a book about her transformation from "prochoice" to ProLife. I bought her book and read it in one day. It resonated with me on every single level even though I had never had an abortion myself. More than anything I wanted to participate in 40 Days for Life, the prayerful vigil that had done so much to convert her.

Within two weeks a lady at my church announced we were going to participate in 40 Days for Life. My heart jumped and I was one of the first ones to sign up! My husband, while supporting the cause, was very concerned that I would be assaulted in front of the clinic while holding my 40 Days sign. I asked him "what if some lady had been standing in front of the clinic the day that M and G went to her abortion appointment - what if her sign or her smile or her words caused M to reconsider the abortion and carry the baby to term?" He didn't stop worrying but he didn't ask me to stop going either.

The 40 Days for Life campaign took place while the weather was damp and cold. Some days it rained, some days the wind blew through my coat. But slowly as the earth moved towards Spring my heart began to thaw a little along with the ground. I spent many hours on the front lines praying for the mothers and their unborn babies. Sometimes I thought of my grandchild. I know he is in Heaven and prays for his mom. He's forgiven her. I know I must too.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day 25 - this little light of mine

by richard

We arrived at 6:55 and there was no one to replace. The night was not unseasonable cold but the dark abortion clinic seemed to make the world a colder place. Soon night fell; illuminated by a street light and the gas station sign, only the price of gas at $1.16 would have been noticed. We began with the Joyful Mysteries. Cars drove by, buses filled the air with the roar of their engines and the smell of diesel. Cyclists and the odd driver would turn their heads, but we received no sign that the world was changing. Then perhaps a seed. Perhaps a small sign of hope. An otherwise dark house is stirred to life, light comes on, and a man comes out of his front door. What moved him to investigate. Was it the light of the two votive candles of Jesus and Mary? Or was there something different in the air? He was back in his house within a couple of seconds? Was it the sight of two men praying? Was it the contemplative chant of the Rosary? Was it the presence of our guardian angels? Or was it the majesty of the presence of our Lord and King and His Mother the Queen of Angels and Saints? Reassured it seemed, he went back to the safety of his home, turned off the light and the house was like whence before. I then realized that the night wasn't that dark and cold anymore.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Day 24 - i had to laugh

by Liisa

I am thankful that when I went to the vigil on Wednesday that there were three other people there. It is so heartening to get there and see that the sidewalk isn't bare. I am thankful that before I left an elderly lady joined me saying that she had a few friends meeting her soon, that it was her first time at the vigil and seeing what she saw at the clinic (and hearing that I had seen about 5 cars drive in during the hour I was praying there) that although it was her first time there and she had been planning on coming once a week she now felt that she should come more frequently. And finally, I had to laugh when a woman stopped her van in front me and two other prayer volunteers and shook her finger at us as she said, "Shame ... on ... you." Because really, there is no shame in standing peacefully on a sidewalk praying to God for an end to the killing. There is no shame in holding a sign asking, "What do you need?" or "For post abortion counselling visit .... website." I had to laugh because really, shame on her for supporting a mother's right to murder her own child. I am thankful that because of the Holy Spirit, I have the confidence to stand up for what is right when people tell me I should be ashamed for doing so.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Message about our midpoint rally!!

Hello everyone,

How does it feel to do something for a cause that is near and dear to
your heart, like praying to end abortion with the 40 Days for Life
campaign right here in Calgary?

Well, let's get together and celebrate!

Our mid-point celebration is this Saturday, October 20th, 2:30 - 4:00
PM, at the West Hillhurst Community center, at 6th Ave and 19th St, NW
(down the street from the Kensington Abortion Clinic).

We have the same room rented out, the Arena viewing room, accessible
on the second floor, stairs closest to the side entrance by the
parking lot. Don't go in the front entrance, you'll get turned

We will be there, and will share experiences, sing, give an update on
the campaign so far, etc.

Come and meet everyone else that is participating in the Prayer Vigil.
Sometimes the only people you meet or see are those that are in the
one-hour time slot before or after you. But now you can meet and talk
to more like-minded folks.

Haven't had a chance to partipate in the vigil yet? That's OK. Come
and get some information, and find out what this thing is all about.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Dave (Campaign Director)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Day 22 - not alone

i can't stop thinking about her.
It bothers me that so many women are picked up in a taxi - alone. The circumstances that brought them to that clinic weren't entered into alone... & yet they're left to be picked up from a building that takes the life of their tiny child by a yellow cab with a stranger driving it.
This girl made me ache differently. She didn't close her eyes and lay against the window like i've seen some do. She stared out the window at us - eyes blank, face expressionless. It seemed to take forever for the cab to get turned around onto the road, and when he did, he was going the wrong way and i quickly realized that they were going to have to drive past us again...
"oh, honey..." i breathed as again... she stared wide-eyed out the window at us before the cab passed us and melted into the traffic pulling onto crowchild.
Words. Why aren't we allowed to exchange words?  Words are so much easier to understand than signs, than a perplexing presence, than silence and a half smile...
God, let her remember me. Let her remember that the whole world didn't turn it's back that day... let her remember that there was no anger on our faces, or aggression in our stance... let her remember feeling loved - from people who were full of mercy... Your love, Your mercy...
As she walked a path she never should have walked, alone.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Alissa - it's your child

It's not an easy thing to carry a sign. Have i said that before? Again and again? Over and over till you're tired of hearing about my weakness? For some reason, that sidewalk remains a heavy place for some of us.  It remains a place that we go because we want to be obedient - but it takes everything we've got to make it out there to stand on 5th ave. and witness what we witness...
Alissa told me she prayed about it as she created her sign - but now that we're on the sidewalk, she feels tenderly towards the women we see coming from the clinic, and wonders if they'll hear harshness when her broken heart pleads gentle...
Oh, mamas... can you see our pain as we try to reach you? Can you hear our mama heart as it cries out to yours? Can you see the love that we want to wear for you in your moment of vulnerability?
Father, could you just cover us with you - so that they don't see us at all, but instead see You?  
*this beautiful panting was also made by Alissa - such a sweet testimony.

Monday, October 15, 2012

What Would You Say?

Repost - thinking about the signs we wear to the Kensington clinic...

The perfect sign.
There likely isn't one... i know...
But this is a question that i ask myself again and again as i prepare my mind and heart for the 40 Day prayer vigil that is set to begin in 2 months.
There is often division among prolifers over methods, wording, attitudes etc...
We've even had disagreements about signs on this tiny blog.
We need more discussion - more understanding for each other - more sharing of wisdom & opinions... more soul searching.
Why does it matter?
It matters because the signs that we wear at the Kensington Clinic are likely the last prolife messages that these women will see before making a final decision about the wee life they are carrying. It matters because we are a last line of defence. It matters because God loves these families... and so too must we. It matters because "they will know we are Christians by our love". It matters because we want the signs to be compelling - because this is life and death we're talking about.
Let's just face it... If we're going to choose to wear a sign to an abortion clinic... the message on that sign matters.
This doesn't mean we'll all wear the same sign. We will all fill in different gaps, we'll appeal to different hurting individuals, we'll be authentic - and because we're authentic, we'll be diverse.
My faithful little sign that i've worn for the past year has a simple message, "You are loved." The reverse states, "Life is a Gift".
Other signs read, "Look at the Ultrasound", "Abortion Stops a Beating Heart", or simply, "40 Days for Life".
We're facing a difficult situation here at the Kensington clinic. We're not allowed to cross that road. We're not allowed to speak - unless spoken to. We're limited in our access and in our numbers... What words would reach into that desperate situation... What words could cut through the pain, fear and numbness - to the heart of a mother or father... What words would have the deepest impact... while leaving the smallest wound?
i'm thinking of words today like, "Can i help?", "Ask me why i'm here"...
But even these... and the blinking cursor that i stared at for minutes as my wracked my brain for that perfect combination of words that would stop a course of action... seem so insufficient.
The truth is... they are.
& so we bathe them in tears and prayer. We allow our hearts to break with compassion and we bring our requests brokenly to our Maker.
Oh, God... prepare my heart... & give me the words.

What would the perfect sign say? Why? If you had the chance to speak... what would you say?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Day 19 -Boy or Girl? What Matters?

Repost - i love this way of thinking...

by jessica

When I was pregnant with our little Eva, a family friend asked my husband Curt if he was looking forward to having a boy or a girl.
"Well, it doesn't really matter!"
She laughed and then said something that a person hears a lot when they are expecting:
"Yeah, i guess so. As long as the baby is healthy!"
Curt blurted out, "Actually, that doesn't really matter either."
She looked a little taken aback.  Curt tried to explain what he meant. "Well, i know what you mean but... We've had 6 children born to us so far. They were all "healthy" and "perfect". Seven years after our first son was born, he was diagnosed with epilepsy. At three, our daughter was diagnosed with a rare hormonal deficiency called diabetes insipidus, and then at 5, it was discovered that this original diagnosis was caused by a rare cancer-like disease growing on her pituitary. There are no guarantees in life, and although we don't want our children to be in pain, we know that even this present suffering can be "worked out" for good as we love and train our children in the middle of their suffering."  
When he got home that night, he brought up the conversation with me and how he had surprised himself with what he had blurted out. "But Jess, it's true."
Yeah, it is.
Why do we say those words... "As long as they are healthy?"
"As long as they are healthy..." what?
-then i'll be happy?
-then i'll be thankful?
-then i'll know that the pregnancy was "worth it"?
-then i'll know that they will have an easy life and not worry?
Not true.
If they are not healthy... then what? 
What will be lost?
Our joy?
Our faith?
Our love?
Our peace?
Our patience?
Our self control?
Our goodness?
Our kindness?
Our faithfulness?
My children are in your hands.
I give them back to you.
With their strengths,
with their frailties....
as long as they remain in your love...
then I'll know that they have been *fully delivered*.


Do you have a story to share?  Send it to me using the 'contact' tab above, or post it in the comments section.  Opening up the doors of conversation brings the fresh winds of change...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Day 18 - praying together

We have all met so many interesting, beautiful individuals from being involved in 40 Days for Life. It has been good to pray with those that i know, but it has been equally good to go and meet new people who are moved for the unborn as well...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Day 17 - another vigil

by Alison

It never fails. As I drive to vigil I listen to the chatter of my girls in the back seat laughing, singing. Yet as soon as I catch sight of the gas station on the corner of 5th my inner calm is gone. My stomach swarms with butterflies. I don't want to come here. I don't. Yet I am drawn back time and time again. My Father has called, and for reasons beyond my knowledge He has chosen to use me here. The vigil is a roller coaster for me. Some days I am cheerfully greeted by others praying before me, and join them in prayer. Other days I stand on the corner or stroll the sidewalk with Him praying my rosary. These days I can feel peace on "our" side of the street. I can almost see the angels standing along the path. And then there are the days that tire me. The days I feel sick to my stomach the entire time I vigil. I feel an emptiness and almost ache as if it were my womb ... I literally shake each time I see a momma leave. The heavy feeling of death lingers. Tears that I will not to - fall regardless. I am surrounded by a desperate sense of sorrow. These are the times I cannot pray, so I let Him take over and trust that the Holy Spirit knows the words to use. These days I feel broken and don't want to return. But He meets me here and he is calling. What else can I do but come?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Day 16 - What does it look like to vigil?

Repost from a previous vigil. That sidewalk doesn't seem to get easier for me. When i was last there, i felt like my legs would barely hold me - and i wanted to run...
It's not always easy what we're doing - and there will be discouragement and fear and even mistakes made in how we represent our faith and the Truth.
Don't let it stop you.
Different friend...
same clinic.
It has snowed & the path we walk is slushy and cold.
Her prayers affirm my spirit - and truth is spoken aloud in the frosty air...

Can i tell you a secret, blog readers?

i'm shy to go to the clinic...
i feel my cheeks burn just to blog about it.
and yet...
i wanna be...
We pray for the couples arriving, for the women who pull up in taxi's, for the elderly woman driving her daughter. We pray for those who are choosing to abort because of a medical diagnosis - for those who find themselves in difficult unimaginable situations. We pray for the mama's - who must enter alone, for the sake of the privacy of the other patrons. We pray that they could sense - even from the other side of the street - our compassion & the love of Jesus. We pray that somehow... miraculously... the little lives lost today will still be given significance, and will be remembered and grieved in the years to come - giving them what now seems impossible...
A voice.
As our hour ends, three ladies arrive to take our places - and i want to weep with the knowledge that i'm united in purpose with those unknown women shyly standing on a slushy sidewalk holding their rosaries.
i wave at them from the window of my friend's vehicle as we drive away... and they wave back.
The door opens, and closes...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day 15

He grabbed my sign and started running backwards in his socky feet - his shoes having been stripped in the park and left behind with his brothers and sisters.
He was giggling uncontrollably as he slipped from shadows to sunshine and back again.
And as we vigil outside that clinic that brings only death - i can't help but be struck by the beauty the gift of his life has brought...
Each life - wanted, or unwanted, healthy or ill, planned or unplanned - each life comes from God - created in His image for His purposes.
A gift.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day 14

Two full weeks into this campaign.
My friend and i went to the clinic on Thanksgiving Monday - knowing it would be a quiet day, with the clinic closed.

We prayed for it to close permanently - through the changing of hearts, laws and minds...
And we wore our mittens.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Day 13 - For God So LOVED...

This is a repost from a previous vigil. Keep sending your stories - we'd love to share them with others who are vigilling outside the Kensington abortion clinic...


It's cloudy.  The cold keeps biting through my hoodie and i feel my hips shaking with both cold and discomfort. 
i'll never get used to praying outside our city's abortion clinic. 
i hold up my new sign.  My old one, bedraggled with wear has finally gone missing... and so my children helped me make a new one.  Carefully, i penned the message that remains on my heart as these months pass, and these vigils come and go... It's the message that Jesus brought when he came to tell a lost world that they could be found, the message is: "You are loved."
On the other side, in bold print, i offered the message that my mother in law sent me when i miscarried our son 16 weeks into my pregnancy... it ministered to my broken heart then, and i pray that it's truth will penetrate the hearts of those bent on death, "Each fragile life is a gift". 
My nine year old son and my seven year old daughter stand with me.  Nervously, they ask what we should pray - and my son asks if it would be alright to pray Our Father. 
So we do. 
Soon, their little limbs fidget and they're ready to run to the playground and i smile as they go - and continue to pray and hold the message of love to the city of Calgary.

You are loved... Yes you, little bald man who slows to a near stop, eyes squinted, mouth agape to see the colourful words on my sign.   And you, you are loved, angry woman shaking your head "no" as you drive disgustedly away, slamming your hand in frustration on your steering wheel, and you - poor father... i see you slumped over your steering wheel as you wait parked on the side of the road after she walked in those doors, do you know that you too, are loved?
You are loved, little family in the red van - who wonder why a stranger holds up a sign about love on a seemingly  random sidewalk; oblivious to my calling, and what you are driving past... and you, gramma with the pixie cut who stares straight ahead with rigid jaw, pretending i don't exist... and neither does that grey building on the other side of the road that boasts, "accredited surgical facility..."
Tiny babies that are hidden beneath clothes, beneath skin and bone - tucked in the secret place - growing and unaware of the possibility of outside interference.  You are loved, passenger who cranes your neck to read my message and then rolls down the window to wave it's receipt.  You are loved, bus driver - who shocks me by pulling over and thanking me for my prayerful presence.  She calls it, "Good Work..." this praying... & work it is... & i know in my heart that she's right. 
You are loved, unwanted person, unhealthy person, old person and young.  You are loved beautiful person, mocking person, scornful person, confused person, seemingly unlovable person... each one... loved. 
Each one of us here, now... has been given this one life by the Creator of the Universe.  Each unique life is precious in it's undeniable vulnerability and temporary nature. 
i believe that a culture that truly knew God's love... that truly understood that they were loved... that grasped the very core of the reason *all* human life has value - (for God so loved the world...) would be unable to so casually take it away.
You are loved, Calgary. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Day 12

Have you thought of attending LIFE CHAIN this year? It's happening here in Calgary TODAY on Sunday, October 7th, 2012. It's from 2-4pm on MacLeod Trail. You can find more information HERE.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Day 11 - Don't Stop

Something that hasn't been a part of our campaign up to this point has been protesters. The other night, that changed. We wondered what it would look like for our prayer warriors if they were challenged by individuals protesting the peaceful, prayerful presence of 40 Days for Life - and now we know.
Our campaign director sent us a quick email:
It happened. There was a demonstrator out on the sidewalk tonight at 7:00.
Kay'd and I were out there from 6:00 - 7:00, and were relieved by a group of four wonderful people: Richard, Alex, Bob, and Aurora.
As we were getting in our car, we saw a young woman getting out of a black van, and we asked her if she was 40 Days. She smirked and said no. Then she went out to the sidewalk and was yelling out at cars, gesturing to the prayer vigil folks, and had a sign that was generally illegible except for "closed minded".
I went back and talked to the group, told them that she was an abortion center person, and said to stay peaceful and prayerful.
Richard had brought a small table and had several votive candles burning. It was getting dark, and looked really peaceful.
I asked them to e-mail me to let me know how it goes.
Please say a prayer for them.
I'll let you know if anything comes of this.
Later on, we were updated by one of the prayer volunteers:

We had a lovely evening. The opponent couldn't stand the power of [prayer] or the cold or both. She left quietly leaving her sign behind. We did get approached by a woman wanting to know what we were doing. She was surprised to learn she was standing in front of an abortion clinic. She thanked us and said she was going to pray for us.


And so i guess the issue is a small one. We learned from our praying friends that in the face of protest? Our response must be to remain peaceful and prayerful... There is no question that our presence there is having an impact on the community around us - let's continue to allow it to be one that shows the love of God.

Friday, October 5, 2012

day 10 - grieving daddy

by gwen

On day 1 of 2012 fall 40DFL prayer campaign at the Kensington abortion clinic, a young man approached us and shared his connection with the abortion clinic. His girlfriend had aborted their 14 week son there. They had already bought clothes and had names picked out. He had tried to talk her out of the abortion but her mother and girlfriends kept telling her it was the right thing to do and she was beautiful for doing it. When he found out she was at the abortion clinic, he drove there so fast that he attracted the police who followed him into the clinic. He saw unhappy looking girls sitting there and a white door that separated him from his pregnant girlfriend. He said if one person (pro-life) had talked to her, maybe the baby would still be alive.
He is grieving and feeling guilty because he couldn't talk her out of it because he couldn't defend his son.
We suggested he name his son and contact Rachel's Vineyard. We were reminded that abortion hurts men too.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Day 9 - community

Community is a pretty special thing.
A new focus for our leadership team this campaign has been to see different communities taking a chunk of time and vigilling together. In the past we've had some churches who have faithfully taken on several full days to pray together for an end to abortion (shout out to St. Peter's!!) :) 

This campaign we've made an effort to encourage more congregations (or community groups, bible study's, small groups etc...) to go; vigil and pray together. We believe it will make our communities stronger as we hear from God, and allow ourselves to be changed by Him.

As a result - we've seen more full days taken, more people borrowing courage from their friends and fellow believers, and more hours covered in prayer.

We are encouraged - and believe that this will be our most successful campaign to date.

This past week - i have seen a few mothers praying with their children - one whispering into her daughter's hair, "Should we pray for the babies?"
"Babies..." her tiny girlie echoed back... and i wonder at the beauty of praying together with our families - biological or adopted, from the same faith background, or one slightly different... What impact will this have on our church families to be united in prayer?

And so we'll pray on the sidewalk in groups - and overflow into the park when we pass our limit of 4 on the sidewalk. We'll pray on our feet - stomping out the cold - or on our knees when He bids us come...

We'll share that sidewalk with familar "vigil friends" - or with those who are shy to come but believe so strongly in the power of prayer that they make that unfamilar trek to the Kensington abortion clinic for the very first time to join in.
We'll pray with old friends - and new - and our communities of faith will powerfully change the community at large by our peaceful prayerful presence and outreach.
We'll sharpen one another as we encourage each other to be faithful. 

We'll be changed as we're drawn to Truth.  Our little ones will see our fervent prayers and realize their own value - assigned by God at conception when they were created on purpose in His image...

i can't wait to see what will happen next....

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 8 - Growth

My friend Fawne started about Moses on the way to the clinic. How he went from hiding his face when he first saw the burning bush - to being a man who asked God to, "Show me Your glory..."
She mused as she talked, "Something happened between those two events to change his mind about God..."
And it strikes us both that it could be relationship... maturity... growth...
And i want it.
We bow to pray - and as we watch a petite blonde girl walk into the clinic - the woman beside me murmurs, "It just makes you ache, doesn't it?"
And in my ache, i cry out to my Father, "Make my heart like Yours!  Grow me, help me pray the prayers that you would have me pray... meet with me, change me, show me Your glory..."
And i know that He will...


Most people who participate in a 40 Days for Life campaign discuss the spiritual growth they have experienced as a result... What has your experience been?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 7 - She Didn't Go In

by Sharole

Today was my second time praying at the vigil and I found myself alone again for a while as I prayed for the people going in and out of the clinic.
The last time I was there I prayed for taxi drivers that took the women to and from the clinic. I prayed that God would work through these taxi drivers.

I wasn't "seeing" any visible results, but I felt God working. Everyone that came, went into the clinic despite my desperate prayers to not go in. This morning I saw a taxi pull into the parking lot, and I prayed like crazy "Don't let her go in God, don't go in!" I heard a door open, but nobody got out. Then a miracle happened, the taxi turned around and drove out, with it's young female passenger still inside. She looked relieved and at peace. This was in harsh contrast to the other women that came out of the clinic, every one weeping, limping and broken.

I can hardly believe that this happened before my eyes. It's one thing to pray for a miracle, but another to see it and believe it. But now I believe we are making a difference!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Day 6 - how's your heart?

I spent some time this weekend speaking at 2 different youth groups and sharing at a church I had never been to before. It was scary stuff - but an important part of 40 Days for Life is community outreach - so I humbly brought what loaves and fishes I had and trusted my Father to multiply.
I'd encourage those of you who are wondering how to so carefully wade into these prolife waters to start with prayer and fasting, follow that with public vigil, and community outreach. It doesn't have to be speaking in front of a group of people - it can be having conversations with your brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, parents and friends. Don't be afraid to be the one to introduce a serious topic - gently bring it up - and begin reaching out to a community that has been shattered by abortion.
Need help? Ask us how.

Repost below:


There are so many hurting people in this world.

i could probably just end this post with that stand alone thought, but i want to tell you one more thing.
This morning as we prayed, my daughter prayed for something i'm sure she's heard me pray for countless times: softness.
"Father, help me to be soft..."
The thought stayed with me as i carried on my day.
Early on this frigid afternoon as my friend and i prayed outside that clinic, another young mama stood on the sidewalk beside us. She had a tiny sign made out of construction paper - and on it was handwritten in purple marker, "Babies are precious gifts".
She held her rosary while her little sign flapped in the breeze.
i noticed - that she cried when the door opened and closed. Silent and tearful - kept on the other side of the street, longing - she told us - to run across the street, and hold those people in her arms. She felt so deeply - so badly -
so softly...
She laughed apologetically to us when we introduced ourselves, "i'm sorry, i didn't know i would be so deeply affected being here today. It's my first time coming here to pray..." & she wore her anguish like a thing of beauty.
Oh God... There are so many hurting people in this world. Help me to be soft