This past Sunday my church gave a simulation that "took" you to different countries around the world. It was of course focusing on the missionaries that the church supports and the regions where these folks work.
It was very disturbing and upsetting to me.
The church and the folks who were the actors and who did decorations and such did a fantastic first class job. Seriously. i was impressed. They way they helped the hundreds who were there get through and find seating etc was also great, they stayed in character but were helpful if someone had a question or concern. The way it was portrayed, it truly "messed with" your sensibilities. i loved it.
That was not the disturbing part.
And then from different regions, workers shared some stories of how they are not only helping folks find a better way of living and also how they have become accustomed to their new home, but also how people are beginning a relationship with God and how, even in the midst of persecution, those people are thriving. i loved that too. Brought tears to my eyes because i truly love it when any human can better their life, through education, jobs, etc but also because i treasure my relationship with God and find it amazing that He does too. And when others find that love..well..it is rather humbling and awe inspiring.
That also was not the disturbing part.
And because they were doing different parts of the world, they had men and women in Muslim garb and they did the call to prayer and we sat as if we were in a mosque, which was not my first time experiencing that and i was able to tell my sister some of the differences if we were in a real Mosque. They also included in some of their speech anti-American talk, which i realize is not the lifestyle of every Muslim but to say it doesn't happen is poppycock. And they had four women in full burqas, which i truly believe are garments from the pit of hell. Women were not created in the image of an Almighty God to be hidden away in some shapeless garment, faces hidden. We were given curves and beauty for a reason. And it hurts me, deep inside, to see them. i can understand head coverings way more than full burqas. (some of that has to do with living close to large Mennonite and Amish communities all my life).
Even that was not the disturbing part.
The disturbing part came when a woman with three other women simulated a Madame selling her girls in Eastern Europe. And when she said that she had a young virgin that she would sell special to the man who had AIDS because we all knew that sex with a virgin would cure him. The girl was eight years old.
i know it was a simulation. Prostitution did not take place at my church. Never. However, i also know that there are parts of Africa and Eastern Europe and some gyspie tribes that truly believe this. And it is so devastating...more so to the girls who are sold then me, i assure you. But it cut me to the quick. And i cannot forget it. And it hurts. And i do not know what to do to stop child trafficking. Such a messy business. So dirty. So sordid. Girls being turned into women before they should be..oh and what kind of women, eh?
i have an odd view on prostitution perhaps. Though i do not agree with it and let me catch any man of mine visiting one...i assure you, he would never again (and i might go to jail!) and let me tell you, he would be walking with a limp and a bit lighter, if you know what i mean; when adults make adult choices for themselves, it is on them. They are responsible for their own actions. They are accountable and they will reap the consequences whether good or bad. i would encourage, even plead for them to choose a better way of life, but adults are adults.
However, when a child is forced to do an adult action, particularly an adult sexual action, i am both terribly angry and on the verge of being sick. Little girls who wish to be pretty and clean and who want to be mommas or a teacher or have a different career. They who dream of a kind husband, of lighter, of a good life...and i am sorry, but all little girls have these dreams. Some are forced at a very, very young age to kill these dreams but they were there at one point. When that is stripped from them and all they know is that their body is used by grown men and women for painful acts and that if they act lewd and sexy they will be paid more, it literally kills me inside. (and i am only addressing girls....i cannot even talk about what is done to little boys...seriously cannot go there right now).
i am struggling with this because i am typically a "let's do something about this" kind of woman, but this stops me dead and i feel confused and angry and totally overwhelmed that anything i do or say can help. i would rush to any country to help save some of these children, but fear that i would be useless.
But sometimes God calls us to step out of our little comfort zones and get messy and dirty in order to present the opportunity for people to know who He is and know His love and mercy. Sometimes He makes us sick about something because He wants us to get off our butts and do something about it, even though He knows it will hurt our emotions and sensibilities.
Recent circumstances aside, and they are nothing compared to what most of the world goes through, i have had an awesome life. i have a Father who loves me deeply and completely but would cut off his hand if he ever even attempted to hurt one of his kids or wife. i know that many men in this country do not have that self control, and i realize how blessed i have been to have such parents. i have a great family, a house, food, i am warm and clean and have clothes and shoes bursting from my closets. i go to concerts and am free to do just about anything i want, and it is a good life. i am humbled and grateful for this life. i cherish it.
But if i have been challenged to do something more, to reach out beyond my life and help others who have such a need i cannot even wrap my mind around it, but do nothing....
..then that is the most disturbing thing of all.