Pro-life ‘Life Runners’ don’t let COVID keep them from taking 12 million steps to end abortion
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KANSAS CITY, Missouri, August 26, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – COVID restrictions did not stop groups of pro-life runners this year from traveling across the U.S. in an estimated 12 million steps to bring awareness to the plight of preborn children targeted for abortion.
Four Life Runners’ groups recently converged in Kansas City to mark the end of the “A-Cross America Relay,” which forms a cross over the United States to end abortion, “the greatest intrinsic evil of all time”
Life Runners kicked off their annual A-Cross America Relay on July 4, with four different groups starting from the north (Grand Forks, ND), south (San Antonio, TX), east (Brooklyn Bridge, NY), and west (Golden Gate Bridge, CA) coasts of the United States. The groups covered 5,359 miles, walking or running across America, with some members even walking remotely.
On August 9, the groups met in Kansas City, marking the end their relay for life. The event was marked with mass said by Archbishop Naumann. The group members wore “Remember the Unborn” jerseys as they travelled, sending a message of hope for women in crises and witnessing for the preborn.
Dr. Patrick Castle, the founder of Life Runners, told LifeSiteNews that there are three differences this year for the event, compared to other years.
Despite the pandemic, Life Runners decided not to cancel their annual relay. “There is a giant cloud of fear,” Castle said, “there’s the temptation, of course, to cancel the event.”
“We made it through the fear of COVID to be united with God’s reason and a call to boldness of faith,” he continued. “We offset that fear and still brought that message of hope to the world.”
The second novelty this year was having benediction, an hour before the official end of the relay. Fr. Michael Voithofer, the founder and leader of Ablaze, a Catholic ministry, offered benediction and deliverance prayers at Overland Park Planned Parenthood, bringing “the physical body of Jesus Christ for the first time to the finish line.”
Finally, Castle said they experienced the largest turnout yet for the finish line. “In the middle of a pandemic of fear,” he said, “we showed up and had the largest group ever at the finish line. We had over 100 people that stepped out in faith and gathered in front of that abortion facility.”
As the groups walked across America, they were met with support by local Americans, according to Castle. As the groups passed 57 abortion facilities, they paused in prayer. Castle recounted an incident related to him by one of the Life Runners.
Wearing the “Remember the Unborn” jersey, the Life Runner stopped to pray in front of an abortion center. As she prayed, a young woman pulled into the center’s parking lot, but did not leave her car. After smoking a cigarette, the woman left, only to circle the block and return.
As the Life Runner continued to pray, the woman, seemingly undecided, returned, only to leave again. This happened a third time, while the Life Runner continued to pray more fervently. Finally, the woman left and did not return to the abortion business.
Soon after, another woman parked at the center. She also left, not to return. The Life Runner was overwhelmed with joy. “God is victorious, and He must have great plans for those two babies,” the Life Runner said, according to Castle.
According to Castle, the pro-life movement has made enormous strides in protecting life in recent years. “We have moved from the peak of abortion at 1.6 million abortions in the late 80s and early 90s in America and we’re now at 850,000, so we’re about cut in half.”
He explained the pro-life movement is “in the red zone” and “can see the end.” “It’s going to take just a little bit more, from the people of God, from the church. It’s going to take a little something from everybody.”
In addition to the tremendous effort from pro-life groups, Castle attributes some of the progress to Donald Trump, “the greatest pro-life president ever.”
“I believe this,” he said referring to having Trump elected as president, “is an answer of prayer. God has used Trump no differently than he used Saul, who was renamed Paul.”
“God has used Donald Trump as a pencil to write His story and to write the truth,” Castle continued. “Praise God that Donald Trump and his free will has allowed God to use him as a pencil, and that is an answer to much prayer.”
Castle said that while the Obama administration tried to “destroy the family and pervert the truth,” God has used Trump to “further the cause of life” and to “proclaim truth to help untwist what the Obama administration did.”
“Donald Trump has supported us and fought for us and given us confidence,” Castle said.