“The heart of the Gospel is about life”: Heartbeat Project
by Geraldine Tan // March 4, 2019, 2:08 am
Singapore is home to one of the most liberal abortion laws in the world – allowing abortion up to 24 weeks of gestation. All photos courtesy of Cornerstone Community Church.
“As long as we keep treating abortion as the most shameful sin, then we cultivate a culture where the subject cannot be raised in churches,” said deputy senior pastor Norman Ng of 3:16 Church.
“People who are struggling with this decision – they might choose to act instead of pray, they might choose to act instead of talk, and the sin stays in secret.”
Since the Abortion Act was passed in 1970, more than 660,000 abortions have taken place in Singapore.
Pastor Norman, who was speaking at the Love Life Conference held on February 16, 2019, referred to a Whole Life survey of 11,000 Christians across 24 churches in Singapore, where 25% said “yes” and “maybe” to abortion.
“How do we expect them to respond? If we’re not talking about abortion and we’re not teaching about it, we don’t get a say in it. This is a matter of discipleship – if we don’t disciple a generation, the world will,” said Pastor Norman.
“The 25% can fall to 0% within 12 months if we talk about it. And as the Church continues to engage and impact culture, policies and laws can change,” said Pastor Norman.
The need to give abortion a public platform was the catalyst for the Heartbeat Project, which was officially launched at the conference.
The project features a series of real-life stories of couples who have chosen life over abortion.
The video series, which was put together by a group of believers from different churches in Singapore, engage with a wide audience via social media and direct those seeking help to sources of support.
“We overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimonies (Revelation 12:11). The blood has been shed and darkness will be pushed as far as the testimonies are being shared,” said Pastor Norman.
Letters of Grace
When Serene Siow first heard Heartbeat Project’s vision at 3:16 Church, she was moved to share her story. But her husband, Lau Wai Kit, was hesitant at first. Worried about the repercussions it might have, he scheduled a chat with the Heartbeat Project team.
“If we treat abortion as the most shameful sin, then we cultivate a culture where the subject cannot be raised in churches.”
“On the day of the talk, I just woke up at 3am and felt prompted to read Salt&Light. As I read the stories, the Lord told me, ‘This is not about you. It is about Me.’ It is about making Him known to the people,” revealed Lau, on how God reassured him.
Siow had an abortion when she was 21 as she felt she didn’t have a choice then. Unmarried, she was fearful of raising a child alone after breaking up with her then boyfriend. That decision she made 22 years ago is one she still regrets. But she was given a second chance.
At 38, she and her husband Lau discovered that they were expecting their second child. The baby was a gift from God, as Siow had difficulties conceiving.
But their joy turned into anguish when the child was diagnosed with Spina Bifida – their daughter’s spine and spinal cord had failed to develop properly – and doctors advised the couple to terminate the pregnancy at 22 weeks.
Faced with the news, Siow asked her husband through tears: “Whatever it is, we’ll keep the baby, right?”
Serene’s bravery bolstered Lau’s resolve and they kept the child, poring over research to prepare themselves for Grace’s arrival and care.
The journey hasn’t been an easy one, with family and friends questioning their decision. But the Laus share how having Grace has brought joy, not just to them, but many others.
“It is a blessing to see her and how she radiates so much life every day. Grace has also inspired us to always see beyond our circumstances. She has taught us what it means to trust God,” said Lau.
Pastor Norman hopes that stories like the Laus’ will give hope to those who think they have reached the end of the rope.
“When it comes to the issue of life, it is not just a political issue; it is a pastoral matter, for the heart of the Gospel is about life,” said Pastor Norman at the Love Life conference.
Since the Abortion Act was passed in 1970, more than 660,000 abortions have taken place in Singapore. Our country also has one of the most liberal abortion laws in the world, allowing for abortions up till 24 weeks of gestation.
“If we’re not talking about abortion and we’re not teaching about it, we don’t get a say in it.”
Pastor Norman believes that, given the statistics, there are post-abortive mothers and fathers in the Church as well.
“Some of them might never have had the chance to process the guilt that came from this decision because we don’t talk about it,” he said.
He urged the 500 people in the auditorium to choose life as the Lord has commanded in Deuteronomy 30:19: “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants.”
“This is a decree for the nation,” said Pastor Norman. “He calls us to choose life, this day, that our descendants may live. Today, we release a decree over the land that we will be a people that chooses life.
“As we continue to aid women and men facing unsupported pregnancy, the Church will be known as a safe place. And post-abortive mums and dads, they start to get the help and the forgiveness and the restoration,” said Pastor Norman.
Senior pastor Yang Tuck Yoong from Cornerstone Community Church, who was also speaking at the conference, added: “Why would bacteria be considered life on Mars and a heartbeat not considered life on earth? Where a heartbeat is detected, a heartbeat should be protected.”
Want to be equipped on the issues of life and abortion?
Consider holding a Love Life Conference in your church.
The half-day conference, helmed by medical doctors, legal practitioners and pastoral staff, will equip your church members on the issues of life and abortion, and what the Bible has to say on the matter.
If your church is keen, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.