Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I recently finished the book Forgotten God by Francis Chan. It was an excellent book, and one I am sure that I will be going back to reread very soon. But, the book in and of itself is not really what I am going to talk about today. Rather, I am going to share some quotes from the afterword that served as both an encouragement and a challenge to me.
Francis Chan shares a story of how he sat next to an individual who runs an anti-trafficking organization at a dinner and how he learned about the children who were caught up in this horrific "industry." (I use the word "industry" because it is one of the top money-making industries in the world, despite being illegal.) He speaks about how his heart broke hearing the stories, how we wept all night, how he imagined such things happening to his own children, how he heard God call him to love these children as if they were his own. But, then he talks about how his zeal fizzled over the course of the next several months as he became distracted and discouraged, as he encountered individuals telling him that he couldn't save the world and that he was already doing more than his fair share.
Then, he shared that he and his wife had decided that all the royalties from the book Crazy Love would be donated to a charity that assists in alleviating poverty, bringing freedom, and empowering communities around the world. And this is what he says as quoted in Forgotten God,
"People told us that we were being foolish and irresponsible with the gifts God gave us. They said we should have at least put some away in case of an emergency. My response back was, 'Is it not an emergency that children in Cambodia and Thailand and even the United States are being raped every single day of their lives? Why is that not an emergency?' I think the church often inadvertently teaches that the sex-slave trade is not an emergency. And this, I believe, is sin. Is an emergency only an emergency if it affects me and my immediate family?"

As I sat in my kitchen in Cambodia reading this, I wanted to cry. Why? Because it is an EMERGENCY! It is an emergency right outside my front door. It is an emergency that I see children every day who are being abused, raped, and sold. And, it is not just an emergency in Cambodia. It is an emergency everywhere. Yet, the church has often downplayed the emergency by sending band-aids when an ambulance is what is required. It is easy to read a book or hear a story about the children who fall victim to the sex trade, but I assure that it is different when they have faces and names. I assure that it is different when you sit in the dirt and color with them, knowing that in a matter of hours they may be raped yet again. I assure you that it is different when you hold their dirty hands. I assure you it is different when you teach them to sing their ABC's. I assure you it is different when you see them slowly dying of HIV. I assure you that if you saw these things you would think it was much more of an emergency, and I assure you that my God believes it is an emergency.
It's time to sound the sirens, church!

"Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them." ~ Psalm 10:17-18


  1. Bring it on! What good is money (or talent, ideas, passion, connections) if it does no good? I am learning right now about creativity...about how we waste it or hide it or even deny it, for fear of others' reactions or for fear of failing. I don't want to be that person.

  2. Yes, it IS an emergency. It is a crisis to which the church must respond. And we must believe that we CAN make a difference. Every one of us can do SOMETHING, whether at home or, like you, far away from home. Bless you and the work you are doing. People here are praying for you.