A Rude Awakening
The story starts in 2016. I was at a conference when God challenged me with this thought: “Will you get off “The Treadmill of Life?” — a revolving treadmill of work, performance and achievements. I was working for a Fortune 500 company. I liked my job and it had great prospects, I had dreams to pursue and a family to feed so I answered, “Sorry God, but that’s just not possible”.
A year later, I was in Israel and our guide brought us to visit a Kibbutz, a nice residential neighbourhood. We were invited to visit a bomb shelter they had recently built. We entered the front gate of a house and our group started going down a small stairwell to check out the bomb shelter. As I stood there, I was overwhelmed by an unexplainable heaviness in my spirit. Something in me froze and tears started rolling down my cheeks. I was in shock at my own reaction. I could not comprehend why, so I stayed upstairs while everyone else went down. I wandered around the compound, found a chair and decided to peek through a small window at the side of the house.
Inside, I saw many little children no more than 3 years old. Then it dawned on me that this house was actually a school. We were visiting a bomb shelter built for the children here. By then, I was weeping again, but this time I could feel God speaking strongly into my heart: “How can a place so safe, be so dangerous?” I thought about how I send my own children to school daily and how the parents here did the same, but with the knowledge that a bomb attack could potentially happen any moment. School was supposed to be a safe place, yet there was a bomb shelter built here because of the uncertainties of the war.
“How can a place so safe, be so dangerous?” kept ringing in my head.
I left Israel with this encounter sealed in my memory. I went on a career hunt over the next year, convinced that God wanted me to leave the marketing world and take a step of faith into the pre-school sector. I thought maybe I could be a kindergarten teacher!
The Start of The Heartbeat Project
Fast forward to a quiet night in November 2018 – I was putting our 4-month-old daughter to bed when God decided to reveal His heart to me. He gently asked, “Do you remember Israel?” I replied, “Yes, You said, ‘How can a place so safe be so dangerous?’”
“So what is that place?” He prompted. I knew He was giving me time to think. And suddenly, like a lightning bolt, He shot it straight into my heart. That place was a mother’s womb! A mother’s womb was the place He had designed to be the safest for a child – for life to form and nurture from “nothingness”. Yet, this very same place has also become the most dangerous to life. Where a baby could have his or her life snuffed out in the cruelest of ways.
I knew then it was my call to respond and pick up the mantle to join forerunners to reframe abortion in Singapore. To help those facing unsupported pregnancies realise that they are not alone, and that abortion is not the only solution.
A few months later, I left my corporate job and together with my husband and our church (3:16), we founded The Heartbeat Project. The platform provides real-life stories and resources for Christians to converse about life and abortion, and to be a portal of hope for those facing unsupported pregnancies.
A Collective Stance
Every 90 minutes, a baby is aborted in Singapore. Will the Church do something to help? According to The IPS Working Papers No. 33 (March, 2019), it is reported that six out of 10 Christians in Singapore aged 18-35 years old say that abortion is never or hardly wrong. The figure speaks for itself.
Will the Church engage her people on this issue? There are many post-abortion parents hiding in silent shame within the Church. Can we be a safe place for the vulnerable and restore the broken? Abortion is not just a moral, social or a political issue, it is also a discipleship issue. If we truly want to address the issue in Singapore, the Church has to take the lead. Prayer is essential but we cannot just stop there. We can foster for a season, adopt for lifetime or simply start by coming alongside those facing unsupported pregnancies.
Because every child, born and unborn, deserves a place in our Father’s house.
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families…” Psalm 68:5-6
Debbie Ng (SOL 2019)