I've always been pro-life but I never thought we could stand together and change people's minds. But now I know that we can. We can change the world.
- Christian Marquez, Survivors ProLife Training Camp 2014 Youth Participant
I cannot count the number of times over the last few days that someone has asked me, "How was camp?" I am amazed by how many people were praying for us! Gratefully, I tell them, "Camp was AMAZING/WONDERFUL/AWESOME! Our campers were so good!"
An unparalleled passion, persistence, and courage marked our 2014 campers. They paid close attention during training -- and when they hit the streets, they led activism events like pros. Camp felt like 12 days of intense warfare, as we prayed for and mentored our participants to take on the culture of death. Here are a few of our most memorable moments:
During a show-the-truth event along a busy Orange County street, our first camp event, a young lady stopped to encourage us. She told us that people with images of abortion victims like ours were on her campus, UC Irvine, in 2010. She was pregnant but, when she saw the images, she decided not to have an abortion.
A city ordinance banning residential picketing couldn't stop us from alerting his neighbors that Richard Agnew selectively aborts disabled and handicapped babies. When the police showed up, our campers were not intimidated. They knew they were leading a peaceful, lawful neighborhood awareness campaign. They appreciated that the officers protected our right to practice free speech, and enjoyed thanking them when the event was over.
Our Venice Beach outreach was wild. Throughout the day, our campers started dozens of mind-changing conversations about abortion and handed out hundreds of pro-life pamphlets. It got crazy when we ended our outreach with a die-in on the plaza.
A local business owner raced up on a segway to disrupt our demonstration. While two or three campers used bullhorns to explain the symbolism of the Million-to-One Memorial die-in to passers-by, the business owner and her friends blew stadium horns in our faces and tried to drown out our message. Fortunately, their obnoxious behavior only drew more attention to the die-in (and to the truth!).
Every year, I gain inspiration from seeing our campers transform over the course of just 12 short days. Some campers arrive agnostic, apathetic, angry, and even pro-choice. They all leave changed. At our closing vigil, one camper shared:
"I've always been pro-life but I never thought we could stand together and change people's minds. But now I know that we can. We can change the world."
This generation of abolitionists is going to change the world. Please continue to pray for our campers and camp staff, many of whom are considering a commitment to the Survivors Campus Outreach team. All of our camp participants are now equipped to become activists and leaders in their home communities. We pray for their perseverance and success!
Director of Campus Outreach
Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust
P.S. This year's camp would not have been successful without our stellar staff. Thank you, Janis, Katie, Mary Rose, Brianna, Erick, Bobby, Lauren, Kyle, Emily, Sarah, Cynthia, Courtney, Lizzy, Berea, Amanda, Gisella, Leanne, Stephen, Julio, James, Sam, Anthony, Adam, Tommy, and John!