Two prophetic speakers at our Everett 40 Days for Life 2014 fall kickoff moved the hearts of those who attended September 19th at Saint Mary Magdalen Parish Hall in Everett. Matt and David "walk the talk" daily defending the unborn, witnessing on the streets, while sharing the Gospel.
Matt Ulrich and his wife, Georgene, are long-time prayer warriors and parishioners at St. Mark's Catholic Church in Shoreline. The Ulrich's are co-directors of Prolife Washington, also known as "The Billboard People". Prolife Washington raises funds to purchase pro-life billboards across Washington State. Matt and Georgene are also directors of the local affiliate, (Seattle) Helpers of God's Precious Infants. The Helpers adopt and hold vigil at several abortion clinics (mills) in Greater Seattle area (Aurora, Everett, Lynnwood, Northgate, Seattle) while frequently attending Mass beyond Sunday and often praying for the end of abortion during adoration before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
I first met David Graves (Rhonda) during Everett 40 Days for Life Campaign several years ago. He attended our kickoff event and prayed at the local Planned Parenthood clinic in Everett. David stayed in the background, but observant and seeing what 40 Days for Life was all about. He attended the organizational meetings the following campaign signing up for several time slots per week. Clearly, David was in this for the long haul, leading and starting the first-ever 40 Days for Life Campaign in Marysville, in addition to keeping his vigil hours at the Everett site. David is currently spreading his commitment to ending abortion in Mount Vernon. David and Rhonda have seven children and attend Atonement Free Lutheran Church in Arlington. Further, they created a pro-life committee to share and activate their fellow parishioners on life issues. David spends much of his (spare) time being "on the streets” praying.
Matt began with a series of questions and with a show of hands. "Is abortion killing? Is abortion murder?" He continued, "Why do we not act like abortion kills an unborn child that has just been murdered?"
Tough questions! Unmistakably, abortion is killing the unborn child. Therefore, although there may be a stigma with calling the intended killing of the pre-born “murder,” it is. Webster’s defines murder in legal terms as: the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought. Obviously, the doctor performing the abortion commits this horrendous and fatal act, and gets paid for it, too. Collectively, you and I (Americans) have sinfully allowed abortion to occur for over 40 years.
Do I act like abortion is murder? No, not as I should. What do I mean? Even though abortion is constantly on my mind and I do have current responsibilities such as family and work, there are many prayer occasions that are passed up. Do I attend Mass more than once per week? How often do I travel through Everett on my way home without stopping to pray at either Planned Parenthood or a few blocks away at Immaculate Conception? How frequently do I say a rosary for an end to abortion? Do I (daily) lift up my heart in prayer for the end of abortion and for those contemplating abortion? Beyond the semi-annual 40 Days for Life campaign, do I fast with the intention of ending abortion?
"I am tired," Matt said. I am tired of people saying they are pro-life - but not acting like it! I am tired of hearing about this or that person who I need to talk to and connect with. After the contact, it becomes only lip-service, said Ulrich in closing. He made it clear though, "we will never give up" and vowed to "press on" in our defense of the pre-born, because "that is what we do."
After a short break, David begins with this scene: "Parents walk in (anywhere) with two children in a stroller and when they leave - only one child is in the stroller? David asks, "What happened to that second child?" Two entered, only one came out.
(Pregnant) parents walk into the abortion mill (clinic) with the intention of aborting the baby which is concealed and protected within a mother's womb. The infant is alive, kicking, sucking its thumb, swimming in the amniotic fluid. Then, in an instant, it is suddenly and brutally killed. It dies a horrible death. Depending upon the specific procedure, this process may take two or three days.
Humbly, Graves said, "I simply do not value the lives of the unborn as I do my own born children," and named them aloud. David knelt in prayer as a sign and example for all. If we are honest, David's assessment belongs to each of us, too.
It is worth noting the statistics:
Lifenews.com reported, January 12, 2014 America has aborted over 56 million pre-born children since 1973.We have put to death fifty-six million plus infants! Unbelievable! Purely evil! This contrasts with the Nazi Holocaust where six million (Jewish) people were exterminated between 1933 and 1945. Yet, abortion continues, roughly 3,200 daily.
America has witnessed plenty of natural disasters the past fifty to sixty years.
Earthquakes in Alaska, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Hurricanes Camille, Katrina, and tornadoes such as in Joplin, MO. We witnessed the eruption of Mt. St. Helen's in 1980 and were touched by those who lost homes and property in the fires in California, and E. Washington. Most recently and very close to home, the Oso Mudslide. These are all "acts of God." We wept with the communities as the dead were announced, and we opened our hearts and wallets for those who survived. We are a compassionate people willing to help our fellow human beings.
However, abortion is a man-made holocaust. It is our sin and turning away from God that has caused this enormous tragedy. Why would we expect God to jump right in and end this slaughter of infants - although, He could in a blink of an eye. No, He has already given us (the church - all baptized believers in the Lord) all power and authority; He desires/wants our pro-active prayerful, humble participation. He waits for our response.
The church should demand abortion be put to an end. Sidewalks should be overflowing, but they are not. Apparently, there is no urgency. Where is the church? For the most part, we are silent; we have more important things to do than being on the street in front of this place of death. With God's help - the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, let's be equally compassionate as we are in natural disasters and truly help those that are intent on abortion. We must pray for them, that they realize the enormous gift of life God has entrusted with them and seek life for their unborn child.
Matt said it this way: "We come to this place of death in prayerful love so that our brothers and sisters will not die without love and prayer. We come together to bear public witness to God's great Love and Mercy which can move hearts and forgive sins."
Please join us! Stand up and pray for an hour or more per week to help end abortion in our community. Sign up online at www.40daysforlife.com/everett or stop by at the vigil located at Planned Parenthood, 1509 - 32nd Street, Everett, WA.
-if then my people, who have called my name, (will) humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and heal their land.
2 Chronicles: 7: 14
Pregnancy Help Resources:Gabriel Project
(Seattle) Helpers of God's Precious Infants
Next Step Pregnancy Services
Pregnancy Aid of Snohomish County
Pregnancy Resource Center
Silent No More Awareness