Last night, Frank and I went to the showing of a film on sex trafficking at Gordon-Conwell. My heart is heavy this morning with a fresh awareness of the serial horrors women and girls are suffering around the world as I write and with a renewed sense of urgency to raise awareness of this global crisis destroying the lives and the dignity of countless women and girls. Nice for the film to portray a rescue, but the ending of the film didn’t give any of us the slightest sense of relief. No one is searching for most who are caught in the web of human trafficking and some have been sold there by those who should protect them.
Once again, I want to urge the reading of Half the Sky, by Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas Kristof. This book gives new meaning to the expression “must-read” and every Christian should read it.
Sheryl was at Synergy2011, and it was a privilege for us to hear her. Since then I’ve heard two different responses: first, a renewed and passionate desire on the part of those who attended to live out the fullness of the gospel in new ways and a willingness not only to explore how to get involved themselves but also to mobilize others. Second, I’m hearing a reluctance to read Sheryl’s book because some don’t want those images in their minds.
May God multiply the first group and help us never to let up so long as one person is held in the clutches of another. Learn about organizations in your area who are addressing sex trafficking locally and volunteer yourself and your resources to help.
If you are among those who are holding back, let me offer a word of encouragement. I do understand your reluctance. I don’t want those images in my mind either. But I’m convinced (I’ve seen this in myself) that we will not care in the same way, much less act, if we hold at arms length the brutal realities women and girls are suffering and shield ourselves from the truth. By way of encouragement, you should know this is both a disturbing and a hopeful read. You will be heartened and inspired by the incredible stories of ezers-warriors who are fighting back, freeing themselves against hopeless odds, and then returning to free others. But they need lots of help that we have the power, the resources, and the divine mandate to give.
So brace yourself and get reading. And when you finish reading WuDunn’s book, I hope you’ll also read my book, Half the Church to find out why Christians belong on the forefront of this humanitarian crisis.