“You’re Faithful to the End”–Prayer for North Korea

“You’re Faithful to the End”–Prayer for North Korea

“You Will Finish What You Started!”

I haven’t read a lot of news about the recent Trump-Kim summit in Singapore. I don’t have much to say about the event, except that it looks like an answer to prayer.

There are many prayer groups that have been meeting for years–in many different nations, cultures, and church backgrounds. We will never know just how much effort has gone into prayer and missions efforts for North Korea. So much has been done privately and quietly. And in the spiritual realm, much has been accomplished by the persistent cries for justice (Luke 18:7).

Several years ago, Sean Feucht of Fire and Fragrance wrote this song in North Korea. (See the video, which has footage of him singing the song in North Korea. Even though North Koreans are not free to worship God, foreigners are.)

This is a prophetic declaration, that God started a good work there in centuries past, and He will bring it to completion (Philippians 1:6). He will finish what He started in North Korea!

Here is part of the song:

There’s a justice rolling down,
all that’s hidden will be found
With holy recompense, a kingdom comes,
no force can stop, His will be done

Oh my God, You can do anything,
Oh my God, nothing’s too hard for You…

You’re faithful to the end,
You will finish what You started

The Tragic History of Christian Compromise

In the 1930’s, during the Japanese occupation of the Korean peninsula, the Japanese government required everybody–including Christians–to worship at the Shinto shrines. On September 9, 1938, the Presbyterian General Assembly convened. They agreed to support shrine worship as an act of patriotism and of respect for the emperor. After years of subtle persuasion and hostile persecution, September 9 was the tipping point. From that day on, most Christians submitted to the law.

Then, after Korea was freed from Japanese rule, the Korean peninsula was divided into a northern and southern zone, along the 38th parallel.

On September 9, 1948, Kim Il Sung founded the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, with the support of Christian leaders.

On September 9, 1958, Kim Il Sung shut down all churches. The Christian population was systematically purged. Now, all citizens are required to worship images of the Kim family each day. But many Christians refuse, and are often punished severely.

Besides all the other injustices, there are still many thousands of Christians in prison, because they have not bowed to the images of false gods.

Prayer Meeting Testimony

In 2011, I was at a prayer meeting with some Singaporeans. They were fervently praying that Kim Jong-il would repent, or be replaced. Three days later, he had a heart attack and died, and was replaced by Kim Jong Un.

After this experience, I started to pay attention! I have been following North Korea news since then–not primarily from American media, but from regional and local sources.

I know a lot of stories about foreigners who have worked in and near North Korea. There are many beautiful, powerful, and also heartbreaking stories. But the world has not really begun to hear the stories that North Koreans themselves have to tell. Not yet.

But in the years to come, the world will hear their stories. Until then, we pray:

Let justice flow like a river in North Korea, and may the testimony of Jesus go out from North Korea to the nations!

“You will not need to fight in this battle.”

A few years ago, I was attending a weekly prayer gathering for North Korea, on the other side of Hong Kong. Someone there shared 2 Chronicles 20:12-20, as a prophetic prayer for North Korea. Verse 17 says:

“You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.”

While the news analysts talk at length about the Trump-Kim summit and other current news, we should continue to pray for the real needs of North Korea, and watch what the Lord does.

Abortion in North Korea

North Korea is arguably the most religious nation in the world. The culture is trapped inside an incredibly complex cult of devotion to the Kim family, which dominates all aspects of everyday life. But it is also perhaps the most lawless place in the world, with rampant corruption, alcoholism, prostitution, sexual assault, etc, etc.

Tragically, abortion is also very common in North Korea. From 1950 to 2015, there was practically no legal restriction on abortion, and abortion was frequently coerced/forced.

So, I was surprised to learn that Kim Jong Un changed this in 2015, and made abortion illegal. It’s hard to know what to think about this. Presumably, the new policy will save some innocent lives. But many abortions will continue illegally. And for women who want to give birth, doctors will continue to demand high fees for pre-natal care.

Clearly, Kim Jong Un is not “pro-life” in any sense of the word. His reason for making abortion illegal was simply to increase the population, just as Adolf Hitler did by making abortion illegal for his “Aryan” race. But just as Nazi Germany required abortion for many non-Aryans, North Korea requires abortion for many mixed-race babies, and for prisoners. (More on this situation here.)

Pregnant women who conceived in prison, or who were captured and repatriated from China, are required to abort. Many North Korean defectors have witnessed this scene.

What Should We Do?

It’s easy to watch the news, and forget that North Korea is a real country, with people who really work and play and laugh, and get married and raise children and send them to school so that they can grow up and have the best possible life.

But there is little hope for a better life inside North Korea as things are right now. So, we should continue to pray for the country.

“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.” (Hebrews 13:3)

Office Space

I’ve shared a request previously, for financial help with office space. It is a really great opportunity! And the ministry I’m sharing space with is willing to let me pay month by month.

I do not have the budget for this, and so I am looking for donors to help me make this office space possible for the coming year. Tax-free (tax-deductible) donations are available for Hong Kong and U.S. residents.

Please consider supporting this ministry.

God bless you,
Joe Woodard

P.S. I recently talked with a Chinese pro-life leader, who asks for prayers for himself and his wife. Please, please pray for them personally, and for their life-saving ministry in China.

Please also pray for the safety of Christian pastors, and of NGOs run by Chinese Christians. You might occasionally see news about the demolition of major church buildings. But this is not the norm. Many churches are persuaded to register, or else quietly shut down.

This is also the situation right now for private orphanages, elderly homes, and other ministries that care for neglected members of society. They are under especially close watch right now.

The situation in China is always uncertain, but God can do anything, anywhere. If God has called you to China, now is the perfect time to pray and to prepare!

“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Luke 10:2)

 

An Apology to Japan

An Apology to Japan

Every year, the Japan March for Life takes place on or near July 13, because Japan’s Eugenic Protection Act was passed on July 13, 1948. After the law was passed, abortion became extremely common, exceeding one million per year in the early 1950’s. (Today, Japan’s abortion rate is only a fraction of what it was then.)

Perhaps Japan’s 1948 law seems historically and geographically isolated from the rest of the world. And, besides, didn’t Japan have violent leaders? They were responsible for the murder of civilians throughout Asia during World War, so should it really be any surprise that they would abort their own children?

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. But the fact is, this law was influenced and supported by the West.

The World’s Fair of 1915 in San Francisco catalysed the Eugenics movement, spreading it rapidly around the world.

The Eugenics movement first developed in England and in America, and then spread around the world (especially after the World’s Fair of 1915 in San Francisco). Eugenics advocates claimed there was a growing number of disabled people, and they urgently wanted to weed “defective” people out of society, in order to create the perfect human race.

Eugenics theory was promoted by the top leaders in science, medicine, education, and politics. And it had fertile soil in the American public because of anti-black and anti-Asian sentiments.

Americans had an historical fear of East Asians, and this fear was an especially visceral catalyst for the anti-Asia immigration laws in California in the early 20th century. But even before that, California was actually the first Western government to outlaw marriage with Asians, in 1850.

Then, starting in 1909, California led the world in eugenic sterilisation. California’s eugenic laws became a model for other American states, and for other nations–including the eugenics laws of Nazi Germany.

What does all this have to do with Japan’s law? The Eugenic Protection Act of 1948 was passed during the Allied Occupation of Japan (1945-1952). The Allied Occupation consisted mostly of Americans, while about 25% of Allied Occupation soldiers were from various British Commonwealth nations.

Originally, Japan’s efforts to make abortion legal were led by socialists. Japan’s birth control efforts were also greatly bolstered by American socialist Margaret Sanger, who visited Japan several times. (Margaret Sanger went on to start the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which originally promoted only birth control and sterilisation, but is now the largest abortion network in the world.)

Earlier versions of the abortion law were promoted by Socialist politician Abe Isoo, who had become a Socialist while studying in a Unitarian seminary in America.

While the main people responsible for abortion in Japan were Japanese medical and political leaders, they would not have promoted abortion in this way without the influence and support of Westerners, and especially of Americans.

The most notable American supporter and facilitator of the Eugenics Protection Act of 1948 was the American doctor, Crawford Sams, who was in charge of Japan’s medical system from 1945 to 1951. He may have sincerely cared about the general well-being of the Japanese people. Tragically, he thought that abortion was part of the answer to Japan’s problems.

Before the dropping of the atomic bomb and the nuclear bomb in August 1945, American bombers had already firebombed 67 cities, destroying 2.5 million homes and leaving 8.5 million people homeless. The destruction of infrastructure allowed for famine and disease to spread around the country.

This map was created by the United States Army Air Forces in November 1945, comparing each city they had bombed with a similarly sized American city, to give a clearer idea of how much damage they had caused.

But Dr. Sams didn’t see abortion only as a way to deal with poverty. He also had the responsibility to implement the American government’s policy of keeping the Japanese and American races from mixing.

In addition, both the Japanese and the Americans were also very concerned about soldiers of African descent having children with Japanese women. They believed that Africans were racially inferior, and that African genes would corrupt other races.

Before 1948, abortion was not very common in Japan. But this changed dramatically because of the efforts of Japanese socialists, and the cooperation of American eugenicists. By the time General Douglas MacArthur handed sovereignty back to the Japanese government in 1952, there were over one million abortions per year in Japan. The Eugenics Protection Act was supposed to protect the health of mothers. Instead, it protected the ideology of Eugenics.

It has now been 80 years since America helped to facilitate Japan’s massive abortion problem. Japan has given formal apologies to America and to other nations for many of the evils that the Japanese government committed in the past.

Now is the time to recognise the role that Americans played in facilitating abortion in Japan, and all the injustices that have accompanied this immense, tragic, and unnecessary taking of innocent human lives.

A Chinese church saved an unborn child from abortion. Now she’s going to be a missionary.

A Chinese church saved an unborn child from abortion. Now she’s going to be a missionary.

Below is an interview with an American living in China. He and his wife have seen God work in amazing ways over the years, and they have welcomed and raised many foster children into their home.

He shared one story that was especially beautiful, about how his church responded to a new Christian couple who were considering abortion. Thanks to the church’s support and counsel, they didn’t abort their child. And now, she has graduated from university, and is preparing to be a missionary!

Here is the transcription of this testimony. (For security reasons, some names and locations were changed or deleted.)

D:  This is a long story

J:  Okay, I’ll just put this [recorder) right here.

D:  You want me to start over?

J:  Sure.

D:  Okay. Yesterday I went to visit a teacher named Mr. L. His daughter–she’s 22, and her name is [“Lilly”].

By the way if you’re going to publish this, you should change the name…

I’m taking her to [city] this week for a YWAM DTS [missionary training program].

J:  That’s awesome!

D:  Yeah! Well, here’s the story. Her parents had just gotten married in the 90’s, and they had just gotten to know the Lord. And they found out they were pregnant, and it was unplanned. They wanted to know if they could have an abortion, because that’s what everybody would do. I mean, abortion in China is just off the charts.

And we said, no, you can’t do that, you can’t kill what God has given you. And so I always thought Lilly–she was born
because her parents listened to the Lord, right? So I thought, God must have a special plan for this kid.

Her parents are both teachers. And the teachers in the schools there have a lot of responsibilities on Sunday most of the time.

J:  You mean, at the school?

D:  Right, they have to be at the school on Sundays. Chinese schools always schedule things on Sunday, I think to try to keep people from getting involved in Western religion. Kids there have to stay at the school from Sunday afternoon to Friday afternoon, from 7th grade on up. They don’t even let them go home. They want to indoctrinate.

J:  Most people actually live at the school?

D:  Most of the kids, yeah, and on the weekends they go home.

So her parents were teachers, and they didn’t have the chance to go to church much. They would come to our meetings sometimes, but rarely. And I was always kind of frustrated about that, and I felt like they didn’t have much spiritual hunger. But they did two things that were really decisive in my mind. One was that they didn’t kill their baby.

The other was that after they had Lilly, they had to move into married housing. They were living in separate housing most of the time, in the teachers’ dormitories.

J:  Even though they were married.

D:  Even though they were married, right, because that’s what was available. But then when they had a kid, they needed to move into the married housing. There were two places that were available. And one of them was too small for them. And the other one–two people had died in that apartment in the past few years.

Chinese people are very strong believers in good or bad luck. And so all their friends said don’t move into that place, it’s an unlucky place. They came and asked us “What should we do?” And I said, “Move in. Your God is with you. You don’t believe in that stuff. Don’t believe in that bad luck, good luck. There’s no good luck. God is with us. We don’t worry about that.” So they moved in. They did those two things that were very, in my mind, it was very decisive that they were really trusting in the Lord.

Well then even though they didn’t come to meetings, when we would meet together, we would talk about the Lord. They didn’t have much deep understanding and they didn’t actually read the Bible much either, but they had a faith for sure. Anyway, so Lilly just graduated from university. About a year ago–I mean just like this month or last month, just recently–she graduated. So about a year ago I suggested to her when you finish school, you ought to think about going into YWAM because it’s very good.

J:  Did you do YWAM?

D:  Yeah, I did a DTS in 1984.

J:  Oh Wow. So I was born in 1984.

D:  Okay, so I was 30 years old in 1984.

J:  Oh Wow.

D:  I’m 30 plus whatever you are.

J:  Wow.

D:  Anyway.

J:  She finished university and then she considered?

D:  Then she came to me about Chinese New Year, which is like February this year she came with her mom to our house, in where we are in China, because her parents are from that area. I actually met her [in Guangdong], but she’s from that area [in China], same as my wife.

J:  Okay.

D:  Anyway, she said, “I know I would like to go to YWAM.”

But, I wanted to know for sure. We had had another girl–I took her to YWAM and she backed out and she didn’t want to go. After going through that…I wasn’t really sure about her motive at first, that [previous] girl. So I wanted to say, okay, from now on, I’ll always make sure that they really want to go, and they really want to follow the Lord.

J:  You didn’t want a “study abroad” opportunity.

D:  Exactly, exactly, that was it. I made it clear to her. I said, “You need to know one thing is you’re really learning to follow the Lord in this school. It’s not just the opportunity for you to learn English, which you will have. But the main thing is following the Lord, and learning to listen to him and getting his vision for what life is all about.” I said, “Think about it for a few days and then come and tell me what you think.” Then after a few days later, she came back and she said, well, “I’ve decided I want to learn to follow God.”  I said, “Well that’s great.” I started the application process, we got her application sent in. They accepted her, and sent the information about the beginning. What she would do, what clothing, what items to bring and so forth. I went to her place to discuss that with her, and as soon as I sat down and her dad said, “She has this opportunity for a great job and we can’t pass it up.”

He says, “She’s got to take this job because it’s a really good job. It’s not too difficult and the salary is good. It’s a government job, da, da, da.” I said, “This sounds like the classic thing the Satan does when people that God has called are starting to follow what God wants, he will give him a great opportunity in the world.” I mean, I’ve heard this kind of testimony many times, and then he said, “Well, we thought it was God giving it to her.” I said, “Well, it’s because you’re very immature, because immature Christians are always focused on their own benefit, me and what.” But I say, “As you grow up, God wants you to get a focus of what he wants, what’s on his heart.” And he agreed and he was nice and everything, but he was very…

J:  Did you pray together with them and discern it?

D:  Discern what?

J:  Discern whether this is really what God is saying, to go or not to go?

D:  I had prayed. Well–they had already made a commitment.

J:  Oh they had. Okay.

D:  They had already made a commitment that she was going to go.

J:  So they had prayed, and she had prayed.

D:  I had prayed about it and we had prayed together about it before.

But she’d already signed her application form and sent in, and she’d already said she was going, and her parents had said she was going. It’s a good thing and considering her background and everything, the background of her birth. To me it was a no-brainer that God’s call is on her life. Plus, she’d had time to think about it. She’d come back and said she would do it, but I knew it was her parents putting pressure on her [not] to do it. Her parents were the ones that told her that she needed to take the job.

Anyway, that doesn’t matter now, it’s all water under the bridge. Well, after we had our little discussion, I wasn’t upset outwardly. I was upset inside, but I just said, “Well, they don’t understand.” Their mind is focused on worldly things, and they think like that. Well, we prayed actually. I just asked God to bless him, but on the way out I said, “God make it…” Haha… “Destroy it in the name of Jesus!” Haha…that’s what I was thinking. But I just said, “Oh, well…” I felt kind of discouraged about it.

Then, about a week ago or so, her dad sent me a message and he says, “That job, she had an offer that turned out to be a scam.”

J:  Oh gosh.

D:  “Can she still go to YWAM?” [The dad asked him.]

J:  Oh gosh.

D:  I said I already cancelled her application. I’d already explained everything to the director.

J:  Oh gosh.

D:  Then he said, “Well, I’m really putting you in a bind.” He said, “I’m really putting you in a bind to ask you to apply again.” Then we were messaging back and forth. And I said, “It’s not that I’m in a bind, I don’t mind that at all, but the problem is that you said you were going to do something and then you said you weren’t going to do something.” And he said, “Yes, I lost your trust.” He got it right. I didn’t say that, but he said that. So I was very happy about that. Then I said, “Well, I’m happy to apply again, but don’t do this again.”

I said, “If you say you’re going to go, then keep your word that she’s going to go, okay?” Then he waited a few hours, and then he sent me a message back and he says, “We have discussed it as a family and she is going to go and we will not back out.” I said “Okay, good. I will ask again if she can come.” So I sent a letter to the director and he was very happy that she can come. I’m going to take her.

J:  You’re going to fly with her from […]?

D:  I’m going to go with her because she’s a single girl from China, from a small town and she’s not a brave girl, and going to another country…she’s never done that. Somebody should go with her. I’m happy [to go, and] I’ll be able to see some people.

J:  Oh yeah, people you know in [country].

D:  Well not too much, but anyway, I’ll be able to see the people at the YWAM base. I’ve been there before and maybe some other people.

J:  Is it near the capital?

D:  It’s a suburb…

J:  That’d be cool. The only people I know there are basically Catholic pro-life leaders.

D:  Oh great.

J:  [Discussing info about the location]

D:  That’s neat. Yeah, Roman Catholics are really pro-life mostly.

J:  If they’re devout, typically. Yeah.

D:  But anyway, I’m so happy because I really believe that God’s going to do something in Lilly’s life, because she was born because her parents listened to the Lord. That kind of situation, God has a right in the kid’s life, you know what I’m saying? That’s the testimony.

J:  Wow. This all took place last week?

D:  Not the whole thing, but yeah.

J:  The second part.

D:  Yeah, just about the last week.

J:  I remember hearing the other part.

D:  Yeah, you remember when she backed out. I was pretty discouraged.

J:  Well, they decided to not abort. Did they have some experience related to that? They prayed, did they just had a feeling that they should do the right thing?

D:  They just listened to us, that’s basically it.

J:  Okay, it was good counsel from the church. Did they get any backlash from their family or other things?

D:  That’s a good question. I don’t think so.

J:  Okay. Well good.

D:  I don’t think they did.

J:  Wow awesome. Praise God. Yeah, I’m going to put this on the blog, asiaforlife.com/blog.

Please contact us if you want to share a story of a life saved from abortion, or a relevant pro-life testimony.

Japanese court defends government for forced sterilizations under 1948 Eugenic Protection Act

Japanese court defends government for forced sterilizations under 1948 Eugenic Protection Act

“The state has not apologized or provided compensation to the around 25,000 people who were sterilized due to mental or other illnesses under the law, which remained in force until 1996, saying it was legal at the time. Of the total, 16,500 people are believed to have undergone the surgery without their consent.”

Taken from The Japan Times: Woman sues government of Japan over forced sterilization under scrapped eugenics law
Read more at Reuters: Japan forcibly sterilized tens of thousands of ‘inferior descendants’ in a massive eugenics program
Watch video at RT: ‘Eugenic Law’: Forced sterilization affected thousands of people with health issues in Japan

A group of lawyers holding a banner walk to the Sendai District Court on Tuesday, where they were representing a woman suing the government over her sterilization conducted under the now-defunct Eugenic Protection Law. | KYODO

Video–Are they parents? Yes.

Video–Are they parents? Yes.

Father’s Day is a time to celebrate! There are so many things to be grateful for in life, and the gift of fatherhood is one of the greatest.

But there are also fathers whose children were never born. We should respect them and respect the reality of their loss.

This is a beautiful tribute to those who have experienced pregnancy loss. These women and men are amazing mothers and fathers, and their children were loved while they were on Earth–even though they never got to see each other in person.

Enjoy this video. And to all fathers–Happy Father’s Day!

【也是爸媽 #上集】謝謝你,孩子。

【也是爸媽 #上集】21位父母 ╳ 張超雄 ╳ 譚文豪明日是父親節,但有些父母卻默默地感傷。香港法例沒有把 24周以下流產胎兒遺骸納入「人體遺骸」的定義中,失去親骨肉的父母,不但難以領回自己的孩子,領回後,因為法例所限,不能與24周以上的流產嬰待遇睇齊,不能火化或在政府墳場安息。《僱傭條例》與醫學界對流產的定義落差,令同樣痛失子女的父母,得不到應有的支援。BB無論是幾多周、幾多日、幾多歲,爸爸媽媽這個身份就是幾多歲。對生命的尊重,是所有文明的基本。無論醫護、社工、整個勞工制度,都需要為他們走多一步。───────譚文豪:讓流產嬰善終 https://tinyurl.com/y96uh8jqThis coming Sunday is Father’s Day in Hong Kong, but for some parents who have suffered a miscarriage, this day can be filled with grief.Miscarriage is a terrible and often lonely experience for any parent to experience, but on top of that, Hong Kong's current legislation does not allow many families to find closure for their grief.Under Hong Kong law, “foetal remains” are defined as a 24-week pregnancy or more; anything below this is not considered as “human remains”. This means that parents who experience a miscarriage loss under 24 weeks cannot arrange funerals under public service.This is unlike other jurisdictions, where parents can, under public services, make their choice to burial for their child regardless of the duration of pregnancy. Counselling support for bereaved parents in the community or within the medical sector is also seriously insufficient. For many parents, bonding with their baby begins much earlier than 24 weeks. They deserve to be able to say find dignified closure for their loss in the way they wish. Hong Kong is yet to reform its laws but we believe this can and should be changed.The right to make a choice to honor dignity in the grieving process is the foundation of all civilizations. The medical sector, social workers, employers and society should go an extra mile for them.

Posted by 譚文豪 Jeremy Tam on Friday, June 15, 2018

Human Trafficking and Abortion: What I’ve Seen

Human Trafficking and Abortion: What I’ve Seen

These are the notes for a talk I gave October 5, 2016, as part of the 852 Freedom Campaign’s Human Rights Leadership Seminar. (Note: I made this video beforehand, to practice my talk.)

I share my experience of sitting by a woman and her traffickers, while they were kidnapping her. She looked at me in the eyes and said, “Help me. Call the police!”

Nobody was willing to help her, except for me. I was willing to do anything to stop the traffickers from carrying her away. But I couldn’t do anything, because I didn’t speak Chinese. And I watched them pick her up, screaming, and carry her away. (I wrote out the full account here: The Face of Human Trafficking.)

Although the topic is not nearly as socially acceptable, abortion is also a clear human rights violation. There must be people to speak out on behalf of the rights of the unborn child, just as there must be people to speak out on behalf of human trafficking victims.

I close with a very personal example about an abortion survivor.

Japan March for Life

Japan March for Life

Watch this beautiful video of the annual March for Life in Japan!

This video is from 2016, and includes brief remarks from Christian Pastor Kenzo Tsujioka (founder of Pro-Life Japan and of the Japan March for Life).

The annual March for Life is an ecumenical event, but is now coordinated mainly by Catholic laity, with some support from Catholic clergy.

Catholic leaders don’t always agree with the Catholic Church’s teachings on abortion or other life issues. But the new Catholic archbishop of Tokyo, Isao Kikuchi, is pro-life, and he recently endorsed the Japan March for Life. (Archbishop Kikuchi is also the president of Caritas Japan, which provides comprehensive social services in Japan.)

The problem is similar among all Christian communities. Generally, those churches that accept the Bible as authoritative believe that abortion is wrong. But there are some pastors who are pro-choice, and many who do not have a clear position, and are not willing to speak about abortion publicly. It is so important for Japanese pastors to speak with clarity and compassion about the evil of abortion and its many social harms. Otherwise, the churches will not be fruitful and multiply, and many people will continue to suffer the consequences of a “culture of death”.

Even if Christians cannot agree about theology or methodology, we owe our respect to all those who are willing to speak up for the rights of the voiceless unborn child.

The 5th Annual Japan March for Life will be held in Tokyo on July 16. See marchforlife.jp for more info!

 

Redeeming the time for the next generation: A prophetic history of Hong Kong’s pro-life movement)

Redeeming the time for the next generation: A prophetic history of Hong Kong’s pro-life movement)

China-HK United Prayer Altar (Tuen Mun)
2018-05-08
Speaker: Joe Woodard
Talk: Redeeming the time for the next generation: A prophetic history of Hong Kong’s pro-life movement
*Audio recording available only by request. (Email Joe for the MP3 download link.)

中港合一禱告祭壇信息(屯門)
2018-05-08
講員: Joseph Woodard
講題: 贖回下一代的時間:香港「维護生命」運動之屬灵源起
(Redeeming the time for the next generation: A prophetic history of Hong Kong’s pro-life movement)

The pro-life movement in Hong Kong will bless the future of this city, and the entire nation. Besides pro-life testimonies, Joe also shared about identifying with other people who are oppressed.

June 2018 Prayer Points

June 2018 Prayer Points

Thank you for joining in prayer! There is a lot to remember and pray for this month. Actually, I’ve shared far more here than I meant to, in order to give context to the prayer requests. But if you don’t have time to read, please skip to the “Prayer Notes” at the end.

CHINA NEWS:
June 1 was Children’s Day in Mainland China. Although it is truly a day for the nation to celebrate children, the sad reality is that the number of Chinese children (0 to 17 years old) has been decreasing for many years. Shanghai now has 0.7 births per woman, the lowest fertility rate of any major city in the world. Other major Chinese cities also have very low birth rates, which will create many social problems in the coming years.
Among the problems will be a massive increase in housing prices. Whenever households have fewer children, they have more money available–for rent. This creates a vicious cycle that makes bearing and raising children even more difficult.
 
Birth limit will probably end for married couples
In some more positive news, there have been rumours that China’s birth limit will be lifted by next year. My guess is that that married couples will be allowed to give birth without legal restrictions. (I haven’t heard anything about whether birth certificates will be given to unmarried women, or to married women whose husband doesn’t want the child.)
 
History and Harm of the Family Planning Policy
It has been 40 years since China implemented its Family Planning Policy (计划生育, previously called the “One-Child Policy”, and now the “Two-Child Policy”). It was instituted in 1978 as an emergency measure to avoid the devastation of a potential “population bomb”. The “bomb” never exploded, because overpopulation was never the problem.
Tragically, the Family Planning Policy has created more social problems than it solved, with massive devastation to Chinese families, marriages, and society. And, the policy was not successful. When the policy began, many world leaders believed that there was not enough food for everybody. But new agricultural techniques created in the 1970’s have made famine entirely avoidable in every country. That means that since the Family Planning Policy started in 1978, no famine in the world has been caused by overpopulation.

Environmental concerns also helped inspire the Family Planning Policy, because of the belief that fewer children means less pollution. This makes sense, except that that the data shows a moderately inverse relationship between fertility and carbon emissions, more children means less pollution.

In general, nations with low birth rates pollute many times more than nations with high birth rates. For example, the average Nigerian family has 5 children, while the average Canadian family has 1.6 children. But Canada’s per capita carbon emissions are 30 times higher than Nigeria’s.

In general, big families waste less than small families–and they also learn how to share, an important family value that many Chinese children never had the chance to learn.

China currently creates 30% of the world’s carbon emissions. As the economy continues to cater to a throw-away society, its per capita pollution is rising rapidly. Yet most people still believes that there are “too many people” in China, and that the birth limit is necessary for economic and environmental reasons. But the evidence is not there. Actually, it never was.
So, there are not “too many” Chinese children. But sadly, nobody knows how many children there really are in China. It is often illegal to register births (although many parents who have given birth illegally will eventually pay fines and be allowed to register their children later). This also means that the Family Planning Policy has created a numerically impossible situation, where there are fewer 1-year olds than 10-year olds.
I need to stop here, because there are endless social phenomena to discuss related to China’s Family Planning Policy. But our priority must be to pray, because only God can save and heal a nation!
“Don’t Abort on Children’s Day” (儿童节不要堕胎)
June 1 was also Day 40 of a pro-life prayer initiative led by Jonny Fan of the “Don’t Abort on Children’s Day” network. Because June 1 is Children’s Day, it is the perfect day for public pro-life activism in China (it is also the only day they do this). The pro-life network in several cities across China stood outside abortion centers and educated the public on the reality of abortion. Thanks be to God, they were free to do their activities without any interference or problems!
HONG KONG NEWS:
In the Roman Catholic Church, May 31 is “The Visitation”, in remembrance of Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth, when John the Baptist leapt in the womb in the presence of Jesus (Luke 1:41–this is a beautiful passage and worth the time to reflect upon).
Hong Kong’s Catholic bishop decided last year that May 31 would be the annual “Pro-Life Day” for the Catholic Church in Hong Kong. I’m very happy to see some Catholic churches beginning to develop pro-life activities and interest groups.
I recently met with Kevin Lai of the DPCMF (Diocesan Pastoral Commission for Marriage and the Family). The DPCMF–especially Connie Chan, who runs their Pro-Life Ministry–has done invaluable work in building the pro-life network in Hong Kong’s Catholic Church. They are currently considering taking on the giant task of a 40 Days for Life campaign. Please pray that God will lead them in this decision, and that all of their projects will bear much fruit for the saving of lives in Hong Kong and beyond.
I’m continuing to develop material and look for connections for the Youth Pro-Life Education Initiative, in partnership with the Family Value Foundation of Hong Kong.
Also, I have a great opportunity to share office space with a ministry in Sheung Shui. To move forward with projects for Asia for Life, it is really important for me to have accessible and affordable office space. This has never been an option, until now.
And we also continue to join the 52-week prayer project for Hong Kong (led by Gloria Au Yeung). This week’s prayer focus is for kids with special needs.
Let us pray!

PRAYER NOTES:
  1. For Chinese men to be willing to sacrifice whatever is needed for the lives and well-being of their children, especially during this month when China celebrates Children’s Day and Father’s Day.
  2. For the families of China’s provincial and national leaders to be blessed and to have God’s wisdom. And also that in these families, the hearts of the generations will turn towards each other in trust and acceptance.
  3. For China’s laws about abortion to agree with God’s law.
  4. For churches to be willing to speak clearly and Biblically on abortion, as well as on other issues of justice and compassion.
  5. For the work of China’s young and growing pro-life network, to be strengthened in grace and wisdom, so that they can effectively communicate the pro-life message to churches and society, and also accompany many moms and families in choosing life for their child.
  6. For the 40 Days for Life campaign in Hong Kong, that God will give wisdom to the DPCMF team about whether/how to move forward.
  7. For the work of Asia for Life, especially for funding, and for divine connections for the Youth Pro-Life Education Initiative and other pro-life projects.
  8. For kids with special needs in Hong Kong.
Youth Pro-Life Initiative, Prayer Requests 🙏

Youth Pro-Life Initiative, Prayer Requests 🙏

It is taking a lot of work, but I’m attempting to do two separate email updates, in English and in Chinese.
Previous English updates here: August 2017 to April 2018
Current English updates here: May 2018 to present

 

Youth Pro-Life Education Initiative

I recently did my first talk, at a Caritas school in Tuen Mun (明愛屯門馬登基金中學). It was a class of eight Form 1 male students, all from the Middle East, from Catholic, Christian, and Muslim backgrounds.

The school’s social worker said that she had never seen the class so interested and engaged in a visiting speaker’s talk before. Thanks be to God!

I’m looking for more opportunities like this. Please help me to connect with a teacher or youth leader you know in Hong Kong, who is interested in pro-life or related topics. See asiaforlife.com/youth for more info.

Do you know anyone who might be interested? Please contact me if you think of someone I should discuss this with!

asiaforlife.com/youth

Praise!

Last year, I wrote about Esther’s situation, and many people responded to calls to pray for her to be adopted, and I know several people seriously considered adopting her. Although I still have never met Esther in person, my close friends in China were so grateful for the prayer and support they received in advocating her case. Because of the response from some different people, her adoption process was not terminated, and she was finally able to go to a “forever family”. So, thank you for praying!

The new parents are so happy. I don’t have recent photos, but I am so grateful that her process is finally complete. Praise God!

Prayer Requests!

  1. For the family I mentioned in my previous update. I’m so sad to say that the couple we were praying for aborted their pregnancy. There were many people praying for them, and there were also people willing to support them. The parents saw the ultrasound, and knew the child’s heart was beating. They were aware of the gravity of their decision. Tragically, this child didn’t fit with their plans.
    It breaks my heart that they did this, especially because I respect them. And, I know that they are beautiful and generous in many ways. It also breaks my heart that it happened so close to Mother’s Day. But the saddest part was to see that the father was not willing to support his wife and care for this child.
    Please pray for this couple, and especially for the mother as she grieves.
  2. For content development. For grace to write and produce material that will strengthen churches with the pro-life message.
  3. For funding. Since I moved to Hong Kong in June 2012, I have had many financial testimonies. But every month is a challenge.
    I plan to expand resource development, but need a solid financial base to move forward. Please pray for more people who can partner financially with the ministry of Asia for Life.

40 Days for Life

Plans are being made for a 40 Days for Life campaign this Fall, in conjunction with hundreds of cities around the world. You should hear more information soon!

Note: After long consideration, I decided not to lead this campaign. But I will continue to give my full support to the next campaign as a team member. (And if you are willing to join the team, let me know.)

That’s all for now. If you have questions about how to pray, give, or support in some other way–or if you simply want to chat and catch up–feel free to contact me!

Joe Woodard
Asia for Life

 

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