"Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world." CS Lewis
Dee has another passion besides fighting pedophilia. It involves the pain of human trafficking. I wrote a series on this subject for another group so please understand the references to medical personnel. I am trying to keep these two activities separate so I will not link to that group. Depending on the interest, I may write more posts on this subject.
Today, I look at prostitution. Is it really a victimless crime? Isn't it just a simple choice made by a consenting adult? As usual, things are far less simple than they seem on the surface. This post deals with one man who is making a difference in the lives of prostitutes who are looking for a way out. It is meant to encourage all of us that God is in the business of redeeming people and He uses each of us to do important things if we open our hearts to His leading.
"It is a late night in the Emergency Room. In Bed 6 lies a woman, beaten, needle tracks on her arm and a chart that reads like a Who's Who of STDs. She is a prostitute; a crime that is often called a "victimless" crime. You have a full ED and two patients about to code. The temptation exists to just patch her up, give her some meds and send her on her way. But, something, deep down, resonates in your soul.
Matthew 25:34-40 (NIV)
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, was sick and you looked after me,I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’"
Christianity Today published an article about a judge who is making a difference here called Oldest Profession, or Oldest Oppression? Ohio Judge Creates Court for Abused Prostitutes by Amy Sherman.
"In 2008, Paul Herbert was using Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life to disciple his teenage daughters on Sunday evenings. They weren't enjoying it much. One night, they turned the tables on him. "One asked me, 'Daddy, what's your purpose in life?' " After much prayer, he was convicted one day during court when presented with a woman who he could see had been abused.
"Soon after, Herbert began researching the criminology of prostitution. What he learned stunned him. "Around 87 percent of these women are sexually abused, typically starting at around age 8," he explains. "They start using drugs to deal with that trauma around age 12." The girls run away from home or foster care and are dragged by predatory pimps into the commercial sex trade.
Before, Herbert admits, "I would have said that women engaged in prostitution were involved in the world's oldest profession." Now he considers it "the world's oldest oppression."
"Data collected by the court confirm that 90 percent of women engaged in prostitution are also considered human trafficking victims—meaning that some type of force, fraud or coercion is part of the prostitute's lifestyle. Herbert hopes that as more light is shown on this problem, society will place more emphasis on protecting vulnerable women and girls."
"Herbert decided to establish a restorative justice program for these women, launching CATCH Court—"Changing Attitudes to Change Habits." "Through the two-year CATCH Court, women are sent to residential rehabilitation programs to detox and receive intensive therapy."
"One was sold when she was a little girl by her mother to older men for crack cocaine," he told the Judiciary Committee members. "Today she is in Phi Theta Kappa at Columbus State Community College." Another was kidnapped by a motorcycle gang and raped, then transported to other gangs and sold for sex. "Now," Herbert smiled, "she is two years sober from heroin." Overall, 66 percent of CATCH Court participants have received no new charges.
Here is the bottom line. If you feel a conviction that you need to do something to help the lost, let down or looking who you encounter in your day to day life, PRAY. And then, RESPOND. God is in the business of answering these kind of prayers. Perhaps there is an abused woman out there who is waiting for a tired doctor/nurse to sit up and take notice. With God, we can move mountains!