Human Interest

Former urban minister now fights the ‘growing global movement toward devaluing human life’

Kurt Dillinger, founder of LIFE International, had been involved in ministry for more than 30 years and was content serving in urban ministry. He never envisioned he’d build an international outreach in 2001 with a mission to make known God’s heart for life and take the message to the far corners of the world, but God called him to global evangelism.

Dillinger told Live Action News, “I was, at first, a reluctant leader. It took a lot on the Lord’s part to convince me to do this. It wasn’t something I engineered – it was God’s vision. He’s the God of Nations and he very intentionally put it my heart to serve him in a new way.”

As God opened his eyes to a larger vision, Dillinger saw an incredible opportunity worldwide to spread the gospel and with it, the significance of life, for which he notes there was an insatiable hunger.

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“U.S. based pro-life organizations like Focus on the Family, CareNet and Family Research Council are doing an amazing job,” Dillinger said. “There’s an incredibly resistant culture to the pro-life message in the U.S. and they are working hard to change that. My focus now is the international community where there is tremendous need.”

Equipping worldwide pro-life leaders

Life International seeks to connect and partner with emerging leaders in countries around the world to build life-affirming outreach ministries that are sensitive to the varying cultures of the area. 

Dillinger said, “In regions all over the world, God has raised up champions for life – leaders even in remote areas – who are committed to preaching the gospel and the pro-life message. We support these leaders with education, training, and other resources to help them be effective in doing the Lord’s work.”

Identifying leaders around the world takes much intentional prayer. Dillinger and his team gather every morning in the prayer room to meet and pray, to nurture their relationship with the Father and to ask for God’s guidance in helping them connect to up-and-coming trailblazers who show promise for the pro-life mission. For Dillinger, the power of prayer can never be underestimated.

To date, LIFE International has participated in equipping over 13,000 gospel leaders to multiply the message of life in 91 countries on 6 continents, in just 22 years. 

“We allow the Lord to lead us to these people who are proficient in connecting with those in their communities much better than we can,” Dillinger said. “They know and understand the culture and as such, would be the best ambassadors in their respective villages and locales. We work with them to help understand the alarming violations against the sanctity of human life specific to their cultures.”

A holistic approach to upholding the sanctity of life

Life International seeks to take a holistic approach to upholding the sanctity of human life. While their outreach centers around life in the womb, it also addresses other aspects where life is being devalued — like euthanasia or neglect of the elderly when they are deemed no longer beneficial to society. 

In India, Dillinger points out, there is increasing movement to alienate the elderly. Temples have been established where the elderly, deemed no longer useful to society, are housed, and made to beg or die. In other countries, domestic violence is rising, and the disabled are targeted for elimination.

Dillinger said, “There is growing global movement toward devaluing human life and viewing the elderly, the disabled, the preborn unfavorably. We need to address that biblically. The church needs to reach out and bring dignity back to all life. We cannot preach the gospel without tying it to the message of life. God’s Word tells us that He so loved the world that he sent His only son. We want these people know the love of God and have a relationship with Him.”

Most countries don’t have the resources to tackle these burgeoning practices that are becoming so prevalent in societies all over the world. At times, it seems as if challenges are too great – which is why Dillard and his team say they rely so heavily on God’s leadership.

“Now, more than ever, people are hungry to hear a word that will bring meaning and purpose to their lives,” Dillinger said. “We have an opportunity to deliver that message and with it, an affirmation of life at all stages.”

Nation leaders willing to sacrifice to teach the gospel and message of life

At the centerpiece of outreach is not only a heart for God’s work but also a remarkable amount of courage. Dillinger refers to the founder of Unite for Africa, Okongo Samon, who has been tortured and imprisoned for his faith. Yet, 30,000 – 120,000 people show up for his sermons. Dillinger said it’s because he has good relations with area Muslim leaders which has enabled him to spread the message of the gospel — and with it, the sacredness of human life.

Dillinger said, “Okongo has taken our message of life and incorporated it into the bedrock of his teachings. Coming together to spread the message of the gospel is so powerful. The enemy wants to isolate us so we can’t affect change. But God had emboldened us to keep moving forward.”

At the end of this year, Dillinger is planning to host a gathering with leaders from the 10 global regions where they will share their testimonies of how God has transformed their respective nations. Dillinger hopes also to spur an exchange of ideas and best practices and anticipates a transformative vision will arise from the three-day retreat.

It will be a great feat to raise the $5,000 per person to make this event possible but Dillinger isn’t deterred. He’s seen the Hand of God is many ways and has faith the seemingly impossible will be done.

“God will be unleashing a movement of life around the world that will have an incredible impact,” Dillinger said. “We will never stop advocating for life and equipping our international leaders to do the same. We humbly ask those who support our mission to keep us in prayer as we lay the groundwork for our worldwide gathering.”

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