August 14, 2014

If not us, then who?

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while now know that human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women and children has become something I just can't shake. Five years ago God began to deeply stir my heart to speak for the voiceless and to act. But how? It's a complex issue and there aren't easy answers.
Some victims are literally in chains, many are held in invisible bonds of drug addiction or psychological control. Some women find themselves deceived and sold against their will, some think they have no other alternative, or choose to enter a life of degradation as the best of the terrible options they see in front of them.
It's a deep darkness. But God is at work. Jesus is light that overcomes the dark, hope that shatters hopelessness.
Now, five years after God began to tug at my heart with this issue, after I've blogged and shared and hosted events and done what little I could... it is my great privilege to say that I will be part of a team that will be traveling to Chiang Mai, Thailand this November; while we are there we will be partnering with a local existing ministry seeking to share the hope and love of Christ in the red light district, shining His light in the darkness.
The darkness is dark, indeed -
  • 27 million people are estimated to be in slavery today worldwide – more than any other time in history. [Source]
  • Human trafficking generates +$32 billion per year. [Source]
  • 66% of white men that land in the Bangkok airport are in Thailand to participate in sex tourism. [Source]
  • That 66% only accounts for about 10% of the sex tourism activity in the country. [Source]
  • In Chiang Mai alone there are 5,000 prostitutes. During peak season, there are close to 25,000. [Source]
But oh, how great is the love of Christ! God is working and doing great things!
As soon as I heard that our church would be sending a team to Chiang Mai, it seemed like I should be part of it. But the excuses rolled in... and they seemed pretty legitimate. After all, we have three young children. I homeschool. I have a lot on my plate. My husband isn't crazy about the idea of sending me into the red light district. AND, we had just been licensed for foster care... what if we ended up with a baby before then? (lo and behold, we did!)
But God kept tugging on my heart and working on NP. And on the day when I had decided it was clear I was supposed to go, Matthew West's song "Do Something" came on the radio in the car - and tears welled up in my eyes.
Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of
People living in poverty
Children sold into slavery
The thought disgusted me
So, I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
He said, “I did - I created you.”
If not us, then who?
If not me and you?
Right now, it’s time for us to do something!
If not now, then when?
Will we see an end
To all this pain?
It’s not enough to do nothing
It’s time for us to do something.
Indeed. It is. So, here we go.
What will we do in Chiang Mai? Pray. Spend time with women working in the bars. Love them. Educate them. Show them that there is hope. And did I say pray? Only God can do what we will be asking Him to do.

I would love for you to pray with us. Pray for our team as we prepare. Pray for the ongoing work in Thailand. Pray for the victims. Pray for the johns. Our world is broken but God is bigger.
Oh Lord Jesus - may your light shine in the darkness! May your light shine through me.