Tag Archives: world missions

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

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Guest Post: How I Met Jesus in China

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-qformat:yes;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0in;
mso-para-margin-right:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0in;
line-height:115%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}
This story is about a girl named Tun Tun. Today, she is thirteen years old, she lives in China and she loves to do school work and play with her best friend, Ping. Three years ago, Tun Tun changed my life. Because of her impact on me, I’m compelled to share her story.

While I was on a yearlong mission trip called the World Race, my team and I spent March 2011 in China working with special needs children. In a tiny room at a welfare center, I saw Jesus lived out in a ten year old girl. This post is for Tun Tun, and for each child who shares her gripping circumstance.

In China, we see a vibrant, cultural nation, but I also experienced the unsavory elements that their government tries to sweep under the rug – the parts that no one wants to hear about. Though I was a Christian missionary, I was in a country where I couldn’t pray in public, evangelize, or speak the name of Jesus. My team and I lived in the melancholy city of Hengyang, where every street corner was covered in grime and soot. Completing the dismal and gloomy atmosphere was an ever-present fog that blanketed the sky and refused to lift.

Every morning, the cold chill of winter met us as we left our hotel and began the 45-minute walk to our ministry site. Continuously dodging motorbikes and impatient taxi drivers, we felt like small pieces in an epic board game, surviving and advancing by hopscotching to the next base.


Normally I was quiet during our walk to ministry – praying silently and pensively. Yet no amount of mental preparation could make me completely ready for those long and heart-wrenching days. While working with the special needs children, I quickly learned that in this Communist country, every life is only valued by how much it can materially contribute – in terms of money, resources, or fame – to the country. Since special needs children generally can’t contribute as much as a “normal” child, they are tossed aside and literally forgotten.

Over the course of that month, our whole team worked in different housing complexes reserved for those that the government deemed to be the trash of society. Most of my team worked directly with International China Concern (ICC), a humanitarian organization that took in special needs children and either cared for them for life or identified loving families to adopt them. However, as for me and two other teammates, we instead worked in the government-owned and operated welfare center, where special needs children were sent first, prior to ICC intervention.

The welfare center building projects a majestic appearance, but is overwhelmingly foreboding and heartless. Here, couples drop off their “damaged” kids and are free to try to have a new, healthier version. Because the children live on the second floor of the building, the climb up the staircase offers visitors a brief moment to steel themselves for the grim sights waiting ahead of them.

In the room where I worked, 14 children live together in squalid conditions, and each one of them is desperate for attention. Without any light in the room, without any calming images, and without any sweet melodies to lift their spirits, all they have is this dark and damp excuse for a dwelling space. The ailments represented in the room include cerebral palsy, autism, trauma, and Down’s syndrome. You won’t see them running around and playing as children normally do. Instead, they spend their days sitting on their beds, moaning or crying, searching for someone to rescue them from this life.

Although I witnessed some horrific things in the welfare center, there was one glimmering ray of sunshine, a young girl that was a tangible manifestation of hope. Whenever I walked into that sour-smelling room, my gaze would seek her out, my favorite little girl. At the time, Tun Tun was ten years old and had cerebral palsy throughout her entire body, which gave her very little control of her limbs. She could stand up on her own, but needed assistance to maneuver throughout the room on her wobbly legs. Her arms were as stiff and inflexible as tree limbs, and her fingers were shaped like tiny branches – thin and bony.

Every morning, after walking briskly over to Tun Tun’s corner, she would give me a sweet, slobbery kiss and wrap her awkwardly formed arms around my neck. I would crouch down to her level and she’d whisper, “baby”, in my ear, pointing to the nursery in the next room, where she loved visiting one of the newborns.

Before my knees could even grow tired from squatting down to her level, she would push herself up and start walking awkwardly across the room to the door. Knowing what she wanted, I would take her arms and assist her as if she were a precious marionette doll. Slowly, we’d sway to the nursery, and once there she would hurry over to the first crib and peer through the wooden bars, looking lovingly at the baby. She’d stretch out her hand and gently stroke the baby’s face. If the baby was crying, she would sweetly sing until it stopped.  

Like clockwork, after we visited the nursery, Tun Tun would wait patiently on her bed to eat. When the limited amount of food was being dropped off, she would ardently scan the room for the children who weren’t strong enough to reach the food bowls and frantically point at them, notifying the caregivers that they had not eaten yet. This was before she had eaten herself. She had to make sure they were fed, even if that meant sacrificing her own meal.

In this story, the role of Jesus was played by this ten-year-old orphan with cerebral palsy.

Even though she was living in this prison of an existence, she still chose to love others before herself. Tun Tun reached for hope when everything seemed hopeless.

In the midst of the terrible things that I witnessed in that month, this little girl changed my life. She reminded me of how Jesus pursues us – even as He dies on the cross, He still looks after his sheep. In the midst of hell itself, Tun Tun looked past herself to love another life. I myself have never loved like her, but she’s shown me that it is possible, and she’s pointed me back to the well of this love, our Creator.

 “One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, ‘Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!’ But the other rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong. He said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.’ And he said to him, ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise’.” Luke 23:39-43

Check out a video about Tun Tun here: The Story of Tun Tun

Have questions about today’s post or supporting Tun Tun? Feel free to reach out to our guest contributor below.

 

Meet our Guest Contributor:

Headshot

“I am coming to you from the top level of an old home built in the 1940s – complete with glass doorknobs, arched breezeways and a grand ‘ol porch in the bustling city of Nashville, TN. I’ve traveled to almost 20 countries before the age of 25, helped lay the communications groundwork for two non-profits and currently work on the marketing team for a bunch of lawyers. I find joy in the simplest things: the glow of white Christmas tree lights, anything within walking distance of my house, sitting around a bonfire with friends or spending a Saturday exploring a new town.

I believe that everyone has a story to share and I want to encourage people that life doesn’t have to be days full of rigid schedules and the feeling that you’ve ‘missed it’. It can be colorful and promising; full of surprises and sweet aromas of the coming seasons. I enjoy writing about life change, travels, food and day-to-day happenings.”

www.coffeeshopstoryteller.com

 

Photo provided by nihaolyon.com

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Modern Day Bible Story

If you’ve been to our website lately, you may have noticed that our very first eBook, How to Become an Effective War Strategist: Fighting a Battle Alongside the Almighty, is  scheduled to be pre-released this Sunday, September 7th. If you have not signed up to receive this free eBook, you can do that by clicking HERE.

Today, I’ll be featuring an excerpt taken straight from this upcoming eBook. May God alone receive the glory, and may you become better equipped for the battle that already rages around you as a lover of Jesus Christ.

While serving as a missionary in Mexico City, the events that transpired on one particular day in spring 2010 were unlike anything I that had ever experienced before in the area of spiritual warfare. Our team had woken up early in the morning for a time of prayer to gain God’s perspective on what our day of evangelism and outreach in the city center would look like. Being on the mission field, we had quickly realized the wisdom of surrendering our ideas for evangelism to the Lord. By faithfully entrusting Him with this, He could establish our plans in order for His will to be carried out; after all, divine plans should be carried out divinely rather than through human rationale (no matter how seemingly great).

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

God always works best in our weaknesses, beloved. When we allow Him to do so, we ourselves have nothing to boast of, but His power is made perfect and He receives all the glory. As God of all, He alone always deserves it.

For the duration of my 3-months as a missionary in Mexico, I had been assigned to be one of two prayer leaders for our team (the other one was an Aussie named Dave). On this particular morning, as our team was praying for God’s direction for our day of ministry, the Lord gave both Dave and I the exact same vision only minutes apart:

There was a large dragon in the city’s central square that God wanted to slay, and He wanted us to be a part of this work.

In the central square, we had already actively served in evangelizing others for Christ by preaching in the metro station, prayer walking through the National Palace, performing dramas for locals to watch, and publicly proclaiming the love of God by sharing our personal testimonies. At the same time, this square regularly hosted vendors of skulls and demonic paraphernalia strung along its cobblestone sidewalks. Here, local Aztec Indians also performed daily worship rituals to pagan gods while dancing on the foundations of ancient pyramids that had been used for child sacrifices in ancient times. Spiritually, this place would be hard to win for Christ, but Jesus has overcome the grave. In time, we knew that we would see the breakthrough.

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31 

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57

As we prepared for the task through prayer and worship, the Lord led us to arm ourselves with several Bibles, clean and repentful hearts, a guitar, chalk to write scripture on the ground, and stakes to claim the land for Christ. As we left our small Mexican base (housed in an old warehouse) and walked to the city center, we were fueled with passion and ready to slay that nasty dragon for Jesus. We were on fire, and we were ready to taste victory!

But as we approached the city center, big, dark clouds began to fill the sky. Out of nowhere, a thunderstorm delivered an absolute downpour. As we attempted to take cover under the awnings of a few clothing shops, the shop owners (who were usually always friendly) began to run us off. We didn’t seem to be welcome anywhere. A minor miracle occurred when one of our team members was able to run into a different store and immediately purchase the exact amount of ponchos that we needed.

In absolute shock because of what was happening around us, we all huddled together and prayed. We didn’t know what to do or even what to expect. Then the Lord spoke to our team leader and we began to move forward. We pushed through that storm until we reached our destination. To our surprise, no one was there. The Aztecs weren’t there and the locals weren’t there. There was nothing shockingly evil that we could see. Where was the dragon that we saw in the vision? Why did God lead us to this specific place? Where was this victory that we were going to experience with Christ? Where was the battle zone?

Soaked by the rain, we huddled into a circle and started praising God. One team mate began to strum the guitar, and we went through a round of worship songs. Then our leader began chanting a powerful battle anthem that (at that time) I had never heard before. In my mind, I can still see this moment clearly today.

We laughed, we cried tears of joy, we raised our hands in praise, we jumped up and down, and we enthusiastically worshipped our King of kings and Lord of lords. Because we were on the Aztecs’ turf, where they were always singing and dancing, people started congregating and began to stare. I’m sure they felt like we were seeking confrontation. But God had directed us to that place, and we had obeyed and worshipped His powerful and sovereign goodness before crowds of onlooking Mexicans.

“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

Within minutes, the Aztecs (who were on the opposite side of the square, unbeknownst to us) came marching over with expressions of disgust and rage seared upon their faces. They must have heard our shouts that exclaimed the goodness of our incredible King. In the natural, these guys were intimidating: their faces were dark, their fists were clenched, and their anger filled the air. But as we know from Scripture, even demons shudder in fear at the sound of Jesus. Jesus alone holds the victory, and darkness is actually light to our King. We must always remember this, beloved, and may God alone receive the glory.

“If I say, ‘surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.” Psalm 139:11-12

Once they came to us, something occurred that I will never forget. Join us tomorrow as I share the climax to this incredible story. Be prepared to be encouraged and challenged as you face your own struggles. 

Finally, please note that our free eBook pre-release will only be offered through September 7th. After that, it will be unavailable until the public release  date of Sunday, September 28th. Sign-up to get your copy while you can!

Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose! Are you currently a subscriber? We would love to have you! Just click HERE to sign-up as a subscriber and begin receiving daily, encouraging posts sent straight to your inbox. Thank you!

Photo provided by drumsnwhistles.com

Tagged , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: