Lisa Rowe, CEO for Support After Abortion and Mark Nicholson, Executive Director for Passion Life International discuss the impact and importance of training individuals within our churches, to compassionately speak about abortion and the abortion healing process.
Mark was a long-term missionary for 11 years in East Asia. During this time he served on the board for Passion Life International, and then transitioned into the role of Executive Director. Mark states there are two focuses for Passion Life International: Training and where will you apply that training, which can take on many different forms. Training, as the first focus, is delivered to pastors within various churches in the community. Passion Life is either asked specifically to come to a certain community, or they go into a community based on data research that shows the areas most impacted by abortion.
However, although they are in areas highly impacted by abortion, they do not go in and train pastors to deliver messages specifically around the evils of abortion. Instead, the training comes from the Bible and discusses themes within the Bible that deal with guilt, shame, hope and healing. The second focus then happens after those trained have gone out into the community, practice their training, and have begun to train others. When this happens, Passion Life, much like Support After Abortion, has helped these communities build abortion healing programs, retreats, and helplines so that they can continue to compassionately serve their community.
Practicing Compassion and Creativity to Build Capacity for Abortion Healing
Passion Life focuses on speaking compassionately during training especially on the topics of guilt, hope and healing. They both agree that the issue of abortion, in America, is very heavily politicized. Pastors, understand the need for abortion healing, and the need to drive the conversation around abortion, but often times feel illequipped or scared to do so because it has become a very sensitive political issue. Mark encourages pastors to remember that they were chosen by God, and to “lead with a father’s heart and not a cultural heart.”
Support After Abortion, continues to develop creative ways to reach out to church communities and equip pastors to start having the conversation of abortion and abortion healing. When churches fail to address these two very important issues, they inadverently are communicating it is an unforgivable sin, and increase the shame that those impacted by abortion can experience. Support After Abortion is pioneering a model, similar to Passion Life, where they provide training to our pastors and churches, and those leaders collaborate with those in their community to continue to share the message of compassion, hope and healing.
If you or someone you know has been impacted by abortion, you are not alone. To speak with someone about beginning a virtual group or to be linked with abortion healing resources in your area contact our Hopeline at 844-289-HOPE (4673). For ways to get involved, and become part of the abortion healing movement visit our website at https://supportafterabortion.net.