|Guest blog by 18 year old Sarah Durling|
It was January 22 2011, the day of the Walk for Life West Coast! That was the day that started it all. About a week before the walk, I started doubting that Campus Life Tours was my calling. After the Walk for Life, a few friends and I went to mass at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church in San Francisco. I knew I had a doubtful heart at the time, so I asked the Lord, “Am I really supposed to go on Campus Life Tours? What do you want me to do?” Then I said that famous line, “Lord, please use me.” We stood to listen to the Gospel and I could not believe my ears! The reading was from Matthew,
“As he was walking along the Sea of Galilee he watched two brothers, Simon now known as Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea. They were fishermen. He said to them, “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately abandoned their nets and became his followers.” ~ Matthew 4:18-20 ~
Then the priest gave his homily, “If you feel that doing pro-life work for your whole life is what God wants, or if you have this burning desire to save babies from abortion, that is what God is calling you to do!” When the priest said that, I immediately knelt down in thanksgiving! Now I know that is what God wanted me to do! Now I have a handful of pro-life missionary groups lined up including Campus Life Tours.
When I went to the Survivor’s camp after deciding to join Campus Life Tours, something happened to me that I would never forget. Our camp was standing on Venice Beach in the middle of huge crowds and walkways with signs of aborted children to show the truth to our peers. I was standing in front of a lady’s booth, and after a while, she started to get fed up with me. She came up to me and said, “I am sorry, but I cannot have you in front of my booth. I am trying to eat my lunch and I cannot eat with your picture facing toward me. Can you please move?” I had not gotten permission to move so I told her “No.” She obviously did not like that answer. “No, you HAVE to move.” Then she tried to take my sign from me. I pulled it out of her hands and said, “I am not moving from this spot unless I am told by my leader.” Then the unthinkable happened. She tried to push me and my sign over!
I stood there no matter how hard she pushed on my sign. God was definitely there helping me! Since she could not push me over, she retreated to her booth and just glared at me. Eventually, a few friends came over and stood with me after I called a leader and said that someone tried to push me over. A few minutes later, I heard some people yelling a little ways away from me and my sign. I looked over just in time to see a young woman from a shop behind us kick a sign in! She turned around after she broke the sign and yelled, “Who’s next?!?” Oh no…that would be me. I tried to keep my mind off of what the woman had just said, so I was engaged in conversations with people walking by asking them what they thought of the pictures. Then the lady that tried to take my sign away from me came up to me shaking her prayer book in my and my friend’s faces yelling, “These are prayers from the bible! You should read them!” In my mind I was screaming, “I do!” But it never came out because I did not want to ruin my video.
Then, as one Survivor tried to reason with her, another Survivor came and stood back to back with me. Oh what is happening now? I looked behind me when I heard some yelling from the lady who broke our sign earlier! She was in my friend’s face yelling at him when he intercepted her as she tried to jump on me from behind! Thank goodness he was there or else my nose might have been broken from this mad woman. The woman continued to yell, not even an inch from his face! “Touch me! Touch me! Touch me mother trucker!” She yelled that over and over again. Then she finally backed off. The thought came to my mind, “Could anything else happen?” But I stupidly jinxed myself and lo and behold! A man came from behind some palm trees carrying a plastic chair that had something on it. It was pretty much dripping with whatever was on the chair, and he was bringing it over to me! A couple of girls screamed when he walked passed them and I immediately knew that it was not going to be pleasant. He walked up to me and my sign and shoved the chair slowly against my sign – the chair was covered in a swarm of bees! In my mind, I started totally freaking out by that time. My friend and fellow Survivor said calmly, “No matter what you do to us, we are not going to move.”
Then the man who put the chair in front of my sign simply picked up the chair again and walked off. For about three seconds, I kept telling myself not to cry. The adrenaline was running through me at five hundred miles per hour! Then unexpectedly, a hand was placed on my shoulder! “Oh this is going to be my doom!” I thought. When I turned around to “face my doom”, I turned to find an old man. He looked so kind, his eyes were kind, so I figured he would not hit me. He looked at me with those kind eyes as he said this,
“I am so proud of you child. I do not think that I would have been able to be that brave in your situation. I know for sure that God will save you and your friends a special place in Heaven and you will receive your crown in His kingdom. Remember this, Rescue those who are being dragged to death, and to those tottering to execution withdraw not.”
Then as fast as he appeared, he disappeared! Then I broke down and cried. Was this the Lord who just appeared to me? He quoted my favorite verse in the Bible perfectly and with such love! I could not believe it. Then another friend came to my aide and escorted me away from the commotion. I do not know for sure if God just appeared to me, or if it was an angel sent from heaven, but what I do know is that day changed the little spit of fire in my soul into a roaring fire that cannot be quenched!
Now I am on Campus Life Tours and it is everything that I expected! I love it so much, and I feel like I have another family in Southern California. A very large family filled with brothers and sisters who are all fighting for the same thing. While I was on tour last semester, I experienced something that I had not experience before. I know it may sound very crazy, but I felt the devil’s presence. I know it sounds like all voodoo and stuff like that, but when I was in front of ‘Woman’s Health Specialists’ in Sacramento of all places, I felt something wrong there – very wrong.
We went out in the middle of the night to chalk all over the sidewalk in front of this horrific clinic and as I was chalking, something happened that was really hard to explain at first. I was chalking as fast as I could, chalking things like “Your baby has a heartbeat at only twenty-one days” and loving messages all over the sidewalk. Then my piece of chalk fell out of my hand, but this did not feel like it just fell out, it felt like it was pulled out of my hand! Like I said, it sounds crazy, but it did happen. It happened a few more times, and every time the chalk was pulled out of my hand, I would scratch my knuckles. By the end of the night, my knuckles were pretty skinned up and they definitely hurt. I think that the devil will test us in millions of ways through our lifetime and we must not let him succeed ever! There were times where I would feel like giving up, but I could not let the devil win! I had to keep strong no matter what happened, and no matter what questions or insults were thrown at me.
When we went to Sacramento State University, John Ficker, who works with Project Truth, brought a woman over to me. “Sarah, this young lady does not want to hear us men talk about our views because we would not understand.” I shook the woman’s hand introducing myself with a friendly smile. Instead of saying ‘nice to meet you’ or anything like that, she asked me, “How old are you sweetie?” I cringed at the thought of her calling me sweetie, it makes me feel like I am eight years old. “Eighteen, what does that have to do with our conversation?” She looked at John with disbelief,
“You brought me to an eighteen year old?” John tried to calm her down as she was coming to her boiling point, “Well we have some older women here as well if you would like to talk to one of them,” she pretty much just brushed him off. “I did not know s*** when I was eighteen. What could she possibly know?” John came to my defense, “Whoa, you are just going to wave her off just because of how old she is? I think that this eighteen year old is smarter than you.” She scoffed at the comment, “Oh yeah?” John then said, “Alright let us have a contest to see if this eighteen year old is smarter than this…oh how old are you?” She made herself look all high and mighty and said, “Thirty.” All I was thinking was, “Oh this is one of those brick walls…”
John continued, “Alright let us see who is smarter. At what age does a fetus, embryo, whatever you want to call it, when does her heart start beating?” The woman looked like it was the easiest question and prepared herself to win our little contest. “Eighteen weeks of course!” WHAT? Four months? John made a buzzer noise and declared her the loser of our contest and asked me for the correct answer, “Eighteen to twenty-one DAYS.” The lady stared at me with a cold stare that could rip you apart, but with my Lord, I stood strong.
After a million of the usual questions, she finally blurted out, “Would you give your life to save these fetuses?!?!” Without even a second thought I told her calmly, “Yes, of course I would if that means that they will live.” She threw up her hands, “I can’t talk to you anymore! You are driving me crazy!” I wish I could have talked to her a little while longer, but I had already put a crack in the brick wall and maybe she will look at that crack later. That is what I hope.
Like I said before, you will be tested. I was asked if I would give up my life to save babies! Of course I would, but if someone asked you that question, what would you have answered? Will you follow me and give up semesters and summers of your life to go save babies? The one important question is – What will you do to serve your Lord?