Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Here's to ending it!

When I moved to Houston, I thought that perhaps this would be a wonderful year to begin networking with the mega-churches in the area that do a lot of youth ministry, women's ministry, and global missions. I knew Houston was huge and hoped for new ways to get involved in what I pictured my future probably contained. And I can see already that I was so right. And even more wrong.

 Last year I began learning about TheA21 campaign, an organization started by Christine Caine of Hillsong United. And right before I moved, I began her book called Undaunted. It's mainly about fulfilling the calling God has for your life. But part of it is about her journey into the work she does. When-through her words-I met the first group of girls she helped rescue from this modern-day slavery, I had my "Schindler's List" moment. Something shifted within me. Something came awake. Up until that point, I was convinced that working in Africa was going to be the thing I would forever be the most passionate about. I would have never dreamed of caring about anything more. And then this happened.

I learned that there are 27 million people enslaved in human trafficking today.
That every 30 SECONDS another person becomes a victim.

I learned that almost 100,000 children are sold into sex slavery every year in the United States. These statistics can be numbing numbers. But when you think about, read individuals stories, and consider what those numbers mean (180 people every time you watch a movie), I have a difficult time understanding how it doesn't shake you to your core. And the fact is the numbers are rising. This problem has been growing. And yes.  Even right here.

When I moved last month, I had learned all the statistics and was processing this in my heart. A bit shaken. Once I got here my team took me on a prayer tour of the city, something we do when a youth group comes for a missions trip. At that time they informed me that Houston is the #1 city in the U.S. for Human Trafficking because of the I-10 corridor and the Ship Channel. (Many of those trafficked are forced into and locked in shipping containers like sardines.) I was in shock. My roommate proceeded to point out several buildings the next week that are known to be trafficked brothels. And I had a flashback of being in Kenya this summer. There's a particular building next door to one of Agape's properties that for several reasons I'm positive is a trafficked brothel with CHILDREN. It all began sinking in. And I realized something. I have never felt so deeply about anything in my entire life. I can't stop thinking about it all the time. I want to crawl out of my skin it bothers me so badly. I want to scream and shout and stand on every street corner and make every person aware of this. When I pass what I know in my spirit is a brothel, I picture young children and young women-trapped helplessly in those rooms and it takes every ounce of energy in me not to burst through those doors and do something. How can we just pass by? How can we not DO SOMETHING?! NOW! These victims are chained up. Broken. Horribly abused. Crying out for help in their spirit. And unheard. Without hope.

I have to believe that this injustice is something Jesus hates. Something He'd physically be stomping all over if He was walking across earth today. Something He'd be unstoppably active and vocal about. Without apology.
Wait!......... So then........ Why He isn't doing these things now?.....
Why is He allowing this?................ And then it hit me.

 WE are Jesus on Earth. We are called to be His hands and feet.
What does the LORD require of us?
-"To Seek Justice, Love Mercy, and walk Humbly with thy God." Micah 6:8.
-"But don't just listen to God's Word. You must do what it says.
  Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves." James 1:22.
God's Word talks openly and often about seeking justice, taking care of those who can't take care of themselves. Standing up for those who need it. Jesus IS at work. He IS diligently rescuing and redeeming. But only a small percent of those trafficked are rescued. That's inexcusable. And I wonder if perhaps, one of the reasons this hasn't already been stamped out is because not enough people are realizing that Jesus does wait for us. He does want and need us to be Him in this World. Sure. He could handle it on His own. But He CHOOSES to wait for us. He is allowing us the privilege to CHOOSE working for Him and with Him. He is allowing us to take part in what He's doing. He's waiting on us to choose this. What a blessing and honor! To work for the ONE who can't be stopped. To have the ONE who created this Universe on our side as we squash and eliminate the most horrific crime imaginable and the other crimes it ends up entailing. But we need to get going. Get active. The 30 million can't cry out for help. They can't get out. They NEED us. They need Y-O-U. We have the God of all resources on our side. We have each other. If the church came together with all of this truth in the forefront, we would be un-stoppable. I believe it's possible to wipe this out for good. I believe it's up to us. I believe it's up to YOU. You can make a difference. You can.

 I don't yet know what the future contains for me. But I am glad God moved me here where this is huge. I am glad for the year of developing relationships with organizations that are actively rescuing girls here in town and across the globe. And I'm excited for a future that I am convinced will entail working to end this. WE can and WILL be their freedom. I'd love to see you on that journey. I have resources if you're interested.

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