by Megan K. Mertz
By conservative estimates, every year 52 million unborn babies are aborted worldwide. In the United States alone, more than 1 million abortions are performed annually, which is equivalent to the metropolitan population of Rochester, N.Y. To raise awareness about the sanctity of human life, LCMS Life Ministries provides pro-life education and real-world assistance that helps people choose the blessing of life.
“This is a critical area of mercy outreach for Christians,” said Maggie Karner, director of LCMS Life and Health Ministries. “In His work here on earth, Christ showed us how He values all life in a very hands-on way. The Church must do the same … not just by our words, but by our actions as well.”
Karner continued: “We work closely with our international church partners to promote pro-life education and mercy assistance projects around the world and here in the States as well.”
LCMS Life Ministries spearheaded the establishment of the first Lutheran pregnancy resource center in Asia, which is one of the many pro-life projects the LCMS supports around the globe. The Women’s Care and Counseling Centre opened near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in August 2010. Abortion is illegal in this predominantly Muslim country, but “baby dumping” — where a woman abandons her baby — has become a significant social problem.
“The Malaysian church wanted to help women find solutions to the issues causing the crisis,” said Karner, “LCMS Life Ministries provided the guidance and support that allowed the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia to open this pro-life counseling center for women experiencing unplanned pregnancies. We worked closely with them to train staff and volunteers for center operations, along with developing community networks for women’s health care and housing. The efforts were aimed at finding local solutions to the critical problems found in their indigenous area.”
In addition to delivering programs that provide real solutions to some of the world’s most marginalized people, LCMS Life Ministries offers free pro-life educational resources through the online Life Library (www.lcms.org/lifelibrary), organizational mentoring and assistance programs for Lutheran pro-life ministries, a dynamic speakers bureau with chastity education for youth, and partnerships with other national and international pro-life organizations. This year, in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, LCMS Life Ministries organized the first-ever LCMS National Life Conference in Washington, D.C., to encourage ongoing prolife activity in the public square.
Learn more about how the LCMS upholds life at home and abroad at www.lcms.org/life. Your gift to the Global Mission Fund will help ensure that these efforts continue.