"It took a stranger on the street to tell this lady the truth about her baby"
Today I want to share with you an extraordinary story which illustrates the importance of having volunteers outside an abortion facility.
Have you ever thought what the point is in praying outside an abortion centre during a 40 Days for Life vigil? Has the thought of praying at home or in a church rather than outside the centre ever crossed your mind? If you have ever asked yourself either of those questions, then read on. This story will definitely give you the answers you need, as well as a tonne of encouragement.
During the 40 Days for Life vigil this Lent (in Birmingham), a male volunteer was praying in front of the abortion centre when a lady who had booked in for an abortion was walking inside. He gently handed her a leaflet and they started conversing. They spoke for a long time and he pointed out to her the number of the helpline in the leaflet and told her there were people who could help her.
The lady walked inside the clinic feeling torn by her emotions. She had no support from her own partner or parents regarding the pregnancy and here was the loving voice and the comforting words of a prayerful volunteer, who offered her the help and support she was yearning for.
She carried on inside with the leaflet and after reading through it in the waiting room she began texting the ‘helpline’ number given inside the leaflet.
Not surprisingly, when the workers inside the clinic noticed the leaflet in the lady’s hand, they took it from her. They also told her that the image inside it of a 12 week baby (about the stage this mother was at) was a lie and that it wouldn’t look like that until at least 20 weeks. Of course, for the abortion centre, a mother changing her mind and choosing to keep her child means a loss in revenue so any helpful material is likely to be removed.
The lady was very distraught and confused but the volunteer on the helpline was replying to her with encouraging texts. The volunteer told her that you can only really be happy if you follow God's Will in your life and He wouldn't want you to take the life of one of His little ones.
The lady was assured of the prayers that were being said for her. Facebook posts and many messages were sent out asking for prayers for this lady. A torrent of prayers flooded up towards heaven for this mother and her baby and she decided to leave Marie Stopes that day without having an abortion.
The lady later met the volunteer who she had been texting and told her that her heart had been moved by the conversation she had outside the abortion centre. She decided to keep the baby regardless of the consequences and accept the help being offered. She spoke about her Catholic roots and how she was going to stop visiting psychics now and put her trust back in God.
The next day she had a scan because she started bleeding but said at this point she was ready to accept anything God wanted in her life. She later miscarried the baby in her home and said she was heartbroken but nonetheless felt she was fortunate to have met and held her little baby. She also added that she knew who had told her the truth about her baby because she could clearly see what a 12/14 week baby looked like now and he/she was just as the leaflet had described.
She wanted the pictures of her unborn baby published to encourage other women in crisis pregnancies. She said “I want my baby’s passing to help someone else realise how precious life is”.
This little baby with his/her short life became the angel that brought his/her mum back to God.
It took a stranger on the street to tell this lady the truth about her baby – about the humanity of her unborn child. All her life she had not had a positive male influence and it touched her heart having a conversation with the male volunteer who convinced her to think again before aborting her baby.
There might be times when we wonder if our presence outside the abortion centres is of any use and the answer to that is yes. Our presence there stirs questions in the hearts of all who see us. The physical presence of a praying volunteer has the power to convert hearts and save lives.
So I encourage you to be bold this Lent and take the chance if you have never been to pray outside an abortion centre and if you are a regular 40 Days for Life volunteer, then I hope this story reiterates the value of your priceless presence!
Don't forget, if you have any stories from the streets yourself and you would like them to feature on our blog, send them in to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.