Friday, October 05, 2007

Prayer Request UPDATE: Holy Spirit at work in high school abortion debate

My friend sent me this update from Sr. Raffaella, thanks for the prayers all! (note: editorial packaging: I put the email into an article format and emphasized some points in bold print):
[above, from left to right: pictures of gestation at 8 weeks, 6 weeks, and 16 weeks]

A High School Abortion Debate:
A report by Sr. Raffaella of the Apostles of the Interior Life
[ ]

"I had ONE goal in mind upon entering the debate:
drilling in the students' mind
that we're talking about a child
and not a piece of tissue."
"Dear friends,
Thank you so much for your support this past week of preparation and for today's debate.
After I left the High School I drove to the 40 days for life vigil at PP, where I prayed and thanked the thousands of little babies that have been aborted there for their support from heaven!

"Both sessions of the debate went very well (for the pro-life!). I had ONE goal in mind upon entering the debate: drilling in the students' mind that we're talking about a child and not a piece of tissue. I felt that if the kids could leave the debate at least having that thing clear, I'd consider it a victory.

"Well, the Lord went FAR BEYOND that.

"All the questions that the students addressed always referred to the unborn as a child and never to anything different. Also, it made all the difference when in the final part of the debate I explained the surgical procedure of abortion, as well as showed the pictures of aborted babies. That brought it home for most of the kids. They had NO IDEA what abortion does to a child.

Even starting from a theoretical level many of them were moving towards agreeing with the pro-life position; some were still arguing the validity of abortion for rape or incest or danger for the mother's health and life; yet none were defending abortion for reasons other than those. (It was funny to see how some of the kids made "pro-life rebuttals" to their classmates in between questions!!) Yet, when I got concrete and explained the abominable procedure of abortion (and even before some of them chose to look at the images), the questions on abortion stopped. They then started asking about birth control and the last 5 minutes of the conversation pretty much shifted towards sex and hormones.

"So, upon entering the classroom I could tell that most students had confused ideas on the topic, and a couple were strong either on the pro-life or on the pro-choice side. By the time the debate was over, the "middle-grounder" had mostly shifted towards opposing abortion in all cases (except a couple who still saw it doable in extreme situations). As for the birth control aspect, there was really too little time to seriously tackle the issue, so I used all my bullets on abortion, thus leaving most of them clueless on why pro-lifers are against birth control (although they got the part that some forms of birth control are actually abortifacents).

"All in all I consider it a very positive experience. The teacher was very pleased with the debate (very fair on both sides), and she invited me back for her next class in the Spring. I thought that that was a positive thing, although I don't know how to read it necessarily.
I don't know if the students will stick in the future to what they felt the truth was during the debate. But with all the prayers that you along with thousands of people have been sending up for the past 4 days, I'm pretty confident that the Lord is not done with this job!
We planted the seeds, He'll take care of the growth.

"One regret that I have is that I did not have pro-life gadgets with me (I honestly didn't think I was allowed to bring any). The pro-choice person brought pins and pens and bumper stickers, which a good number of students picked up on their way out. I offered them the Project Rachel and Rachel Vineyards brochures, which some students picked up. So, for the future, we should make gadgets available. Honestly, I think that if today I had t-shirts and bumper stickers to offer, several students would have taken them.

"Once again, thank you so much for your support, for the suggestions and the material that you offered. I really feel that this is a team victory and it couldn't have been otherwise, regardless of who the person on the debate ended up being.

"God bless and keep you
Sister Raffaella"

Sr. Raffaella - St. Paul's University Catholic Center - University of Wisconsin - Madison, WI

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