Can you do me one favour? Read the Scripture below slowly, no rush, no anxiety about the outside world, but with complete hope and peace in the word of the Lord…
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subject to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now, and not only the creation but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. -Romans 8:18-25
In full transparency with my brothers and sisters in Christ, I am in a season in which I have never been more curious as to when Christ will return. The longing for my heavenly home has grown substantially, especially after reading the verse above. “The sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing… with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Meaning the tragedies of this world, the pain, the suffering, the chaos, the hurt, the darkness, the void, the numbness, the enemy, plans that work against us, our flesh, selfishness, greed, anger, lust, self-righteousness, malice, hatred…the trafficking of humans, none of it can be compared to the glory that is on its way! Who God is and all He has planned supersedes the trauma and tragedy of this world. Working with each survivor gets a little easier when that is placed so gently on my heart. Seeing the hurdles overcomes, the battles won and the beauty of seeing each woman being put back together piece by piece by the Lord who knows and cares is beautiful to see.
Can I Share?
I currently have the opportunity to read an amazing book “Suffering and the Heart of God (How trauma destroys and Christ restores)”, by Diane Langberg. So far it is well written, tragic, sobering, and encouraging all at once. There are a few things that I would love to share with you at this time, that directly speaks to the work being done here in Seattle and all over the world.
Let us first talk about trauma. Trauma is “living with the recurrent, tormenting memories of atrocities witnessed or borne. Memories that infect victims’ sleep with horrific nightmares, destroy their relationships or their capacity to work or study, torment their emotions, shatter their faith, and mutilate hope. Trauma is extraordinary…because it swallows up and destroys normal human ways of living (Langberg, 5-6).” In this book, Diane talks about the reality of trauma victims and how in most cases, if not all, they want to run away from the memory of the occurrence inflicted upon them, and we (those who hear about the pain inflicted) want to run away also. We face this dialect of trauma, both the traumatized and those who witness it – the push-pull between the need to forget and the need to speak (Langberg, 6). We see this push-pull every day, in myself included. Either a story on the internet or in the news we fight to remove ourselves. Diane discusses how “such stories threaten out comfort, our position, our system. The stories are vile, and messy and very disruptive (Langberg, 6).
One key thing Diane touched upon was that “The trauma of this world is one of the primary mission fields of the twenty-first century.” It is one of the biggest opportunities presented before the church today (Langberg, 8). Our Head, Jesus, came down – left glory and came down to this trauma-filled world. He became like us, flesh. He did not become numb or run away from the atrocities of this world or of our wicked hearts. So I ask will we be like Jesus? Rather than being complicit with the perpetrators, will we sacrifice our comfort and enter in to the trauma of this world in the name of Jesus? Will we bring Him to the trauma-filled world? Will we share the gospel to the traumatized around us? Will we believe in the power of prayer and use it knowing it is a force to be reckoned with?
This week will be the two-month mark since I have been to Seattle! Time flies, and I am in awe in all that the Lord is doing here at REST. It has been an encouragement to be able to pray with and for survivors of human trafficking. It has been amazing with each conversation to hear the hope in Christ. The work is not done by far, but it has started and in a very big way here in Seattle. It has been beautiful to hear survivors talk about one day being a helping hand to other women who have been trafficked. During one conversation a survivor I will call “L” looked at me with tears in her eyes and said “I should not be alive right now, the things I have seen and all that I have been through, I should not be standing here. I have no choice but the believe and thank God, He is the only reason I am able to have this conversation.” It is so amazing, each woman I have personally come in contact with believes Jesus exists, none of them questions His existence. My prayers this month have evolved from “Lord let them believe in you,” to “Lord let them surrender and put their trust in you.”
More and more in the last two months, the Lord has continued to put the power and importance of prayer in my heart for these women. Will you pray alongside me?
1). Please pray for staff and volunteers for spiritual and emotional stability and healing here at REST. Pray that the Lord be their strength and their foundation every single day. We need Him every day, no exception.
2). Please pray for my spiritual well-being. It is very easy to become angry and hurt on behalf of all that these women have gone through. Please pray for a compassionate heart for both victims and perpetrators – there is nobody too far gone for the Lord.
3). Please pray for every woman REST comes in contact with this week. That we are able to love because Christ first loved us. Please pray for sobriety for every woman struggling with substance abuse at this current time in Seattle.
4). Finally, please pray for the victims and survivors around you at this current time.
If you want to know about a few women we are currently working with, or have worked with in the past you can click HERE. This is a recent blog written by REST staff. I look forward to all that the Lord continues to do!