Hello Sweet Cheer: Wordy Wednesday, the overflowing thoughts of my heart.


Wordy Wednesday, the overflowing thoughts of my heart.

     Alright, you got me.  That title is way beyond cheesy and runs right on into LAME.

     In other news… today is the part of the week when I normally post another installment of "Wordless Wednesday".  When I started looking for a picture to use, I got into my pictures from Haiti and decided there is still way too much to say about the trip, so we're taking a one week hiatus from that series and staying right here with a normal post.

     Close your eyes and try to picture this in your mind's eye.  You're sitting on a wooden bench, slightly glistening from the blazing hot weather, listening to a young girl's words (in Creole, might I add), and watching the pain in her eyes as she slyly brings up the topic of abuse.  You see, though she isn't speaking your language, you can just sense what the subject is.  Sure enough, when the interpreter begins to retell what she was saying in English, your heart sinks as your suspicions have been confirmed.  She asked, "What should you do if you know you shouldn't have sex because the Bible says it's wrong, but you have a boyfriend whom you love very much and he'll leave you if you don't have sex with him. He might even hurt you if you don't. I'm asking for a friend."

Side note: No one is ever asking for their friend, am I right?

     These are the moments I won't forget.  These are the minutes I'll continue to replay in my head, over and over again.  These girls I speak of are the very faces I see when I pray fervently for the redemption of the youth in Haiti.  Even when I pray against the horrific realities of sexual abuse, trafficking, and immorality, I see THEIR faces.  These are the women whose stories have broken my heart.  These are the sobering realities my heart and mind must process as I go on with my day-to-day life.

     If that example isn't enough to open your eyes to what is going on in Haiti, and all over the world including the U.S., try this one on for size.  In the town I have been visiting year after year, where the people are beautiful, and joyful, and desperate to hold my hand, mothers are prostituting their daughters, their young daughters (ages 8 or 9 and up), for ONE DOLLAR AND TWENTY-FIVE CENTS.  Yes.  A dollar and a quarter is given in exchange for a young girl's body.  This is devastating.

     While these things are rough and no one wants to hear them, nor carry the burden that they hold, these times have been some of the most impacting of my life.  In 20 years, some of the most heartbreaking, yet challenging moments of growth have happened on those very wooden benches, in that warm military tent, listening to those precious voices.  These are the moments that the Lord changed me from a brokenhearted American to an advocate for women who are in desperate need of someone to listen, speak, and pray on their behalf.

     I want to emphasize that I am in no way trying to say that because I'm an advocate for these women that I am somehow their healer as well.  That is not at all the point here.  I am an advocate for them in the sense that I MUST share the Gospel with them, I MUST love on them like they are valuable, and I MUST drop to my knees in prayer for them.  While I don't know what exactly God has planned for my life, or what exactly He has in mind for advocating for these women, I do know that I am called to pray, share, and love.  And that applies to all relationships and encounters in my life.

     So the reality of abuse and prostitution is sad, it hurts, and it definitely isn't fun to hear.  It makes us uncomfortable, we don't know how to respond to it, and sometimes we just want to pretend we never learned of it.  Friends, there is GOOD NEWS!  Our God is forgiving, redeeming, just, and saving!  He sacrificed His only Son to bring His people back to Him and get the glory He deserves!  My Jesus died a BRUTAL death and endured the wrath of an almighty and just God, so that I might be able to live in righteousness and know Him as my Father.  That is incredible news, people!!!  These women have been beaten, bruised, objectified, taken advantage of, and treated like they have no value at all, but Jesus is BIGGER THAN ALL OF THAT.  He takes hold of their hearts and souls, not only to save them from their own depravity, but to HEAL and REDEEM them from the way they have been sinned against.  Join with me in advocating for the people in this world who don't have the ability to do it themselves.

Happy Wednesday, people!  The weekend is coming!!! As always, thanks for reading!


P.S. And because it can't be ignored… A little spoken word from Jefferson Bethke on EASTER!

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