Just a few days ago, Fr. Terry Gensemer traveled to Vitória de Santo Antão in Brazil at the invitation of Bishop Frederico Bastos and the 2012 Attitude Youth Conference. Fr. Terry was to speak at the Conference as the American representative of the pro-life movement. As soon as he boarded the plane, the obstacles began to surface.
First, the weather. In Florida, the airline announced that Hurricane Sandy stood between their plane and their destination...but they were going to take off anyway. With his phone and his Facebook, Fr. Terry quickly asked friends and family for prayers of safety and good travel, which God was faithful to answer. The plane landed safely in Brazil. But, of course, the battle was not over.
Upon arrival in Recife, Fr. Terry was immediately (and very unexpectedly) detained by Brazilian federal agents due to problems with his visa. The officers did not speak English, so Fr. Terry was uncertain of the actual problem and even more uncertain of how to respond. Thankfully, one of the Brazilian priests had emailed him a cell phone number, literally just hours before landing, just in case Fr. Terry ran into any problems. Fr. Terry called the number and his friend, Ricardo Tomas, was able to come and help.
The federal agents finally released Fr. Terry with a 12-day temporary visa. He traveled to his hotel and began preparations for the Conference, including several meetings with the young organizers of the event. God's grace was very present in these meetings. Fr. Terry was impressed and encouraged by the team's zeal and kindness, and extremely excited at the chance to return the encouragement by speaking at their Conference.
However, the enemy still wasn't done with his meddling, and not even one day later, Fr. Terry was met in the hotel lobby by federal agents.
The agents informed Fr. Terry that his visa was absolutely unacceptable. He would have to leave. In fact, he would have to leave first thing in the morning or be deported. No exceptions.
Fr. Terry was, of course, very discouraged by all of this, but not because he would have to leave the country. He wanted a chance to speak to the youth! And he could see very plainly that the enemy was doing all he could to stop it. So, immediately after the federal agents left, Fr. Terry contacted his assistant back in the States and told her send out a request for prayer, specifically for prayer that he would be able to speak at the Conference before he had to leave in the morning.
Just hours later, God answered that prayer! The Conference organizers not only decided to shift the schedule to include Fr. Terry that very night, but they also went out and hired a translator on the spot, as Fr. Terry's translator was not arriving until the morning. Even though he would be forced to leave the country not even 12 hours after walking off the stage, Fr. Terry knew that God's purpose would be accomplished, His seed planted. The Gospel of Life would be shared with these brave, young warriors.
CEC For Life has had a difficult year. The challenges Fr. Terry faced in Brazil were not a surprise to him. God's word plainly says that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, and Fr. Terry meets opposition everywhere he goes. Just this summer, when he spoke at the pro-life rally in Belfast, Fr. Terry arrived to discover that the Northern Ireland media had painted him as a "criminal" in their newspaper. Warfare comes with the territory. However, with every battle our faith is made firmer, and our hearts grow more determined to do the work set before us.
Isaiah 50:7 says, "...therefore, I have set my face like flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed."
That is the attitude and promise to which we hold fast. CEC For Life has set its face like flint, and it will not back down, turn aside, or surrender. We will stand against the enemy, always.
Will you stand with us? We need your help in both prayer and finances. If it had not been for the prayers of the people back home, Fr. Terry probably would not have made it onto that stage in Brazil. In fact, he wouldn't have even made it out of the airport in Florida! Your prayers make a huge difference in the spiritual realm - and your gifts make a difference in the physical!
We would not be able to carry the Gospel of Life to people in other nations, or even in this nation, if it were not for your faithful and gracious support.
Thank you for you friendship and support. Thank you, especially, for the prayers you offered up with us while Fr. Terry was in Brazil. We pray that you will continue to support CEC For Life, and that God will bless you and your family for following so closely to His heart. The preborn are worth fighting for. The Sanctity of Life is worth protecting.
If you would like to help us make it through the coming months - November and December - and allow CEC For Life to finish out the year, please visit www.cecforlife.com, or mail your tax-deductible donation to 1472 Tomahawk Rd, Birmingham, AL, 35214.
We are so grateful to have supporters like you, and we look forward to continuing the battle side by side.
CEC For Life