They Are Walking All Summer Long in the Name of the Unborn

Last Friday I met an inspirational group of young men and women.  They joined us for the second half of our bi-weekly prayer vigil in front of our local abortion center. As their voices united with ours, a deep peace and profound joy filled my heart.

These ten young men and women, most of them college students, were embarking with dozens of other youth from across the United Staes on a twelve weeks walk to Washington DC in defense of the unborn.

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This is the 19th year that young men and women ages 18 to 30 will gather together in the name of the unborn and walk 12,000 miles in prayer and song, sharing a message of love and respect for life from the moment of conception to natural death.

This walk is organized through Crossroads, founded in 1995 by Steven Sanbor, a student at Franciscan University of Stubenville, Ohio, “as a response to John Paul II’s call to the youth of the world to take an active role in the pro-life movement in order to establish a Culture of Life. An integral part of Crossroads is our yearly pro-life pilgrimages across the United States. Each summer, young adults walk on four simultaneous pro-life walks across America from Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.. Walking over 12,000 miles and through 40 states, these young people hope to convert the hearts and minds of others – at the grass-roots level – by witnessing to the dignity and sanctity of all human life, from the moment of conception to natural death”.

I know first hand that it takes tremendous courage and faith to step out boldly in defense of the unborn. It was just 5 months ago that I decided to answer the call I felt God had placed on my heart and become more involved in Pro-Life ministry so I was humbled and inspired by this little group.

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As a mother there are many character traits I want to nurture in my girls. One of these is integrity — to stand firm for what they believe is right, whether that is the popular opinion or not. And to always treat those around them, especially those who have a different opinion than they do, with love, respect and compassion.  This little group embodied much of that for me.

You can learn more about Crossroads on their website at www.crossroadswalk.org

 

Comments

  1. Valerie, I love the way you approach this and point out that we must always treat those with differing opinions with love, respect, and compassion. I always cringe a little when I see protesters in front of an abortion clinic. I wholeheartedly agree with their message that all life is precious from the very instant of conception, but I sometimes disagree with their methods for sharing that message. If we don’t treat others with love, how will we expect them to listen to us? Thanks for sharing, and being bold!

    • Thank you Meredith. I too cringe with some of the methods that other groups use. They are so condemning! I believe in the sanctity of life but I believe with as much conviction that it is not my place to judge the women who come for an abortion. There are so many reasons why they find themselves there all I can do is offer prayer, compassion, and when they are open to it, other options. But more than anything, LOVE because they are there believing this is their only option. Thank you for your words of support. They have touched me deeply.

  2. Sharing this post takes a lot of guts. I support you in your steadfast faith and belief in helping the helpless.

    • Thank you for your support Cat. It’s one of those topics we don’t discuss very often because it stirs up such powerful emotions. The more I am involved with pro-life ministry the more I am convinced of the need for it, and of the need for peaceful loving dialogue.

  3. What a cool idea and a vital cause to support.

    • It is Digna! And how inspiring that these young men and women have such conviction they are giving up a fun and frivolous summer and choosing to live it in prayer and ministry instead!

  4. I think it is easier to get people to listen to your message when you share your opinions in a respectful manner. Seems like the young people here are doing just that. The women’s clinics in my area offer a wide range of services free for women and I am saddened when other groups try to use scare tactics to keep patients from gaining access to those services.

    • There is a group where I pray that holds up violent signs and bloody pictures and I have several times wanted to turn away because I felt so aggressed by them. But if I run away then that is all the women who come will see and know. I pray as much for those people as i do for the women who enter the clinic. Condemnation only builds up walls and never leaves room for dialogue. It makes me very sad to witness this type of behavior.

  5. They sound like a very peaceful group and dedicated to a great cause. I love how you talk about having love, respect, and compassion for those with differing opinions; that is so, so important and true.

  6. Sounds like a well structured group, and it sounds like you are teaching your girls the values that matter.

    • Thank you Virginia! I am trying my best to impart healthy values to my girls and proud of the young women they are becoming. I am also so grateful to have discovered this little group and awed that college students would choose to spend their summer on such a pilgrimage of love. It’s so encouraging to me as a mother.

  7. Praying that God will use those kids to change hearts and minds!
    What an amazing opportunity to spread awareness for those who can’t speak for themselves!
    Abortion clinics aren’t the same here in Canada as they are in the states but my heart breaks just the same for all those women.

    • Thank you Heather 🙂 I too pray they have a safe journey and that they touch many hearts along the way. I am so inspired by these young people and the depth of their conviction. I believe our children’s generation will be the “Life” generation.

  8. I hope this group has safe travels this summer as they spread their message.

  9. That’s quite a commitment they’re making for their cause. How lovely of you to share this.

    • Thank you Liz. Yes what dedication to be walking 12,000 miles over the course of three months! And what a way for college students to spend their summer. They are such an inspiration!

  10. So glad to see young people willing to give so much time for a cause like this. It’s so important that our nation not turn our back on the unborn … or Israel. We cannot control what our leaders do, aside from holding them accountable at the polls, but we can make a stand either ourselves or support those who are physically doing it. Our nation has fallen so far from where we were at our founding … but hearing about the efforts of groups like this gives me hope that God’s mercy is still with us.

    • God’s mercy is still with us Anne, and I believe it will always be which is both humbling and empowering. Humbling because we do so often turn away from Him yet He is always ready to forgive us and extend a hand for us to hold on to. Empowering because He has faith in us and if we are willing to put Him first we can accomplish the seemingly impossible. These young men and women are such a beacon of hope for me. I am raising my girls as I know you are raising your two little ones, to answer God’s call to holiness that He has placed on each and everyone of us.

  11. It’s so important to stand up for what you believe in, whatever that is.

    • It is so important indeed Shell, but equally important I believe, is the need to respect one another especially when we disagree, and to be able to have an open and compassionate dialogue in the hopes of finding common ground.

  12. I love that you’re doing this and you’re leading by example for your own family. What a great ministry!

  13. i love how you’re going about your message. I believe a woman has the right to choose based on her circumstance but my own personal choice is pro-life

    • Thank you Melinda. I always tell my girls that God never forces anyone to follow Him. He gives us all free will so it is not my place to impose my beliefs. But I do believe I am called to fight for the innocent who are not given a voice, and to educate and give women who are seeking options, real options to choose from… Options that include adoption and do not lead to a lifetime of remorse.

  14. This is wonderful! I am so happy to see young people respectfully standing up for what they believe in. We can’t expect people to listen through anger and hatred.

  15. I love to see young people get involved and understand the issues and problems that are happening around them instead of putting their heads in the sand. We all can make a difference.

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