Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | August 12, 2016

The Ranks of Champions

Kampala, Uganda

The belief that human life is sacred is tightly woven into the theological fabric of the Christian worldview. As Christ-followers, we believe that all human life is of equal worth and immeasurable value, from conception to the grave, because we are made in the image of God. Wherever human life is regarded as anything less than sacred, the fabric begins to unravel and, ultimately, no one is safe inside or outside the womb.

I have written much over the years about the danger of being a girl in India. At its core, the problem in India is fueled by a worldview that lacks any regard for the sanctity of human life. A worldview that believes that people are not created equal and that some are better than others because of their caste creates the perfect storm for the abuse of human beings that are poorer, weaker, or just happen to be female.

ISIS is another case in point. Wherever Muslims are radicalized we can expect to see the death toll rise — in the most barbaric of ways. We are collectively outraged every time we hear of another beheading or suicide bombing that takes the lives of innocent people. And we are frightened. We are frightened because these beheadings and killings are a chilling example of what life would be like under a worldview that does not hold life as sacred.

SOHL Training Uganda
Yesterday, my team and I traveled from Kampala to the Buikwe District on the northern shores of Lake Victoria to meet with church leaders. We spent the entire day addressing the sanctity of human life, talking about biblical sexuality, fetal development, sexually transmitted infections, and the violent ways in which abortion ends a life in the womb. Our teaching sessions and discussion was sobering for the people of this district with an unusually high number of teen pregnancies.

SOHL Uganda Chris Atkins
SOHL Uganda Tara Hall
I was especially impressed by the determination of those in attendance to champion the rights of the preborn and to treat all people with respect and dignity. One young lady we met works with teen girls who are pregnant. She counsels them to carry their babies to term while at the same time helping these young girls to stay on track with their education. “I love what I’m doing with my life,” she said. And then she added, “I’m not forced to do it. I want to do it.” Her passion lit up the room.

SOHL Uganda Rosette and Michael
Chris Atkins, one of my new interns, started the day off with a lesson on what the Bible teaches about the sanctity of human life and what God expects of His followers in this arena. Tara Hall taught on biblical sexuality and Mary Whittington covered fetal development and the ugliness of abortion.

SOHL Uganda Art Project
We added two new elements to our sanctity of human life training. First, I asked Naomi Rosato, my other new intern, to incorporate an art project that would challenge participants to distill what they had learned into a piece of art they could display in their homes or churches. This was a hit with those in attendance. Participants stood in a long line to tell the others about their respective pieces of art.

SOHL Uganda Commissioning

SOHL Uganda Baby Feet Pin
Second, we concluded the day with a commissioning service, asking those who were willing to take a pledge to stand as champions for life to come forward. As they stood in line, we pinned a pair of bronze baby feet to their shirts. These little feet are the exact size of a ten-week old baby in the womb. This was a meaningful time for all of us. This simple gesture helped everyone to feel the weight of responsibility to speak on behalf of those who have no voice and to uphold the sanctity of human life.

SOHL Uganda Session
At the end of the day nobody wanted to leave. We hung around and had numerous meaningful conversations, answered lots of questions, and prayed with several people. The best part of it all is that the fifty-plus folks in attendance have joined the ranks of those who champion the sanctity of human life. They understand now that unless we embrace a worldview that regards all people as created in the image of God and therefore worthy of respect, then no one will be safe.


Responses

  1. I thank God every day for you, your teams, and the work you all do. As a nurse for 35 years, I had numerous occasions to see those tiny baby feet. Naturally, we weren’t doing abortions, but women would come in, having a miscarriage. I firmly believe that most women, if they could actually see the baby they’re planning to abort, would not do it. It is all there, right down to the little toes, charmingly and chillingly, human.

    Where can I get one of those little pins? What a beautiful and subtle way to begin a dialogue with an at-risk young woman.

    • Thanks for our kind words, Lanni. Email me your address at omar@kingsland.org and I will send you info on the baby feet pin. This little pin is indeed a good conversation starter. Please give my regards to the good folks at PPBC. Blessings.

  2. Omar: Excellent blog. I like the emphasis on life and health care and gender equality. My daughter Heather just returned home after two months in Kampala (she has been to northern Tanzania too) from a trip associated with her MPS studies with the Clinton School of Public Service, Univ. of Arkansas system. By the way, it is amazing to see all the countries you have visited and served in ministry–awesome work. As always, brother, grace and peace. George M. Rossi

    • Thanks, George. So glad to hear about Heather and her involvement in Uganda. Wow! Please give her my regards. Proud of her!


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