God In A Brothel

Part of my responsibilities at Creekside is to learn how Creekside can engaging in meeting the needs of our community and of the world (Serving and Missions).  I have been overwhelmed by the amount of attention that has been given to human trafficking.  So overwhelmed that I didn’t really have the courage to investigate how to help.  I’m ashamed of that fact.  It’s so easy to see all the big issues in the world and feel like you can’t do anything about it.

I have been personally challenged lately as a follower of Jesus to be doing the things that Jesus said he was all about.  Particularly I have been drawn to Luke 4 where Jesus declares what he is going to do at the outset of his ministry:

14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

I’ve been challenged by the notion of proclaiming freedom to the prisoner and setting the oppressed free.  Human Trafficking is modern slavery.  Much of this trafficking is in the sex trade.  Being challenged with this information I decided to finally begin to do some research into how to rescue people from this oppression.  So I ordered God in A Brothel by Daniel Walker.

In this book Walker tells of his own journey in rescuing people from the sex trade.  This book challenges the assumption that one person can’t make a difference.  While I would not recommend that people address this issue the way Walker does, I would recommend that people read this book because it will open your eyes to just how devastating this issue truly is.  Walker is far from perfect but he

It could also be easy to say that Human Trafficking is not an issue in America, but it is.  This is an issue that the church cannot afford to ignore.  I am being challenged in how to help Creekside address this issue and how to set people free.  We have been engaged in building homes which helps give families security and changes their future.  We have begun partnering with WorldVision and their Clean Water Fund, another of the major issues facing the world is the availability of clean water.  Now is the time to set people free and to give those who are stuck in the devastating sex trade hope.

 

Hope

Seth Godin has another great post today on hope. Read it.

Today with the inauguration we witnessed millions of people who were willing to by hope, from a politician no less.  I believe Barak Obama has what it takes to lead our country out of the many messes that we are in right now.  I believe John McCain could have done it as well (just being honest).  But both of these guys are still just dudes.  There is nothing about them that is more or less special than any of us.  We are all sinful and broken and left to ourselves we are completely hopeless.

The sad thing is that the church, should be able to market hope better than Barak Obama’s campaign did.  We have the message of Jesus Christ, which is the hope for all of us, to be saved from our own sins and our own destruction.  We have hope to spare.  The Gospel is hope and we are known for doing a very poor job of communicating that hope.

The perception of the church to the world is that we are a rigid bunch of people who follow rules.  The Gospel of Hope is not adequately presented in that perception.  So what can we do to change the perceptions?  It has to be more that words, it has to be more than good sermons.  We have to show our hope.  We have to live out our hope every day.  We have to talk about the hope that we have.  We have to connect our hope to our everyday lives.

I’m praying that President Obama will be a great president, but I can’t put my hope in him.  Because he will let me down. Jesus will never let us down.  My prayer is that we would look beyond President Obama and look to Jesus, and that we would put our hope in him.

Psalm 25 is a great reminder of where our hope should be directed.