Here it is, a little past 1:00 AM. I was exhausted hours ago but I'm wide awake again now... ahhh the joys of jet-lag. It feels silly though to complain about such a small thing. I'm sure most small things will to seem silly as I continue to reflect on the few days I just spent in Thailand. Thanks for allowing me to stray from my normal "Reclaiming Childhood" theme for this blog. Thanks for reading my scattered and un-proofread thoughts. What I realized though is that the fight for a childhood is exactly one of the aspects you fight for when you fight against sex trafficking.
In our last team debrief time I told the story of our group taking six women from the bar out to dinner. The "woman" who struck me the most was actually a girl, maybe 15 years old. Her name was Twee. I'm a horrible judge of age but Twee most certainly was young and most certainly was not 18. She was a girl missing her childhood. This thought struck me when a friend and I were explaining to the rest of the team how it felt to be hugged goodbye by Twee. She had been so quite and shy all throughout dinner and this attitude was reflected in the way she hugged at first. There was much space between our bodies. I can't at all blame her to be on guard. Then something changed, she let down her adult front. She stopped playing the act of "bar girl". She was no longer held a prostitute's title. Twee reverted back to CHILD. She wanted to be held. She wanted to be loved on. She wanted to be comforted. She needed it. Holding her head to my chest, nothing in me could bare to let her go. I swayed a little, ushering a few extra prayers over her, asking for her protection and that God would hold my emotions for just a few more moments. My gut wanted to scream, my eyes were ready to unload, breath had long escaped my lungs, but what was it like for her? What was it going to be like to have this encounter of hope that was so foreign (and not just because of our nationality)? How would she feel when she walked back in to that bar? Would she have to take a customer tonight? Would the next words said to her be out of love. What would HER next words say? What would her heart say?
I can work so hard at reclaiming my own childhood... but who's going to work to reclaim hers?
If you're in the Seattle area and are interested in learning more about the issue of sex trafficking please attend the following this Saturday:
OCC STOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING INITIATIVE NIGHT
Saturday, March 27
7 - 9 PM in the OCC Small Auditorium
Come hear reports from recently returned teams from Thailand
See the images and lives impacted who have been rescued
Learn about OCC's vision and partnership with others
Discover ways you can be involved locally and/or globally
There will be a time to connect with specific team leaders working towards specific initiatives around human trafficking:
Business Team - Developing and empowering alternative living for rescued victims
Women of Purpose - Join other women raising awareness and investing in key projects
Local Team - Opportunities to respond to needs locally
Potential Housing - A fact finding group exploring the requirements for responding to the dramatic need for victim housing in the greater Seattle area
Fair Trade - Educate and promotion of using our purchasing power to make a difference
Questions? Contact Servetheworld@occ.org.