Anyone who knows my family knows that my wife is the most amazing part of it! My wife regularly gets compared to Jesus; no one ever confuses me and our Lord!! (I am working on it!) Anyway, yesterday my wife told me about the counsel she gave to one of our women leaders and it was so wise I wanted to share it with you.
A woman in her mid-forties came to visit Serey (the leader) in a remote Cambodian village. She came because she knew Serey had something to do with abortion. She does, preventing it! But because we have no signboard at the house, people just know it has something to do with abortion. As abortion is offered all over Cambodia (as many as 3000 babies each month are killed) women come to visit Serey. They heard she offers free pregnancy tests.
Offering free pregnancy tests is standard practice in US-based Crisis Pregnancy Centers. It is used as a way to get an open door to talk about pregnancy in hopes of having the women think about what they are doing.
Anyway, Serey asked about the woman’s situation and why she wanted a pregnancy test. She said that she had 11 children already and the oldest was 19. The oldest child was already married and had a baby of her own, so she felt overwhelmed with small children! She wanted to have a pregnancy test to see if she was pregnant and then if positive, she wanted an abortion. My wife, Noit, had told Serey to be careful about giving pregnancy tests so she conferred with Noit about this case.
- Wisdom Point: My wife understands the heart of Cambodian women. She warned Serey that many women would simply want a pregnancy test to confirm that they were indeed pregnancy. A positive result they would have an abortion, but a negative result and they wouldn’t. However, this goes against standard practice in “crisis pregnancy center” circles. Simply copying a US-based model may actually increase abortions.
Serey talked with the woman and talked about her needs and desires to care for her children, but she is very poor and feels overwhelmed with the task of even feeding all her children.
Serey again conferred with my wife about how to respond to the woman’s need. Serey knows that we have two children centers and could easily take in new children, received unwanted babies from pregnancies and the like. But my wife told Serey something unique. She said, do not tell her about our centers nor our ministry with children. Just tell her that Serey would be willing to personally help care for a couple of her young children for a couple of years while she raises the newest one.
- Wisdom Point: The central “issue” is not abortion. The central issue is the life of the mother and life of the baby. The root of the desired abortion is the pressure to raise 12 kids and they are desperately poor and don’t even have enough food to eat. There are so many NGO’s (Christian organizations) in Cambodia that a parent in this situation would readily give her children to an “orphanage”. She may never see them again and just drop them off. The orphanage would usually take the children because then they fulfill their desire of caring for more children. The wisdom which my wife showed that an organizational response would not be a correct one (it would split the family), what was needed is a personal response.
The mother is so grateful. She has agreed to keep the baby to full term (women know when they are pregnant. . . the test is only an external confirmation of what they feel inside). Serey is willing to either help by keeping a couple of kids with her, or babysitting during the day for a few years. Wisdom is saving the family and the life of the unborn baby.
Organizations get cold and distant because of policies which dictate their responses. Organizations tend to focus on specific issues. A pro-abortion group would have provided an abortion. An anti-abortion group, would have provided a pregnancy test and counseling, however, it is likely that she would have gotten an abortion because she already had made up her mind that if the test was positive she would abort. An orphanage would have removed some children from the family and put them into a center.
- Wisdom Point: You never go wrong with loving people. It’s always about people on a personal level. Noit was able to help Serey deal with the root of the problem (many small little kids running around!) and a feeling of being overwhelmed. The wisdom from God was to help her in her family situation, not focus on the potential “abortion”.
Oh yeah. . . being so surprised that Serey cared about her and her children’s well being. She wondered why Serey was so different. Serey told her about Jesus and that day welcomed the lady into the Kingdom of Heaven! She is a new sister in Christ!
Love never fails!
- Wisdom Point: The best way we found to bring people to a permanent relationship with Christ is simply out of the overflow of our genuine lover for others, not though a program of evangelism.