Grand Rapids, Michigan
There are not many things that I enjoy more than being among difference makers — ordinary individuals who have identified and turned their passion for God’s purposes into a pursuit for the sake of His kingdom. This week I am among difference makers at the Global Leaders’ Life Summit hosted by Life International in Grand Rapids. Life International is an evangelical Christian organization that multiplies healthy, Christ-centered, life-giving ministries wherever abortion is provided worldwide. The primary purpose of these ministries is to see people come to new life in Christ and pre-born lives saved from abortion.
Kurt Dillinger, the President of Life International, is a dear friend whose vision for life is impacting the global mission field created by abortion. However, Kurt’s vision is not limited to saving the lives of the pre-born, it also extends to addressing other violations of the sanctity of human life. To that end, Kurt and Life International invited their partners from around the globe to Grand Rapids in order to dialogue and to develop a clear strategy to effectively address the unprecedented attack on human life in our world today. This morning, I had the privilege of speaking to those in attendance during our worship time. But, for me, the best part of the day was listening and learning about what each of the participants are doing to stand for life around the globe.
As each of the participants shared their story, I noted several common denominators among them. These are just a few of the things that these difference makers have in common:
• They see clearly. At some point each of them identified ways in which human life is devalued in their respective contexts.
• They chose to act decisively. They did not wait for someone else to address the problems they identified. They did not waste time whining or complaining. Instead, they prayerfully considered what they could do to make a difference. Anne Frank wrote, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
• They understand that their contribution matters. It was apparent to me as I listened that each of the participants understands that they cannot do everything but that what they have chosen to do really matters.
• They are not easily discouraged. Each of the folks in the room has encountered brick walls and obstacles. Instead of giving up, they have found creative ways to keep going because they are motivated by a greater purpose.
• They celebrate their victories and evaluate their defeats. For those who champion the sanctity of human life, every small victory counts. And, every defeat or setback is an opportunity to find a better way through.
What really impressed me was the range of issues that the participants are addressing. Each of them have taken ownership of a small slice of the sanctity of human life pie, but when you put all of those slices together, it’s quite an impressive looking pie. Here are just some of the issues that the difference makers in attendance are addressing:
• Civil War
• Bioethical Issues
• Marginalization and Abuse of the Elderly
• Sex Trafficking
• Honor Killings
• Gendercide | Gender-Selective Abortions
• Black Market Organ Donations
• Abuse of Children
• Caste System Abuses
• The Plight of the Poor, Widows, and Orphans
One thing is certain, each of the participants have forsaken comfort and security in order to make a difference. They will never get rich by what they are doing but they are enriched because of what they are doing. These difference makers would not have it any other way.