All around the world people are attending 40 Days for Life prayer vigils outside their local abortion facilities. They know that their presence is vital to help save lives and to bring about the end of abortion through a deep trust in God.
Today is day 9 of the vigil, which lasts for 40 days in succession. This is the second time New Zealand has officially participated in the world-wide prayer effort. The vigils are taking place outside Wellington Hospital and the Auckland Medical Aid Centre (AMAC).
These of course, are not the first time vigils have been held outside abortion facilities here in New Zealand. There is a long history, of over 40 years, of the faithful standing and praying outside of these facilities right throughout the country.
The variety of efforts by pro-life people is astounding. There are those that are working on laws, and in the political sphere. Still again, there are a great number who promote life through their work in the medical profession and scientific avenues. Others still, work to educate, or use the media or the internet. Then, there are those who serve abortion vulnerable women; and still others who help bring healing to those who suffer after their abortion.
These are all very necessary efforts. Efforts which will bring about their own fruits.
Some of our churches make pro-life efforts an important priority – prayers are offered and practical help and support given. Others choose to ignore, or even worse, participate in the promotion of abortion.
But there is something incredibly necessary about standing outside of abortion facilities in prayer. When we do, we bring light where there is only darkness. We bring hope. And most importantly, we bring Christ.
We bring this to every mother who walks through the doors of the facility. To every father. To every worker. To every person who passes by.
And our love may be the only love that preborn child may ever know on this earth.
Lives can be saved at the very last moment.
It is humbling.
What’s been happening at the Wellington vigil?
ClareMcClean (Vigil Coordinator)
After initial nerves about starting up again on Ash Wednesday, there was an excitement about being back on the street with friends made from last year’s 40 Days.
Just in the first week it has been amazing to see how new people are being drawn to the prayer vigil: over one third of the participants are new!
It is also enriching and encouraging to have such a diverse range of Christians: Pentecostal; Catholic; Salvation Army; Anglican and Reformed Church – all united, both in our thirst for justice for the unborn child, and our hope in God.
Already we have had a few encounters with the public, who are keen to share their views on abortion. We have had the opportunity to explain the truth about the dignity of the human person by illustrating that the unborn child is not a “nothing” and that human life is not mere animal matter.
There have been many favourable remarks, including from one woman who was keen to see us move to a more visible spot. On Friday, another woman stopped to tell us not only about two abortions she regrets from her youth, but also the healing and forgiveness she has discovered in Jesus Christ. She encouraged us to keep working at making the truth known because in the counselling prior to the abortions she was deceived with the lie that “it is only a bit of mucus and nothing to worry about.”
After Abby Johnson’s visit in December, we want the abortion workers to know we care about them, and now have a sign reading “Abortion Worker? Go to attwn.org“.
It has been a good start to our vigil and we look forward to even more people joining us to pray for an end to abortion!
What’s been happening in Auckland?
Mark Mitchelson (Vigil Coordinator)
Our Auckland vigil has gotten off to a quiet start with many people just turning up to pray. At times there have been one or two people in prayer, others six or seven, and on Sunday afternoon, we had twelve people – including four children!
While the Auckland vigil has so far predominantly been attended by Catholics, and in particular, the Legion of Mary, there have been a few other attendees.
We have had an overwhelming number of complimentary comments from varied quarters and the verbal attacks have so far, seemed to be much less than last year’s vigil.
On the whole, the weather has been incredible, although for a few days, we had much needed rain, making it tricky for vigil go-ers.
We are encouraging people to sign up on-line prior to attending the vigil as this helps us to plan, but if this is not possible, please do turn up and help save lives!