Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Load of Garbage

Paula Guest is one of the people I have been privileged to meet as I have become more involved in the fight against human trafficking. It is an honor to be able to call this woman a friend. She has a heart for justice and God has asked her to do tremendous things in the battle against trafficking. When Scharme Hettinga started Frontline for Justice at Northshore Baptist Church, I know Paula never saw herself as the lead in that ministry but that is exactly where God has placed her.

Below is a post Paula wrote for the Northshore Baptist Womens' Ministry blog. She shared it with me and gave me permission to post it here. I hope to share more of what Paula writes, and more about Paula and those she serves, as she pours out her heart. It is not a very long read but it is vivid. I pray it touches you as it has touched me.

A Load of Garbage

What is your life worth? What about the life of your child??

In 2004 while on a mission trip to Nicaragua, our team was visiting the village of 3,000 people who live and die, in the dump. It was indeed, "The Gates of Hell." Smoke rising. Buzzards circling. Cattle wandering. Stench permeating. And through the haze of the smoke, people were seen standing out on the heaps, poking and prodding. Searching for something of value.

As we walked down the street, preparing to escape into the safety of our air conditioned, smoke free, stench free van, a young girl met us with a huge smile. "How are you?" I asked in my rudimentary Spanish. "Very well," she replied. Our guide explained as we drove away, that this young girl, that very morning, had been diagnosed with AIDS.

Her parents had sold her to the garbage truck drivers so that the 'best' garbage would be dropped in their 'area.' Her life traded for a load of garbage. And she had three younger sisters.

What is your life worth? What about the life of your child??

At that moment, God reached down and broke my heart in a way that cannot be mended. In my safe little world it had never occurred to me that such an evil could exist. It was no longer possible to simply 'change the channel and go about having supper.'

And so I found myself in Poipet, Cambodia in an AIDS hospice, holding the hands of dying women and praying for them. Sitting in a bar in Bangkok, talking to young women with a number attached to their bikini bottom. We had 'bought' their time. Sex travelers were buying a lot more.

Proverbs 31:8-9

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