Monday, November 9, 2009

God is there...

God is so incredibly good. Even in the midst of darkness and evil, He is faithful and just and righteous. In preparing to volunteer in the midst of the human trafficking arena in Cambodia, I sometimes find myself forgetting about God's ultimate goodness. Don't get me wrong. I do not for even one moment doubt God's goodness, but I do find myself sometimes wondering if God knows what is going on in this world. Then, I am reminded of Psalm 24:1, "The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein." God knows. God understands. God has it all in the palm of His hand. Unfortunately, evil still exists, and one of its many forms is that of little girls in Cambodia being prostituted, having their virginity negotiated and sold, having their spirits broken. Through all of this, I know that God's love prevails and His healing can mend every would and restore every soul. He is more than able. Luke 1:37 says, "For with God nothing shall be impossible."
All things are possible with God. I really think He is just waiting for His people to truly realize that because I think that when we do, the whole world will change. Quoting Bono, "God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both of their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunities and lives, and God is with us if we are with them." Yes, God is there...and I want to be, too. 
Just the other day, I watched a film called Holly.
It is essentially the story of thousands of Asian girls. Holly is a Vietnamese girl who has been trafficked to Cambodia where she is sold into a brothel. This movie tells the story of how she is able to narrowly escape with the help of an American man. I was really impressed with this film because of the accuracy with which it presents information. There are a couple of quotes from the film that I want to share to give you a bit of a better perspective on why exactly I am doing what I am doing and why it is important. A volunteer at an aftercare facility in the film first informs the American man that there are 30,000 sex slaves in Cambodia (which is a conservative number from everything I have read and learned), and that if he intends to buy them out of slavery, within a year's time there will be 60,000. It would be great if it was as easy as walking into a brothel and telling the manager that you would like to purchase every girl there and take them home with you. However, what that really allows is for twice as many girls to be trafficked and sold and raped repeatedly. Thus, my second point is this quote: "It takes 5 minutes to rescue a girl from a brothel, but it takes 5 years to reintegrate her into society." Truly, it does not take long to bust a brothel and bring a young girl to "safety," but the damage that has been done to her physically, emotionally, and spiritually will take years to mend.
That mending process is what I have been learning a lot about, and the reason I am giving my life to young Cambodian girls for the next several months. While in Australia I have been going through a course called Hands That Heal, which is designed to train caregivers of trafficking survivors.
It has been such a valuable course thus far, and I am sure it will continue to be so. We have discussed everything from the definition of trafficking to God's view of women and sexuality, from the importance of understanding culture to the whys and hows of restoring dignity to these beautiful survivors. Yes, they are survivors, not victims.
My greatest desire is simply to point these lovely girls to Jesus--the only One who can heal their brokenness and restore all that has been stolen from them. I am entrusting them to God's care, and I will just be His representative in the day-to-day happenings of their lives for a time. My prayer is that beauty and freedom would be restored to these girls. I want them to feel like putting on a pretty dress and just twirling, because really isn't that what every little girl wants to do?


  1. i deeply appreciated this post.

  2. Wow. I am impressed that you are following God into this. May God bless you and keep you safe, as you minister to these little girls, and may they also come to know that God is a God of restoration...
    "twirling in the sun..." wonderful image...

  3. Heather - good to hear that God is shaping you and breaking your heart for these girls - He will carry you through and allow you to minister to them - our prayers continue - Jen

  4. Innocence & Purity - There is nothing that compares to the Perfect Will God has for us and His restoration allows us to take part in that. I cannot express how blessed I am to know you and be your sister in Christ. Thank you for your example and inspiration. Keep going, keep trusting God. His perfect Will and blessings are for you. Continued prayers sent your way! ~ Carrie