Tag Archives: Australia

The Hope Found in Sex Trafficking

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” Isaiah 61: 1-3

I’m happy that you’re back as we dive right into the second portion of this discussion on slavery: sex trafficking.

May His will be done.

Human Trafficking. Modern Day Slavery. Child Sex Trafficking. Commercial Exploitation of Children. Forced Sex Labor. These terms are all used interchangeably to explain this one issue that undoubtedly crushes the heart of God. I can only imagine thousands upon thousands of voices that are crying out for some type of holy intervention. And the thousands upon thousands of miracles that our God performs on a daily basis that simply go underneath our radar. He is a faithful God that works in very mysterious ways. We must never forget that.

Human trafficking is an injustice that has gripped my heart for years. And it may be one that grips yours as well.

This was how it all started for me….

I was at home one afternoon enjoying an afternoon off from work, drinking coffee and browsing the internet, when I came across a CBS special report covering young Filipino girls that were ‘servicing’ English and American male tourists. As I clicked ‘play’ with a bit of hesitation, I  could not believe what I was seeing.

Here was a young boy of about 10 years old (the age of my nephew) who could barely speak English, conducting a business transaction with a male American tourist (maybe in his late 50’s). He was selling this man a thirty minute “oral fix” performed by a six year old girl (who appeared scared and confused) in a run-down tent with a small twin mattress thrown on the dusty floor. My insides immediately broke out in violent spasms as I gagged at the computer screen. Anger, bewilderment, and sadness overwhelmed my heart as I longed to jump into that scene and rescue that little girl. But, I couldn’t, and I felt helpless.

This is where my story began.

As a missionary years later in Western Australia, the Lord placed me in the red light district of Perth (right next door to a brothel in fact). Every day I  would see the faces of young Southeast Asian girls who had been trafficked (transported by coercion and force) to live lives of sexual servitude for the perverse enjoyment of Australian men. I wanted to march in that brothel with the authority of Jesus Christ and rescue those women, but the Lord only wanted me to observe and pray. Looking back, I’m thankful for His wise leading. It is through prayer that we gain His heart and perspective on an issue. I strongly encourage you beloved, to spend time at His doorsteps before you go reaching out to others.

“Listen to My instruction and be wise; do not ignore it. Blessed is the man who listens to Me, watching daily at My doors, waiting at My doorway. For whoever finds Me finds life and receives favor from the Lord. But whoever fails to find Me harms himself; all who hate Me love death.” Proverbs 8:33-36

A few months later I moved to Mexico City. For the first time,  I encountered girls (as young as 12) and women (18-45) publicly lining the streets and advertising themselves as commodities for sale in an area known as La Merced. Unfortunately, it wasn’t just for the locals (including law enforcement and government officials); tourists also knew where to find these victimized souls. We knew we weren’t welcome.  But, Jesus had other plans. Their traffickers would visibly loom around them, watching every move we made from the “window upstairs”. It was in this place that I first looked into the big, brown eyes of a young Mexican girl who shamefully looked away after five seconds of making eye contact. And I held the tender hands of a young woman who desperately wanted to be held and to know that she was worth more than a “good time.” At any moment, we could have been shot. But, Jesus is bigger than man, and more powerful than the enemy. What God willed was going to take place. So, we marched out in the authority of Christ, passing out roses to remind them of their beauty, giving them Bibles as a source of truth and encouragement, hugging their necks to show them they were worthy of love, and praying for the Lord’s mighty intervention. We saw one woman rescued from the hundreds there. But, it was still one life that Jesus died for and that was substantial. I’m thankful for the Lord’s powerful demonstration of faithfulness: we were never once injured, and He taught me that even darkness is light to Him. He has all authority and power.

“Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” Psalm 139:12

Allow me encourage you with something, beloved.

Jesus is King. There is nothing in history that can ever undo the powerful choice He made when He willingly hung on the cross. He has overcome all evil. Death has no power over Him. And even darkness is light to our King. And do you know what makes His sacrifice so powerful? As dirty and evil as sex trafficking is, Jesus still chose to die for the souls that choose to engage in this very act. Is there anything more revolutionary than God’s love? This right here shows you that love is more powerful than death.

Now that I have shared with you what the Lord has allowed me to experience on the mission field outside of the United States, I want to encourage you in the truth. He is doing a big work here in this nation. Sex trafficking very much exists in this country, and it’s often not out in the open. And as a missionary in the States with Wellspring Living, I have learned a very valuable lesson that I’d like to share:

Focus on Jesus and not the issue at hand. There is a difference between being educated on this issue and meditating on this issue. The havoc and destruction that sex trafficking causes is derived from the most disgusting, evil one: satan himself. Let’s not focus on his temporary work, but instead on the work of Jesus Christ.

Because there is a lot He is doing to rescue, restore, and redeem these precious souls of women and children today and forevermore. I have seen the faces of girls and women who have been delivered, healed, and made completely new through the all-sustaining and ever-consuming power of Jesus Christ. And women are being rescued daily here in Atlanta. Let’s give God the amazing praise He deserves for what He IS doing! He is making what appears impossible to man, possible through Him. To God be the glory for that!

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

“My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.” Proverbs 4:20-22

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3

If you feel that the Lord is calling you into this area of ministry, or you simply want to learn more about what He’s doing, then check out these incredible organizations (all of which I know personally) that are doing big things through the grace of Jesus Christ.

Wellspring Living  – An organization that works hands-on with women and girls (through the aid of Christ) to restore their broken hearts and empower them for a second chance of living through Jesus. Located in Atlanta, GA.

Check out their website here: Wellspring Living

Out of Darkness – An organization that runs a 24/7 hotline with volunteers trained to answer rescue calls along with a  dedicated team searching the internet to identify the sites where underage children are being sold for sex, the exploiters who are selling them, and the johns who are buying them. This is a great ministry for men that are seeking a place to serve. Located in Atlanta, GA.

Check out their website here: Out of Darkness

Love Made Claim, Inc – An organization committed to building trust and relationships with women in the sex-for-sale industry, including women enslaved in the porn industry.  Located in Denver, CO (but attends national porn conventions).

Check out their website here: Love Made Claim

Photo provided by momslupusmagic.com

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When God Provides for Us

“Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice n hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:2-5

Because it’s late, my eyes are droopy, but my heart is intrigued to write about an episode in my life that I’ll never forget.

For some of you, this will serve as a reminder that wherever you may be and whatever needs are in your life, God will provide.

Just as He provided for me, He will provide for you, beloved. 

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” Matthew 6:31-32

This story isn’t about the $50,000 that He provided for our missions team to go on an outreach trip in under 3 days. Nor is it about how He provided me with $1,400 from an unexpected tax return on the very day that I needed to depart Sydney on the last flight to Los Angeles (so that I could eventually meet my team in Mexico City). And this isn’t about how God provided a buyer for my house (which had been on the market for months during the “Great Recession”) just days before the bank would have turned it over because my own funds had run out.

God has provided for me on countless occasions, just as He will provide for you. Today’s simple post is a short reminder of one humble story that is seared into my mind for a lifetime.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” John 14:1 

“The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” Psalm 34:10 

While staring up at the Aussie sky on one mild evening , I asked God exactly how I would eat the next day. At that time, I was completing a Discipleship Training School with Youth With a Mission in Perth. Unlike my housemates, I didn’t have much food, but I knew that I’d need something before heading to my lectures the following morning. So I began inspecting the fruit hanging from our backyard fig tree, but to my dismay, they were all  hard and inedible. In a short, gentle, and undramatic prayer, I simply asked the Lord to provide before heading to bed.

The next morning, I made coffee from our communal stash and walked to the back patio to reflect. As the sun began peeking through the branches of our tree, I happened to notice something unusual. Walking closer,  I saw three plump, soft, and beautiful figs ready to be picked.

“If we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13 

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 

Lord, that’s impossible! Last night none of these were even close to ripe; in fact, they all should have taken days to ripen. Right then I knew that the Lord had caused that fig tree to produce food so that I could have something good to eat (even when I had nothing).

And moments later, a housemate also brought in a beautiful seedy piece of bread that a bakery had donated (just for me)!

To many, this meager breakfast of figs and bread may seem small. But seeing God show up so tangibly when you’re hungry and in need is breathtakingly beautiful.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17 

Today I felt that God wants you to be reminded of this truth. God provides even when nothing seems possible. In my case, He caused figs to ripen in His timing and made them both sweet to my taste and nutritious for my body.

 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23

As His children, God supplies exactly when we need it and in the way that we need it. When we trust Him with full hearts and openly cry out with our needs, He as our Loving Father delights in giving us good things. Look to Him, beloved. Look to Him. He will provide all that you are in need of today. He is faithful!

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How Copper Coins Changed My Life

Last year over a span of several weeks, my husband and I were raising prayer and financial support for our mission trip to Austria. And then one morning just a month before we were to depart, I received a sweet text from a friend. She sheepishly informed me that she’d be giving us $25 towards our outstanding need of $3,000. Jokingly, she told me that she knew it wasn’t a lot of money.

This melted my heart, as I immediately thought about Mexico. And about this unforgettable passage that the Lord used one hot afternoon to teach me a valuable lesson about generosity.

“Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, ‘Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.'” Luke 21:1-4

I always felt that I understood why Jesus focuses on a widow (who is poor and has no one to depend on) depositing two mere copper coins (probably all she has) towards the treasury of the temple. This is an easy concept for me to grasp while sitting in a comfortable church pew in Atlanta.  But, when the thousands of dollars I needed to fund my last overseas missions trip weren’t coming in, I started believing that those two mites just weren’t going to cut it.

Let’s rewind.

It was November  of 2009 when God asked me to leave the United States. I had eight weeks to raise eight thousand dollars before moving to Perth, Western Australia and then Mexico City, Mexico. And never being in a position to trust God for radical provision, I freaked out. I didn’t know how to have faith, nor did I understand what true generosity meant.

For me, the more you gave, the more generous you were. It was all about the numbers in my mind. Little did I know, God would use an unexpected experience to shake me to the core.

As my departure date arrived, thousands upon thousands of dollars had been faithfully provided by our Lord through the bank accounts of His beloved. But, there was one individual. The widow with two mites of copper. This time she came in the form of a young, twenty-something woman with a wrinkled five-dollar bill. I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t perplexed or disappointed. I had a goal to meet, and this five dollar bill wasn’t even going to make a dent in my goal.

“Why hadn’t she given more, or just keep the five dollars if that’s all she had to spare? She obviously needs the money,” I thought to myself.

Rotten attitude, I know. I’m embarrassed to even write it, but this is the truth. I had a lot to learn.

So, let’s continue.

After I arrived in Mexico five months later, I encountered a very frail woman sitting on the street in a city square. Her small brown eyes looked as though they hadn’t slept for days. She was overcome with hopelessness, and red Mexican dirt filled the natural stress lines of her face. Looking down into her lap, I noticed an infant slowly peering up from the safety of his mother’s bosom (perhaps to acknowledge my unfamiliar voice). In my heart I knew her breast had little nourishment to offer this child.

And then I noticed yet another life.

An incoherent toddler rested on the pavement directly beside her in soiled clothing, his tiny bare feet caked with mud. They desperately needed food. My heart broke at the sight of their despair.  Shortly afterwards, my teammate and I cried as we strolled into a local McDonald’s (this is a luxury for many working Mexicans) and purchased two combo  meals for this family.

After we departed and started walking back home, God spoke to me.

“Remember that five dollars you received before you left to Australia?”

“It just fed that mother and her two children. Nothing is wasted, Christy. I am the God who multiplies the gift. Never again will you consider the amount someone gives you, no matter how large or how small. It all belongs to Me. It is I who decides who will give to you and the amount they purpose in their hearts. I am God Almighty who owns it all.”

This is the lesson I learned:

Generosity is not about the amount someone gives; it is about the heart of the giver. A generous spirit has no financial threshold. We must not put labels on what is considered a “generous” gift. If God purposes someone to give five dollars, then it is the greatest five dollars we will ever receive. Why? Because it’s ultimately coming from the hand of the Almighty. And He is always a giver of good and perfect things.

“And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” Matthew 10:42

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

Our society applauds the amount, but our God applauds the motive of the heart.

“But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart’.” 1 Samuel 16:7

What resources (talents, time, skills, or finances) have you generously received from God that you can use to bless the lives of others to His glory? 

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