40 Days for Life movement saves children from dying from abortion

40 dni za življenje

Podprite nas! Da bi vas lahko še naprej obveščali o najpomembnejših dogodkih in temah o splavu, potrebujemo vašo pomoč. Podprite civilno iniciativo Pohod za življenje z 10, 20, 50, 100 € ali več. Vsaka vaša pomoč nam je pomembna in dobrodošla! Hvala vam! Navodila, kako to storite, najdete TUKAJ.

Every year, 40 Days for Life organizes 40 days of prayer and fasting for life worldwide. We asked them for an interview to get to know this organization better, its challenges, and its vision. Robert Colquhoun, director of international campaigns, kindly responded to our invitation.

1. How did 40 Days for Life start? What is your mission?

40 Days for Life started in Texas in 2004 and was launched nationally as an organization in 2007 in the United States. It spread rapidly across the United States and internationally. 40 Days for Life is a focused pro-life campaign with a vision to access God’s power through prayer, fasting, and peaceful vigil to end abortion. The mission is to bring together the body of Christ in a spirit of unity during a focused 40-day campaign of prayer, fasting, and peaceful vigil. 64 Countries have participated in total worldwide, in over 1,000 cities, with over 1,000,000 volunteers, 9,207 local campaigns, 22,289 lives saved, 131 abortion centers closed, and 242 abortion workers quit. Local campaigns apply to lead a campaign that is led on the local level.

The campaign components are praying and fasting, inviting people of faith throughout our city and across the country to join together for 40 days for fervent prayer and fasting for an end to abortion. With peaceful vigil, volunteers stand for life through a 40-day peaceful public witness outside the local abortion center. With community outreach, volunteers take a positive, upbeat pro-life message to every part of the city through media efforts, Church and school outreach, petition drives, and public visibility.

40 dni za življenje

2. How did you join the pro-life movement? What motivates you to devote your life to this cause, despite the difficulties and setbacks?

I became passionately pro-life after hearing a talk by Lord Alton of Liverpool at University – which convinced me that abortion was the civil rights issue of our age. I became a Catholic at university and felt strongly attached to the pro-life movement.

I spent a year as a youth missionary in Canada with NET ministries, and witnessed a 40 Days for Life prayer vigil outside the Morgentaler abortion center in Ottawa, which was the first ever experience of praying outside an abortion center. When I returned to Britain, it was a talk by David Bereit that convinced me of the urgency of the pro-life cause and the need for public witness, which led me to start a first campaign in London, witnessing outside the abortion center.

What motivates me is the possibility of saving lives, inspiring hearts and minds, and impacting eternal souls. The possibility of spiritual transformation with this work is immense, and we can change people’s lives one person at a time, even on the streets. When our actions correspond with our beliefs, we have integrity, and God can do great things. With more than 10 million abortions in Britain since legalization in 1967, the scale of the problem is unfathomable. It is only by turning to God that we can begin to see change at the root level of abortion as a spiritual crisis.

The spiritual benefits of 40 Days for Life are immense: reducing the abortion rate, recruiting hundreds and thousands of new people into life-saving methods, leading post-abortive men and women into proven healing programs, and developing dynamic leaders to increase the future impact of pro-life efforts. The lives of children are at stake, and we have the opportunity and ability to change people’s lives one person at a time.

40 dni za življenje

3. Did your perception of the pro-life cause change over the years? How?

There are many different parts of the pro-life movement: the political, the prophetic, and the pastoral angles. What makes 40 Days for Life unique is our emphasis on the spiritual angle of the pro-life debate, combined with community organizing on the local level. There are millions of missing children in Britain now over the last 50 years who have been aborted. We can’t change all of society all at once, but we can offer hope, healing, and change one person at a time, which cumulatively makes an enormous difference. We need to present what it means to be pro-life convincingly and coherently, with joy, so that it is an attractive proposition.

4. What are, in your opinion, the greatest victories from 40 Days for Life for now? And for the pro-life movement in general? (your country / globally)

Some of the most significant victories are: seeing 22,289 lives saved from abortion, seeing 131 abortion centers close, and having 242 abortion workers quit. Abby Johnson’s story has been turned into an international film that has been extremely popular. The abortion center in Texas where she worked is now our international headquarters. The Latin American campaign is now in every country and is on fire with passion and inspiration. The persecution we have experienced in the United Kingdom is a testimony to how effective we have been in helping over 1,000 lives be saved from abortion. The end of Roe vs. Wade was a huge landmark moment in the United States last year. Overall, these astonishing results will continue to grow worldwide with more lives saved as we have a simple and effective campaign that can be replicated anywhere. What we are doing will continue to grow rapidly and exponentially in some places as there is still enormous potential.

5. What do you consider the most pressing pro-life issues in your country?

The most pressing pro-life issues in the United Kingdom are that we pay for and export abortion worldwide, even to countries where abortion is illegal with taxpayers’ money. We now have the abortion pill, which can be sent by post. Women are not warned about the long-term emotional, spiritual, and psychological consequences of abortion, and we also have abortions up to birth on the grounds of disability. We also have abortion providers funded by the taxpayer, providing 200,000 abortions a year. Teenage pregnancies have been at record levels without informed consent. The national media have taken a position overwhelmingly in favor of abortion, saturating the airwaves with biased information and casting pro-lifers in a negative light. Christian Churches have fallen silent about abortion, becoming apathetic or indifferent, failing to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.

6. What is your vision for the pro-life movement in Great Britain?

I would like to see a completely spiritual transfer of ownership in Britain from a culture of death to a culture of life. That would mean that abortion became unthinkable and that the rights of unborn children would be respected by everyone, everywhere. The whole country would be educated about the tragedy of abortion and how millions of lives have been lost by abortion. This really has to also come about through a spiritual revival at the same time. What works well is when lives are saved from abortion, and more people come to recognize the importance of the pro-life cause.

When groups work together, multiple opportunities become available. Some stories have gone viral online, and it is good to work together with as many other like-minded organizations as possible.

7. What is your vision for 40 Days for Life in your country and globally?

What we want to see happen for 40 Days for Life is to see powerful and effective pro-life campaigns in every single country around the world fulfill our mission. We want to see comprehensive campaigns all across Africa, Europe, and Asia. In Latin America right now, our campaign is in almost every single country, and we want to see the same for the rest of the world. There is enormous international potential, and we have already seen entire countries come on board on a national level. The pro-life movement in the United States is mature, for example, with 3,000 crisis pregnancy centers. We have a lot to learn from the USA in implementing the same strategies, development, and procedures in other countries worldwide.

40 dni za življenje

8. Are there some anecdotes you are willing to share?

In London, once, a woman was being forced into an abortion by her family. She jumped out of the abortion center window to escape while the police turned up. She now has a beautiful child. Another woman had her blood results misdiagnosed, she was holding the abortion pill in her hand, and she did not go ahead with the abortion. She gave a testimony with the child at our feet at one of our events. Another woman helped three post-abortive women come to terms with their abortion in a two-hour counseling session. One campaign in Ealing led to 23 babies being saved from abortion in a 40-day time period. We also had a Mass said inside the abortion center the day after it closed. We have also been persecuted by the local and national government, the media, and pro-abortion organizations for years. A teacher once attended our vigil and prayed for an hour about what he could do to end abortion. He then returned to his school and took a pro-life message to all the children he taught. This is a powerful story of how we can witness our own lives with some courage.

9. Are there some people who have been an inspiration to you?

David Bereit and Shawn Carney have been a huge inspiration in starting 40 Days for Life. John Ensor has been an inspiration traveling around the world to develop pro-life projects, and traveling to China over 15 times. I am also inspired by many humble volunteers who are really doing the world of God on the local level. I am also inspired by Luisa Picarretta for the private revelation she received about doing the will of God.

10. Would you share some parting thoughts?

The whole point of 40 Days for Life is to turn to God in prayer to end abortion, and to respond to the crisis of abortion not on our own but through God. Pray and discern how God can use you to bring immense spiritual change to your country, and be ready to be surprised by the results. We desire it, and let God work in and through you.

Podprite nas! Da bi vas lahko še naprej obveščali o najpomembnejših dogodkih in temah o splavu, potrebujemo vašo pomoč. Podprite civilno iniciativo Pohod za življenje z 10, 20, 50, 100 € ali več. Vsaka vaša pomoč nam je pomembna in dobrodošla! Hvala vam! Navodila, kako to storite, najdete TUKAJ.

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