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Called To A Rounded Perspective

By Jada, RMM worker in Thailand

"God, allow my heart to break for these men as well as the women." This is the prayer Jada found herself praying after a few months of working with victims of human slavery in Thailand. Jada joined RMM’s team in Bangkok in September 2017, and recently wrote about her work to bring freedom and light to this dark industry. She felt herself being challenged to look at the root of the issue: broken men who are looking to fill a void. In this first update from Thailand, Jada shares two stories that help her love these men, knowing they need God’s salvation just as much as their victims.

I had an interesting encounter this week simply meandering the streets. I found myself being pulled out of my daydream as someone commented on the temporary tattoo I had on my leg. This expat passed by me complimenting me on my "tattoo." I uttered a quick thanks and resumed to exploring my mind and taking in the surroundings. About ten minutes later I was once again interrupted as I passed the same guy. "Hey, didn't I just see that tattoo?" he asked. I laughed, "Yes." Just the fact that we ran into each other twice was somewhat of a miracle with how large and crowded Bangkok is. Without warning, he lunged into a series of deep questions and thought-provoking statements such as:

Why are you here? What do you believe about God? Wow, the exploitation of women here is unreal and so sad. I’m not totally sure what I think about, but I know it's wrong. Oh, you work specifically with that? How do you think you are going to make a difference? These customs are so ingrained in this culture. So if you only change one girl’s life is that enough? How do they get caught in it? Isn’t it their choice? Yea, last night I was in the red light district. It just felt so wrong to be able to pay a women to do whatever I wanted. I couldn't believe all the men I saw around me acting as though they were entitled to those women all over them.

I was blown away by these questions and statements. I was praying the whole time for the Holy Spirit to fill me with words and wisdom. It was such an incredible opportunity to share about God and possibly alter his entire worldview. Chances like this don't come often and when they do, I know God is behind it all. After a lengthy conversation with people swarming around us he said, "Well I don't know how successful your mission is, but I know you just impacted my world.” He was in Thailand on business from New York and God was totally using this business trip to change him forever.

To me, the injustice feels so obvious. How can people not see it's wrong and that they are part of the problem? And yet who am I to judge? I don't know why they are here. I don't know the pain in their life. I don't know what void they are trying to fill. As I comprehend this, God can turn my cold heart of bitterness into a compassionate heart. If you are in this ministry for any length of time I think it is important to have this perspective. If you don't, you will quickly find your heart growing cold towards all men. Whether they are specifically involved or not.

“…I felt anger growing in my heart. How could he do this? Didn’t he realize he was exploiting another human being?” Over a year ago I had the honor of participating in a week-long training and outreach called the abolitionist plunge. This consisted of awareness classes, outreach in various ways, survivor testimonies, and John (buyers) testimonies. As I listened to a man speak about his involvement, I felt anger growing in my heart. How could he do this? Didn’t he realize he was exploiting another human being? These were the thoughts rushing around in my mind. As he continued to share, the anger began to fade. It was replaced with shame and sadness that I had been so quick to judge. His father had been a pornographer and that was what he saw from the time he was born till he left his home. Anyone would have issues under those circumstances.

I’m so grateful I got to hear from him. This was the point in which God began to round my perspective. I’m not saying by any means that people involved in exploiting are justified in any way. I’m just sharing the ways I have found to love. Even the people that seem unlovable. Because we are all called to love the unlovable with the love of Christ. Perhaps they wouldn’t be unlovable if they knew someone loved them.

Please pray for Jada as well as other RMM workers in Thailand that work specifically with human trafficking ministries. Pray for a continued joy to join the redemptive work of Christ in the lives of the sold, the sellers, and the buyers in this industry.