In 1979, Blessed M. Teresa of Calcutta made the case for the unborn, pleading with her listeners, “please don’t destroy the child, we will take the child.” Today, there is a new Mother Teresa in the making in Vietnam. A contractor has taken in more than eighty infants that would otherwise have been aborted:
Tong Phuoc Phuc began his work as an act of thanksgiving to God in answer to his prayer. His wife and unborn child were in danger due to complications of the pregnancy; he prayed they might be spared. He promised that if they survived, he would do something good for others. He began noticing that pregnant women were going into the delivery room and coming out alone, and he then went to the hospital staff and asked for the aborted fetuses, to bury them. The video shows the garden he developed into a cemetery for the unborn, where more than nine-thousand unborn are laid to rest. This in itself is a wondrous work, but it is only the beginning.
His real work is his outreach to at-risk pregnancies, offering women a choice to bring their babies to full term, he takes in the unwanted children as his own. To date, more than eighty babies have been brought to him. Beautifully, out of that eighty, thirty were taken back by their mothers as they were able to care for them.
This man is a shining example for us of what it means to live out our faith. He has taken the Gospel and put it into action in a life-giving way. It is as though he was present in Oslo, Norway to listen personally to the address by Mother Teresa:
“And so here I am talking with you – I want you to find the poor here, right in your own home first. And begin love there. Be that good news to your own people. And find out about your next-door neighbour – do you know who they are?…Because I believe that love begins at home, and if we can create a home for the poor – I think that more and more love will spread. And we will be able through this understanding love to bring peace, be the good news to the poor. The poor in our own family first, in our country and in the world.”
It is clear that Tong Phuoc Phuc understood Mother Teresa’s message perfectly. That in his care for the least of these, he is caring for Christ himself.
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’