The LCANZ has a long-standing relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia (ELCM) through LCA International Mission. One of the ways the ELCM serves its community is through the Women’s Care & Counselling Centre, which supports pregnant women who may be considering abortions or baby-dumping. Those who serve there share the story of this life-saving ministry …
In the late 1990s, there was a growing need to help young single mothers facing unplanned pregnancies. The fact they were turning to the church for help meant we had to act. The ELCM does not believe in abortion as a solution for family planning, and to put our beliefs into practice, Bishop Emeritus Dr Solomon Rajah moved to set up a safe home for care and counselling.
Established in 2010, the Women’s Care & Counselling Centre (WCCC) is located in Port Klang, southwest of Kuala Lumpur. Under the able care of Deaconess Elizabeth Gopal, it has been a beacon of hope for many women – more than 100 women have seen the kindness of Christ made manifest in their lives.
Deaconess Elizabeth receives pastoral support from Holy Cross Lutheran congregation’s pastor and council, while WCCC also works closely with Malaysia’s national welfare ministry and has a good relationship with local authorities. We are also thankful for the generous gift from Lutheran Women of Australia in support of our diaconal ministry.
Our primary concern is for mothers to be able to have and raise their child without a stigma attached to being a single mother. Therefore, we provide a safe home for them until they are ready to leave. The women are often subjected to violence and abuse, and WCCC is committed to providing security, counselling and exposure to useful skills. We also help with accessing financial aid from government agencies, legal papers and medical and food aid for the care of the babies.
For mothers who choose to give up their baby for adoption, we assist in the legal process to find a good home.
Sadly, baby-dumping still occurs, and we have staff to care for babies while we arrange legal adoptions. Thankfully, however, there have been no recent cases.
Since government COVID-19 restrictions on movement and gatherings were introduced in Malaysia in March 2020, WCCC’s ministries have expanded. These include monthly food assistance to single mothers and their families, transportation for medical care for single women and help for single mothers to procure cheap housing in government projects.
We don’t advertise our services, but WCCC has developed a community presence through activities such as medical camps.
This puts WCCC on the radar of the local medical community, who are often first to encounter pregnant mothers in distress.
In 2021, WCCC has extended its premises to accommodate more women and to provide sufficient space for activities.
God has been good to us, and this ministry is a rich and rewarding experience. We serve our Lord with joy and respect for life.