If you’ve ever been to the March for Life in Washington, DC, or the Walk for Life in Cali, then you know what it’s like to stand in the midst of thousands and thousands of like-minded people and experience the rush and joy of remembering that you’re not alone in this fight.
Many of us spend a great deal of time organizing local pro-life events with small numbers, ceaselessly recruiting volunteers, and inviting anyone we meet to rallies and prayer vigils. It’s tough work to be a pro-lifer some days, and there are times when you feel a bit lonely. Thankfully, however, it is all to the glory of a God who is incredibly faithful, and He gives us those moments, those seasons, in which we glimpse the greatness of His plan and the unity of His people. He lets us know that we are not alone — we are part of a Body, and that Body is drawing together with the power of Christ to bring Life to a death-dominated culture each and every day.
CEC For Life’s time in Ireland and Madrid could be narrowed down to these words: the power of Christ in the unity of His Body. From the streets of Belfast, where Fr. Terry spoke as the sole representative for the American pro-life movement, to the Convocation youth sessions and even the hot Plaza del Sol of Madrid, we could see, throughout the entire trip, the power of God manifested through the work of those who serve Him.
In Belfast, CEC For Life stood with more than 7,000 other people — some Catholic, some Protestant, all proclaiming the Gospel of Life – and together we made known to the world that abortion would never have a place in the cities and towns of Ireland. It was incredibly encouraging! Just to stand in a country that is statistically the safest place in the world to have a baby, where abortion is completely illegal, and where the majority of the nation is willing to fight to keep it that way…it’s astounding. And strengthening. It reminds us that the fight in America will be won.
Next, we tackled the Madrid Convocation. CEC For Life arrived to discover that the government had changed our Rally time and that the majority of our literature did not survive the trip over. Not our smoothest start but, as mentioned before, God is faithful. And not only that, but our youth are absolutely amazing.
In case you did not already know, please let us be the first to tell you: the CEC is blessed with some hard working young people. There was not a facet of this Convocation that didn’t involve youth from around the world. Worship team, dance team, set up, photography, even the merch table – these kids were everywhere. Up early and to bed late, and smiling every bit of the way.
Our pro-life activities at the Plaza were no exception. Despite the minor setbacks, the youth, their leaders especially, stayed organized and upbeat. Under the absolutely excellent leadership of Fr. Donn Bautista, they tackled the details of putting everyone into groups, transporting those groups to the Plaza, and bringing along all the supplies without a single complaint or unkind word.
They even came up with a creative twist for the Die-In! Instead of lying down in random spots across the Plaza, as we would normally do during that event, they came up with a diagram to lie down in the shape of a child in the womb. We practiced it once at the hotel, and then put it into action at the Plaza. It took a lot of organization, and some intense dedication – especially since the ground they were supposed to lay on was literally hot enough to fry an egg – but, once again, these awesome young people did not complain or dissent. They stayed dedicated to being a public witness for the preborn.
After the Die-In, we gathered in the middle of the Plaza and worshipped the Lord in song. Then we handed out Life tape, which each young person placed over their mouths, and then stood together before a nearby government building in silent prayer for our preborn brothers and sisters, who die at the hands of abortion every day across our nations – 115,000 a day, in fact, worldwide. That’s an astounding number and a dark, dark evil for this generation to deal with.
But God is bigger than evil, and He has already beaten death! And when you looked into the faces of these young people, tape across their mouths and heads bowed in prayer, you could see the power of the Holy Spirit alive within them. They are not afraid to go out and change their world, because they have heard the call of Ephesians 5:
“…for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.”
These young people are, without a doubt, the children of Light spoken of in scripture. They were born in sin and cursed with the evil that will always accompany abortion, but God plucked them out of that and set them in His wonderful Light.
All throughout the Convocation, anyone could plainly see that these young people were THE love and peace of Christ incarnate, willing to serve and ready to share His message. CEC For Life cannot wait to have them all in one place again. In fact, we encourage you to begin praying, even now, that God will bring even more of our youth from around the world to our next International Convocation, providing for them in extraordinary ways and opening doors that they never imagined would open.
Until then, as they go out into the world and begin to bear the fruit of all the seeds planted, as they meet new challenges and battlefronts in the fight for Life, we know that God will bring their time in Madrid to remembrance, reminding them, as He reminds us all, that they are not fighting alone. We are fighting as the united Body of Christ – and Christ never, ever fails.