International Pro-Life Youth Conference
November 11 - 13, 2011
I told you about how the conference started, so now I'll fill you in on the speakers. After rocking out to "Party Rock Anthem" and getting the crown cheering, we heard from our first speaker - Lila Rose from Live Action.
I love how Lila encourages us, as young people, to stand up for life. It doesn't matter how old we are, we can still make big differences. At IPYC, Lila pointed out that we're often called the "future" of the pro-life movement, but we're here to be the leaders TODAY. You bet! There is no need to wait till we're older or until someone gives us permission to be advocates for life. The time is now! We are sick to death of evil prevailing, and we are committed to ending the evil of abortion.
Leadership (especially in the pro-life movement) can be lonely. Lila can attest to that because her friends didn't always show up to meetings when she first started Live Action. She shared with us what her mom told her when she was discouraged by this lonliness: Leadership is lonely, but we have to forge the way and people will follow.
Next we heard from a panel (Bryan Kemper, Jill Stanek, and Lila Rose) on Using New Media to Advance the Pro-Life Message. They had some wonderful tips on how to effectively spread the pro-life message online. One point, that visual media speaks louder than just words, has certainly been shown time and time again in the pro-life movement. So true! Seeing pictures and videos "inspires us to action" because we see the truth, and it can't be denied. Looking at an aborted baby, we can't say "Oh, that's just a blob of tissue". Visual media forces us to face the truth about abortion.
Next we heard from Austin Ruse of C-FAM. He talked about his pro-life involvement with the UN. He said that "Abortion will not end until we change the public sentiment." It was really interesting, and definitely something I hadn't heard much about before!
Next was Eoghan De Faoite of Youth Defence. Can I just say that irish people rock?!?!?!? And not just because of their accents ;-) Ireland is one of the only countries that remains abortion free today, much to the credit of Youth Defence. They are an incredible group of motivated young people dedicated to educating, demonstrating, campaigning, communicating, and lobbying the pro-life message. They have successfully kept abortion out of Ireland for 20 years - and counting! This speech was great - I wish I could have written faster to record more quotes! I think we can learn a lot from what Youth Defence does, since they've obviously been successful.
Our last speaker of the night was Bryan Kemper of Stand True Ministries. "Every day we lift our heads off our pillow," he said "is one we're not promised." Remember the story of the Good Samaritan? A terribly injured man was laying beside the road, and a Priest and Levite both passed him without lending a hand. Neither of them thought it was his business, so both left the man for someone else to take care of. The Samaritan passed by next, and even though he did not have to help the injured man, he did. This care for our fellow human beings is at the heart of the pro-life movement. We care about our brothers and sisters from the point of conception until natural death, and that's why we are fighting for their lives.
I challenge you to think about this: Are you more like the Priest and Levite, or are you more like the Good Samaritan?
Are you ready to stop on the side of the road, and help your brothers and sisters?