International (MNN) — In
light of the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, how should Christians respond to
sanctity of life issues?
Genesis 1:26 states, "Then God said, 'Let us make mankind in Our image, in Our likeness,
so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over
the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move
along the ground.
The phrase "sanctity of
life" refers to the inherently sacred attribute of human life. It became a
national observance in 1984, when U.S. President Ronald Reagan designated
January 22 as the first national Sanctity of Human Life Day.
The date was chosen because it
closely coincided with the 11th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, a Supreme Court
decision that defined abortion in the United States as a woman's right. This
year, thousands of believers observed Sanctity of Life Sunday on January 20.
The 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade came two days later on Tuesday, January
While people commonly associate
"sanctity of life" only with issues like abortion and euthanasia,
U.S. President of Food for the Hungry (FH) Dave Evans says it covers far
life should be valued, and is holy in God's eyes. The tragedy of trafficking; the
tragedy of kids–mostly girls–being sold into slavery is something that
absolutely must be confronted when we think about the sanctity of life."
FH encounters countless
examples of human tragedy in the 25 nations where they have programs,
"We work in a number of
countries where kids are born and…they're sent away from home to live with
someone else, and they become enslaved in that other household," says
Evans. "We see this in many cases, and it really is a sanctity of life issue.
"It's an issue of the
tragedy of a child that is born, but then is sent into slavery."
A variety of FH programs
protect the dignity of vulnerable women and girls. The New Life Center in
northern Uganda provides a safe haven for women who've fled the death grip of
the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Girls who are kidnapped by the LRA often
endure years of slavery and abuse until they can somehow manage to escape.
"Most of them are very
young girls, teenagers, that now have kids, and it's been really tremendous to
see their lives transformed," says Evans.
Along with spiritual
counseling, women receive training in a trade or job skill. Using this
training, women are able to earn enough money to support their families.
Another program in Mozambique
is preventative in nature. FH savings and loan groups help vulnerable women
build income-generating projects and gain financial confidence that protects
them from the lure of traffickers.
In these village-level groups,
members save their own money and lend cash to each other to fund
micro-businesses and meet other pressing needs. They also receive small
business training and money management guidance.
Evans says, "We've seen tremendous
things happen with these resources: lives changed, families changed,
communities even changed as a result of saving the equivalent of 5, 10, 15
cents, 25 cents a week over periods of time.
"Jesus really wants us to
bring spiritual salvation to people," he continues. "He also wants us
to bring physical salvation to people when they are physically enslaved."
You can come alongside FH to
end modern-day slavery by praying, giving, or going. According to Evans, no
believer is exempt from the spiritual battle to protect the sanctity of life.
"It's something each of
us can do," he says. "We can go before the Lord and say, 'Lord, I
want to be Your hands and Your feet' and 'Would you please intervene?'"
A second way to get involved
is by supporting groups who are actively engaged in the battle for souls. Click
here to see how FH transforms communities and prevents the lure of
trafficking by teaching people how to generate income
"Or, you can organize a
team that might go to a place that helps minister to people that have come out
of slavery…like the one we run in northern Uganda," says Evans.
Ultimately, Christ is the only
One who offers true freedom. Pray that many women would come to know the Lord
despite the tragedy they face.
"[The Gospel is] the
thing that liberates all of us from the slavery of sin," Evans says.
"When Jesus said He came to 'set the captives free,' He was primarily
talking about spiritual. But He was also talking about other areas of captivity
that capture people."