It takes me 90 seconds to brush my teeth, 20 seconds to put on my shoes, 180 seconds to take my trash to the curb. I decided to time myself. Do you know why? I just got back from a trip to Thailand where I visited a ministry called “Destiny Rescue.” It is a ministry that specializes in rescuing young girls from the sex trade. A young girl is sold into the sex trade somewhere in the world every 26 seconds. That’s why I timed myself. I thought about the lives of these girls and breathed a prayer for them as I brushed my teeth.
I sat with Tony Kirwan who founded the ministry. I listened to story after story of girls rescued. It’s not like the movies. They don’t go in like Rambo and punish the wicked while rescuing the broken. They need to go into the brothels and try to establish relationships with both the girl and the madam who supervises the girls. The plan is to get both to lower their guard by spending enough time and money. Usually it takes at least three visits for the girl to trust them enough to allow themselves to be rescued. The new life they are taken to is so much better than the life they have it seems like it cannot be real.
The word rescue has several synonyms. My favorite is the word redeem. In this scenario the girls are actually redeemed. I asked Tony how much it costs to redeem one girl. I wanted him to quantify it. He told me it cost an average of $1500 when all is said and done and the girl is tucked away in the safe house. Destiny Rescue redeemed 104 girls in 2011. Every story is both heartbreaking and breathtaking at the same time.
I’ve been home for almost a day now. I’ve thought a lot about it. It’s interesting that it takes at least three visits for the girls to believe there could possibly be someone who would and could redeem them from their hellish life. I remember hearing that on average someone needs to hear the gospel seven times before they will believe it.
To say that the gospel is good news is an understatement. For Tony to look a little girl in the eye and say, “I can take you to a better life,” is an understatement too.
Jesus was asked one time, “Teacher, what do we do to do the work of God?” Do you know what he said? He said “Believe.”
Sometimes believing the gospel is the toughest work we will ever do and yet like the little girls in Thailand, it is the one thing you need to do to begin to experience life itself. Today go ahead and pray for the little girls. Pray that they will believe Tony and his team. But don’t forget to believe yourself. A Savior came for you too. The price he paid is not so easily quantifiable. And the life he offers is better than anything we have yet to imagine.
Your redemption is both heartbreaking and breathtaking. Believe it, and love the One who gave himself to be your Savior.