By JOEY REISTROFFER
GREENVILLE — There is plenty to do across South Carolina on a Friday night, and Nov. 14 was no exception.
Many folks went to the first round of the high school football playoffs to root for their favorite teams. Others attended the season-opening college basketball games for Clemson and USC and cheered their victories.
Then there were the 88 souls who lined up outside an abortion clinic in Greenville, holding candles and praying for those lost babies and their parents.
No rooting. No cheering. Just a prayerful candlelight vigil trying to shine light on the darkness of abortion. Occasionally, a car would drive past, honking their support or disdain, depending on their view of abortion.
That 88 people showed up at all was a semi-miracle in itself because it was a gray day. And the forecast that late autumn evening was for more of the same: Cloudy, cold with a steady mist and fog rolling in.
But at 6 p.m., right at the start of the vigil, a front blew through and cleared out all the rain and clouds. Then a full moon lit up the night sky, shining on those 88 points of light lined up on Laurens Road in front of the clinic.
“I think the Blessed Mother was shining on us,” Ann Chadwick said. “Did you notice how the clouds cleared up just when we started?”
Chadwick showed up with Nancy Kuczinski, who said she was “pretty impressed that so many people came out.”
Kuczinski does not pray in front of this particular clinic very often. She is from Puerto Rico. But said that when she visits relatives in the area, she makes a point to come out and pray. “I always come here when I visit,” she said.
“This shows how we support the pro-life movement of the Catholic Church,” Teresa McGrath said.
“This shows how we feel about this thing,” added Emily Evans. “Lots of people have abortions, and they don’t realize what they are doing. It’s not their choice, there’s a baby involved.”
Earlene Evans was a bit more forceful. “I just wish that they would understand that there is no choice when you exterminate your baby.”
She called the turnout at the clinic “just awesome,” but added, “It’s still disturbing to see the cars pulling in … It just curdles my hair.”
So they reached into their pockets or purses, pulled out their rosaries and prayed. And this night, one of their prayers was answered.
“We have a conversion,” said Beth Hambleton, who organized the candlelight vigil. “Two people in there just got zapped (by the Holy Spirit).”
The security guard and his wife, who work inside the clinic, told Hambleton that they just could not continue in clear conscience with that line of work.
Hambleton said that earlier in the week the security guard had called one of the people who stands outside the clinic each Saturday to pray for the unborn and apologized.
“He said, ‘Please forgive me for all the times that I have been mean and nasty to you,'” Hambleton explained.
Then Hambleton said the couple quit their work at the clinic and joined a local church.