Wednesday, January 14, 2009

buckle up...it's long

I was encouraged by the comments and emails I received to this post. I know I write about and and share some pretty heavy stuff, so to see others in agreement was wonderful.

I have posted about many international issues, but I think that we can often feel detached from the suffering of those who live so far away...in a world so much different than our own. And so we say a prayer or write a check because we know of no other ways to help.

I have been struggling with this and just last night was discussing my feelings with Scott. I know that I am not supposed to strap my baby on my back and head to Africa or SE Asia, but yet my heart burns to do more. While this is not Scriptural, I envision meeting people in Heaven only to say, "I'm sorry I did not help you. I'm sorry I did not act when your little girls were stolen from your arms and sold for sex. I'm sorry that I did not share when your babies were dying because they had no milk."

I was reading World Racer Kim Daniels' blog and, after watching the movie HUMAN TRAFFICKING, she put into words exactly the way I have been feeling:

And now that I know, I can't go back to not knowing. I can't pretend like its not happening. I can't have mere coffee table conversation about it, and then move on to the next subject of politics and the weather. I can't find a place of reconciliation in living comfortably at home while over 18,000 children, both boys and girls, and young women are kidnapped and swept away with force from their families and homes, coerced to be sex slaves for hundreds of men over the course of their young lifetime... and then just thank God for my American given freedom.

I can't find a place of peace in thinking that I'll just let other people deal with it, or some other kind of cliché that says "its just not my calling in life". I am not satisfied with excuses or every reason in the world why WE can't be the generation to actually DO something about it.

I have more questions than answers. I don't know where to start. Except to begin raising awareness to my family, friends, and anyone else who will listen. I WILL yell freedom off of the rooftops and I WILL pack up and go to where its dark when God says so.

Sooo...today two "nevers" happened. 1. M fell asleep in the car. 2. Because M fell asleep, I turned on the radio. I was just about to change the channel when I heard the announcement that the Focus on the Family broadcast would be about Human Trafficking. At home I watched Focus interview Linda Smith, the founder of Shared Hope Int. While Shared Hope is an international program, Mrs. Smith focused on the sex trafficking epidemic in the United States. It's worse than you would imagine.

IF YOU DESIRE TO HELP, THIS MAY BE FOR YOU: If you visit the Shared Hope Int. website, there is a TAKE ACTION section on the upper right side of the screen. Even a small action is better than no action. Below I have included a sting video that was conducted by this organization.

Here's another thing...I think that women have a naturally soft spot for helping the defenseless, the oppressed, the children. However, I would encourage you to share this with a man you know (your husband/father/brother). Men are designed by God to be protectors...defenders not only of their own children, but of all children. The men of America need to take a stand against the evil in our country.

Many men don't want to speak out against porn and sexual immorality thinking it is none of their business what another dude does in his private life, but Mrs. Smith shared that so many of the "sex buyers" of these young girls in America are the white collar business men. Perhaps your husband/father/brother knows of men who are actively involved in porn...they may not be the ones stealing away at lunch to have sex with an underage girl, but they are glued to their computers every night...they are buying the images of these girls and, therefore, perpetuating the crimes against them. Perhaps it's time for these men who are living in sexual bondage to know that God loves them and wants more for their lives...to know that they have been created and designed to care for and protect the innocence of children, not rob them of it. Perhaps God will use your husband/father/brother to share these words of freedom.



This is heavy stuff...and it would be too heavy for us to bear IF we didn't know that there is victory in Christ. Because of Him, we can refuse to turn a blind eye...refuse to settle back into our comfortable, happy lives...and instead shine His light in the darkness.

6 comments:

Andrea said...

We HAVE to get involved. The reason this is still going on is because people refuse to believe that it is happening.
When that little Natalie Hollaway went missing in ARUBA the first thing Stacy said was..that boy killed her or sold her. I was floored...He told me that it is EVERYWHERE! Not just Africa and India...EVERYWHERE!
Thanks for the link. I am going to check it out!

I love you!

Andrea

Lisa said...

Oh Gosh. That just sickens me, but you are right that only through the actions of US and others who believe in Gods goodness & light, will this stop.

Andrea is right too; just the other day I saw where a man in rural California was arrested for selling his underage daughter for marriage. His fee for her innocence? $3,000 and something like 20 cases of beer. When the man who 'purchased' (sick!) his daughter did not pay up, this fella went to the police to press charges! Talk about righteous justice!

Thanks for the link; for several reasons and one very powerful reason, this topic is very close to my heart....I'm gonna go check it out!
Hugs to you! I hope M's nose is better today!
Lisa

Phatchik said...

It's incredible when you start to think beyond your front door and realize how much sickness and suffering there is in this world. It's so easy to believe that everything is okay because you (the general "you") are okay. Or to believe it's just too big to do anything so you do nothing at all.

Good for you, Tish, for using your blog to expose these issues. And good for you for taking a stance and taking action.

Recently I watched something on either 60 Mintues or 20/20 or Dateline or something (there are so many!) about children in Haiti being sold as slaves, basically, because the parents need the money, etc. It broke my heart into a million pieces and I cried every time I thought about it for days and days afterwards.

(This is getting long but..) the mother apparently didn't realize her daughter was a slave. She thought this man was taking care of her. When the reporter told her the truth she went to get her daughter. She couldn't bring her home, however, because the little girls father died (I believe) and now the mother was remarried and her new husband wouldn't allow her to bring this child into their home.

When she went to get her daughter she was so excited to see her mother again. She probably never thought that day would come! And then the mother dropped her off at an orphanage (I believe) and left her again. The image of that little girl falling to the ground in a puddle of her own misery and tears, screaming and crying for her mother will stay with me until the day I die.

Phatchik said...

I know I already posted a long enough comment, but here is the link to the article which is basically a transcript of the story I was speaking about. It was a piece on ABC's Nightline called, "How to Buy A Child in 10 Hours."

http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Story?id=5326508&page=1

Elizabeth said...

Hi Tish,
I've been following your blog.....I can't even begin to tell you how much God speaks through you to me. Thank you.
My friend works for a Christian organization that runs a girl's home in Thailand that rescues girls from being sold into prostitution. It's called House of Grace.
It's a wonderful home. My husband and I once spent Christmas there. You can sponsor a girl (and even visit them---happiest place on earth). They go in a home and rescue the girls before their parents sell them. (Some are sold for no more than a color television.) And some girls are dropped off by relatives who want them to have a better life. My little girl there was abandoned by her mother who is a prostitute. House of Grace even sends the girls to college (some have gone on to medical school) so the girls can be self sufficient and never have to sell themselves. It's wonderful because we get to also buy all her birthday, Christmas presents and even school supplies and she writes letters back and we get pictures of her with all the things we send her. She calls us her American parents. When we were there, her grandmother came to the home and thanked us for giving her this life.
If you want to get involved, you can go to: globalservants.org
I used to be a Children's pastor, and my kids loved putting gift boxes together for all the girls. It was a great way to teach them about missions. They would make cards and pick out toys, clothes, and dvd's and then receive the pictures and thank you cards from the kids. They got to see where their money actually went to, which doesn't always happen when giving to missions.
The staff there is amazing and a couple of them were actually rescued from brothels...their stories are amazing.

--Elizabeth

Tish said...

@J- thanks fro the info, I will check it out!

@ elizabeth - thank you, also, for the house of grace site and for your kind comments!