Featured Image:The Good Shepherd (Japanese Watercolour by Chinese artist Yu Jiade)
Before the Wednesday Morning Prayer Time at FPAHK in Wanchai, I stopped at McDonald’s, so I could quickly drink espresso, and write notes to prepare for prayer.
The first thing I wrote down was: “Why am I doing this?”
It wasn’t a hopeless question, but it came from a sense that I urgently needed to remember why I am taking this focused time to pray at an abortion centre.
I was drawn to Psalm 23, especially verse 1: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.”
The Lord is a good shepherd (“pastor” in Latin). A good pastor is strong, organised, resourceful. A good pastor can find new paths, and create new paths, to lead his followers to a place where there is enough. How much more will the Lord provide for those who follow Him?
But how many church pastors put limitations on pregnant women who are in desperate situations? How many Christian leaders sometimes agree that “she’s too poor” or “there’s no way she can have this baby”, because of her environment?
My thoughts were interrupted by a WhatsApp message from a friend. She was writing to share the story of a mom and her beautiful little son, whom I’d met earlier this year. I won’t share many specifics, but this happened in Shenzhen, very close to where I live. I’ll call the mom Rachel.
Rachel had an incredibly difficult life, but after receiving job training from a Christian NGO, she eventually started her own business. One night, a robber came into her shop and attacked her. He disfigured her face badly.
She physically “lost face”, but she also lost hope that people would honestly like her anymore. And certainly, nobody would ever love her.
Rachel suffered deeply from depression. During this time, because of her emotional brokenness, she got into a very brief relationship with a very irresponsible man.
She got pregnant. She asked for help from a church. The pastor advised her to get an abortion.
She went to another church for help and advice. The other pastor also advised her to get an abortion.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.” Shepherds are wise, creative, discerning, industrious, resourceful, and strong. The good shepherd will never say, “There is not enough” or “There is no way”. Good shepherds will make a way, and will protect all those in their care.
Someone believed in Rachel, and had faith that God would make a way. Rachel found supportive Christians willing to walk with her throughout the whole process. Her son is an incredibly happy boy, and has made everyone’s life happier, richer, and more beautiful.
Please pray for each of the two pastors who counseled Rachel to get an abortion. Pastors are “shepherds”, and need to understand what abortion is, and how deeply and violently abortion betrays both the mother and her baby.
You can read more about resources for pastors from Human Coalition. And I guarantee you’ll want to make use of some of these simple, practical, uncontroversial ways to facilitate pro-life values as a pastor at your church.