When you think of the heroes of the pro-life movement, Im sure many names come to mind. There are quiet individuals who may never make the headlines, but theyre making a significant difference on the front lines of defending life. One of those remarkable people was Dr. P.P. Job from India who recently and very unexpectedly passed away while traveling in Hungary.
I first met Dr. Job when he and I spoke on a panel of international pro-life leaders in Poland. We gathered, quite literally, in the shadow of the Auschwitz death camp, and many of our speeches compared the Jewish holocaust with the worlds modern-day devastation of abortion.
Dr. Job was first an evangelist. He spent more than 30 years preaching around the world and aiding Christians harassed for their faith. In India, he faced extreme persecution and threats against he and his family by militant religious radicals who would violently attack Christians. Much like the book of Job in the Bible, Dr. Job’s story is one of trials, heartache and grief that few can comprehend. In a horrific act in 1999, his youngest son, Michael, was martyred. Then, in 2007, tragedy struck again as the Jobs’ oldest son, John, was martyred by radical Muslims who targeted him because of his religious beliefs.
I could see the unmistakable pain in Dr. Job’s eyes as he showed me pictures of his beloved sons. Yet, at the same time, I couldn’t miss his reliance on Christ and the deep passion his grief instilled in him to reach out and help others.
His eyes were opened to the peril that girls faced in India’s culture. Dr. Job said he felt God told him, “I will give you many daughters in place of your sons.” In spite of the challenges before him, he remained committed to the purpose he was called—saving India’s daughters who are regularly targeted for abortion, female infanticide and a lifetime of abuse.
“When a boy is born there is a dance. A girl is born and it is like a death. Everyone will be crying and weeping,” said Dr. Job. Evidence of the harsh gender inequality lies in these grim statistics:
- A 2011 study showed a 7.1 million shortfall in the number of girls under six compared to boys, due to abortion and infanticide.
- An estimated 600,000 sex-selection abortions per year are committed in India, solely because the baby is female.
- The International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory reports statistics over a five-year period showing increases in crimes against women, including rape, kidnapping, torture and dowry deaths, also known as “bride burnings.”
Just months after his first son’s death, Dr. Job founded the Michael Job Center as a home for girls who had been orphaned or abandoned. In the years that followed, he launched a school for girls and two colleges specializing in education, arts and sciences. His wife, Mary, is a gynecologist and helps provide maternity care for poor, uneducated women through a clinic at the Center. The facility and scope of its efforts are amazing—a monument to the passion Dr. Job harbored in his heart.
Dr. Job’s calling has now become a remarkable legacy that will span into future generations. Born out of grief, he was able to bring incredible blessings into the lives of more than 500 young girls who otherwise would’ve been abandoned, destitute and left for dead. Not only did he rescue them, but he cared for them and loved them as if they were his own. Through his ministry, he met the physical needs of housing, food, education and health. Moreover, he’s provided something far more critical to life—he has given them hope.
Dr. Job once recalled his wife agonizing over the deaths of her sons, stating that she would never understand why God allowed them to die until she reached heaven. He told her “All of these children are living, they have life, they have education, they have a hope, they have a future. So, now I have an answer on this earth before I reach heaven.”
My fellow board member of the International Right to Life Federation, Bert P. Dorenbos from the Netherlands, knew Dr. Job best and was responsible for him becoming active in the pro-life movement. “The loss of this pro-life hero is a call for all of us to battle the demons attacking life of unborn babies as well as the billions already born in India, China and all over Asia,” said Dr. Dorenbos. “We call on the Western pro-lifers to step in and pray in this spiritual battle for life.”
I want to echo Bert’s sentiments to let Dr. Job’s life and legacy be an inspiration to all of us. Once again we’ve seen the difference one person can make defending, encouraging and nurturing innocent human life.
Honoring the legacy of LIFE,
Life Issues Institute