Friday, December 13, 2013
I was invited to reflect on the last 20 years of pro-life activity in Waco, Texas. I had intended to share the day and festivities with you, but life gets in the way often, eh
Although, my sons and I moved to Coppell in 2000, Waco and the work of the Gospel of Life has never left my heart. You are remembered in my daily prayers and
as I lead the Dallas diocese pro-life prayers each month at Planned Parenthood in Dallas, you are remembered in our prayers always.
I am always reminded of my roots in Waco-Waco is truly a good place to be from.
In 1992 when Planned Parenthood announced they were going to begin doing abortions in Waco-it shocked me, as many of you, to our cores. Up to that time I of course considered myself very pro-life and made sure I preached a pro-life sermon the week of January 22nd to remember Roe v Wade. Not much else. Up to 1992 I had only really talked to one person in a crisis pregnancy, so the whole abortion issue seemed so out of sight, out of mind. Within a day my family set up shop with a prayer candle and Bibles to stand and silently pray that God would keep this horror from our community.
Within a month the ladies of my church did a very effective phone campaign to call every OB/GYN in Waco asking if they would do or refer a woman for abortions. It was effective-the OB/GYN doctors on the board of the local Planned Parenthood made hasty retreats and later we joined with efforts to bring in Miss Carol Everett and started a Say No to Planned Parenthood campaign that had over 10,000 simple copied signs and then later an effective bumper sticker campaign. The prayers continued there on Columbus Avenue, and we as a city kept them from performing a single abortion for two years. Thanks God.
Then in 1994 it Began-Please God-was the fervent prayer we began again across the city-that He would stop this horror from our city streets. As a local pastor, I was privileged to invite and host first Rusty Thomas, and then later Operation Rescue National, Paul Vaughan, and many other heroes of the Rescue Movement to come to Waco and continuous Street prayers and even activism began in earnest in the streets of Waco, Texas.
Miss Carol Everett
Miss Norma McCorvey
Jim Sedlak from STOPP and American Life League
Human Life International
Priests for Life
the CPLC and the White Rose from Dallas
the Liberty Bell and Dave and Phylis Hall---so many wonderful Heroes--so many more that a 5 minute clock does not allow to fully remember....
Some quick remembrances:
The Waco Project-seeing Chef Giovanni and his monthly meatballs and wonderful meetings grow out of this
The 100 Days of Waco--100 days of daily White Crosses placed on a different street corner throughout Waco each Summer from 1994-1999
The Tuesday Night Rosary-started by a simple Evangelical pastor who saw great value in established prayers at such places of Darkness
The live Baby Showers and the Baby Summer Wadding Pools--which brought such sharp contrast to why we were there and to what was happening inside
The founding of Bears for Life and a consistent pro-life presence at Baylor
Being the Kick off speaker at St Mary's in Bryan when they began their fight--seeing David Bereit and his good works grow out of that
The two windows broken out of my cars and the conversations they produced with the wrecking yard guy who fixed them for me
The all night vigils with the Liberty Bell
Seeing the actual children I have been introduced to who were actually saved from abortion-- grow up into such wonderful people-Thanks God
Knowing that Waco still had some who prayed, who cried, who tried to STAND JUST-who groaned and sighed against Injustice
Like St Athanasius who stood against the whole world-Contra Mondo-you STAND for the Gospel of Life against the Culture of DEATH. Thank you dear wonderful Christians who gather in Waco and do what the hands and feet of Jesus have done in every place and every time-you are Running Well-continue to Run the Race with confidence that HE who has begun these good works in you will continue to the END.
I remain blessed and humbled by all your many good works and deeds, and that your zeal for the Lord and His House has consumed you. I remember standing so many days alone in the sun during those 100 Days of Waco with those 33 White Crosses-wondering When God-when will you rise up your army of Life in this place, among these people? You have answered so well and for so long now-Well done my friends, and May our Blessed Lord Jesus continue to lead you the next two decades as you answer each and every onslaught that is thrown at your dear town and continue to STAND JUST.