Every life has value! As I rode through the streets of Phnom Penh last week, this phrase echoed through my spirit. There were so many people . . . so many stories. I wondered what they were thinking, what they were feeling, what their life was like. Some were busy digging through the garbage, some fixing motorbikes, others just talking or on their way to work. But despite their background, skin color, or economic status, they all had one thing in common – their life had value and purpose. This worth was not determined by what they did or how successful they were according to the world’s standards. Their life had value for the simple fact that they were all created in the image of God.
Through all our differences, we are linked together by our creator in that we are all children of God – we are all family! As I pondered this fact, I wondered how many knew their creator. How many of these precious faces had a relationship with their Heavenly Father, because to know Him in His greatness is to know His children in the same likeness and beauty. But in a nation classified as “Buddhist” and following a number of East Asian religions, I realized that most were probably not aware. Most probably had no idea of their unchangeable value.
No wonder why so many were in poverty and trapped in cycles of abuse and exploitation. They had no idea of their true, God created identity and purpose. Each one had intrinsic and immeasurable value, but if you can’t love and value yourself, how can you love and value another? I am convinced that human trafficking, drug use, sexual exploitation, and so many other injustices would be uprooted if life was valued.
Several years ago, one of our Khmer friends living in the slums of Phnom Penh was trying to sell her 3 month-old baby. She had been brutally raped, worked in prostitution for much of her life, and was struggling with a long-time drug addiction. She felt hopeless and due to her circumstances was unable to see her life or the life of her child as valuable. We began to befriend her and saw her worth. We offered her a job, trained her with an employable skill, and provided a safe place for her baby to grow while she worked and trained. We loved her to life. As she began to love herself, she also began to love her children and those around her. Value gave her true identity, which also saved her baby. Today, her little girl is about 3 years old. She is joyful, energetic, and a beautiful testimony of God’s goodness and faithfulness.
This is just one of many testimonies. Justice will be established and nations transformed when we begin to change our perspective to see all human life as valuable. You were bought with a price. Tell someone around you that they are loved and valued today!
Written by: Andrea Aasen
Published on 11/3/2017