Thankful for Freedom; How My Life was Changed in a Brothel

Thanksgiving is less than a week away.  For the days left until Thanksgiving, I am going to intentionally posture my heart with gratefulness by blogging about something I am thankful for.

Today, I am thankful for freedom.  Slavery is the opposite of freedom.  Words cannot express how thankful I am not to be trapped in any form of oppression, slavery or abuse.  There are millions of people around the world today who do not have the ability to say this about their lives.

In the spring of 2004, my life was forever changed as I saw modern-day slavery first hand.

I had the opportunity to go on a trip to Thailand and while I was there, I spent evenings walking through the red light district of Chang Mai, sitting in brothels and talking with girls who worked and lived, imprisoned, in those hellish, dirty, dimly lit bars.  My life was forever marked the night I bought two girls for less than thirty dollars, took them out to eat and to get pedicures, and offered them the only Hope I have; the unconditional Love that I have received, Love that brings FREEDOM.  I was ministered to by children who were easy targets of sex traffickers but by the grace of God had been rescued by a church and were being educated, cared for and given hope for a bright future.  I had the honor of meeting girls who had been freed from “the trade” and were on their way to knowing restoration.

It seems like such a huge problem.  Such a distant, hard to imagine, foreign problem.

But is it so foreign?

In October, my family joined very close friends of ours in the DC Walk to Stop Modern Day Slavery.  I am so thankful to have brave friends whose passion is to see others freed.

Sex trafficking is assumed to be prevalent in developing nations, but it is a serious problem here in the US, a serious problem in my own back yard of DC.  I will be posting more later about this issue, the larger issue of human trafficking, and what people are doing to bring awareness, hope and justice.

For now, I just wanted to say that I am thankful for freedom– thankful that I wake up everyday without the fear of being hurt, controlled, abused or used.  I am thankful that I don’t bear the scars and pain that come from being seen as a disposable object for someone else’s insatiable greed and lust.  I am thankful for the ability to use my freedom and my voice to speak for those who are voiceless; victims who live a life without such freedom.

I am thankful to know Freedom, and to serve a God whose driving mission is to bring Freedom to the captives.