Tag Archives: the impossible made possible

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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Dreams Do Come True: A Story of Encouragement with Jesus

No matter who you are or where you come from, everyone has the ability to dream. What do you dream about deep within your heart? As Christians, we have the honor and privilege to dream BIG with God. If you haven’t had a chance to read yesterday’s article (The Permission to Dream BIG with God”), you’ll want to check out that post (directly on our site) before diving into this one.

During a recent trip to Spain and France, some of my long held dreams finally became a reality. For me, these particular dreams began as a teenager. On lazy Saturday afternoons, I would prop myself up against my pillows and metal bed frame, with journal and pen in hand and the sound of the fan softly drumming away. I was dreaming of what my life could be, and my thoughts turned to Spain.

Like most 14 year old girls, I dreamt of romance, adventure, and beauty unlike anything that I could experience in my hometown, Atlanta, Georgia. I longed for a warm, salty breeze carried in from the Mediterranean sea, Spanish-style homes lining cobblestone roads, swaying to the sounds of Flamenco on the street, crimson wine sipped by the sea shore, and tropical flowers engulfing my every view.

As a young teen, these dreams seemed completely within reach. However, as time progressed and my fragile heart became calloused from life’s hardships, this dream became a long-lost memory and seemed more like a far-fetched fairytale.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:14

Can you relate? What did you dream of as a child? Or even as a young adult, before your imagination was restricted by cynicism from the broken world that we live in today?

May today’s post be used to awaken your own imaginations, to revive those dreams that were buried long ago (after feelings of defeat and despair from the trials of this life), and to surrender them to the Almighty.

Here is one scene that that I will never forget. A gentle breeze carried the strums of flamenco from the guitar straight into my soul. The evening was warm, and the last rays of the Spanish sun glimmered through a few leaves of giant palms. Flowers stained with bright violets and deep crimson cascaded down white-washed Spanish homes. There was a huge tree decorated with light purple buds, and small kittens playfully pounced on each another. This was my dream.

A few hours earlier, our afternoon was like a scene from a movie. As we prepared lunch with a Spanish chef and a French woman with Julia Child’s mannerisms, classical guitar and sunshine filled the kitchen. We snacked on goat cheese and fig jam (from their farm). While I relaxed on the back patio, plump olives marinated in garlic and lemon burst in my mouth with robust flavors. Just like a small child, I could swing in her back yard beside a giant lemon tree and stroll through the groves of almonds, olives, orange trees, and apricots. This was my dream.

Then there was the early morning stroll through a small public park right by the Mediterranean sea. A plethora of surprises awaited my heart, hand-crafted for me by the Father. A line of baby chicks greeted me from a small bush at the park entrance. Then came the butterflies and dragon flies, fluttering through the air around me while various birds chirped to a stunning melody. Suddenly, we came upon a peacock with gloriously long feathers studded with vibrant colors and oval shapes boldly strutting along the small path as though we weren’t even there. Two beautiful swans glided, along with the baby turtles, in sheer curiosity of who we were. As we approached a goat family, there was a lively bunny hopping to and fro. And wouldn’t you know, one little baby goat began nuzzling his sweet little nose to my finger, reminding me of  the Garden of Eden. This was my dream.

One night in particular I’ll never forget. As though God had not done enough already, He prompted us to go to an unknown restaurant located in a small village hanging on cliffs above the sea. As the Argentenean hostess guided us through the rounded corridor, she excitedly revealed that we’re stepping into the Secret Garden. My heart leapt. The place was lined with ivory candles, lemon and lime trees, flowers on trellises, and a small table with a crisp linen tablecloth that was awaiting us in the back. Never in my life have I experienced such romance. On the walk back home, with the stars looming above and the ocean breeze kissing my skin, Jesus began to speak. It was as if He was on my right side, while Keith was on my left with my hand firmly resting in his. Both of them were telling me how much they love me. Whoa. My mortal and eternal husband were wooing my heart under the Spanish night sky. This was my dream.

An Evening in Mijas, Spain

But, the truth is, that was no longer a dream; it had become my reality. Jesus granted me my dream in His way and in His timing. And He had provided it all. I could never have made any of those things happen. Nor could Keith.

“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts’.” Isaiah 55:8-9  

Allow me to boast in Christ for a minute. Jesus is Kind. Jesus is interested in YOU. Jesus is Powerful. Jesus is Creative. Jesus is Lord. Jesus is EVERYTHING we could ever want in this life. Everything good is found in Him. He deserves your heart, beloved.

He is the One who longs to make your dreams come true in His timing and in His way. He knows best. You can trust Him with your deep desires and the things you dream for today. He’s faithful, good, true, and trustworthy.

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 

Jesus has caused me to fall deeper in love with Him because of His extravagant giving (once again).  Will you allow Him to be Lord over your dreams? And will you start dreaming again?

God is the safest, securest, most powerful, most brilliant, and most wise Person that we can ever share our hearts with. Do you know why? Because dreaming isn’t even about the dream; it’s about you and Him. I want to strongly encourage you to surrender your dreams to God – whatever they may be. Ask Him to purify them, to direct them, to guide you in pursuing them, and to allow your dreams to draw you closer to Him. You will never regret this decision.

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” Psalms 23: 1-3

Has this post inspired you, challenged you, or encouraged you? We’d love to hear your thoughts. And thank you for choosing His Daily Dose! Please share this with anyone struggling with dreaming BIG with God. To God be the glory! 

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Photo provided by adventureridercentre.co.uk/ 

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God in the ER

ER photo

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. ‘For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it’.” Isaiah 55:8-11

While joyfully being indulged in an afternoon massage, I started to talk about God’s faithfulness to my masseuse Gracie.

Through her response, I quickly realized she had a story to tell. An amazing story, in fact, and I want to be part of sharing it.

Today, my hope and prayer is for any of you that are battling illness or that know someone who isn’t well. Be encouraged; we may not always understand the outcome of certain situations, but one thing that remains constant and true is the fact that God is good.

Here’s the story straight from the heart of a 37 year old woman eager to experience God’s best in her life:

One hot day in August, I had to check into the local  ER due to complications of my fibroids. My menstrual cycle had caused bleeding for 6 full months, and the pain had become unbearably debilitating. From the moment I entered the hospital, panic seized my mind.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

While the nurse took my vital signs, a paralyzing look of dismay covered her face. She adamantly suggested that we must get into the back immediately. Dumbfounded and intrigued by her urgency, I asked what was wrong. But all she told me was that a doctor must see me soon.

As the nurse wheeled me back, my mind began to race. Only a few minutes later, a doctor appeared and told me that my hemoglobin level was 2 gm, while for a female my age it should be between 12-16 gm. Looking at me with eyes glazed over, the doctor said, “I don’t know how you are still here breathing.” He added that everything indicated that I should either be having a stroke or close to death. But my wonderful, mighty God had other plans for my life!

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

After five blood transfusions, the doctor returned to inform me that I did not have cancer, but the fibroids were growing rapidly, which was causing blood clots and pain. At that point, I realized why I felt so tired and short of breath all the time. However, nothing could have prepared me for the additional news I was about to hear: since the fibroids had completely surrounded the uterus, I would need a total hysterectomy. In other words, this operation would eliminate any possibility for my womb to sustain a functional life.

Although several women in my family had gone through this ordeal, including my mother, the prognosis still came as a huge shock to me. I had always wanted children, but now I began succumbing to the despair of feeling less than a complete woman. During this process, I became infuriated with God, becoming so angry that I didn’t want to pray or hear anything about God.

One week before the surgery, my mother called and asked me to attend a church service with her. On the ride over there, I wanted to rebel. I simply didn’t want to have anything to do with God. Even as I walked into the church, my mind was telling me, “You don’t have to go in there. No one is going to understand you.” Then I cried out to God to help me, and oh how abundantly faithful He was!

“In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.” Psalm 18:6

The Lord sent the the best doctors in the field to conduct my surgery. Once it was all finished, the Lord prompted the head RN to come into my room to pray over me. Afterwards, she told me that God had an encouraging word for me: “The Lord says, ‘I will give you many children that will bring glory to my Kingdom.'” I was overwhelmed with His timely response. What a mighty, just, fierce, and loving God we serve! Even though my life didn’t quite turn out the way I thought it should, He once again proved that He is a God who heals, who restores, and who is abundantly faithful regardless of our circumstances!

“But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’.”Matthew19:26

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” Revelation 4:11

Photo provided by www.index14.ch
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