Even now, I wince as I type those words, because they’re so hardhearted. I wince because the truth hurts.
I didn’t care about sex trafficking.
More than that, I didn’t care about the children that sex trafficking enslaves. The innocence lost. The families and futures and psyches destroyed. To be honest, justice ministry seemed like another “trend” of today’s church…and I’m not a very trendy person.
But then. Then, I began to listen to the news reports, and to the stories of friends who witnessed firsthand the destruction and evil that is sex trafficking. I talked to Roger Twitchell, international field director for Blackbox, and I traveled to the Dominican Republic, where my hard heart softened and broke. There, the children became, not faceless foreigners a world away, but boys whose names I knew and whose personalities made me smile. Boys who drew me pictures and flew paper airplanes and wanted to play games on my iPhone. They were children not unlike my own, except for the fact that they had endured unspeakable evils…and I hadn’t cared.
The truth hurts. It will hurt until we change the story. And trendy? Caring for children isn’t a trend! It’s the call of Christ, who said, “Let the children come to Me” (Matthew 19:14). It’s the mission of the church, where looking after orphans and widows is pure and faultless religion (James 1:27). It’s the very heartbeat of God Himself, who is “a father to the fatherless,” and who “sets the lonely in families, and leads out the prisoners with singing” (Psalm 68:6).
Setting lonely in families? Blackbox does that every day. In fact, funding for the second Dominican home is already underway. And leading out prisoners with singing? What better captive to free than a young boy imprisoned by sex trafficking?
Blackbox does all this because caring is more than a trend. It’s acting like God. God cares. God loves. When God sees His children hurt, He does something about it.
And so must I.