LifeChain and 40 Days for Life offer opportunities to witness, touch lives

2016 LifeChain

life-chain locations

 

2016 –  40 Days for Life

Locations across Canada

 

40daysandlifechain

This fall, LifeChain and 40 Days for Life will provide two opportunities for pro-lifers to defend unborn children through prayerful witness. LifeChain will be held Oct. 2 in more than 200 locations across Canada, including nearly 50 in the Greater Toronto Area. The 40 Days for Life vigil will run from Sept. 28 to Nov. 6 at various abortion facilities throughout the country.

The 40 Days for Life vigil offers the opportunity for pro-lifers to come together as a body to pray and fast collectively for the unborn. Asked why she is involved with the campaign, Toronto coordinator Adriana Palma, replied, “I am involved because I believe prayer does work.” Pro-life activism is a battle against the unjust slaughter of the innocents, she said, and “we can’t win this war without God.” Palma added, “to stay silent is to have an opinion. To not do anything is to allow the injustice to continue.”

Both for dormant pro-lifers and for seasoned pro-life activists alike, LifeChain and 40 Days for Life are opportunities to “be a voice for the voiceless.” Says Palma, “every Christian is called to be a voice for the voiceless. No one is more voiceless than the unborn.”

LifeChain takes place annually in communities across Canada and is “a good way to step in (to pro-life activism), because you’re not alone,” said Maria Slykerman, organizer of Life Chain in Winnipeg and head of Campaign Life Manitoba. It only takes one hour out of the year, and “you’re there with friends … volunteers range from babies to age 100.” Whole families come out, she said: mothers with baby carriages, grandparents. “It’s a similar thing for 40 Days for Life,” Slykerman said.

Both 40 Days for Life and LifeChain are a chance to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Veteran organizers share stories of healing and restoration that result from silent, prayerful public witness. Slykerman tells the story of one man who came up to her at a 40 Days for Life vigil site in Winnipeg and said, “’I told my girlfriend fifteen years ago to have an abortion. Can you forgive me?’ People need to hear that they are forgiven,” Slykerman observed.

A consistent characteristic of the 40 Days for Life vigil is “the astounding number of post-abortive women who stop to talk,” said Brian Jenkins, organizer of 40 Days for Life in Montreal and part of Campagne Quebec Vie. Jenkins told The Interim there are many unexpected blessings within the vigil for the unborn: “yes, there is a spiritual battle, but there are also graces that come with it. People are touched, and there is healing in each and every one of us.”

LifeChain, on the other hand, said Slykerman, is “a time of personal prayer and reflection, all the while being a public witness.” LifeChain does not usually involve interaction with the public, but offers pro-lifers an opportunity for an hour of silent prayer and public reflection.

40 Days for Life and LifeChain are both a chance for individual healing and spiritual rejuvenation for those who take part and are touched by the witnessing, as well as a way to send a message to the general public: despite the fact that abortion is legal for all nine months of pregnancy in Canada, the sacredness of every human life supersedes the arbitrary rule of government.

Jenkins, Palma, and Slykerman agree that pro-lifers across Canada, whether experienced in activism or new to it, have an opportunity through 40 Days for Life and LifeChain to become a voice for the voiceless, and to make a difference in the lives of the countless pre-born who are being murdered through no fault of their own.

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