I didn’t know. It’s a common response when people are presented with the truth about God’s value of every human life, and the ways in which men and women devalue others, often through abortion.
On the last day of a recent training, The Journey of a Life-Giver in South Asia, the men and women were separately talking about abortion and its consequences. I was with the men, and they were feeling overwhelmed.
- One man sold abortion pills in the pharmacy where he used to work. He was overcome with grief after realizing his participation in the destruction of hundreds of human lives, but he received God’s forgiveness and committed himself to becoming a life-giver, and spreading the life-giving message in his area of influence. I didn’t know.
- Another man committed to teaching these principles to youth after having counseled young couples to seek abortions. He wept openly over his past counsel to young girls, but was clearly resolved about God’s call upon his life to offer life from now on. I didn’t know.
- A man confessed to the abortion of his own children. This grieved him deeply, but he was set free as he understood for the first time God’s redemptive nature and His deep forgiveness. He is now committed to bringing this redemptive message to his community. I didn’t know.
- Through tears a leader told of how he used to beat his wife. He said that the training opened his perspective to how he can become more life-giving, and he shared his own story with the group that others may learn from him. I didn’t know.
While God was transforming the lives of these men, He was also working among the women. They were sharing openly with each other about past abortions—a rarity in their culture—and other ways they have devalued life. In speaking their secret pain and receiving encouragement from each other and forgiveness from God, they too—like the men—found freedom!
When the men and women reconvened, they prayed together, and the men asked forgiveness of the women and committed to a different, life-giving lifestyle. Many of the men and women were married couples, so they were able to be united in their newfound commitments.
The lives of these South Asian leaders have been transformed, and they can now bring the life-giving message of the Gospel into their communities and into their nations. I didn’t know…but now I do!