Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
November 9, 2009
A seed of life planted 25 years ago blossoms
Co-founder of Edmonton Pregnancy Care Centre comes face-to-face with the reality of his life-saving actions
My Glass is Half Full
By MARK PICKUP
This column is rather boastful on my part. I will confess it and do penance.
My wife and I recently attended the 25th anniversary of Edmonton's Pregnancy Care Centre. It was a moving experience for me because I co-founded that Christian pro-life ministry to women in crisis pregnancies.
All evening I was close to tears to see what they have accomplished throughout two and a half decades.
A few years after the ministry was established, back in the 1980s, I was forced to leave because my health was deteriorating due to multiple sclerosis.
SO MANY HELPED
Today, the Pregnancy Care Centre serves more than 1,800 women a year and since its beginning, the centre has helped an estimated 20,000 women.
At one point during the anniversary banquet a woman and her 15-year-old daughter introduced themselves to my wife and me. The Pregnancy Care Centre helped the mother in 1993 when she was in a crisis pregnancy. She chose to give birth to her baby rather than abort her.
Apparently at the banquet the mother pointed me out to her daughter as the person who co-founded the ministry. Her daughter wanted to thank me.
After introductions and explanations were completed, I nearly wept. If it hadn't been for the Pregnancy Care Centre the young girl standing in front of me might have been aborted.
There are rare occasions in a person's life when they realize that they made a life or death difference in the lives of others. This was one of those occasions for me and I am indebted to that mother and her daughter for letting me know that.
The day after the banquet, my wife decided it was time to clean our basement of its clutter. She brought box after box of my papers upstairs for me to go through and throw away.
All day long and into the night I sat in front of the backyard fire-pit burning papers, thinking about the millions of Canadian children whose mothers did not choose life for their babies.
At one point in the paper purging process, I came across my files pertaining to the establishment of the organization that eventually became the Pregnancy Care Centre. I had not seen them in years and found some speaking notes for an address I delivered to an evangelical church in 1984.
I was asking it to get involved with the fledging ministry. This is part of what I said:
"We stand at edge of a precipice of a great and terrible day. Abortion is a package deal: Euthanasia and infanticide are the other parts of the deadly package. It is a slow walk from the abortion chamber to the nursery and the nursing home.
"The same arguments can be used for killing the severely disabled adult as the unwanted child in the womb: The life in question would be a burden on their family; the life in question is not even wanted by anyone; the quality of life for the individual in question may not be good."
I continued: "Brothers and sisters in Christ, we cannot just sit back while this silent holocaust of abortion continues, and worsens, as it surely will. We must understand and believe in the sanctity of all human life born or preborn, sick or well. We are all made in the image of God."
RETURN TO SENDER
Thinking I was on a roll, I concluded with these words: "Do you not see that the hour is dark? Do you not sense that Almighty God is grieved at the insult of abortion?
I tell you this: Abortion is a denial of God's sovereignty. It is tantamount to telling the Giver of Life that he doesn't know what he's doing. Abortion throws the gift of life back in God's face unwanted, unopened, stamped 'Return to Sender.'"
Christians did support the ministry not only with their financial gifts but personal volunteerism. Churches supported the Pregnancy Care Centre within their yearly budgets.
The centre has expanded into public education, school programs about abstinence and prenatal development, post-abortion counselling, pregnancy care and support, mentoring, life-skills training and educational supports that enable young mothers to complete their education. At the Pregnancy Care Centre the operative word is love: love for people that is rooted in love for God. It's shoe-leather Christianity at its best.
SLOW TRAIN OF DEATH
The slow trains of infanticide and euthanasia have arrived. Disabled newborns are routinely killed in hospitals across North America. Neonatologists refer to the child they are about to kill as a "neonate" in an attempt to distance the baby from its humanity.
Euthanasia is legal in Oregon and the state of Washington and other jurisdictions in Europe.
Canada's Parliament has been asked to consider a euthanasia bill under the guise of "death with dignity." Much of the public has erroneously bought into acceptance that euthanasia and assisted suicide are merciful.
Christians are once again faced with a stark reality: We have entered a great and terrible day where human life is now being assaulted outside the womb. We must respond with love and compassion yet refuse to acquiesce to those who want help taking their own lives or the lives of a sick or dying loved-one.
Take a cue from the Pregnancy Care Centre and reach out in life-affirming Christian ministry to vulnerable populations at the other end of the life spectrum.
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