Because They Matter
We all long to be known- whether we struggle with intimacy, shyness, or are the worlds biggest introvert; we long to connect to some extent, to be loved by someone, and to have someone who knows the big and small details about our personalities. Loneliness can lead to depression and many levels of brokenness. It's the force that causes one person to shut down and leads another to a place of such desperation that they are willing to purchase and use another person for their own gain. This is not the only thing that demands the trade and exploitation of millions of people; their bodies being used as commodities, but it's one of them.
The ministry we do can be challenging. It is filled with hundreds of seemingly little victories that are huge to us, and many disappointments along the way. As one of our other staff posted a couple weeks ago, when we walk away we don’t always know if we will see that specific girl again. Sometimes she is arrested, sometimes she is trafficked to another area, and sometimes we lose them... and just like that they are gone. The victories come though and they build our spirits.
It’s a beautiful thing when a girls face lights up when you remember her name. When you remember the little details of her life, or make some momentary connection and she is so astonished that you even care- its beautiful. We have several girls that we do see week to week or here and there. We are building relationships with them. We are asking for the grace of God to help us remember the little details, the things that most of us wouldn’t even notice someone remembering; or perhaps they are so basic some of us would be offended if someone didn’t remember.
We hand out a lot of gifts. This past week we reached 21 girls. Only a few of them we had existing relationships with. So remembering details is practically miraculous. But THIS is where we find breakthrough. We bring our cute gifts with our meaningful notes and they are a great icebreaker. The girls love them and they value them, but most of these girls are used to being romanced. They have pimps that have acted as boyfriends, husbands and fathers. Sure, the relationships are twisted and broken, but the pimps know their game. They know how to work charm and they often know how to twist biblical scripture. But what they also have is an expectation. They have requirements that “their” girls perform and hit a quota. They withhold their “love”, basic needs, their children, and sometimes get violent when this expectation isn’t met.
This is what we have to offer: pure, genuine, unconditional, TRUE love. We care for “no reason”. We show up at strange hours of the night/morning with our little gifts, our genuine smiles and the little details we remembered from the weeks before… and we want nothing in return. Our hopes are that for just a sliver of a moment something will spark in their hearts. That as they go through their week and face the challenges, the pain, the manipulation and the brokenness of the game, that the spark will be triggered again. That God will move on their hearts whether it’s in a week or a year. Whether we act as a lifeline, or someone else sees the fruit. We remain faithful, we face the risks, we celebrate the victories and accept the disappointments BECAUSE THEY MATTER.
Our team rotates who gets out of the car at each stop. A couple times when it hasn’t been my turn, our staff have told me that there have been girls who have asked about my pregnancy and whether I have delivered yet. This always hits me because they see it. They see that we care about the details and they are responding. They are pulling down a wall and extending an effort. It’s amazing and humbling. Its victories like this that keep me focused and driven. It keeps pulling me to the streets and pulling me to loving these beautiful people. It’s what allows me to face the risks and trust that my God is faithful. It’s what reminds me that trafficking is not just a trendy topic or just a cool movement to join because I want to belong to something; it is a real issue and there are faces, names, and beautiful people attached to it. This issue and these people are what I have given my life to fight for.