Comets for Life Club Launches into Character Formation
Wednesday, September 26th marked Day One of 40 Days for Life--a time set aside for prayer, reflections, and advocating for the lives of those still in the womb. A newly formed club at HLA hit the first week of this season full speed ahead. We are Comets for Life.
We began last Wednesday by taking 25 students to a local clinic downtown that promotes Life in many ways. Health Resource Center (HRC) is a non-profit organization that supports the community with free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, and STD testing. They are staffed with personel trained to counsel women in unplanned pregnancies to choose life instead of abortion. They also take a very active role in offering classes and mentorship to young parents on a wide range of topics from feeding their babies to potty training and personal finance. Visitors to the Center can earn “points” by attending classes that can be spent at the Baby Boutique in exchange for diapers, clothing, gifts cards, and more. The students sipped coffee and ate cookies while asking questions in the spacious staff room. The passed around rubber models of babies at various stages of fetal development. Later, this led to more in-depth conversations among small groups of students at a coffee shop across the street.
“What about cases of rape?” one student posed to her peers.
“What about capital punishment, “ asked another. “Isn’t that also the taking of life?”
Then on Saturday, Sept 29 we drove to the Red River Women’s Clinic with 20 students. This is the only facility in North Dakota that performs abortions and it’s average is 20-25 each week. Many churches and pro-life groups have targeted this location as a place to gather during 40 Days for Life to pray and quietly protest the taking of human life. We huddled together in the drizzle and cold, careful not to block the sidewalk for pedestrians. We sang hymns, read Scripture, and prayed together as a group and in small clusters. Most people walked, or drove past, without comment, but a few launched profanity and protests. One group of young women yelled at us from across the street. “Why are you wasting your time? Abortion is my RIGHT! I can have an abortion any time I want!”
Back on the bus for the return ride home, we asked the students to summarize their experience outside the clinic in one word. “Cold,” remarked one boy as he warmed his hands on his hot drink. “Conspicuous.” “Intimidated.” “Helpless,” answered others. One boy hesitated before responding. “Powerful.” We talked about what it means to stand for a righteous cause even when it is unpopular. We talked about what it looks like to bring light to darkness. We talked about what happens when people pray.
Last night was the HRC’s annual fundraising banquet and six students were able to attend. The guest speaker was Kristan Hawkins, founder and president of Students for Life, a national organization that has groups popping up all over college and high school campuses around the country. She challenged us to be the generation that end abortion. I watched the students as she spoke of David before Goliath and the boldness with which a boy brought down a giant. The students’ eyes were shining and their enthusiasm later was palpable.
Christian young people want to make a difference in their world. They are deep thinkers and observers of their culture. Polls have shown that today’s youth are more pro-life than their parents. They are not swallowing the lies that extremists are pushing in the name of Choice. Here at Hillcrest, we want to make room for discussions of what is right and wrong, and juxtapose truth with what is current and culturally relevant. We encourage them to ask the questions that are hard, wrestle with issues that seem uncertain, listen for the voice of God in matter that are, ultimately, not political but moral. Character is forged in clubs like these.