“How dare you? Who do you arrogantly think you are to think you can do this to someone?” I imagined breathing venomously toward her trafficker. I sat on the floor of a marble porch in the sticky, hot air of Southeast Asia, about twenty feet from a girl who had been both physically and mentally handicapped from the brutality of her trafficking experience. Truthfully, I wrestled over the girl’s circumstance (a circumstance not unlike many other children) in my mind and in my heart, “God, how is this okay?”
It can be overwhelming to know we live in a world in which selling human beings is the second largest criminal industry (www.notforsalecampaign.org), a world in which slave owners can make more money than Google, Starbucks, and Nike combined (www.thefreedomproject.com). It is an easy trap to slide under the weight of statistics and the implications behind them. As we fight for justice by God’s good grace, how can we avoid discouragement in the face of such depravity?
For Christians, the fact of the matter is that we were all once slaves, all toiling under the ruthless Master called sin when Jesus liberated us. God cares deeply about justice. He sent Jesus as a sacrifice to die as an act of His justice and His grace; He is a good, just God. Slavery, rape, abuse, and manipulation are not pardoned without price. Whether through Jesus’ death on the cross or through the eternal suffering of those responsible, true justice will be served for what was done to this girl and the countless others who are suffering from similar circumstances. A day is coming when true justice is carried out, and no child is manipulated into forced labor or brutally raped by up to twenty men in a brothel each night or drugged so that she does not fight or beaten because he does not comply or murdered because the child’s “services” are no longer needed. Until that day, by the grace of God, we fight for those unable to fight (Proverbs 31:8-9) and stand firm, in full confidence of the One who truly frees us (John 8:34-36).
God strengthened my confidence in Him a great deal this summer as I visited Rapha House and learned what He is doing through His people. By the world’s logic, poverty, lack of education, limited access to clean water, and a thriving slave trade should blot out any sliver of hope that has sprouted up in this particular area. By the world’s logic, this handicapped girl I was watching on that marble porch has no logical reason to have joy. By the world’s logic, there may be remorse for this tragedy or a false assumption that we can end it if we just get enough people involved and donate enough money, but even then, there would be no real hope because we are not good or powerful enough to fix the root of human trafficking, sin in the human heart. Make no mistake: Jesus is more powerful than us and sin. God is still God. He still has the final word. Beloved, take heart. Jesus wins.
by: Kathryn Walters, student at Columbia College