“This is the place where we do the great evil. Will God ever forgive us?” the Russian nurse commented as she opened a large door to her hospital’s abortion area for Ramah’s visiting ministry team.
Ramah International went to Russia in 2007 for ten days, hosting two abortion recovery healing sessions and a large conference for Russian pregnancy centers. Visiting a hospital was part of our local tour to gain additional understanding of that nation’s abortion impact.
On July 20, 2016, Vladimir Putin is poised to sign “anti-terrorist” or “anti-evangelism” legislation requiring permits from the Russian government or registered religious groups to evangelize. Ministry efforts will be restricted to church building sites only, outlawing the sharing of one’s faith at home or on the internet. Individuals/organizations will face deportation and steep fines ($780 for an individual and $15,500 for an organization) for any violations.
As I read about this new law, I remembered that dear nurse who cried during our horrifying tour of the hospital room where abortions took place. She outlined, through translators, that she had no choice but to perform abortions or lose her job.
With little access to contraceptives, abortion is the standard form of contraception for Russian women. Russia has one of the highest abortion rates in the world. In 1990 there were more than 3.9 million abortions. More Russian children have been aborted than the amount of lives lost in the first and second world wars combined. Today, approximately every third Russian pregnancy is aborted.1
There was an obvious need for Ramah International to help train Russian pregnancy centers in abortion recovery ministry efforts. With a team of 11 leaders, we raised funds to translate Ramah’s resources, book tickets and secured visas. Our conference in a central city included over 70 pregnancy center leaders from all over the nation.
Our hospital visit was an unexpected destination, designed to teach us more about the needs of the Russian people. When this nurse outlined the “great evil,” we did not realize she was talking about the three abortions she had just performed.
As she opened the huge European styled door, an ancient abortion chair was instantly visible in the filthy room. As we entered the abortion area, visible on the abortion chair were pieces of the tiny bodies that had just been delivered back to heaven.
“The women who had abortions today are in the next room,” the nurse outlined forlornly with tears streaming down her face.
The impact of what I was viewing overwhelmed my stomach. The utter filth of the room, combined with the rusty chair where women had just sat for their abortion procedures shocked me deeply. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit’s Adrenalin kicked me back into a special ministry mode.
Our team first ministered to the nurse regarding God’s forgiveness. She hugged us and cried, feeling obviously responsible for the death of these tiny Russians that day.
In the adjoining room, we found three women laying on cots. In this room I found some familiarity with my own abortion clinic experience. These women were emitting the same noise I heard in my abortion clinic. That resonance is described in Jeremiah 31:15 – A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.
The positive impact of our traumatic visit came in comforting these recently post-abortive women. Our team outlined how Abortion PTSD could impact them so they would never feel like they were going crazy. We shared information about the local pregnancy center’s abortion recovery program. We spoke of the hope of God’s healing after such a death experience. Then we prayed with them, holding them while they cried in our arms. The wonderful gift of God’s grace was what we offered them.
Today, with this new Russian anti-evangelism law, Ramah’s ministry trip, with our obvious goal of evangelism, would likely be illegal. Until this law changes, no longer will God’s grace be allowed to vocally reach those in hospitals or even on the street of Russia. While all the ramifications have yet to be witnessed, outlining God’s redeeming love may soon become illegal in Russia, even in one’s own home.
As an American post-abortive woman, I mourn for the women of Russian. I’m grateful to God for leading us there while post-abortion evangelism was still allowed. Offering God’s grace to the wounded Russian women must revert to underground efforts in the former USSR for the time being.
Please join me in praying for those we trained during our time in Russia (pictured below). These leaders need God’s grace and protection as they begin a new way of reaching wounded hearts. As Ephesians 2:17-19 outlines – He (Jesus) came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household.