I was spending some time this afternoon at one of my favorite coffee shops (shout out to Anthem in downtown Puyallup!), working on my newsletter and other “catch up” tasks. As the shop got crowded during a busy time, 3 middle-aged folks came and joined me at my table. We started chatting, and they asked more about the work I do as a missionary and worker of justice. We talked about human trafficking, and they quickly resolved that there is simply no hope for the ending of the issue, nor for the restoration of survivors. I shared with them about the importance of involving God’s heart through prayer, and that justice is possible through Him.
I then shared with them my philosophy on servanthood: a pastor of a South African church and leader of their weekly sex trafficking outreaches cast vision for the very first street outreach I had ever participated in. He told us that these women and children are God’s treasure, and that these women are worth being rescued no matter the cost. I will always remember him saying, “If you get in a fight over her, get in a fight; If you lose an eye, lose an eye for her; If you get killed; let yourself be killed. And even if all our years of work is to change ONE LIFE, it’s worth it.”
(Now, before you fall off your chair in fear for me, let me explain a few things! While street prostitution ministry can be frightening & even dangerous at times, the “die to yourself” message should be considered in light of the “she’s worth rescuing” truth. Use Jesus as your example, who “for the joy set before Him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2). He didn’t have the happiest ending to his life, but Jesus chose the path that led to eternal life and eternal reward. So I had settled in my heart that night as I met and prayed with prostitutes for the first time, that these women truly are God’s precious children and my beloved sisters. And if my sister needs help, I must help.)
My new friends in the coffee shop were appalled at what I had just said. The woman tried talking me out of making any sacrifices for their sake, reasoning that MY life is worth something too. I know she had good intentions, but her advice to me was misguided and frankly not biblical. My life is worth a great deal, and so I choose to offer it in this way.
I have counted the cost, and she is worth it.