Saturday, December 13, 2008

Can't Get This Out of My Head

Thursday, Brian, our pastor of Transformissional partnerships, introduced my director, Ken, and me to Brad Riley.  Brad is a church planter in Boulder who started a non-profit called iEmpathize.  

We sat at the Laughing Goat Coffee shop on Pearl Street and heard Brad's story... though I wasn't laughing.  Several years ago, Brad became gripped by the issue of human trafficking in particular child trafficking and knew he had to do something about it.  Brad, Ken, Brian and I talked about how we could partner together.   We are going to have Brad be a part of our Christmas Conference .  On the night of January 4th, we are going to have an interactive experience of the major issues around the world and Brad will have a room on this subject.  Then on the 5th, he will give a seminar and we hope students & staff will want to partner with him & have an Empathy Experience on their campus.  

I can't stop thinking about this.  Brad showed us 'artifacts' he had gathered around the world. Troubling stuff like tiny little girl slippers he got from a room at a brothel in Thailand.  He told us stories that share the reality of what vile this industry is.  He showed us a picture of a safe house he helped build.  I couldn't stop crying thinking about these children whose innocence was being robbed all for the immoral pleasures of western tourists.  Two children per minute are enslaved for sexual exploitation.  Sobering.

All I could say to Brad was "thank you".


Anonymous said...

When I was on STINT in Barbados three years ago (three years? Really?) I attended a on-campus conference about human trafficking. They see a lot of it in the Caribbean - so much to the point that my Bajan teammate was legitimately worried about Lauren and I.

It's such a stark wake-up call to realize that this kind of stuff DOES take place in our supposedly progressive world. The scariest part to me though is that in order for human trafficking to take place and be as successful as it is, there has to be a demand for it. I want to tear the people who purchase slaves from limb to limb for creating a demand for this.

Andy McCullough said...

My pastor/friend Brian said something similar about this reality: "If I didn't have a family, I'd be Batman and bring about vigilante justice. Of course I wouldn't have super powers or money for cool toys."

Robin & I decided to give to charity on each other's behalf this year instead of gifts. So this am went to and gave a Christmas gift. Funny thing is I was thinking about giving to an organization that helps in trafficking and praying about where to give & got an email from Shared Hope. Not sure how they had my email.

Anonymous said...

Andy - that is AWESOME. God is so timely. I love His sovereignty in all things.

I actually did something similar. About a month ago I sent an e-mail to all my close friends & family members and announced that I was not giving gifts, nor did I want one from them - but if they felt led, I would appreciate them contributing to Parker Street Ministries, the non-profit I work for here in Lakeland.

I love you and Robin's hearts for the world. You truly live out the gospel - and not just because you work for Crusade. ;)