Passing the Torch
One evocative symbol of the Olympic games, the passing of the torch, is especially poignant as the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing draw nearer. The torch is also a symbol of zeal for life—a zeal that knows truth and will love and fight for life.
This torch must be passed on. Through the efforts of some local pro-lifers, it is. On Thursday June 12, 2008, the group, Teens for Truth, sponsored a two day retreat for 32 teens. Invited groups were Teens for Truth, Lehman Pro-Lifeguards, Marion Youth Ministry, and Russia Youth Ministry. The overnight retreat was intended to motivate and inform young people about the sanctity of all life. The speakers Thursday evening, were Teresa Wenrick, with a pottery demonstration presenting God as the potter molding us as clay; Angie Crider from Silent No More who spoke of the turmoil in her life wrought by her choice to abort her child; and Angie Woodruff, a mother, who recently having lost a child through miscarriage, expressed the value of life and God’s goodness in all situations. Jon Paul Hebert, a youth minister from Piqua, played inspirational music for the teens.
During the first 24 hours of the retreat, teens prayed in shifts, fulfilling 24 hours of perpetual prayer for mercy. “It was awesome to see the teens get up throughout the night to pray!” said Theresa Harshbarger, one of the principle organizers of the event, who, with her husband, Ben, hosted the retreat on their property.
With their enthusiasm ignited by the first day of the retreat, the teens then dispersed their light to visitors during an open house for the public from 1 to 4 p.m. on Friday. Teen-aged guides led visitors through stations for prayer and reflection, including a field of 4000 crosses, representing the horrifying number of abortions done in a single day in our country alone, and the documentary video presentation of The Harder Truth, depicting the mutilated and now-lifeless bodies of aborted babies at various developmental stages. The visitors’ tour ended with a talk by a 17-year old retreat participant, Sarah Huffman, who was the reward of her pro-life parents’ steadfastness during a grave trial in which they were strongly recommended to abort their child for medical reasons. (Her father, John Huffman, was featured in the November 2007 RTL newsletter after speaking at the Fort Loramie/Newport dedication of the Field of Crosses.) Kim Poeppelman highlighted the gift of adoption, with her adopted, toddler son, Hayden, nestled in her arms.
Visitors perused booths from RTL-SC, Elizabeth’s New Life Center, Catholic Social Services, and Teens for Truth. At the conclusion of the retreat, Elizabeth Trisler, who will be representing Shelby County and Ohio Right to Life at the National Right to Life Oratory contest on July 5, gave her award-winning speech. Then the retreat grounds were inundated with a downpour, but one which had no power to extinguish the flame of truth and love which these young people carry in their hearts and minds to bring light and mercy to the world.
For more information about Teens for Truth, please contact Theresa Harshbarger at 493-0018, or Sandy Wells at 394-3902.