Dear Friend of Life:
As a college student at Texas A&M University, I remember going out about once a week to pray and sidewalk counsel in front of the local Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Aggieland. Our pro-life community regularly prayed for the clients, the workers, and for an end to abortion in our little college town.
Among those I prayed for was an abortion worker named Abby Johnson, a fellow student only a year older than me. As I was praying and sidewalk counseling outside her facility, Abby was rising through the ranks at that local Planned Parenthood; as many of you know, she eventually took over as the center’s Director, and — rumor had it — she was being groomed for a larger corporate position.
Towards the end of my time at Texas A&M, a project called 40 Days for Life was initiated by my friends, David Bereit and Shawn Carney, who led the local activist organization in Aggieland, the Brazos Valley Coalition for Life. They were frustrated with the abortion numbers in our little college town, and they prayed about what to do to make more of an impact. After a time of prayer, God gave them a plan: The goal was to cover the abortion facility with prayer volunteers for 40 days straight — all day, all night — knowing that periods of 40 days had brought about transformations in God’s people throughout biblical history. I have fond memories of going out to the abortion facility to cover late night prayer hours with friends from church — including my friend, Peter, who is now my husband — during that first 40 Days for Life campaign!
At the end of that first campaign, David figured out that the abortion rate had dropped in Aggieland by 28%! Meanwhile, as things had become more peaceful, prayerful, and purposeful on our side of the fence in front of Planned Parenthood, women were coming to us more and more often to ask for help. Watching this transformation, I became sold on the peaceful, prayerful approach.
After that first campaign, the initiative began to spread across the country, and I went off to law school. In the middle of my time in law school — and after 5 more40 Days for Life campaigns in Aggieland — we got word that the center’s Director, Abby Johnson, had left and sought refuge in the pro-life community. She had been won over to Christ by the constant prayer and love from people on the sidewalk — indeed, our prayers had been answered more profoundly than we could have ever imagined!
After winning a legal battle where Planned Parenthood tried to silence her and prevent her from speaking about her experiences while there, Abby went on to become, perhaps, the most sought-after speaker in the pro-life movement today. She also went on to start And Then There Were None abortion worker ministry to help other workers leave the business. Yes, she had the option to lead a quiet life after her time at Planned Parenthood, but instead, she answered a special call to ‘speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.’ Not too long after she left, the abortion facility in Aggieland shut its doors forever!
I’m proud, today, to call Abby a very dear friend. And in two days, I fly out with part of our National Team to the 3rd annual Pro-Life Women’s Conference —one of our top networking events of the year — where they expect close to 500 woman in attendance …and started by Abby!
How amazing is it to attend a pro-life conference started by a former Planned Parenthood Director who was prayed for so earnestly for years? Only God could write such a story.
I look forward to what else the Lord will do in the years to come through the power of prayer and peaceful outreach! Meanwhile, we covet your prayers for our time there this weekend: That it will lead to more life-saving sidewalk advocacy locations for His Glory! Thank you, dear friends!
Blessings in Christ,
Sidewalk Advocates for Life