Our Lady of the Wayside

Our Lady of the Wayside
Protect Expectant Mothers and Their Babies


Thursday, 7 March 2013

My Experiences at 40 Days for Life

I am one of the Good Counsel Network's street counsellors. Below, I will share some of my recent experiences at our current 40 Days for Life campaign.

We are now a little past halfway through what must be London's most successful 40 Days for Life so far. We have been blessed with so many turnarounds (14 and counting just at the two sites we are running, and there have also been many at Bedford Square!). Of those fourteen I have only been directly involved, to the best of my knowledge, in one.

The lady in question (as she later told us) had come to the abortuary looking for some sort of sign to confirm the feeling she already had that what she was considering doing was wrong. In fact, I had only got about halfway through the things I normally tell women when she asked me if she could come into our centre! On the way there, in the taxi, we talked about her family and the children she was already raising. She was also very interested in the pictures of babies at different stages of pregnancy in the leaflets we provide (she wanted to see what her baby looked like at that point). She already looked so much happier than she had when I first met her, only a matter of minutes ago!

It can be dispiriting, standing outside abortuaries and trying to offer help but not getting anywhere. But when a turnaround comes along all that changes. I still remember what good spirits I was in for the rest of that day.

When standing outside the abortuaries, we don't only engage with the women going in and coming out. Sometimes we receive abuse, of course, from passers-by, but at other times we receive encouragement, thanks and the promise of prayers.

Then there are those who approach us, not entirely in agreement with what we're doing, but willing to engage in a serious discussion of the issues. I remember one lady who approached me and seemed to think I looked a little too young and male to be doing what I was doing! She also suggested that we should focus instead on the immorality in our culture that leads to abortion, and that once women had reached this stage we were too late. I told her that I agreed that our culture needed to undergo a radical change, and that that was very important work, but that it was also absolutely essential that someone be there for these women now. I also told her about all the turnarounds that we had helped and she left, I think, with a much higher opinion of us and what we were doing.

On another occasion, a man walked past talking loudly about how much he hated the abortuary and how he had lost a daughter there. I spoke to him for a little while and offered him the details of post-abortion counselling that we always carry with us, as well as a rosary, which he gratefully accepted.

Through the work that is being done at 40 Days for Life, God is changing people's lives every day and I feel humbled and grateful to be part of it. Please pray for all involved (especially the people I have mentioned in this post) and consider coming to our prayer vigils and donating to our work. Thank you.

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