Last week, as I picked up my children from the play area at a mall in southern Romania, a couple walked out of the large play place with their adult daughter. It was apparent the daughter had thoroughly enjoyed herself. I almost cried for joy as my girls noticed her awkward gait. “She is SO special!” I whispered quietly. “There aren’t many girls like her in Romania and I’m so glad we got to see her today.” She had Down’s syndrome.
Seeing individuals with disabilities in Romania is rare. Most are aborted before they are born. If they survive the womb, most are quickly institutionalized for the remainder of their life. When it comes to the value of human life, Romania is dark. And when it comes to the unborn, Romania could be considered one of the darkest places on earth. With some of the highest abortion rates in Europe, until a few years ago nearly 50% of pregnancies ended in abortion.* Abortion is legal and considered a culturally acceptable way to prevent a child from coming into the world. It is used as a form of birth control. Wed and unwed parents alike end the lives of their children through abortion.
From abroad, this month I have been following the exposure of the Planned Parenthood conspiracy to murder babies, some outside the womb (infanticide), in order to profit from the sale of their organs. The videos expose a deep darkness that most Americans do not want to talk about. Most Romanians – most people – do not want to discuss it. Abortion is something that flourishes in darkness.
There is darkness in every corner of the globe, not just Romania or the United States. Abortion, terrorism, famine, human trafficking and drug addiction is evidence of the darkness. Where there is darkness, followers of Jesus must shine the light. Shining the light does not mean just exposing injustice, lies or sin, but also speaking truth. The Truth is that Jesus has overcome the darkness and seeks to restore people to himself – the desperate woman and the abortion doctor alike, the trafficker and the trafficked alike, the shooter and the injured alike.
“Shining the light does not mean just exposing injustice, lies or sin, but also speaking forth truth.”
We can become discouraged if we believe we live in an area of great spiritual darkness that exists nowhere else on earth, or if we believe we are alone in the spiritual battle to counter injustice and oppression. We must remember that we are not alone in these battles and these battles are ultimately for people’s hearts. There is no place on earth where the Light cannot overcome darkness in someone’s heart.
[And Jesus cried out and said] “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” John 12:46
*World Health Organization statistics for the 1990s through late 2000s. In 2012 the abortion rate in Romania was down to 30% (meaning 30% of pregnancies are terminated through abortion), the 8th highest in the world. Abortion rates by country, based on WHO, CDC and EU statistics.