Just as the moon eclipses the sun, the 1,200,000 abortions performed each year in the United States tend to obscure our view of the global figure of 55,000,000 abortions. While not diminishing the magnitude of 4,000 daily domestic abortions, our own tragedy must be viewed within the context of the global crisis, for every eight days, the worldwide abortion toll exceeds the annual toll in the United States.
Peoples of many nations languish beneath the dark cloud of abortion. But what can be done by one person, one group, one center? Strength comes in the knowledge that we are all members of one body; each of us is blessed with individual abilities to edify our sisters and brothers and to enlarge the Kingdom of God. Abortion has produced a vast mission field into which laborers must venture to sow seeds of truth.
Christians in countries around the world share our own horror at the pernicious cancer of abortion within their borders. Oppressive governments, poverty, restricted access to transportation and communication, and gender inequity, however, often prevent the development, growth, and operation of life-giving ministries. These obstacles faced by pregnancy centers abroad provide us with an opportunity to lend a hand and help make great things happen.
LIFE (Life Initiatives For Eternity) International is a ministry that exists to establish a pregnancy resource center wherever abortion is provided around the world. LIFE offers a number of different ways for like-minded believers to enter the global mission field created by abortion. LIFE enables pro-life Americans to partner with their brothers and sisters in other countries through the formation of LIFE Ministry Teams (LMTs).
LIFE International is looking for groups of people, such as a consortium of centers, who are interested in shepherding a fledgling ministry. LMTs can be composed of individuals from a variety of fields, such as pregnancy center ministry, medicine, business, and the pastorate. LMTs "adopt" a particular international center for the purpose of shepherding, supporting, and encouraging it. Each potential LMT is assessed to determine its compatibility with LIFE's mission and to ascertain which international center would be best served by that LMT's combination of skills and gifts. With operational oversight from LIFE International, LMTs travel to the center in order to learn about the region. To help assure a lasting presence in each targeted region, LIFE International requires a five-year commitment from each prospective LMT.
Annually, 42,000,000 abortions are performed in Europe and Asia. They are desperate for pregnancy resource centers. Romania has the second highest abortion rate in the world. The lifetime average is six abortions per woman! Many Romanian women have a dozen or more abortions in their lifetime.
LIFE International operates four centers in Romania in the cities of Bucharest, Brasov, Cluj, and Targoviste. These centers see an average of 300 women a month. In 2002 over 90 babies were given physical life, and 327 women gave their lives to Jesus Christ.
Roxanna Voicu, the director of Clinica Pro Vita Bucharest, has personally discipled over forty women. They, in turn, have discipled others who have accepted Christ through the ministry. Roxanna, and many others like her around the world, need our prayers and financial support. An LMT partnering with a Romanian center, or another of our existing centers, would commit to its operational, spiritual, and financial support.
Those who cannot make the commitment required for an LMT can form a LIFE Alliance Group (LAG). A LAG can be composed of a consortium of centers, churches, individuals, or families. Members of a LAG make a one-year commitment to financially sponsor an international center, making possible the sharing of resources without the additional responsibilities of shepherding and oversight. LIFE International will provide each LAG with documentation for the budgetary requirements of a center. The LAG will then be responsible for developing a program to raise funds to support that center. Most centers can be operated on a budget from $12,000 to $15,000 (U.S.) per year.
While the mission field created by abortion is immense, each word spoken, each prayer offered, each seed carefully planted is important and will bear fruit for a testament to the boundless grace of Jesus.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kurt Dillinger is the founder and President of LIFE International and Frontlines Publishing. LIFE has helped start fourteen centers in nine countries. Kurt speaks regularly at conferences on issues relevant to pregnancy resource centers.