For two weeks in July, I traveled with a bunch of Baptists across South Africa for a mission experience followed up with a global gathering of Baptists — the 21st Baptist World Congress of the Baptist World Alliance. While in-country, I was reminded of the nickname given to South Africa by Archbishop Desmond Tutu — the Rainbow Nation — a metaphor for a post-apartheid vision for multicultural unity.
“We enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in which all South Africans…will be…assured of their inalienable right to human dignity — a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world,” said Nelson Mandela at his presidential inauguration in 1994.
During my brief time in the Rainbow Nation, I witnessed a God who sees and saves babies through the work of indigenous ministries — ministries that have rescued and received more than 1,500 babies in the past decade and a half. Each year, more than 3,500 newborns are abandoned across South Africa, and in Johannesburg, the country’s largest city, 200 babies are abandoned monthly.
I saw up-close the holy work of ministries that provide a safe home to babies that have been abused, neglected, survived attempted abortions and treated like trash — dumped on the side of a street, gutter, in shoe boxes and latrines.
The stories shared showed a chilling reality that I had a hard time wrapping my mind around.
Upon returning home, I was bombarded with a deluge of articles, tweets and cable news segments about a series of covert investigative videos showing Planned Parenthood officials casually discussing the harvesting of aborted baby parts.