The First Step of Many


By Dan Miller

This is how I got involved in the pro-life movement.

It was the early morning of September 12th, 2009.  To make a long story short, I crushed my left leg that morning and my life would never be the same since. 

My doctors told me the ONLY way that I was going to get my leg back to full function was to do a LOT of therapy and a LOT of walking and standing.  Of course, after my week’s stay in the hospital, I was in full remote-control mode at home.  I was turning into a couch potato.  My wife encouraged me to get up and do *some* sort of exercise, but I was stuck in this physical, emotional and spiritual rut.  I was not counting my blessings.  My outlook on life could be summed up as “my glass is half empty.” 

 My dad is “a glass half full” kind of person and always an advocate for me.  During this period in my life, it was no different.  He wanted me back to 100%, no ifs ands or buts. 

 My dad is always moving forward with his faith life.  He could see that I was in a stall pattern, so he decided to volunteer my free time while at home to this new ministry that he had heard about, the Men of Christ conference. 

 I wasn’t particularly *thrilled* that he had just “volun-told” me and my free time, but my dad is always right about issues of the faith.  I’ve learned to NOT buck him in this area.  He is an excellent apologist for his faith – and my faith life had taken some major hits, so I trusted him and called Kevin O’Brien to see what needed to be done. 

 When I got a hold of Kevin, I warned him right up front that I was still on crutches an couldn’t even drive a car at that point.  The most I had to offer was making telephone calls.  Kevin said, “I think we can keep you busy for a while.”

 It was extremely gratifying work.  I looked forward to what the day would bring me as I made my calls for the Men of Christ conference.  Then the conference came.  It was profound!  Then it was over.  Now what would I do with my time? 

 One of the things you will notice about the Men of Christ conference, is that for as important as it is to get the men *to* the conference, it is critical to create an “after the conference” atmosphere that will help the guys in their prayer life until the “NEXT” conference.  Currently, there are over 50 men’s faith formation groups all over the Milwaukee Archdiocese to help these men learn more about Christ. 

 So, this is where it started for me.  They call it “the tap” – the personal invitation to get involved with an “after the conference” initiative.  Tim Dunne, one of the guys in the leadership team for the Men of Christ was going to the opening day of the Spring 40 Days for Life campaign and invited me to meet him there. 

I had heard about 40 Days for Life, but thought it was for places like New York and California – you know – places where abortion is a ‘real’ problem. 

I told Tim, “No thanks.  I don’t think so.”  He asked again. 

I was more forceful, “Tim, I’d rather have all four wisdom teeth pulled WITHOUT anesthesia.” 

Unphased, Tim asked again, just rephrased the question.  “We are going down there to pray the rosary….” And went on to explain all the things they did out in front of an abortion center.  I said, “Tim, Tim, Tim….you had me at rosary.  What time should I meet you?” 

 That was February 17th, 2010.  Ash Wednesday.  It was about 31 degrees and sunny.  I didn’t know it at the time, but the abortion center was closed to clients that day.  I went the next day and stopped counting after 35 women went in.  I was devastated.  How could they do this to their babies?  I was happy that I was wearing my shades that day, because all I could do was cry.  It was on that day that the Lord seared my heart.  I knew He had prepared me for this battle and He was even so kind as to clear my calendar! 

 From that day forward.  Summer.  Fall.  Winter.  Spring.  I was there.  Walking, standing, praying and talking young moms and dad’s out of having an abortion.  One day, someone asked me how much time I put in.  I couldn’t answer their question exactly, but my response was, “A lot.”  I went home that night and did the math.  Over those five years, I logged over 5,000 hours as a sidewalk counselor, had witnessed over 500 babies saved from abortion personally and 620 total over those five years. 

 One of the babies saved from abortion is now our Godson, Joseph Isai, who is now eight years old.  Another baby saved by our direct action, Erik Jr., my wife and I had the great honor of baptizing him who was born with Trisomy 18.  He went home to the Lord just six short hours after he was born – but his parents were so thankful we were there to talk them out of having the abortion.

 Today, there are 1,134 babies alive and kicking because people like us went out to stand in the gap and defend our voiceless brothers and sisters in Christ. 

 That’s what the Men of Christ did for our community.  It took a willing participant – but anyone can do this work, given the right set of circumstances and deep faith in Christ.  Go now and save lives and souls in your community! 

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