Three years ago I met Kurt Dillinger who ran a ministry called “Life International“. There are more than two thousand centers in America to help council women who have an unplanned pregnancy choose life; however, there are few overseas. Most of the 42 million abortions performed annually in the world are done in Asia, yet there are only a few dozen centers which provide counseling services to promote life in the whole of Asia. I had never considered the issue of abortion seriously until that time.
A week later my wife and I were traveling to a remote tribal region of Cambodia. Upon arriving there we discovered the person we were going to meet was not there. After an hour or so, they showed up and my wife asked where they had gone, because we had told them we would be arriving. The pastor’s daughter told my wife quietly, “I discovered I was pregnant and didn’t want any more kids. My husband didn’t know I was pregnant, so I went and had an abortion.” We were saddened and shocked by this revelation.
Later that day, a woman church leader came to meet my wife. She was feeling depressed over a recent abortion. She was an older woman (43) who had several children and didn’t want to have anymore, so she had an abortion. This was two times in one day we heard this, yet we had not heard two abortion cases in the previous decade.
Later that evening my wife got a call from the south of Cambodia. It was another woman church leader and she wanted to talk to my wife because she had just had an abortion and was feeling remorse for what she had done.
In only one day, we met 3 Christian women leaders who had abortions. All of a sudden we have been thrust into a need to promote life. We believe God brought us into the cause of life. Over the last two years we have held two trainings in Phnom Penh for church leaders. Most have either had an abortion or encouraged (or forced) their wives to have abortions. We are now counseling the leaders and leading them to the forgiveness that Christ offers. Many are interested in promoting the sanctity of life across Cambodia.
Life International continues to help us in training, coaching and is an incredible resource to us. This week Life International came and taught on issues related to the promotion of life and taught how to counsel women who are in a crisis with an unwanted pregnancy.
Nearly all of the Christians in Cambodia are first generation believers and have come out of Buddhism. Abortion is so widespread and available in Cambodia that nearly every family is touched. The trainings have had two great benefits: First, they have provided a time of healing for the many leaders who aborted children in the past. Secondly, it helps them to know how to counsel others to choose life.
Cambodia has has decades of death, it is time to bring life to this nation.