Monday, November 05, 2007

Day 40: Thanks to you!

Thank you.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you!!

Your prayers, combined with those of people throughout
America -- and around the globe -- have made a world of
difference over these 40 Days for Life.

Margaret, Claire, Patrick, and I just got home from the
concluding events in Falls Church, Virginia. When I
logged onto my computer and began to read the hundreds
of e-mail messages reporting victories from across the
nation, a wave of emotions swept over me: joy, relief,
excitement, peace, thanksgiving.

Together we have witnessed God accomplishing amazing
miracles through His people.

There are so many victories to bask in that I decided
to split these up over the next several days, after
which time I will be taking a much-needed break from
e-mail :-)

As you read these, remember the words of Matthew 19:26
-- "With God all things are possible."


We have been blessed with an amazing campaign. Area
pregnancy help centers reported that from the onset of
the campaign, there were immediate increases in the
daily number of women being seen -- as many as three
times the average number for an given day! We have
verified stories of women, sitting in their cars in the
parking lot of abortion mills, deciding at the last
moment to give life to their child instead. The
solidarity that has grown in the Knoxville believing
community has been astounding and has produced a
momentum that will continue past the 40 Days with a
whole new cadre of pro-life workers. This campaign has
saved lives, transformed hearts, created a solidarity
of effort for the Gospel of life previously not seen
and blessed us with a renewed prophet mission to
promote the culture of life.


The Queens side-by-side abortion mills begged us to end
our campaign last week. One lady manager said "I
thought this 40 Days thing was over already. YOU ARE
KILLING OUR BUSINESS! We have high rent to pay
upstairs." The 2nd mill's manager came out, the same
day, carrying a page of newspaper abortion ads, and
pointing to the many other abortion mill ads besides
their own, she said "Why don't you pick on one of these
other places for a change!" This is the best testimony
I can send you, and the highest compliments we have
received. God has blessed us with many new helpers, and
some crosses too, but he has blessed us most with many
real lives and souls saved in the NYC 40 Days for Life.


During 40 Days for Life here in Indianapolis our local
state-of-the-art Planned Parenthood abortion facility
closed on at least two of their busiest abortion
Saturdays. Sidewalk counselors believe that the number
of abortion decreased from an average of 20 a day to as
few as 5 a day. We have had a number of saves, and are
still counting. We have had people stop and ask us why
we are there which gives us the chance to share our
Christian witness. We have mobilized new warriors as
well as reactivated others. We have brought together
different pro-life groups in our community, Catholic
and Protestant and hope to continue fostering these


In all my years of ministering at the prisons and in
front of the abortion clinic I have never encountered
an event like this. It has been a great honor to serve
Yahweh for the last 40 days. The greatest blessings was
having the walls that divide denominations and races
torn down to be unified as the body of Christ Jesus for
one cause. Charleston is rooted deeply in its
traditions. Now there is a renewal to the body of
Christ. Yahweh has saved 65 babies during this campaign
that we were able to count. Only He knows just how many
were saved. So to Yahweh and His son Jesus be given all
the glory and the honor that is due.


About 225 people joined us at the site. Praying from
8am to 8pm = 480 hours of prayer. About 23 churches got
involved. The most important thing that 40 Days has
done is to SAVE a Life. On the first Wednesday, while
three women prayed, one gray Jeep Cherokee drove in to
Planned Parenthood. A young woman was driving. She sat
in her car in front of PP, the escort walked up to her
car and then stopped. The woman put her head down and
just sat there. She would look up at the building and
then look down. She did this for about 15 minutes. The
women prayed hard for her to change her mind. When they
finished their prayer the young woman started up her
car and drove away. She paused in the driveway to smile
at the women praying. I can only wonder 9 months from
now when that mother looks at her little baby and
smiles will she also think of the smile she gave the
women praying for her. Its all worth it -- just for
that one life.


We've seen greater unity and growth within the local
pro-life community. Many have told us their hearts
where moved by our presence. Bridges are being built
between communities that have never communicated before
for the purpose of building the greater pro-life


Our biggest blessing has been the 300 plus people who
came out to the clinic to pray, the relationships that
have formed and the dozens of babies who were saved,
those we know about and those we don't. Our last night
we were finally able to go round the clock... that was
hard! Every day was a new lesson. It was exciting that
Father Pavone and Randall Terry both came to our vigil.
It was fantastic for me to do this for my first
Pro-life activity. (Really) The national team was
indispensable and I always felt like I could do
anything with their help.


The best things that happened at 40 Days for Life were:

* A woman who had been forced to have 2 abortions as a
teen by her parents who kept placing her in the
hands of a rapist, came to our site by accident
looking for a beauty parlor and found healing
through the prayers of the vigil volunteers

* We also had two articles in two different newspapers
one Catholic and one secular

* We had our Bishop come pray and 50 lay people showed
up to join with him in prayer at the Planned
Parenthood site in Salem.

* We are still small in numbers, but big in hope and

* We had a closing Mass on Sunday and a Jericho walk.


The greatest blessings were the documented save of a
baby and woman, the women who have personally told me
they will be returning to the Sacraments or felt a new
found freedom after hearing my witness (all due to the
Holy Spirit's promptings), the priests that allowed me
to speak every weekend at the Masses during the 40
days, the hundreds of prayer vigil participants that
prayed outside Planned Parenthood with us over the past
40 days -- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (amazing!),
the many newcomers to pro-life ministry that have never
participated in a prayer vigil like this before, the
movie Bella coming to southeast CT during the 40 days
that touched many lives, and the women who put their
testimonies in writing for the first time. We have much
to be thankful for and will continue the good fight on
the Thursdays and Saturdays that PP performs abortions
on an ongoing basis. We'd also like to move the 40 days
effort to other dioceses in CT. With God's guidance and
future blessings, more will unfold. We pray we do HIS
will here in CT!!!


Greater unity and exchange with some people of various
churches. I think another blessing is that despite
weakened people from the sacrifices of prayer and
fasting, people are encouraged by this heroic effort
because it helps assure us that the beginning of the
turning point is probably really at hand.


The biggest blessing for us is simply this... The
people who never joined us on the sidewalk for prayers
once a week on Saturday mornings, are:

NOW -- joining us everyday! They want to know why we
have to stop at 40 days! It has been an event of a life
time because ...

NOW -- they understand what we've been telling them all
along for years.

NOW -- they want to help save lives,

NOW -- they are thinking of creative ways to help the
mothers experiencing an unplanned pregnancy.

NOW -- they are coming forward to talk about how
abortion touched their lives.

This 40 days campaign has brought healing to us in ways
I never imagined. I know in my heart we not only helped
heal each other but others who saw us on the sidewalk
too! God is so good! Praise His Holy Name!

TOLEDO, OHIO: do you qualify them? To have the
opportunity to use my skills to serve the Lord; meeting
so many other like-minded people; being able to
evangelize to others not only about the abortion issue
but about God as well. Those are some personal
blessings. For our 40 Days in general, knowing that at
least 3 women chose life for their babies; having over
300 people participate in our prayer outside the
abortion center -- many for the first time; friendships
formed and a spirit of hope renewed within the pro-life
movement; just holding a 40 Days for Life in Toledo
when so many said it couldn't be done -- these we would
count among our biggest blessings.


One of the key victories of the 40 days for Life in
Charlotte occurred throughout the day today and
continued through 12:01 am, the 40th day. There
were more new people that came out to pray today than
any other day throughout the vigil. Mostly young
people, they came from different denominations,
backgrounds, and ministries yet they all had one common
goal -- to pray to the Lord for an end to abortion. Our
hope had been for many to flood the grounds today.
About 2:00pm they began to come until finally at
11:30 pm the grounds were covered. As we all sang and
prayed the Lord's Prayer in a circle holding hands, we
remembered our prayer as leaders for the Charlotte
vigil: "Unity and Harmony." Early this morning, as the
40th day began, this was answered. We stand in awe of
what the Lord accomplished during this 40 days in
Charlotte, North Carolina.


Just received news of another save at the clinic
yesterday (Saturday) a.m. -- a Hispanic couple "parked
their car, talked, and left," telling the vigil keepers
they had decided to keep their baby. Another Hispanic
couple decided to keep their baby after receiving
materials in Spanish. Who knows how many other babies
and mothers were spared the tragedy of abortion during
these 40 days? The many people who faithfully prayed
outside the clinic in fair and foul weather was a
testament to the grace of God touching so many people's


150 people participated in our ending Candlelight
Vigil. At least 5 women did not go through with an
abortion. We had people that stopped by talking about
their past experience with abortion. They talked about
how they regret their choice. Two abortion workers
expressed interest in finding another job and a doctor
at our local hospital said he would look at their
resumes. Our community is rallied and committed to
continuing until the doors of our abortion clinic are
closed. We who prayed outside the abortion clinic have
been forever changed. God be praised.


Our blessings include: two known babies saved, plus
over 300 people who came out to pray at Planned
Parenthood -- many for the first time and for some it
was the first pro-life activity they ever did. But I
was most amazed at the number of people who just came
with out actually committing to a schedule.


In the very first week of our campaign, we saw 3 women
turn from having an abortion, and the first one
happened within the first 2 Planned Parenthood business
hours on the first day of the campaign! These were the
only known turnarounds, but we believe this was God's
way of showing us that His hand was on this campaign so
that we would have the encouragement needed to endure
the rest of the campaign, even when we couldn't see the
impact we were having. God also gave us plenty of
opportunities to share our faith and directly refer
women to pregnancy help resources and post abortion
counseling. The best blessing of all is the
transformation that is taking place within the hearts
of the 40 Days for Life participants, a renewed
commitment to ending abortion, and all of the new
people God has brought together, who are not going to
stop until we end abortion. We plan to continue to hold
vigil, train new sidewalk counselors, and help out our
local pregnancy centers to be able to meet the needs of
women troubled with their pregnancies. And we believe
that we are on the verge of uniting several pro-life
ministries (some existing, some new) to work hand in
hand. We believe this has been orchestrated by God, and
40 Days for Life was the key to unlocking the door to
what God has in store for Everett, WA.


40 Days for Life was exactly the kick-start that our
community needed to get motivated to pray at the
abortion clinics. Many more people are now involved and
do not want to stop with day 40! At our closing rally,
attendees signed up to pray at least one hour per
month. And to our great joy and encouragement, there
were at least 2 lives saved that we know of. Praise


All of these victories -- and many more
you will read about over the next few days -- have been
impacted by YOUR faithful prayers.

Thank you.

And here's your final daily devotional for 40 Days for

Daily Devotional by Fr. Frank Pavone


Pray that the witness of 40 Days for Life bears
abundant fruit, and that we begin again each day to
storm the gates of hell until God welcomes us into the
gates of heaven.


"On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of
hell will not prevail against it." -- Matthew 16:18


When we read this verse, we usually think that the Lord
is promising that the church, which is His Body, will
withstand all the attacks launched against it. Of
course, that is true.

But when we think about it more carefully, we realize
that in a battle, the gates do not run out into the
battlefield to attack the enemy. Rather, they stand
still to defend the city from the enemy attacking it.

So when the Lord says that the gates of hell will not
prevail against the church, who is doing the attacking?

It is the church storming the gates!

The church, all of God's people in Christ, is called to
take the offensive, to run into enemy territory, and to
gain ground for Jesus Christ.

We do not wait for an invitation; we already have a
command. We prepare, but we do not wait for
circumstances to be perfect; we already have one who
has gone before us.

During these 40 days, we have stormed the gates. We
have taken the offensive. We have pushed forward the
boundaries of the kingdom. And we must keep doing so,
in numerous ways.

The pro-life effort is "a matter of the heart." To end
abortion, our hearts must be broken.

This evil cannot simply be something we know about or
debate. We have to allow it to grieve us, to bring us
to tears, to bring us to our knees.

"Blessed are those who mourn," for only when our hearts
are broken can they open wide enough to receive the
grace and strength to storm the gates.

Indeed, the gates of hell will not prevail. The gates
of falsehood will flee in the presence of truth. The
gates of sin will melt in the presence of grace. The
gates of death will fall in the presence of the church,
the People of Life!


Father, we praise you.

We have heard the voice of your Son,
And therefore we can make our voices heard.

We have been justified in the blood of your Son,
And therefore we can oppose every form of injustice.

We have repented of our sins,
And therefore we can lead the sinner to repentance.

We have done battle with the power of evil,
And therefore we can have compassion on those still
within its grip.

We have been freed from the kingdom of darkness,
And therefore we can bear witness to your Kingdom of

May the witness of all your people through these 40
Days for Life bear abundant fruit, and may we begin
again each day to storm the gates of hell until You
welcome us into the gates of heaven.

We pray in the victorious name of Jesus Christ our
Lord, AMEN.


Thankful To God,

David Bereit
National Campaign Director
40 Days for Life
3515-B Longmire #316
College Station, TX

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