The sun was blazing on a hot and humid day on the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda. The heat was seeping in through every crack in the brick building where I was speaking to Gospel leaders on the global mission field created by abortion. When I asked them which nation has the highest abortion rate in the world, the response dropped me to my knees.
I received many responses to the question, but the loudest answer rang clearly in the room: “The United States has the highest abortion rate in the world!” This is the answer I was expecting, because most people—inside and outside of the United States—assume that the U.S. rate is highest, when there are actually dozens of nations with higher rates.
I responded and corrected the pastor who had given the answer, but he would not relent. He insisted that the United States had the highest abortion rate so I asked him to clarify. As he spoke I could only make out his silhouette, because he was framed in vivid sunlight from the window behind him. He spoke with conviction and authority to pronounce a stinging indictment of the United States, and I imagine that his eyes—which I could not see—were filled with resolve and determination.
He charged that the United States, along with the United Nations, were responsible—through policy implementation and funding—for exporting abortion into all nations, including his own. This or that nation may have a higher reported number of abortions, he asserted, but the U.S. was responsible for most of them. He had claimed that the United States has the highest abortion rate in the world. He was right.
As I looked, it seemed the brilliance of the sun intensified. The conviction of the Holy Spirit came upon me and I fell to my knees. With arms outstretched and heart broken, I asked their forgiveness—on behalf of the United States—for the exportation of death throughout their nation and the world. They willingly and graciously offered forgiveness, and they claimed their own responsibility for the prevalence of abortion throughout their communities. We ended that day together on our knees.
I never had the opportunity to meet the man who I now remember as the Kampala Truth Talker, but I will never forget him or the impact he had on my life. God sent him to strike conviction in my heart about the United States’ role in the export of abortion, as well as to fuel a determination to reverse that reality. At that moment I committed myself to seeing the United States become the primary exporter of life to the nations.
Through God’s grace and mercy, and through His provision, the global movement of life is growing daily. As His disciples embrace the truth about life and carry it into their communities and nations, Jesus’ promise of abundant life is made manifest in the lives of people—preborn, elderly, orphan, disabled, rich, poor—all over the world!