By Kaleigh Ward
Tonight, I watched a documentary about prostitutes in the sex trafficking industry around the world. Racers often do outreach in the red light district in Thailand, and I wanted to better understand these women’s lives, what they face on a daily basis, and how they respond.
My heart is heavy as I write this.
The biggest thing I am struck by is the difference between my “normal” and the “normal” of millions of women around the world.
For me, sex is a gift that is enjoyed between a husband and wife after they commit to faithfully love and serve one another for the rest of their lives.
For these women, sex is a product that they must sell to whoever is willing to pay. The man may only refer to them by their number and never even learn their name.
For me, the men around me are protectors and warriors who encourage me, pray for me, respect me, and tell me that I am a valuable daughter of the most high King.
For these women, men want nothing but sex, whenever and however it pleases them. They haggle about their worth in dollar amounts with pimps or mistresses or the women themselves.
For me, marriage is a commitment of love that promises to remain steadfast through any and every trial.
For these women, if they ever do marry, it is about nothing more than money and sex. Without those two things, they will be thrown back out onto the street.
For me, a mother is a source of comfort, encouragement, and love. My mom prays for me and tells me she is proud of me and believes in me. She sacrifices for the sake of my future.
For these women, the “mothers” in their lives offer explicit advice on how to sell their bodies and get more men. Their mothers encourage them to get as many clients as possible in order to make a lot of money.
For me, laughter is an overflow of joy in my heart, an expression of delight in the world around me.
For these women, laughter is a mask that hides the pain, a heartbreaking effort at pretending like everything is okay when they ache down to the very core of their being.
For me, God is a Father, Shepherd, Protector, Comforter, Healer, Provider, and Friend. He has a plan for my life that is for my good. He loves me so much that He laid down His life to have a relationship with me.
For these girls, if they do believe in a god, they offer up prayers to him for more clients, success, and money… or even “a good death.” Their god does not care about their well being or see them as valuable. At best, he does them the favor of sending more men.
Tonight, I am overwhelmed with thankfulness for the normal I was raised in.
But more than that, I am burdened for these girls, knowing that God wants this to be their normal, too.
- He wants them to know that they are so valuable that He laid down His life in order to reach them (John 3:16).
- He wants them to know that He has a plan for their lives that will give them a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
- He wants them to know that He is ready and willing to heal all of their hurts and pains (Psalm 103:2-3).
- He wants them to know that He loves them deeply and commits to them as a husband– forever (Hosea 2:19).
Beyond being thankful for my “normal,” I am thankful that God has asked me to take this hope and joy and light to these girls, too. I am thankful that you, my supporters, are sacrificing to send me to the darkest places on earth so that I can bring light and life and hope to these broken women.
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'” John 8:12
Millions of men and women are walking in suffocating darkness every day. God wants to invite them to walk in light and life. And He is sending me out to extend that invitation. What an honor and a privilege!
There is nothing in my nature that is capable of relating to and reaching these women who live a completely different “normal.” But the Spirit of God lives in me (Romans 8:11) and He created them, knows them, and loves them. He can and will reach out to these women as I talk to them. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a vessel of truth and love in the darkest places of the world.
Please soak me in prayer as I go out into these dark places to carry the light of Christ. Please pray for the people I will meet in the upcoming year. They desperately need the hope of Jesus and He so deeply longs to welcome them into His family. Please pray that God will prepare their hearts even now so that they will be open to the truth when I tell them about a God who loves them.
Sure, this trip will have some incredible adventures. I’ll post pictures of breathtaking panoramas and adorable children and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. But this trip is so much more than that. I am going into the darkest places on earth to share the hope of Christ. This will not always be “easy” or “fun.” I will face serious demonic resistance and attack because Satan will not want my team to be victorious in expanding the Kingdom of God.
I believe the greatest weapons in the spiritual battles ahead are the Word of God and prayer. Please surround me and my team with prayer now and throughout the race. Please declare the Truths found in God’s Word over us and those we will meet.
Come along with me. Fight with me. On your knees by your bed, as you drive to work, during worship on Sunday morning. I need your prayers. The lost need your prayers. Join with me in the fight against darkness, and rejoice with me in the knowledge that the victory is already ours!
“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57