Picture yourself a soldier in WWII. It’s spring 1945 and you have endured a tireless campaign across Europe defeating the Nazis. However, the tide of the war is changing and as each day passes the battles become less and less noticeable. You are beginning to think of the war as a past event. The battles you experienced upon landing in Normandy, the cold winters in the forests of France are memories and the horror of war is beginning to give way to the hope of returning home. You’re becoming more and more detached from the atrocities of war.
But then in about April, you are out on a routine patrol assuming you are rounding up the last of the enemy that has been giving up daily. You come upon a complex that is surrounded by a large wall and appears to be empty. But there is a smell that you are familiar with that reminds you that the war is not over. So, as the feelings and wariness of war creep back into your psyche, you approach this complex with suspicion, not sure what you will find inside.
You had heard rumors of these places but had never given them much thought. They must be exaggerated. You had heard reports from your superiors of the camps that the soviets had found but you never trusted them to begin with.
And then you see them. The survivors. The men, women and children that were abandoned by the Germans as they fled the oncoming invasion of soldiers. And as you see this mass of humanity that has been spared, you are immediately reminded of why you are in Europe. Freedom. The feeling of accomplishment gives way to a reckoning of your purpose. Moved at the same time by the hope of life, the anger towards evil men and the desire to liberate helpless souls you begin to fight more vigorously than you have for months. Only this fight is not with a gun against another man. This fight is against barbed wire, confusion, hunger and helplessness. With more energy than you spent on the beaches of Normandy you begin to tear down fences, comfort the fear and confusion and tirelessly work to make sure everyone is getting food and water. However, the response from you is not one of anger or revenge. The response from you is the vestige of hope in a horrible situation. You see life holding on. And you know you have a chance to come beside these men, women and children and hold them up. That they survived.
None of this would have been real if you had not experienced it. It would have been another problem in an otherwise distant war.
I’d like to introduce you to a survivor. Me. My birth mother was 15 when she had me. My birth father was 16. By the worlds standards, they had no chance of providing for me. They had no chance of raising me. My life would have been a burden to them. I should have been aborted. I was unexpected and doubtless I turned an otherwise normal life upside down. Yet, by the grace of God, here I stand. I know that were it not for someone who counseled my birth parents in some way, I would have been one of the 56,500,000 abortions since 1973.
I don’t want to give anyone a guilt trip. I don’t think the soldiers in 1945 felt any guilt. I hope to bring the need for grace, help, hope into reality for some of us. Maybe this whole abortion thing is distant to you. A distant battle. But there are people out there who are real life survivors that God has plans for.
This is the battle that Care Net wages daily. A battle of hope. A battle of faith. And a battle that has real survivors and real effects. The enemy wants to keep this battle hidden and unknown. He wants it to remain out of our experience because he knows that when we experience this battle we will respond.
We, as a church, are endeavoring to come alongside Care Net to help liberate victims of sin. Not with violence and argument but with love and hope and the grace that can only be given by Jesus Christ. This Sunday and in the future, I ask that as a church we join in this effort with Care Net however we can. If it’s as a volunteer, then as one who has met a survivor. If it is as a counselor, then as one who has met a survivor. If it is financially, then as one who has met a survivor. This battle is real, there are real results from our ministry and there are real survivors.