Last night, Life Centers, a pregnancy resource center here in central Indiana, hosted its thirty-first annual Celebration of Life banquet. The fund-raiser was headlined by keynote speaker Eric Metaxas. Indiana Governor Mike Pence addressed the audience of nearly one-thousand friends of life, and he ceremonially signed new pro-adoption legislation.
Testimonies were shared by women who have had abortions in the past but who are now counseling in centers around Indianapolis. Other stories highlighted the lives of nearly seven-thousand men, women, and children helped over the last year with a wide range of services. Two-hundred-thirty-nine women over the last year came to the centers seriously considering abortion but, by God’s grace, chose to carry their children to term. Many also put their faith in Jesus Christ through the ministry of Life Centers and have become part of local churches that labor together with it. How anyone could sit through these stories at the banquet with dry eyes, I’ll never know.
Looking to the future, the ministry is seeking to upgrade technology. They want to make the ministry not only better technologically but also more personal. For instance, imagine giving a woman an audio recording of her child’s heartbeat on her phone along with ultra-sound pictures on her screen to take with her as she leaves the center. Imagine her playing it back for her ten year old child a decade later while recounting the story of God’s grace. Praise God for people working with conviction and creativity to serve the most vulnerable among us!
Great needs remain. There are still far too many who choose death over life, but there is progress on the pro-life front in our land.
Governor Pence noted: "Tonight we celebrate the extraordinary work of Life Centers, and I want you all to be encouraged - to be encouraged that because of your work over the last three decades and more compassion is overcoming convenience, life is defeating despair, and forgiveness is vanquishing a lifetime of regret. Every day here across central Indiana in Life Centers and across kitchen tables the truth about abortion is being told. Life is winning in Indiana!"
It was an amazing night celebrating remarkable progress. But it is also good to remember that this ministry did not begin so gloriously. This reality should encourage others who are working for life in parts of the country and world where progress is slow and the thought of big-name speakers or political leaders supporting the cause seems remote.
I sat at the table of a woman who was involved in the ministry in the very beginning, back in 1983. Roe versus Wade was a decade old, and the Christian community was coming to grips with the reality of abortion. Political action was proving an uphill battle, and efforts to close abortion mills were clearly not going to be enough. So, a committed group of Christians began to labor to minister directly to the women and children in need and built the infrastructure to be able to better serve them. They went and found hurting women. They poured themselves out to satisfy the desires of the afflicted, and their light has risen in darkness. They followed Jesus Christ who came not to be served, but to serve. God blessed their efforts.
May we never forget the labors of these pioneers who plodded on when the voices were far fewer! And may we sacrificially follow in their footsteps and continue to pour ourselves out to protect and serve unborn image-bearers of God in our day.