Yu-Shuan told us we’d be in for some mutual conversion during our time
here. Only now as I skim through my journal entries from this last week do I realize
that already, my own transformation is starting to emerge.
Ally, Bhavna, and I had an extensive orientation week with the staff at
MISSSEY. We received free (yeee!) copies of Girls Like Us, a book written by sex
trafficking survivor and activist, Rachel Lloyd. A full week of discussion and learning
about the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) has been heavy on my
mind and heart.
It’s extremely easy for young girls to be caught and trapped in “the life.”
Pimps know that many young girls in the area come from either foster homes or
broken families with parents under the influence. They know that these children
will hold onto whatever figure proves himself a constant form of presence and
provision. These girls’ understanding of love and self becomes twisted into what
the pimp and his violent beatings define them to be. I couldn’t possibly describe the
sad story of injustice that is the commercial sex industry in a brief blog entry. Still, I
wanted to share a glimpse of the injustice I’m being exposed to here.
I’m angry that the industry has become so profitable at the expense of
innocent children’s lives. At the same time, I do believe God is using my experiences
(coupled with affirmation from my parents) to beckon me to a life of advocacy for
the voiceless, in the name of justice in the political sphere. I don’t know what exactly
this entails, but it gives me something specific to pray about (and that’s always the
Pondering over the individual situations of children who are vulnerable to
exploitation has caused me to reflect on the family that I grew up with. I grew up
knowing I was loved (even if it wasn’t always outwardly communicated). To say and
know that my mother is a woman of prayer, that my father is a man who fears God
has never resonated as a greater blessing in my heart than now. And then it got me
thinking about my own future marriage and children – what kind of spiritual
mother I’ll be, what values I’ll instill in my kids. Then I thought “I will start praying
over my future babies and husband now!” The worldly forces that pull kids into
trouble and men/women into sin are strong, but the Holy Spirit’s anointing of
protection will always transcend these. Totally random and untimely resolution, I
know. But I receive every God-honoring thought as a gift, and I shall hold it dear to
myself from this day on.
The little kids in our neighborhood are absolutely the friendliest I’ve ever
encountered. If only I spoke Spanish, I would definitely be their best friend. Just
kidding; John Knox already has that one covered. I’m thankful for the New Hope
community who has welcomed us to be more involved with our neighbors – we’re
having a block party! I have volunteered to run the fishing game (so I can play with
the cute little ones). In other news, the 11 of us are eating, sharing a bathroom,
passing time, and praying together quite nicely.
For my epic closer, I would like to extend a heartfelt “I miss and love you” to
the ones I love and pray for every night. Thank you and good night.