Edmond, OK (PRWEB) June 8, 2005
Over 20 million women have had abortions in the United States since it was legalized in 1973. Of those that have experienced abortion, approximately 70% report a Christian affiliation, and one study concluded that a minimum of 19% suffers from diagnosable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Additionally there are a number of others who are emotionally wounded as a result of abortion including the father of the baby, the grandparents, siblings, friends, and abortion clinic/hospital personnel. There are a sizeable number of people in our churches who have been hurt by abortion and are in need of healing.
In order to equip churches to better meet the needs of those wounded by abortion, In Our Midst Ministries, Inc. (http://www.inourmidst.com) has compiled a list of ways to minister to the post-abortive:
Church Leaders and Those Seeking to Minister to the Post-Abortive Should:
1. Know what leads an individual or a couple to choose abortion. There are many factors that lead a woman to choose abortion, and often, in reality, she feels she has no choice. Understanding what brings her to that point is vital to eliminating condemnation and being able to come alongside her with the heart and compassion of Christ.
2. Understand the societal and relational pressures to abort. Because abortion has been legal in the U.S. for over 30 years, many young women and the young men with whom they are involved have been raised in a society in which abortion is normal and acceptable. For many of these young people, the rhetoric of pro-abortion advocates has instilled an acceptance of abortion as the simplest solution to an unplanned or ill-timed pregnancy. Coupled with the absence of adequate and accurate media coverage regarding the detrimental emotional and physical side effects of abortion, not only do these young people believe (erroneously) that it is their Âright,Â but that it is also without consequences.
3. Be aware of what post-abortion syndrome is and its affects. Abortion often brings severe and long-term affects. Learn about Post Abortion Syndrome (PAS), a post-traumatic stress disorder, and the many ways people are hurt by abortion. Learning about abortionÂs affects is vital to understanding and appropriately caring for the person hurt by abortion.
4. Be willing to exercise Christ-like compassion and acceptance toward the post-abortive. Christ met sinners where they were with love, acceptance, and compassion followed by truth and hope. His is the model we should be following in dealing with those hurt by any sin. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But having been given grace instead of condemnation, we should go and do likewise. As a result healing will take place and the cause of Christ will be furthered.
5. Set the stage in your church for loving and accepting the post-abortive. As the leadership of the church brings to light the deep wounds of those hurt by abortion, drawing a parallel to how Christ ministered to those similarly wounded in bible times (e.g. the woman at the well and the one caught in adultery), they can be freed to entrust their pain to you. As they do so, they will begin to experience a deeper level of spiritual intimacy, growth, and faith in the God who graciously heals even the post-abortive heart.
6. Receive specialized training in counseling and encouraging the post-abortive person in order to facilitate their healing in Christ. Post Abortion Syndrome presents specific symptoms unique to this trauma. As such, specialized training is necessary in order to best meet the needs of the post-abortive without multiplying their pain. In Our Midst Ministries provides on-sight training seminars for those interested in learning to be effective ministers to those hurt by abortion.
7. Volunteer as an intern with a qualified online post-abortion ministry. Following training, the safest way to practice what youÂve learned is by volunteering as an intern at a hands-on Christ-centered peer support web site. SafeHaven Ministries, Inc. (http://www.postabortionpain.com) has been ministering to the needs of those experiencing unplanned pregnancies and the post-abortive on the Internet since 1996. Their intern program is an excellent way to gain confidence in ministering to the post-abortive in your church and community.
8. Develop a plan to help them through the healing process. Realize that post-abortion healing can be a lengthy process that is best served by developing a specific ministry program. Contact In Our Midst Ministries, Inc. to train those interested in post-abortion ministry; organize your volunteers; discuss methods of promoting your new ministry as an outreach to those in your church and community; enlist the support of intercessors to pray for this new ministry; and pray diligently for God to bring the post-abortive to you.
9. Acquire specific post-abortion bible studies around which to build a post-abortion support group. There are several reputable and highly effective bible studies written specifically to facilitate healing in the post-abortive. Visit In Our Midst Ministries, Inc. at http://www.inourmidst.com for a list of proven resources.
10. Offer an open-door policy for anyone, Christian and non-Christian alike, who needs healing from post-abortion trauma. While the churchÂs main objective is to be Âlight in the darknessÂ Christians have not always done so without condemnation and judgmental attitudes. Likewise, the high profile media coverage of Christians who have been politically active in fighting for the life of the child while ignoring the needs of the mother, as well as protesting abortion clinics, etc., has characterized Christians as being less-than sympathetic toward their plight. Instead of building bridges we have created chasms, alienating the very ones we are commanded to love with the love of Christ. Caring for those who have had abortions without condemning them can create an atmosphere of trust conducive to sharing the gospel of Christ with the lost.
In Our Midst Ministries is dedicated to bringing awareness to the church regarding those within the church that have been hurt by abortion and other sexual sin, and to providing information to churches and parachurch organizations to minister to their specific needs. For more information visit In Our Midst Ministries, Inc. at http://www.inourmidst.com or contact Mary Comm, President and Founder via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (405) 330-0366.
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