Stories from the Streets - The Oxford Pro-Life Witness
Last October, during the ‘40 Days for Life’ in Birmingham, was the first time I had been a pro-life volunteer and it is one of the most fulfilling things I have done.
My first time volunteering in front of a clinic was completely by chance. It was something I had wanted to do for a while, but never had the courage to do and this time I felt obliged to go as they were really short of volunteers.
I was very much apprehensive as I drove to the clinic because this was a huge step out of my comfort zone. On the other hand, I knew that staying in my comfort zone was not going to challenge and grow my Christian faith. My mind was flooded with stories of courageous volunteers who had stood firm in prayers through horrible weather and the even more horrible treatment they received, and I prayed that I would have the courage to do the same.
I was greeted by a very friendly volunteer who put all my worries at rest. He told me stories of people who changed their mind through his witness there (for the past many years!) and also how he deals with people who are not very friendly towards him. Hearing this and praying the rosary with him made me feel that there is nothing more right than to do this - to fight for the chance to give an unborn baby its life.
The next time I went, I took some of my friends with me and while we were standing there reciting the rosary, somebody drove past and shouted abuse at us. I don’t think we have ever felt so happy! Can you imagine that? This wasn’t the normal kind of happy; this was the happiness that came from knowing we are definitely doing the right thing! It was a privilege for me to be insulted for standing for the truth.
So, this is my little story and I would love to read yours. I will be writing a blog on here called 'stories from the streets'. Please send in any stories you have to 'Ann-Christy' at firstname.lastname@example.org. It does not have to be anything dramatic as simple stories can also very up lifting. If you have any photos, feel free to send them in along with your story!
Below is an account from a very inspirational lady named Amanda who is part of a group of pro-lifers in Oxford, who have been witnessing in front of an abortion clinic since 2007.
The pro life witness outside the BPAS in central Oxford is always challenging but worthwhile and grace filled too.
Usually we have a main crew of four Franciscans and myself. I am praying for more ladies to join me in this battle. Whilst it is wonderful to have the religious there, it is also vital to see more women, so please keep this in your prayers..
Each week I stand at the entrance to the centre usually with one of the Franciscans. I give out pro life literature which is gentle, honest and non-religious with numbers and help lines. Opposite me the rest of the group pray in complete silence for all the mothers and fathers entering the doors and the unborn babies, the staff and the abortionist, whom we have met twice now.
Nearly always we experience some aggression; a young, well dressed girl screamed in my face some obscenities about how selfish we are...another girl stopped and asked me about rape, said she was pro choice with tears in her eyes. I see so much pain it is devastating, so much anger it is shocking, so many lies it is unbelievable...
But we also experience joy too...a young girl having left the centre for contraceptives talked to me for a while and on learning that the Pill is an abortifacient chose not to take it. A couple who were going in for an abortion (they give the abortion pill up to 9 weeks pregnant there) talked to me for ages and I could feel and see the Dad was against killing his baby. By the end of our chat they both seemed more positive about keeping their baby and the Dad turned to me and said 'I'd feel so sick about killing my baby.'
So much good can come from handing out the leaflets and talking, but the greatest good and the only way we will conquer this spiritual battle is through prayer and sacrifice.
Please keep the mothers and their babies in your prayers...that their hearts will be converted and they choose life for their unborn.
Thank you Amanda for the work that you do and for your witness! To keep up to date with the Oxford Pro-Life Witness click here to join their facebook group.
I look forward to receiving your stories...