Monday, August 23, 2010

Escaping the Devil’s Bedroom

devils bedroomI finished this book last night and I must say that it was an eye-opener. If you don’t know anything about it, here is a description which can be found on the book’s website.
“The sex industry enslaves millions of women, men and children, but Jesus’ followers are fighting back.
Dawn Jewell weaves the stories of individual victims with a careful examination of the realities that propelled them into prostitution in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Alongside, she highlights ministries that are reaching one life at a time through prayerful visits to strip clubs, bars and brothels. The transforming power of the Gospel shines in men and women who have left lives of sexual exploitation and started new lives of dignity.  
Dawn traveled to Athens, London, Amsterdam, Brazil, the Philippines and beyond to interview exploited men and women and hear their stories firsthand. She trekked alongside volunteers and leaders to red light districts to discover how Christians extend a hand to people without hope.”
There were several things I loved about this book. Here I will name a few…
1. How real it is.
They aren’t all success stories. Several volunteers would spend years praying with and for women in brothels. And yet the women (or men) couldn’t find the courage to leave. Discouraging, yes. Real, yes. This is life in ministry. Thankfully though, it is actually our God who is in charge of calling hearts to His. So we can rest in knowing that He is not done yet. The seeds were planted. And seeds grow. (There were also many success stories, including the story of Harmony, who supported herself through college working at a strip club, but now helps women in that situation to replace the lies they believe, and churches to support the women who are learning to replace the lies.)
[I’ve been blessed to witness a few seeds blossom like crazy since living in Nicaragua. Our ministry team for our Saturday morning kids services includes women and girls who used to prostitute themselves, but now invest their lives in serving, giving, and praying for our kids. Women like Bertha.]
2. How it encourages us all to do something.
And before we can, it’s essential to see people through our Father’s eyes.
“Look them in the eye and see what I, their Father, see. See their bright futures, see their beautiful lives, see them in their true home where they belong. Do not call them prostitutes because I have a name for them. I created them in my image. They are mine.”
This is not always an easy process, and a good first step is prayer – God is faithful to change our hearts and our minds if we ask him too. To learn more about how you can be involved, visit the book’s Action page.
3. How it reminded me who I am.
“Grasping God’s love for people mired in the darkness and shunned by society entails realizing our equality as sinners. Neither women or men in prostitution, nor the Christian who tithes regularly and worships in Sunday service can do anything to save themselves.”
I’m there with them. Stuck in the pit. Waiting for (and hopeless without) Christ to pull us all out and give us new life.
“The paradox of the church, Jesus’ witness this side of heaven, is its people – the greatest sinners on earth. When we grasp and accept our own stories of brokenness, we can welcome others with a full embrace instead of judging them from a distance.”
Sometimes we tend to think of ourselves as “doing pretty good” (which means if we are judging ourselves as far as how we are doing, we can only expect that we will judge others with the same standards we use for ourselves). We forget that we are, in fact, quite broken. And that this brokenness (and understanding the depravity of it) is essential to understanding the gospel, which is essential for sharing it with others.

1 comment:

  1. Last paragraph -- spot on. I am so glad to see an increasing number of believers rise up to show God's love for his enslaved--in every way--children.

    ReplyDelete

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