Help me build a 'safe haven' in a land of danger... Read on...
Dear Catholic Herald reader, Have you ever thought how fortunate you are compared to others?
In this country 4000 babies will die by abortion this week. In Hungary or Romania, it is be four times more. UK and Ireland are in a bad way, but in Eastern Europe abortion is simply the wholesale slaughter of the innocents on an unimaginable scale.
Grinding poverty and inequality leading to more abortions During 50 years of communism, Eastern Europe struggled to survive. That struggle continues. Families are forced into abortion by crushing poverty. Let's not forget, in these countries being poor and pregnant means you are on your own; it's a struggle for survival every day.
It is a sad fact that if help and support were available, thousands of women would keep their babies.
Pregnant mothers are faced with the choice of aborting their unborn child or the real possibility of the other children starving. Can you imagine being in that terrible position?
Of coUrse, the abortion providers flourish in these conditions, feeding on human misery. I believe no mother should have to face such a situation, and I know you feel the same.
Child killing is flourishing Abortion is the scourge of Eastern Europe, often seen as a woman's only option. If someone cared enough to offer these mothers suj)port, things could be very different. The spectre of death could be vanquished and new life would be welcomed and nurtured.
So how can we in the West help these marginalised and desperate mothers?
Answer. By building a 'Safe Haven' centre for mothers and babies. A proper shelter where respect for human life is freely offered to all. Let me give you the details...
Thousands who are perishing could so easily be saved In our country Pro-Life groups have had tremendous success in persuading mothers to keep their babies. Women here have access to many Christian groups who offer care to pregnant women.
Figures show that when an alternative to abortion is available. mothers keep their babies... its up to us to provide that alternative.
I have spoken to many Pro-Life leaders in Eastern Europe, and while they all agreed that a proper 'Mother and baby shelter' would save many lives, the idea was not feasible given their lack of money. Tragically thousands of babies could be saved, if they could only raise the funds.
We can solve the problem I went to Hungary and met with the Pro-Life leader, Dr Imre Teglasy. An internationally respected figure, he is an abortion survivor, born during the communist pogroms of the 50's. Dr Teglasy told me about his mother and baby `Safe Haven' project, which is situated on the Romanian Border. This area is poor with a horrendous abortion rate 6 times that of the UK.
Dr Teglasy already runs 14 Crisis Pregnancy Centres in Hungary, dealing with 6,000 mothers every year. He wants to build the largest mother and baby shelter in the country. A 'Safe Haven' where mothers can be looked after throughout their pregnancy. But, he needs a Western group to support him in this venture.
This 'Safe Haven' will be complete with 14 dorm rooms_ and staff accommodation.
In Hungary. the government will pay the running costs. but only if we can get it built. They won't finance construction. only the running costs after completion. So it's up to us to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime situation, Ask yourself... what would Jesus
An opportunity we cannot miss
It's a brilliant project! I have been to Hungary to see it and the people involved. I am so excited about being part of it. When I saw what has been done already and how close they were to making the shelter a reality, I immediately promised our support. What else could I do?
Dr Teglasy has, with The LifeLeague's promised support. purchased a building that once housed the Soviet's • Army 'Youth Indoctrination Centre' . Until recently local youths went there weekly to be 'Educated' about the party. God was regularly mocked. and the young people were effectively brainwashed by communist propaganda. Now the building is ours and will be used for the Glory of God. Just think. you can be part of this..., Anti-Christian Communist Centre now Pro-Life and Christian Apart from providing secure accommodation for expectant mothers, we want to include a training centre, allowing us to share practical knowledge with Pro-Life groups in Eastern Europe. Believe me, they are desperate for knowledge and eager to learn.
I have arranged to send LifeLeague leaders. to develop practical training seminars. free of charge. This will be of immense importance to their struggle in years to come. imagine. a new generation of Pro-Life activists able to free their countries from the scourge of abortion.
The 'Safe Haven' mother and baby shelter — The Plan
We need to consider some aspects of the project. Phase one: Clearing surrounding land and renovating the lower part of the building will cost £20,000. A fraction of the cost in Britain, but still too much for Dr Teglasy.
I asked The LifeLeague work team if they would volunteer to go to Hungary and do the work at their own expense! God bless them, all agreed. This takes the cost down to around £14,645. An absolute bargain, considering what we can achieve.
A brand new mother and baby shelter, the largest, best equipped in the country and a professional training centre for Eastern Europe.
The commitment of our volunteers has now inspired local Churches to put forward 30 of their youth to work with us on the building, God is truly moving with this project.
Things get better and better Now that local churches are involved, the whole community of Konyar-Sost a rural village close to the Romanian border is interested. We were worried about food and accommodation, but again our prayers have been answered. The local Mayor, a very devout man has organised 2 daily meals for a nominal sum.
Now the Church in the nearest city. Debrecen has now come forward and offered us their Summer Camp to stay in The whole Church is praying for us.
Faith in action: let's stop talking, and start building
The media often portray Pro-Lifer's as harsh or uncaring. At last we have an excellent opportunity to show the media that we don't just campaign against abortion. They will see that we are motivated by love and concern for mothers and their babies, and we are prepared to do something about it.
The LifeLeague is a young and vibrant group, we are not afraid of hard work. We thank God that, not only will we build a shelter that will save hundreds of babies every year, we will also be training a generation of Pro-Life activists who will promote the 'Gospel of Life' in lands once shrouded by the Iron Curtain. We've waited 50 years for a chance like this. We can seize the opportunity if you stand with me now.
An opportunity like this won't come again I have been involved in Pro-Life work for years, but I have never felt God moving in such a clear way. Everything is, miraculously falling into place. The building is bought, the
volunteers are ready. and the plans are drawn. All we need now is your financial backing and prayers, The 'Safe Haven' mother and baby shelter can change from being architect's drawings on a page into bricks and mortar if you get behind me now!
I am working every hour I can for the success of this project. 1 promise you we will work until we drop to complete our task this year. I will work round the clock if necessary so please give generously,
Mothers and their babies are depending on us
Having travelled widely in Eastern Europe, I know the value of this shelter. Thousands of women will benefit from it's construction and thousands of babies could be alive next year, because you cared enough to back this project. So please help me. Ask yourself. what would our Lord do?
I know how kind you have been in the past.
Can I rely on you again? Can I tell Dr Tegalsy that the people of this country are backing his dream? Can I tell him that this year his dream becomes a reality?... Can I tell him he is no longer alone?
We must act quickly, as you can imagine, I face a headache trying to get men, equipment and materials into position by August. In faith, our volunteers have already booked and paid for their flights. I am praying that people of faith will rise to this challenge.
This project needs Benefactors now!
I can make this happen for a mere £14,645 (by doing a lot of the work ourselves). Just think, if only 15 people of faith sacrificed £1,000 each we would achieve our goal. I humbly urge you to give a sacrificial gift if it is within your power.
I never scorn the widow's mite', and if 580
people send £25.00 each I would be able to
the materials next week! am l)rayi11r that you can truly appreciate the life-saving potential of the mother and baby shelter. and dig deep to be part of it, You know how needed this 'Safe Haven' is for mothers and babies. You know my commitment to our cause, so please do all you can to help me raise this money. Think of how many lives hang in the balance, right now,
Building a future for the marginalised and poor — Help me In return I pledge my commitment and will provide you with regular progress reports. Soon it could be filled with young mums looking forward to the birth of their babies. And all because you cared enough to help.
Think about it, you will be partnering me in building an oasis of peace, safety and faith, behind the once impregnable iron curtain. We have waited years for this, now is the time to act. I am keen to start helping these people in a practical way and I hope and pray you feel the same.
Every day thousands perish; there is not a minute to lose Your generosity will be greatly appreciated, by me, and by the mothers who, through your kindness will be able to keep their precious babies.
James Dowson National Coordinator
P.S. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I hope and pray you will respond in a special way loday. This is the most compassionate and worthwhile project I have ever been involved in, and I want you to be part of it too, but we must act now to be effective.