Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Travelling to Mongolia was the fourth time that I journeyed to a new country in the hope to serve and learn. Romania, India and Thailand were all incredibly different experiences and yet there was a running theme uniting them: exposure to women in prostitution. Thanks to God's majestic orchestration, Mongolia was no exception to this theme and this time I felt a new question arising in me. The question was, 'can people be ruined?' and it is one that after an investment of time, wrestling, tears and hopelessness I have not fully been able to arrive at an answer, but I will give you what I've got. When you intend to explore an injustice you needn't look for long to understand how each disgusting scenario is riddled with all that is unfair. It is comforting to be convinced that the lowest of the world's low are there because their own unwise decisions have arrived them there, but frankly this isn't always the case. Sometimes it is by another's choice towards selfishness or lust and their willingness to inflict hurt and abuse in the quick pursuit of love or satisfaction or ease. As I realised this I began to deeply question whether a person's life can be ruined by another; whether there is hurt that simply will dictate the rest of their lives. I spent much time dodging this thought because depending on what the answer was there is potential to seriously question God's character and His justice. As a Christian I am quick to claim that God can heal physically; emotionally; spiritually and that He is able to transform lives. Don't get me wrong, this I still believe, but as I stood face-to-face with the injustice of prostitution I realised that these are 2D, cheap statements that mean little unless I understand precisely what they do mean, according to God's standards and not to mine. I saw that dealing with broken people is messy. You can't input an equation of safety + sustenance + dignity + support and hope this will work every time, as lovely as that would be. People are unique and their journey out of addiction or abuse or prostitution is an individual one that rests heavily on two things: God's input and their choices. Thankfully, God's input needs little invitation and is persistent and enduring, however people's choices are completely their own and sometimes no matter with how much encouragement they will decide to face away from God and to regress into what hurts them more. I realise as I type that this sounds like no happy lesson but I hope that it stirs one thing... The dawning that God is so much greater than us and what we can do. He bears sovereign understanding, un-expiring compassion and the willingness to involve us when we are sensitive to His lead. It is He who stirs, who evokes, who leads and in prayerfully joining the restoration of people we can submit to knowing that it is by Him, not by us.