By: Dan Bartkowiak
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of being a part of four organizations – Life Runners, Save the Storks, 40 Days for Life Lancaster and Pennsylvania Family Institute – supporting and celebrating life.
One thing that has fueled my passion for protecting life inside the womb is my 1-year old son. Seeing the ultrasound of my son at 8-weeks was truly amazing.
I appreciate any effort that encourages opportunities for women to see an ultrasound of their baby. That’s why I decided to run one of the 5k legs in the A-Cross America Relay organized by LifeRunners.
Two teams embarked on Ash Wednesday – one from the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC, the other from the Golden Gate in SF – and are joined by hundreds of other runners that will race across the country for life. Both relays will then connect at Falls Church in South Dakota on Palm Sunday and celebrate the gift of life!
All ages are welcome to take part in the relay and you can run, jog, walk, cartwheel, etc. – I’m a baseball guy so I prefer 90 ft. sprints vs. 3+ miles. I huffed and puffed my way through it and gladly no one timed me (and pumped to run in 57 degree weather!).
Best part is all proceeds of this relay go to Save the Storks – an organization caring for mothers and placing “Stork buses” equipped with ultrasound machines outside abortion facilities – and local pregnancy resource centers.
Throughout the relay are planned prayer vigils outside abortion facilities. Each stop teams up with a local 40 Days for Life team (which recently announced they’ve helped save 44 lives so far – the first being in Norristown).
My leg corresponded with the kick-off rally for the Lancaster 40 Days for Life (one of 253 campaigns for 40 Days). As I turned the final corner, I saw the Save the Storks bus parked across the street and people lining the sidewalk outside of the Lancaster Planned Parenthood. It was encouraging to see so many faces – from young ones excited to receive a high-five to ladies joining in the line needing chairs to sit in. Led by Bob Dunn, faithful members will spend the next few weeks praying for the women and families going into this location. And I thank each one of them for doing so.
I met a few families who are involved with A Women’s Concern Pregnancy Resource Center – life-saving outreach to women and families in the Lancaster community. To every staff member and volunteer here – thank you for each day you invest your time here.
After the kick-off rally, most of us made our way to Manor Church where the Save the Storks Tour for Life concert was held featuring talented artist Holly Starr and Life Promotions speaker Bob Lenz. Bob has spoken to over 4 million public school students and recalled 7 years ago how a follow-up event at Manor Church led to over 130 kids accepting Christ as their Savior. It’s also where I learned more about Save the Storks and how they commit 3 years financially in support of the women who decide to keep their baby after their involvement.
It was an encouraging and exciting experience and I’m thankful to have played a small part in it.
The A-Cross America Relay is ongoing and will come up through the Pittsburgh region March 16-19. For details, visit: liferunners.org/across
Upcoming Save the Storks Tour for Life concerts: Dillsburg (March 12 – Celebration Church), Manns Choice (March 15 – Christ Victory Church) & Everett (March 16 – Bedford County Christian Church). For more, visit savethestorks.com/projects/save-storks-tour/save-storks-tour-east-coast/