My husband, John, and I lead a small group in our home every other Wednesday night that discusses political issues from a Biblical perspective. Last night we were discussing the scriptural mandate to “Feed the poor and clothe the naked.” Whose role is it: the people of God or the government?
By the end of the evening, we concluded that it was indeed the role of the church (or of believers) to care for the poor. However, 50 years of social welfare programs have entrapped so many people in generational poverty that taking it back is going to be an incredibly difficult thing to accomplish! How do we even begin to undo the damage that has been done?
Fortunately, there are many Christian non-profits and para-church organizations which are doing amazing things among the poor. In our work at the AAA Center for Pregnancy Counseling, however, we see big gaps which exist. For instance, there is a desperate need in our community for a faith-based clinic to test and treat sexually transmitted diseases. When we encounter women who need to be tested we presently have no place to refer them that we feel fully confident will not refer them for contraceptives or an abortion. Most places hand out condoms like candy! Until the believers in our community form such a clinic, I have little hope of our STD epidemic ending or even slowing down.
I looked long and hard this morning for a topic about which to write this blog. Then an article on LifeSiteNews.com, entitled “Former abortionist now head of one of the largest pro-life medical practices in the U.S.” caught my eye. As I read it I realized that not only did this physician, Dr. John Bruchalski, undergo a transformation from abortionist to pro-life, but he opened exactly the type of medical facility that I am talking about!
John was born into a devout Catholic family who sent him off to a Catholic college, never suspecting what would await him there. Some of his professors espoused the belief that the church should change with the culture; that the long-held stance against things like abortion and contraception were archaic and needed to conform to modern values. To quote John, himself: “It became a non-issue- you could still be a great Catholic and choose to dissent from particular Church teachings.” (Beware parents! Just because a school outwardly espouses your faith doesn’t mean the professors will support it. My brother got swept up into homosexuality while attending a prominent Christian college.)
By the time John entered medical school he was convinced that contraception and abortion were “the way to promote health and happiness and wholeness in a woman’s reproductive life.” As a result, he performed abortions during his residency. However, it didn’t take long for him to form doubts. “Wherever I had more abortion, more contraception, there were more broken relationships, more infections, more destruction, more brokenness.”
It was at this point that Dr. Bruchalski began to search for truth in his faith. After a couple of years, he underwent a spiritual transformation. As part of his re-education, he studied with Dr. Thomas Hilgers, right here in Omaha. Under him, he learned of the exciting advances that Dr. Hilgers was making with natural reproductive technology at the Pope Paul VI Institute.
Inspired by Dr. Hilger’s work, Dr. Bruchalski opened the Tepeyac Family Center in 1994. His practice is one of the only ones in the country to offer full obstetrical care for patients from pregnancy centers like our own. He has a special dedication to help the poor: in 2009, 30% of the mothers did not have commercial insurance. His goal is to be “a medical facility and a medical system where the human person is respected as he’s made in the image and likeness of our God.”
Recently, I received news of a proposed birthing center in Omaha which hopes to offer pre-natal care and delivery for one low fee. Women would be able to make affordable monthly payments. This medical facility would be run by pro-life believers. I cannot express to you how much this would mean to our community! (I will keep you posted as details become available.)
Our mandate as believers to care for the poor still remains even in the face of government intervention. As believers in Jesus Christ, we must strive to find ways to reclaim the role that is rightfully ours. We have the only good news that can truly set people free! I pray that more men like Dr. John Bruchalski and Dr. Thomas Hilgers will rise up and be revolutionaries for the Kingdom!
Keeping it true! Barb