A Matter of Extreme Importance, From My Heart to Yours
I’d like to speak to you straight from my heart for a moment, if I may. But I will warn you: buckle up. This isn’t light stuff.
I want to share a very important part of my heart and life with you today.
The night my first child was born in 2006, I sat gazing adoringly at the little guy resting peacefully in my arms, and prayed over him. As I prayed, very unexpectedly I became completely overwhelmed by images of children, even babies, sold, tricked, or traded—and then trapped—into the horrifying, dehumanizing world of child sex trafficking. I was overwhelmed to the point of engulfing sobs in the stillness of our hospital room. I had no idea what to do with those emotions at the time, but they have only grown over the years, nightly, with my prayers following behind.
With the addition of two more beautiful children to our family, these prayers and emotions have solidified into something I believe God is making a calling of some sort on my life. My husband has felt similarly during these years, and has supported my exploration of this sense of responsibility, and has joined me in responding to it. So, we both have simply kept our eyes and ears open to what doors and opportunities God opens and presents, trying to walk through them as best we can. In a fumbling attempt to be faithful to this growing imperative, I want this book, any other books I write, this website, and any resource God gives me the grace to offer to spread awareness of this issue.
Why address this subject when my primary ministry offering is book on biblical interpretation?
Good question. In short, because this book informs, equips, and empowers women—in that it helps you know how to know why you believe what you believe—it’s a very short leap to consider empowering the powerless victims of child-sex-trafficking, most of whom are women and girls. But this answer deserves a little unpacking. I hold three strong beliefs that may help you understand my decision to include this.
First, the essence of this book’s message speaks to incisive biblical thinking. I believe when biblical thinking hits stride, God will also begin to press in on critical social issues. And I believe when critical social issues move a woman’s heart, her responses need to be grounded in biblical and theological thinking.
Second, I believe also that women’s biblical and theological development humanizes and empowers women in ways we only faintly understand; yet, it begins with each woman exploring the truth found in God’s Word and subsequently recognizing her imaging of her Creator.
Third, while both boys and girls are violated in this industry—and really we are all dehumanized by it—girls and women are the overwhelming statistical majority of those exploited, for a host of reasons. Some of those reasons are inextricably bound to the same reasons why women are not developed well biblically in our churches, and why I would need to write this book at all. As such, I believe that as women develop biblically and theologically through their growth in biblical interpretation, they will inevitably, by the transformative power of the Spirit, grow in their desire to affect positive, prayer-filled change in other women and girls, knowing that they, too, are precious, loved, and the very image of their Creator. And every additional person that knows these truths will be one more person appalled by the perpetuators of the industry called the sex-trade, which targets, recruits, and directly attempts to destroy the image of God in our precious girls and boys.
I understand completely how overwhelming this issue can feel. It’s so pervasive, so systemic . . . We wonder, “What can I do about it? And where would I start?”
Knowing this, I’d like to share with you the names and URLs of two trustworthy, hardworking organizations of people who love the Lord and combat and rescue children from the sickening practice of child-sex-trafficking every single day.
The first organization is Gracehaven, which as a faith-based nonprofit organization of passionate people tirelessly works stateside to locate, rescue, and help reorient children who have been sucked, duped, deceived, or abducted into the sex trade. You can read more about them and their efforts at http://www.Gracehaven.me/.
Meet the second organization, W.A.R., International. “W.A.R.,” which stands for Women At Risk, is certainly an appropriate acronym for the battle against both the flesh and blood that seeks to harm and exploit children and babies and the spiritual forces behind such evil practices. You can find out more about them at http://warinternational.
I’d like to become a “voice” in some way, shape, or form, small or large, for these hidden children, the victims of pervasive, ubiquitous evil perpetrated upon them by grown-ups, the ones who should be taking care of and protecting them. In particular, I want to support efforts that reach into the lives and situations of children and women with God’s love—searching for them in those dark recesses of our globe; injecting more of God’s justice into the world on their behalf; reaching for them with the hope and light of Christ; and ultimately extending to them the comfort and healing of the Spirit. Both of these organizations work through those means for those ends.
At both the Gracehaven and WAR sites, you’ll have opportunity to learn more of the stats surrounding these ubiquitous and evil practices; so I won’t address them here. But, if I have gained any amount of your precious trust, I’d dare ask you to read some of those statistics, as well as about the hope these organizations are finding ways to offer victims. And I’d ask you to open yourself, too, to what God may do in your heart and life with that information.
As for me, I don’t claim to be anyone special. Yet, with whatever God wants to do through my book, work, life, family, and ministry, part and parcel with it I want to support anti-child-sex-trafficking work. I am creating this link intentionally and opening myself to this role of standing in the gap for these hidden children. I welcome your prayer support, for I already know I need it.
Also, know that I am praying now as I write for God’s work in you regarding this issue, for these children—to bring into the world some small measure of increase of his justice through your interest, and hopefully your eventual activism on their behalf.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if I can provide you with any further information or point you in a helpful direction.
Yours in Christ,
N. R. W. Eastman