New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Philadelphia, San Diego, Houston, Phoenix—some of the most populated cities in our country. Combined, their populations top fifty-five million. Imagine the loss if those fifty-five million individuals were never able to mark their presence in the world by interacting with those around them. Imagine if those stories were never even known. Now you can begin to fathom the impact of abortion around the world. Abortion claims over 55,000,000 lives every year.
When we consider the task of standing for life in a culture of death, we can be overwhelmed. Just thinking about the 1,200,000 abortions that take place each year within our borders. J. Budziszewski's words about the lack of esteem for human life in our nation ring sadly true: "If we may kill, we may do anything—and historians will write that by the last decade of the twentieth century, great numbers of men and women in the most pampered society on the earth had come to think it normal and desirable that their sick, their weak, and their helpless should be killed."
By the grace of God, however, and through the faithful diligence of pregnancy center staff and volunteers, that number has been kept to 1.2 million. Let us pray that the addendum to Bucziszewski's sobering observation will read that shortly after the turn of the twenty-first century, the number of annual abortions in the U.S. began a gradual decline due to a revival in our churches and a resurgence of Americans going to their knees in confession and repentance.
While there are an estimated 2,500 pregnancy care centers within North America, it is estimated that throughout the rest of the world there are only 500 centers. Those numbers translate to one center for every 116,000 people in North America and one center for every 11,400,000 people in the rest of the world. For a woman living outside of the United States, there may not be a center in her country, let alone in her town.
If your center cannot afford to keep its doors open long enough to meet all of the needs of your own town's residents, how can you be expected to provide services to a completely different country? You can't be expected to make a way, but God will make a way—not in a formal endorsement of this ministry or that pregnancy center—but for life to come forth out of death. Life will burst forth triumphant in the nations as the Word of God casts its purifying light into every dark corner.
Imagine a hospital for women with general care on the ground floor, abortion services on the second floor, and a pregnancy resource center on the third floor. Welcome to Pushkin, Russia, and the humble third-floor ministry of LIFE International and Dr. Vita Lutinskaya, where pro-life counselors meet with women in crisis while the drone of abortion machinery emanates from below.
Over the past four years, we have seen God work dramatically in the establishment of eleven different centers that now operate effectively in six countries: Russia, Brazil, Guyana, the Netherlands, Romania, and Trinidad. The mission of LIFE International is to establish a pregnancy resource center wherever abortion is provided around the world. All of our staff members come from a background in pregnancy resource center work and are now fully devoted to a mission of bringing the Gospel—the True Life—to places beyond our borders. We fully understand the immensity of the challenge and accordingly put our hope not in ourselves, but in our God, Who is able to meet and exceed the challenge. In addition to our established centers, we are currently working and praying to see centers developed in Hungary, Macao, China, Thailand, Dagestan, Ukraine, and the Amazon Basin in Brazil. A total of forty more countries are currently waiting for our aid and assistance.
We are seeking creative ways to partner with ministries in the United States as they expand their boundaries globally. There are a number of ways for individuals, centers, or other ministries to become involved with LIFE International.
Our greatest need is for prayer support. We are establishing a daily prayer base called the International Prayer Center for Life. We are seeking intercessors. We provide regular prayer updates for those individuals who agree to become what we call Life Prayer Partners.
In addition to your prayers, your financial gifts have a direct and immediate effect on our ability to continue this work. Life-Giving Partners are those individuals or centers that support LIFE International through their giving. We have seen tremendous fruitfulness as the Lord has multiplied the donations over the past several months. Some people choose to create a Life Ministry Team (LMT) composed of individuals who "adopt" a particular international region for the purpose of establishing a center there. The team travels to the area to learn about the region and commits to the project, designed with the help of LIFE International, for a period of five years.
However you see yourself joining in this work, we would appreciate the opportunity to talk with you about your interests. You can visit our web site to learn more about us or to request additional information.
We have a healthy challenge before us, but the challenge is no different than it was for the disciples, who were directed by Christ Himself to go into all the world. We aim to be faithful to the call that God has given us, and He will remain faithful to continue His work around the world for the sake of making Him known and glorified in all the nations.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kurt Dillinger is the founder and President of LIFE International, which evolved out of the Pregnancy Resource Center of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and at which Mr. Dillinger served nine years as the executive director. Mr. Dillinger has traveled abroad extensively, speaking at conferences and seminars. Phone: (616) 647-3004. firstname.lastname@example.org. www.lifeinitiatives.org.