Our team has just returned from eight days in the country of Chile. I had never been to Chile before. It’s a beautiful country. If you ever get a chance to go there, take it. It is a place of great food, warm and friendly people and we just thoroughly enjoyed our time there. Abortion is illegal in Chile. We knew this, but we were told by our taxi driver that abortion is illegal in Chile except for three reasons. Now, of course, when someone says that it’s always the same thing in abortion law, the three reasons are rape, incest and the life of the mother.
Roe v. Wade essentially made abortion illegal in America except for those three reasons. But the life of the mother was defined so broadly that any sort of mental or emotional distress that was brought on to the mother because of a pregnancy meant that the pregnancy could be terminated at any time for that reason.
Now, with that being said, pregnancy can be a very stressful thing. And, essentially, what you’ve done is you’ve opened the door for anybody to abort at any time for any reason. That is the case in Chile. If you want to have an abortion, you can have an abortion. So, that’s one of those places where it is considered illegal but abortion is common. We really enjoyed working with the pastors there in Chile, and if you’re not familiar with the Passion Life model, we start with the Bible. We believe that good moral behavior in any country, especially within the Christian context, begins with a good understanding of biblical ethics.
We begin, not by planting pregnancy health centers in foreign contexts, we begin by working with Christians, and specifically with pastoral leaders. We work with pastors so that they are not keeping their mouth shut on the issue and are engaging the issue with their people to combat what the culture is saying about it. The culture makes lots of convincing and “compassionate” arguments for why abortion is justified and necessary in many lives. But the Bible speaks quite clearly to the shedding of innocent blood, value of human life, and how the gospel applies to those specific issues.
What PassionLife does is we go to countries and we do what we did in Chile. We gathered pastoral leaders from various churches in various cities, three to be exact on this trip, and we spent most of a full day teaching the biblical worldview of the value of human life, the implications of the shedding of innocent blood, both inside the church and outside of the church, what it means to be passive or active on the issue and how God sees these dynamics. Then we spend some time talking about how the grace of the gospel comes to the guilt and the grief of abortion so that people can experience not just forgiveness for their sin, but they also experience freedom from the guilt that often feels like it can drag people down. Then we answered the final call which is what God wants us to do in response to the biblical mandate to rescue the innocent. We showed that through how people have done that throughout the Bible and throughout missions history. We also showed how they are doing it throughout the world today.
We bring examples and models, if you will, of the pregnancy intervention crisis and help to these places where abortion rates are very high. There is a seeming dearth of pastoral leadership on helping Christians understand how God wants us to act. Please pray for Chile.
We made some great inroads with pastors who are very passionate and compassionate people. I was struck by one pastor who, just after hearing a little bit about the ethics of human life, stood in front of the people and prayed in tears, just thanking God for how beautiful human life is and what a gift it is from conception all the way until natural death. These are people who really, I think, want to obey what God has to say. They want to bring good, quality, pastoral leadership to the nation of Chile.
So pray for Chile, pray for these pastoral leaders, pray for these volunteers who have come together in these three cities. These people have stepped forward and said, “we want to make ourselves available to God to stand for life in a practical and meaningful way in our context and community.” As always, pray for us as teachers, pray for us as we continue to look for ways to answer the call that God has put on our plates. Invitations are coming in from around the world. We couldn’t be more thankful for that, but it takes a team of people like you praying, giving and supporting the work of Passion Life so that we can continue to go out and make roads for life in these spiritually dark places. Thank you for praying for us through Chile and we’ll give you more of an update on Chile soon.