By Christy Chermak
It’s funny the adventures God takes us on. Four years ago when I heard Jesus knocking at the door and dared to open it so that He might come in, I had no idea the wild ride ahead. Since then He’s taken me all over the world, to the worst parts of my city, to the darkest parts of corporate America, and even to the deepest parts of my soul. Constantly lighting the path a few steps ahead. Asking me, inviting me, to be a part of something bigger than myself.
And now here I find myself being directed toward the issue of women being bought and sold for sex.
27 million in slavery. A 32 billion dollar industry. Women kidnapped, coerced, manipulated, abused, beaten, raped, sold. No media coverage. No public outrage. A muted and largely apathetic church.
It’s an overwhelming problem; seemingly without solution. The world tells us there’s little we can do. No laws will end it. No number of social workers will be enough. Men will still demand it. Women will be abused. Evil will prevail.
But there is good news. And His name is Jesus.
No problem is too big for Him, and as I’ve dared to trust Him with each step on this journey, I’ve glimpsed the beautiful story He’s been writing.
I first see His pen moving across the page within my own community group. Sitting in a circle on the floor, sharing what we’re learning and reading and one of us starts to cry. Not about the pain in her own life, but the lives of the women she’s starting to get to know. She’s volunteering at a women’s shelter and in the process learning more about the trafficking world. The pain, the torture, the feelings of worthlessness that come with it. This friend is heartbroken and determined to devote her foreseeable future to making this atrocity right.
A few months later I see Him moving in the animated and ambitious plans of a mother of three. Jesus has given her a vision for a better world and she has spent years working towards it. Her enthusiasm is contagious as we brainstorm and dream for hours in a coffee shop. Dinner time comes and goes, and still we are there…our stomachs rumbling as our spirits crave a better life for women everywhere.
Weeks later the story continues in a meeting with a former prostitute in aftercare programming. We chuckle together as she asks me if I have recently come out of the sex industry myself. Jesus’ voice speaks boldly through her and as I hear Him talking, it’s a message of restored worth and value. He has made her radiant.
And a week ago the plot unfolds further as I find myself and my friend driving the streets of Dallas with a trafficking investigator. As she points out locations known for solicitation or enslavement, others in our group turn the conversation towards finding a solution. Stricter laws? Better prevention programs? More funding? As hopelessness is passed around the group, I see a glimmer in my friend’s eye.
Jesus, she says. He can solve it.
Church, we have a powerful Bridegroom. A God who transforms lives. Not through a list of morals or rules, or with money and laws, but through personal relationships. And when it comes to trafficking, we have a hope that the world doesn’t because we know the solution.
Jesus is writing something beautiful. He is sending the light of the world into the darkest parts of our cities. He is restoring infinite value to those who have been sold for a price. He is reminding Johns and clients that they were made for something greater. He is rescuing pimps and traffickers from the evil that’s controlling them.
I dare you to join Him. Allow Him to use you in His story of redemption and transformation. Catch His vision for that woman being sold, for that man paying for her, and for that pimp placing a price tag on her soul. He died for them. And He wants to make sure they know it.
Don’t know where to start? Come to The Porch tonight. Come and see and be a part of the story being written.
These are our beautiful beginnings, church. As Christ's bride awakens, His story will get louder. The pages He’s already written will be multiplied. And the world will stop and see how great is our God.