For most of us, breakthrough is defined as a moment in time when something you’ve hoped for comes to pass. But what happens when your desire for breakthrough grows dim in the face of your circumstances? What happens when generational cycles dictate your beliefs and challenge your destiny?
This was the case for a little girl named “Molly.” Amongst the garbage piles, in a small Cambodian community, children scavenged for scraps of food to eat and plastic or cardboard pieces they could sell. Molly was just another face living in a dirt infested shanty, doing all she could to survive. Like the other kids, Molly’s life was becoming a predictable disarray of hopelessness, poverty, and exploitation. She was becoming yet another statistic.
Trapped in the injustice that threatened her generation, Molly’s community was one solicited regularly for drugs and human trafficking. It wasn’t uncommon that children her age would be sold for sex, labor, or begging. In addition, many were forced to run drugs or were abused for not bringing home enough money. Molly desired freedom from this lifestyle but only knew the path in front of her. Still, she dreamed of someday creating a different future.
My team and I were drawn to Molly. There was something so special about her. We would come weekly for kids’ activities in her neighborhood, and Molly was always highlighted. She was inquisitive and had a sparkle in her eyes when she engaged. Year after year, we would see her and knew we had to act quickly, or her fate would be that of those around her. Education wasn’t free in Molly’s nation, so we sponsored her, and others in the community, in private school education. Several mocked us for putting “slum children” into private school, but we knew that they, like any other children, deserved the best. Molly’s socioeconomic status did not determine her worth.
Though she had never been to school, Molly caught on quickly. Reading, writing, math, and science came easily, and she soon surpassed her cohorts. While many kids we sponsored were top in their class, Molly had an exceptional knack for learning. Her abilities soon led her into accelerated opportunities, where she not only skipped grades but also received high honors and even occupied the #6 position within her nation! Education brought Molly’s breakthrough.
No longer a victim of her circumstances, Molly now dreams of becoming a doctor or engineer and will indeed change her nation. But future leaders, like Molly, are hidden in dark places. In her own ability, Molly would still be amongst the garbage piles, but with help, her life was forever changed. Molly’s testimony depended on others. Always remember that you could be someone else’s breakthrough.
Love has a face.
Andrea Aasen is the Director of Extreme Love Ministries. She is a visionary leader with a heart to see justice released to the nations. Andrea has a desire to see women and children empowered and walking in their God created destinies. She believes in the power of LOVE to transform nations and individuals, and as a result, has developed various community, business, and advocacy models to support and protect victims of human trafficking, abuse, and other forms of exploitation.
This article was originally published in Andrea’s regular column “Love Has a Face” in our September 2018 issue.