Having children was the second best thing that ever happened to me. The first was that my huz asked me to marry him.
*insert the awwwws here*
We were married between our junior and senior years in college. We had thought we should wait until he had nearly finished graduate school before we had kids. But that was not what God had planned. Without any planning on our part, we had kids right away. What I mean by that is, we were not planning on the kids. We had done the “planning” that one should go through to hold off on having kids, but poor medical advice – twice – meant that we had two children before our 23rd birthdays. Wow, huh? It has actually been a huge blessing in our lives. They are now nearly 15 and 16 years old, and we are blessed by them immensely.
My son is an intellectual, funny, and serious young man. He is also full of passion. Ever since he was small, he has sought to right injustice. When someone was blamed for something that someone else did on the playground at school, he would argue with the teachers until he was nearly disciplined himself. He has always stood up for the rights and needs of others. While attending a missions conference at our church when he was quite young, he felt a call to go into missions “when he grew up.” He saw himself becoming a doctor on the mission field in Cameroon. A few years later, he – along with my huz and my daughter – actually visited Cameroon. It was a life changing experience for all of them.
Things have changed as he has grown up, but he remains passionate about the call to missions. Last year, after spending a season on the debate team, he struggled with the idea of becoming a doctor when he found he was a very good debater. We reminded him that God calls, and God uses the gifts, talents, and abilities that He gives us. There are other ways to serve God…being a doctor in Cameroon is just one way.
As it happened, some young ladies in our church are very passionate about injustice in the world as well. Their area of focus happens to be on human trafficking – educating the public about it as well as assisting to free those who are victims of trafficking. Our church hosted a weekend of education ending in “Freedom Sunday.” It was a great event and brought in speakers from several agencies such as International Justice Mission and Love146, who are working in these areas internationally. Another organization, Breaking Free, works locally to help woman escape lives of being prostituted, and MATTOO (Men Against the Trafficking of Others) is an organization working to raise awareness and educate men about similar issues.
My son really got riled up about the information shared during that weekend. He started considering if he could use his arguing skills in the area of law as a way to serve and support organizations that work against human trafficking. He has a great idea – to start a group call TATTOO (Teens Against the Trafficking of Others).
His passion is contagious, and he is convincing. He does his research, and he knows that this problem is not going to go away on its own. If just one more person starts caring and sharing about the issue, maybe one less person will be trafficked.
Yesterday, my son’s Facebook status that made me stop, consider, and have a little cry.
Jane is six years old. Jane’s family is poor. Jane’s family doesn’t have enough money to make it through the day. Jane has to be sold. Jane is bought. Jane is put in a bedroom. Jane is tied naked to the bed. Jane is confused. The door opens. A man walks in. The door closes. Jane is confused. An hour later, the man leaves. Jane is crying. Jane is confused.
Every day, Jane is visited by men; bad men. If Jane tries to run away, she is beaten or put in the Dark Room. Jane is twelve. Jane has been visited by over 5000 men. Jane has stopped trying to run away. Jane is confused. Jane doesn’t know why the men hurt her. Jane doesn’t know why she’s treated this way. Jane is confused. Jane doesn’t know why she should live anymore. Jane isn’t alive anymore. Jane died when she was six.
Now Jane is just an empty shell.
But Jane can be saved. Jane doesn’t have to be dead forever.
What will it take for us to see that there are millions of Jane’s in the world, and each of them needs to be saved? What will it take?
What will it take?