The last two weeks my mind has grappled with a thought. Ceausescu, the horrible Romanian dictator in the 80’s, was a pro-lifer. Now stay with me, I’m not saying he was altruistic in his belief system. In fact, I’m sure many will remember the reports showing the babies in Romanian orphanages and how outraged American citizens were. Remember rows of cribs and babies? These children were provided basic needs and nothing else.
Yes, this was caused by Nicolae and his regime. A brief review of European history will reveal that Nicolae Ceausescu strongly opposed the killing of unborn Romanian children. For decades, women in Romania used abortion as a means of birth control. Romania had one of the highest abortion rates with about 480 for every 1,000 live births. Ceausescu had dreams of Romanian glory and he needed more Romanians, so he implemented Decree 770, which outlawed contraception and banned abortions. This system bled across Eastern Europe and as a result the population of a very poor country was heavily burdened. It was a tragedy that during Nicolae’s 25 year reign, poverty-stricken parents were encouraged and forced by necessity to hand over their children to the care of the state. He wanted to boost the population and create a “Citizen’s Army”. The result was appalling as institutions overflowed with unwanted babies and what ensued was a devaluation of life. Ceausescu was pro-life by the definition of the word. Now before you think I am advocating abortion, let me take one more step. If I believe in the value of life because I follow Jesus Christ, this means that I am called to support the value of every life. We are outraged at abortion, but we must look beyond the womb. This means I must look to the plight of children who are Fatherless. Yes, you know the verse in Psalm 68:5, He will be the father to the fatherless. This does not mean that God has stepped in and we are not responsible. No, He is the father to the fatherless through us, His hands and feet.
So, here is where the hard truths hit me. We as followers of Christ believe in pro-life. We beat our drum about the value of human life, yet does this value end at birth? Lately I have been convicted that we need to be pro-life beyond birth. Yes, let’s talk pro-life in regards to orphans. We are the hands and feet of Christ. God has called us to be pro-life and this means we value every human life. Our hands, feet and heart are called to rescue the weak and the vulnerable. Are we willing to be burdened with what happens outside our neighborhood? And what does this look like in our American lives? We are all well-insulated from the harsh realities of poverty and it is easy to remain indifferent to what happens beyond our borders. We have become desensitized by media and culture.
I sat in a Bulgarian orphanage and the images and smells will never leave my mind. I have sat broken and horrified by images, and my heart has been changed. I’d like to share an interesting story that occurred while I was at the orphanage. My translator was talking with the staff about my little boy. He turned to me and said that he was going to be “safe” until I returned. I must have looked confused, because he quickly explained. He said that he was safe because the boy was “wanted” now. This meant that he would be fed better and looked after. He also told me that had he not been claimed and adopted this year, my little boy would have been transferred to an adult mental institution and my heart dropped. These pictures slipped into my mind and I knew from the documentary that I had watched called Bulgaria’s Abandoned Children what an adult mental institution looked like.
Basically, as a human, I had just assigned value to another human and the staff would treat him as worthy and valued. What a horrible concept! But look at the bigger picture and take this with you. God is the picture of adoption. One step further, God is the picture of international special needs adoption! Yes, he has adopted us into His family as broken, unwanted children who are unable to care for ourselves. He has assigned value to us. For GOD so loved us, that He sent His only Son to die! What a beautiful picture.
So now I am asking you to be the hands and feet of Christ. I am listing links to several families trying to raise the ransom to rescue their child from institutionalization. Please be the hands and feet for these children. If we are truly pro-life, we will see the value of every child. We will look beyond the womb and value every life. Just click on the child’s name to go to their family support page, they are all located in the same orphanage as our little boy.