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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The night my heart broke at a brothel in Greece

When I was just 19 years old, I learned what modern day human trafficking was. I was in Athens, Greece when I came face to face with beautiful brown-skinned girls who had been sold from west Africa and were now being forced to work in the sex-industry, in a country were prostitution is legal.

Being “sold” is so much more complicated than that.

Most of the time, the person is led to believe that a debt is owed, but in time they will be able to pay it off, and be free. In human trafficking, this is never the case. I was not prepared for this kind of culture shock. One night, I went out with a local ministry that regularly visited women in brothels, building a relationship with the prostitutes. With a basket in hand, filled with fresh baked goods, steaming coffee and hot chocolate, they would talk with the women about family and recent events. Before I went out that night, I made a video- diary and said that I was scared for how this was going to change my life forever. And it did.

11 years later, I will now be going to one of the poorest countries in the world, Nepal. I will be visiting several businesses that are working to provide safe, fair-waged, dignified work for women, many of whom have been rescued from trafficking.

Human trafficking is an issue that I have been outspoken about, educated people on and worked to raise awareness. This is not just an issue overseas. This happens all over the United States, and it holds no prejudices based on skin color, religion, or economic class.

Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world.

Even in the beautiful land of Nepal, this is a major issue. I am so excited and terrified for this upcoming trip. My heart is going to break, and I pray that God will use that brokenness, however He desires. And that is an offering I give Him with a trembling hand.
I am not going to Nepal to change the world in two weeks.

These are reasons why I am going-
So that my compassion may be deeper, my knowledge  greater, and that I will learn how to "carry each others burdens."
I am eager to meet local ministry workers, and foreign ministry workers, to hear their stories, and their heart behind why they are serving the Nepali people. I want to bear their burdens alongside them. I want to hear the things that they won’t post on social media, or send in a newsletter. I want to be a listening ear, an encourager, a prayer warrior, for them to not feel so alone and heavy-burdened.

Because of my great love for Nepali people, I pray that I will be a voice on behalf of them.

Just this fall, the government in Nepal passed a law restricting evangelism and conversion. This closed country has just made it more difficult for Christians workers, and may God be praised because this is a push back due to the rapid growth of Christianity in Nepal. There were no recorded Christians in Nepal back in the 1950’s before it opened it doors to foreigners, but now, it is a nation with one of the fastest Church growths! Please, pray for our brothers and sisters, fellow workers in Nepal, for their safety and courage to proclaim Christ. So that all might know Jesus!

That night in Greece, coming face-to-face with women at the brothels forever changed me. I failed to mention that I was very reluctant to go out with that ministry to the brothels. I had been in Greece for three months, I was tired, and I was just ready to go home in a few days. Little did I know, that in my own weakness, in spite of my exhaustion, God used that experience to change my heart drastically. With that being said, I am equal parts excited and terrified for how God might work in my heart because of the people I will meet in Nepal.