This will be my last blog as an intern at EMC. 2 months have passed since we first arrived here and a lot has happened in that time! We have had the most incredible, but challenging experience we could have imagined.
It has been a privilege to be here and be part of something eternal - we were never working just for this world, and that's quite a task. There always has been, and always will be a higher aim in this movement. We have shared some stories with you along the way, but by no means was that them all. We have witnessed the best and worst of life - the true joy and beauty of motherhood and the utter devastation of abortion. As interns, we have been held together by your prayers, and we have tried our best to speak truth and love to every person we had the opportunity to meet.
As this group of summer interns leave and go our separate ways, it dawned on me that we will probably never all work together again like we did this summer. But as we move on to whatever is next, we are still called to be involved in some way or another,
We are all called to different parts of the pro-life movement, and who knows, maybe after this experience, some of us will have the opportunity to lead a new aspect of the movement one day. After a trip to Valley Forge in Pennsylvania today, I have been thinking about what makes a successful team when so many people have big ideas and big personalities. Valley Forge was the place where George Washington set up a military camp in the winter of 1777 during the American Revolutionary War. The soldiers suffered enormously, living in wooden huts with little food or appropriate clothing. Many died as a result of this. Yet on the National Memorial Arch (found in Valley Forge National Park), quoted at the top is the following:
"Naked and Starving as they are
We cannot enough admire
the Incomparable Patience and Fidelity
of the Soldiery."
This quote was from George Washington, who was clearly impressed with the soldiers and how they were dealing with such difficult and often impossible circumstances. And much of this willingness to suffer for the cause is thought to be down to the trust his soldiers had in him. He believed in and loved his men, he was a man of exemplary character, he treated others with respect, he took responsibilities seriously and he was a man of deep faith.
Of course, these are ideals we can aim for in the pro-life battle too - to be fair leaders and willing soldiers. As I've said in previous blogs, our weapon is prayer. Just as the soldiers camped at Valley Forge for the winter and prepared to go to battle, we must do the same. We must learn how to pray, and how to trust in God before throwing ourselves in.
We need a good leader to guide us through the difficult times, and we need to be willing to go through the tough times, sometimes at extreme personal cost, with the trust that it is all for the greater good. We need to be so united as a team that no matter what position we hold in whatever organisation, we are willing to try to survive and fight with the undeniable strength, fidelity and unity of the American soldiers all those years ago.
'E pluribus unum' - 'Out of many, one'
It is clear to see from my (limited) experience in the pro-life movement in the UK and US, that there are many different personalities, ideas, talents, gifts and opportunities in this movement. How wonderful! I truly believe that God provides us with every type of person we need - the counsellors, those who pray, the leaders, the supporters. Everyone is different, but God has given us the strengths we need to fulfill the vocation He has for us. If we could recognise this and work more closely together in greater unity, like the American soldiers had to do in the past, perhaps we could win the battle more easily. One pro-life army, united under God. Each organisation or group working in their niche, each with the same ultimate goal - Now that's certainly something to pray for! We are on the same side of this fight. We are fighting the good fight!! Let's not forget that!
Please continue to pray for the women all over the world facing crisis pregnancies, pray for pro-life organisations, their leaders, and their workers.
Below are some photos from Valley Forge and our last few days working with EMC.
Thank you all so much for your prayers and support throughout this summer, it has been invaluable and you will never know the strength your prayers have provided us interns with. Thank you thank you thank you!!
As Laura and I travel back to Scotland, we'd like to say a special thank you to everyone back home who has prayed for us, and supported us this summer. Texts, cards and skype calls kept us on track and able to continue this difficult work. So thank you! :-)
God bless each and every one of you,
Love Vanessa x
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.