Broken- reduced to fragments; fragmented.ruptured; torn; fractured.infringed or violated
Broken is an interesting word. What do you think of when you read or hear that word? When I was a little girl when I thought of the word broken, I thought of toys. When my toys or accessories were broken, I took them to my dad and usually he was able to fix or mend them. When I was a teenager, broken was a bone in my body or a part in my car. Once again, I would call my dad and he would come to my rescue. When I entered into the medical field and worked for General/Vascular Surgeons, broken was usually a Gallbladder, Appendix or Vein. Finally when I left and moved to Central America, the word broken took on a whole new meaning. Broken no longer was a toy or accessory; a bone or a car; a gallbladder or appendix. Broken had a face. Broken was men and women, boys and girls all hungry and hurting for more than just food. One day, I learned of broken little girls and forgotten older women living and working in prostitution. They were suffering with broken brains and broken hearts. This time, the one I ran to, was God and He reminded me that His son Jesus died on the cross so that whatever was broken could be fixed.
It wasn’t the fact that modern day slavery still existed. It wasn’t the harsh reality that over 20 million people on the planet were slaves that compelled me to be an abolitionist. It was the continual trips to the red light districts of Costa Rica that compelled my heart to abolish slavery. As I learned stories from those working in prostitution and became their friend, love grew in my heart. As their friend, I wanted answers. I wanted solutions. I wanted human trafficking to stop. I wanted it all to end. I purposed in my heart to fight for them. I wanted to look evil in the face and show that love could win.
For so long I avoided the title of abolitionist. It had become something trendy. While I was grateful for all of the awareness that had come with the trend, my heart sometimes hurt that the focus would be on the cause and not the people. In Costa Rica, fighting modern day slavery was not trendy. It was hard for me every time I came home to the US to understand the language of the fight against slavery. Over time, I worked hard to network with other organizations and see what was happening across the globe. I finally found and came to accept that I was among so many others that God was rallying to become abolitionists. Hearts around the world were being united to see God’s cry for justice be made known.
I am proud to be a modern day abolitionist and part of the great justice movement that God has ignited. While my focus has been predominantly in seeing justice take place in sex trafficking, I long to see justice for all areas of social injustice.
I have seen the face of evil rage against children wanting to rob them of a childhood. I have watched, lonely men pay someone to “love” them for a night. From borders to brothels, to street corners and park benches, I have heard stories of the deep brokenness that comes from those affected by the commercial sex industry.
The journey of coming to understand this type of brokenness has changed my life forever. Now and always, broken has a face to me. Broken has a name and a dream. Broken cries on my shoulder. Broken smiles at me as I hand out coffee. Broken has become my family.
I have loved living among the broken and hungry. I have been humbled and privileged to partner with Jesus these last 6 years to fill hungry bellies, mend wounded knees and love on hurting hearts.
To any of you that think you could not change a hurting, ugly world, I have good news, you can. Decide to relentlessly love the broken person that is placed in your path, because I promise that when you do, you’ll see the face of Jesus and you will change the world for that one. Love never fails.