During the summer of 2010, I felt called to lead a 40 Days for Life campaign in England. I was nervous, apprehensive and sceptical. Several years later, thanks to stepping out in faith, many hundreds of babies have been saved from abortion.
40 Days for Life has now been tried and tested in 30 countries around the world with a clear and proven track record of saving lives from abortion.
The inspiring testimonies of 40 Days for Life and its rapid growth around the world should make you ask yourself a question: what would happen in your community if someone started a campaign there?
If lives can be saved in all these communities, it can happen where YOU live.
Here are 10 top victories around the world:
10. London – Abortion centre closes
The Bedford Square BPAS closed its doors for good in 2014, following 3,000 hours of prayer and five 40 Days for Life campaigns. Many women who were scheduled for an abortion chose life for their babies over three years of campaigns in central London.
One abortion worker remarked, “Your prayers are obviously working, because the girls aren’t keeping the appointments.” Each campaign, between 6-10 women who were scheduled for an abortion would choose life for their child.
9. Croatia – From one campaign to 17
40 Days for Life has been a huge success in Croatia. Ante Caljkusic first brought the campaign to Zagreb last year. Since his leap of faith, 40 Days for Life spread to 17 cities the next campaign, inspiring neighbouring countries to join the campaign as well!
The campaign has been touching consciences all over the country. During the first 2015 campaign, seven lives were spared from abortion, six doctors stopped doing abortions and 3,000 people nationwide were praying outside hospitals that performed abortions.
8. Overcoming fear saves lives
A powerful force works through doubtful and hesitant volunteers to save the lives of babies spared from abortion all over the world. From Birmingham to Brighton to Nigeria, the lives of children have been spared thanks to 40 Days for Life campaigns.
Many of these leaders were scared, doubtful or hesitant before leading their first campaigns, but their faith has been rewarded by saving babies set to be aborted through their witness, courage and faith.
Many of them had to overcome scepticism, cynicism and negativity to take a step of faith and lead a campaign in the public sphere. By the grace of God they overcame their fear and saved the lives of children who were so close to becoming statistics.
7. Mexico – Faith closes abortion centres
40 Days for Life had an instant and big impact Mexico City. The response to 40 Days for Life has been amazing. Two of the three abortion facilities where 40 Days for Life campaigns were held closed temporarily during the campaign.
The Marie Stopes abortion facility in Coyoacan shut down for several weeks, and the local campaign recorded five saved babies — including a set of twins!
At another vigil location, the government ordered the facility shut for a time while the staff addressed numerous violations.
6: Nigeria – one person at a time
Local campaign leader Kelechi Anyaghara brought 40 Days for Life to Nigeria, where abortion is illegal but rampant. Lives have been saved, including two babies during a recent campaign in Abuja. Kelechi said, “Community outreach works beautifully for us here in Nigeria because it is face-to-face contact, an opportunity for them to air their opinions and clarify their misunderstandings.”
5. Romania – Overcoming doubt in Eastern Europe
Dan and Julia Calinescu led the first 40 Days for Life campaign in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, which has been stunningly impactful. First they had to overcome the doubts of many sceptics about this campaign working in Romania.
The doubt and hesitation went away as their first campaign was supported by representatives of all the Christian communities in their town. Despite challenges from abortion advocates, communities from around the country have been enquiring about leading a campaign.
Pro-abortion groups have noted their powerful presence and one of the main pro-life leaders from the capital of Bucharest has been astonished and inspired at the success of 40 days for Life in Romania.
4. Brazil – Beachfront vigil
Rio de Janeiro has held a number of 40 Days for Life campaigns, led by Maria Vitoria. Abortion remains illegal in Brazil, apart from cases of rape, so in the absence of abortion centres, the prayer vigil is on the beach.
Local volunteer Doris Hipolito has been a full time pro-life activist for 23 years, and has helped to save more than 3,000 lives from abortion in the slums of Rio. When things get very difficult, she recites to herself, “The powerful can give me power, but the babies can give me paradise.”
3. Australia – Saves from Down Under
40 Days for Life quickly spread all across Australia – and it recently expanded into New Zealand through the leadership of Family Life International.
Some of these vigils are not easy; but despite organized opposition to the prayer vigils, babies continue to be spared from abortion. Due to the success and longevity of 40 Days for Life in Australia, pro-abortion groups are running out of ideas on how to slow the growth of the campaign.
2. Cape Town – Troubled abortion workers in South Africa
Colette witnessed 40 Days for Life in London and quickly decided to take it to her hometown of Cape Town. She has endured many challenges from the local community but in addition to lives being saved some of the staff members at the Marie Stopes abortion center have been asking for prayers this last campaign!
1. Russia – the presence of God
God has been at work in Moscow since the campaign that started in the United States was brought to Russia.
Babies have been spared from abortion, and one of the local leaders said, “It was an unforgettable experience meeting with the women at the door step of abortion centers. God gave us words of prayer, which would not have happened if we had just prayed at the church and did not come in contact with these women.”
These are just a few of the victories that can happen where YOU live! Now is the time to pray and discern if God is calling you to lead a 40 days for Life campaign and saves lives in your corner of the world.
The next 40 Days for Life campaign runs from September 23 to November 1. Please pray and then, if you feel God is calling you, take action to save lives where you live. With God all things are possible – even ending abortion! www.40daysforlife.com
[Robert Colquhoun, International Outreach Director, is based in London, where he led the first 40 Days for Life campaign in England. He now assists local leaders coordinate 40 Days for Life efforts in nations as widespread as Australia, Brazil, Croatia and South Africa. July 27, 2015, https://40daysforlife.com/2015/07/27/top-10-international-victories/ ]