“Like a signature on a work of art, eternity is there in every human heart. So many do not know how loved they are. Will you be the one to show them Jesus?
"Show them real love. Let His heart beat on in you. Live out the Message with all that you're made of. Let your life unveil the truth, and all the world will see Him in us. Show them Jesus.”
-Scott Riggan (2005, from the song “Show Them Jesus” from the CD Bring Glory)
In what now seems like a former life, I used to play music quite a bit. Although I’m just an average musician I was privileged to work with some pretty amazing artists, like my good friend Scott Riggan, who wrote the song quoted above.
These words are a great reminder of what we’re all called to do, and who we’re called to be as followers of Jesus. To “live out the message with all that we’re made of." That message, the Gospel, is a story of love and grace.
I just returned from Thailand, and while I was there I went with our Thai rescue agents to a place where we thought young girls might be working. A place where no young girls, or in our opinion any girls at all, should ever have to work. We met two kids around 15-16 years old, serving drinks and singing karaoke songs with grown men who are allowed to treat them like property.
In speaking with one of the girls, I asked her if she had any dreams beyond her present situation. If she could study anything in the world, become anything, do any job, live any life, what would that look like?
Her answer was devastating. She shook her head and laughed a bit over the thought of dreaming for a better future. She simply said, “I’m not smart enough to do another job."
This is the lie that so many like her believe. They’ve never been told how loved they are. How valuable they are. This is exactly why we need to “show them Jesus." Why we need to “let our lives unveil the truth”.
That truth, THE truth, can change everything for these two girls, just as it has changed countless lives throughout history.
The truth is that they are loved desperately by their Creator, who values them so much that He gave everything for a chance to spend eternity with them. The truth is that they are absolutely smart enough, strong enough, talented enough to do other things, despite what they’ve been told all their lives.
As heartbreaking as it is to see such hopelessness in a girl so young, I am nevertheless encouraged by the potential for change. The things she believes about herself are completely false, and we can prove it.
During one exchange that night, I realized that she understood some of my English. I asked about her studies and discovered that she had only been learning English for about six months. “I thought you said you weren’t very smart," I told her. “I’m not," she replied. “Then how could you learn so much English in only six months? It takes a very, very smart person to learn so quickly!”
Through her shy smile over the compliment, I saw a small spark in her eye. She knew what I had said was true, even if she was afraid to acknowledge it. Perhaps she's smart enough to do another job after all.
There is no question that the road ahead is difficult for a girl like this. By her own strength, freedom may very well be an impossible dream. With human help, she can break free from the psychological and cultural chains that bind her to a life of abuse. But only through Christ will she find true freedom and perfect, unconditional love for eternity.
That is the true rescue we strive for. It's the change we pray for. It's why we work so hard to free them from exploitation, to address their trauma, to promote their education, to train them in a safe vocation. It's why we stand with them into adulthood, whenever they need the wise counsel of a trusted mentor or the listening ear of a friend who understands them.
It's why we work with their families to earn sustainable income. It's why we promote community development and education in area villages. It's the reason we do all of the humanitarian things we do.
Jesus commanded us to love others, not just when they accept our faith, but all the time. Unconditional love means providing these services to survivors even when they have no interest in Christianity. We will never stay silent. We share our faith through our words and actions and in everything we do.
Please join us in praying for these two sweet young girls. As we work diligently through the process of rescue, they will have many tough choices to make. We pray that they first trust us enough to choose freedom from exploitation, and ultimately that they make the choice to follow Jesus. May our humanitarian efforts clear the cloud of oppression and pain enough to open their hearts to the greatest freedom they could ever know.