"Christ is building His kingdom with earth's broken things. Men want only the strong, the successful, the victorious, the unbroken, in building their kingdoms; but God is the God of the unsuccessful, of those who have failed. Heaven is filling with earth's broken lives, and there is no bruised reed that Christ cannot take and restore to glorious blessedness and beauty." --J.R. Miller
From a journal entry written on January 25th, 2013
Tonight, on the way back from a walk around the Colonial
Zone with Omar and Rachel, Rachel asked Omar about all the white men with
“They’re paying for them,” he said.
“Well, some of them could be actual couples, right?” Rachel
“80 to 90 percent are paying for it.”
Just ahead of us, a tall, skinny hipster guy in his
twenties, wearing a v-neck, salmon-colored shorts and Keds shoes, stopped in
front of a pasta shop. He exchanged some brief parting words with a
dark-skinned, curvy Dominican woman in bleached jeggings and a bright yellow
shirt. Then, he turned left to continue his consumption—this time with pizza
instead of human flesh.
The woman continued straight, her pace quickening with each
step. I saw the light of a cigarette hit the ground in a sudden, angry movement.
She was clutching her purse.
Rachel was asking Omar about Duarte and Trujillo, the forefathers
of the Dominican Republic. But my own eyes followed the figure in yellow until
she left the pedestrian street of the colonial zone, and turned right.
“Cruzamos.” Omar signaled for us to cross the street to the
Parque de Independencia.
On the other side, we paused in front of the historical
exhibitions for another Dominican history lesson. But my eyes wandered across
the street, and settled on a public car driver, supporting himself with one
foot against a wall. A woman wrapped her arms around his neck, and his hands
rested on her backside. It was the same yellow shirt. She pulled away, dragging
him by his hand for a few feet.
I looked back at the park and the exhibitions, but my mind
couldn’t settle on old time heroes. I glanced across the street again. The
driver had returned to his post next to his car, and the woman had resumed her
Disappearing into La Mella (the poor neighborhood up the
hill), she left me with a heavy heart.
God knows what is
hiding in those weak and sunken eyes
fiery throngs of
giving love but
getting nothing back
People, help the
And if you’re
homesick, give me your hand and I’ll hold it. . .
God knows what is
hiding, in that world of little consequence
Behind the tears, inside the lies
A thousand slowly dying sunsets
God knows what is hiding in those weak and drunken hearts
I guess the loneliness came knocking
No one needs to be alone, oh save me
I asked God that night to never let my heart be
indifferent to the suffering around me. The worst possible thing is that I can
see the sex trade happening in front of my eyes, and look the other way.
Years ago, God opened my heart to the tragedy of human
trafficking. It’s the most nefarious, grimy, terrible corruption known to
humans. And it happens in your cities and states, wherever you live. There are
27 million modern day slaves in the world. The National Human Trafficking Resource
it's a $32 billion industry, with half coming from industrialized countries.
God answered my prayer within a week with an email from
Exodus Cry, a Christian organization dedicated to the abolition of slavery
through prevention, restoration, awareness, and prayer. As I read their monthly
prayer update, one thing stuck out to me:
What you pray for on a regular basis, you will not stop
I am in traffic in Santo Domingo every single day, on the
way to my mission work with HOPE International. And although red lights are
frequently not observed here, there is plenty of commuter time to pray for this
city, and the world.
This is my prayer for women and children trapped in the
I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of
everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited
resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then
Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will
grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to
understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how
deep his love is. --Ephesians 3:14-18, NLT