Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Tentacles of The Giant

Today I had lunch with an ex-colleague of mind. He and I typically try and meet every Friday to discuss the bible and how it applies to our lives. God has given me the privilege of sewing into his life when he used to work here and over the past year there has been a quite a transformation as the Holy Spirit has gotten hold of him. He and his wife and kids first visited my church earlier this year but as much as they enjoyed it, they found the distance too much and so they have settled into another church near their home which is part of our denomination. In recent times, he and I have had discussions about the whole issue of child sex trafficking. Initially he found it so difficult to deal with but yet as time has gone by God has given him an appreciation for this very challenging ministry.

A few weeks ago my ex-colleague who I shall called DP went on a business trip to China with a bunch of other businessmen alone with their wives. He was visiting plants of various companies who are listed on our stock exchange here in Canada. In one of the side trips, he was taken by a Chinese executive to another town and found himself in an unexpected environment. It turned out he was escorted to a hotel and led to a specific room and what he relayed to me was not surprising but for the first time it made me realize that the biggest giant is in China. DP described how he sat in hotel room with this other man and there was a knock on the door. In walked 1 man with 4 Chinese women that he figured would be between ages 18 to 20 years old. He was shocked, the man who had led him to this place asked him to choose a girl but he shook his head and said no he wasn’t interested. The executive who apparently was married was not deterred by my friend’s disinterest and chose one of the women and the other 3 left. At that point, my friend figured he would just do some work on email and watch TV since he had to ‘wait’ for the Chinese executive to finish his business. But it wasn’t long before a second knock and the door flung open and in came two men with 4 different girls. The same question was asked of my friend and he said what came to his mind was the face of his youngest son back home and so he refused again. At this point the men who had escorted the girls were quite puzzled but left. A few minutes later, a third knock and yes another 4 set of girls. By now, my friend was beginning to realize that his refusal was starting to create a problem for these men who were slowly getting a bit irritated at DP’s response. DP looked at the girls and as he said they were pretty and the next thought into his mind was ‘disease’ and he thought of his own Asian wife who he was planning to meet later that day and so he flatly refused. By now he was hoping that this would be the end of this saga but that was not the case. Another few minutes passed and another knock on the door and in walked in 4 more girls and their ‘bodyguards’. DP looked at them and caught the eye of one girl who seemed quite smiley and cheerful and then two thoughts came to his mind. First, ‘I wonder whose daughter she is? What would her father do if he was in this situation? Second, he remembered the conversations we had had about child sex trafficking and he thought to himself ‘if Lisa could only see where I was.’ My friend DP refused and at that time, the ‘bodyguards’ were not too happy with him and motioned that he was no longer welcomed to stay in that hotel room but would have to wait downstairs until the his other Chinese executive had finished his ‘business.’ So DP left and waited in the lobby.

As I sat listening to his story, I was proud of this friend---Satan was trying to tempt him and yet each time, God was watching over him and bringing to mind images of his family or thoughts that made him look at this situation not from a ‘man’s perspective but from God’s viewpoint. As DP shared, he said ‘maybe 10 years ago I would have been tempted after all, ‘no one would have known’ but with each knock on that hotel door ‘I began to feel more disgusted at what I was seeing and it became much easier to say ‘no. It would not have mattered if these girls were naked because once I began to see them as someone else’s daughters, this whole situation became even more deplorable. I felt sorry for these girls and it was if I was filled with compassion.’ I thank the Lord for protecting this man and for helping him to see these young women not as some commodity to devour but as human beings who have value and worth if not in their families eyes, but in the eyes of their Creator. As DP shared this story, my eyes were filling with tears and he asked why. God’s heart is breaking and grieving at what is happening in the lives of these young women. I am so grateful that He continues to break my heart for this abomination that is happening so prevalently around this world.

The giant we are dealing with has some huge tentacles. More and more I am hearing stories of this from China. My brother and family were vacationing in China this past August and he told me how the hotels seem to be in collusion with the massage parlors as every morning at 8am they would get a phone call asking if they wanted a ‘massage’ at night. This is not just happening to businessmen but families that are traveling on holiday. Even in Cambodia, money is flowing in from China as these so call ‘wealthy Chinese businessmen’ come buying up property and building new high end hotels and casinos which simply are fronts for high end brothels. As one of our partners in Cambodia said recently ‘this situation changes creates a new paradigm in how we are going to have to minister and rescue the victims of sex trafficking.’

If I needed any reminding that this giant is big and strong and its breadth is spreading, these stories certainly add fuel to this. But just like we seek justice for one child at a time, it is ‘one stone’ at a time and one giant at a time. We do know that this battle is long and hard and it is not without its obstacles; obstacles that seem so hard to overcome from the human eye that it makes more sense to stop and give up but those of us who God has called, have chosen a different path. Like David of old, we refuse to let this ‘uncircumsized giant’ dishonor and degrade the name of the Lord and all that He has created. And so I look to one of my heroes, William Wilberforce and take heart in the words that John Wesley wrote to Wilberforce after his 2nd attempt to pass a bill to abolish the slave trade had been struck down after months of preparation, presentation, etc. Dear Sir:Unless the divine power has raised you up to be as Athanasius contra mundum, I see not how you can go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that execrable villainy which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils, But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? O be not weary of well doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it.... That he who has guided you from youth up may continue to strengthen you in this and all things, is the prayer of, dear [miss], Your affectionate servant,John Wesley

May we all indeed continue to walk not by our might or by our strength but by His power!

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