By Michelle Banker:
I know you’ve heard about the global sex trafficking crisis, but how often do we get a chance to actually connect with and love those who are in the middle of it? I have an opportunity to do just that. I have a chance to meet face to face with those who are exploited and hurting. I believe that true healing and life-change happens when you can look someone in the eye and show her how valuable she is.
Thinking about writing this post made me a bit sweaty (TMI?). Multiple reasons. First, it’s always somewhat awkward to ask people for any type of help, financial or otherwise. Second, when I find myself thinking about this trip, the predominant feelings I have are excitement and nervousness…AND pukey-ness…that’s a feeling. This could be due to the fact that this trip is venturing outside of my comfort bubble, or perhaps I am having an adverse reaction to gluten.
So, here we go! There’s definitely something that draws me to Thailand, even though I’ve never been there. When I first heard about the trip I had this intense excitement rise up in me. Then, every time that I thought about it, that same feeling would come back. As far as dream mission trips are concerned, this is mine.
Can’t ignore it.
In order for me to go to Thailand and to participate in this adventurous mission, I need your help!
Because you don’t have a lot of time, here are the brass tacks of the trip:
- I’d love prayer support, like, seriously pray for me and tell me about it
- If you don’t believe in prayer, I’d appreciate your love and support
- This trip is through Arise! Women
- Dates: September 8-20 2015
- Destination: Pattaya and Bangkok, Thailand
- I need your financial support. The trip costs $2216 + and I plan on raising all of those funds through donations.
Here’s an overview/background info that Ali (one of the trip leaders) sent to me about the trip:
In Thailand, when you talk about prostitution, you talk about Pattaya. Known around the world as Thailand’s number one sun, sea and sex destination, it is home to at least 20,000 male, female and child prostitutes. During their high season, about one million visitors crowd Pattaya’s bars, nightclubs, massage parlors or steam baths.
We will be working with an established ministry that is a center for help, healing and hope. This ministry offers the ladies jobs in their card-making program, hairdressing salon, bakery, restaurant and other income-earning activities. They also give courses in life skills, English and how to connect with God. We will be going into the red-light districts in Pattya for outreach and connection, teaching English, sharing testimonies, as well as teaching vocational skills with women that have been rescued, and offering ministry appointments for the girls and staff.
We are partnering with a ministry that has been around since 2005. It is a registered jewelry business offering holistic employment; and the non-profit branch focuses on holistic intervention for women, families and communities affected by the global sex industry.
We will be meeting with rescued girls and ministering to them through private prayer appointments. We will pray for each girl individually and love on her. We will be sharing in chapel, doing outreach in the brothels, and hosting a red-light district party. This party will be a chance to invite the girls and kids to come in for food, make-up, prayer and games. We will be helping with their beauty shop as an outreach tool and offer any training skills that we have.
A question that haunts me (in a good way, friends) is, what does love look like? I believe that God made love to be practical. I can’t wait to love on these beautiful people in a practical way.
I know that this is a life-changing opportunity for me.
If you are able to respond with financial support, please send checks payable to “Arise! Women.” to:
1236 Upton Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55411
For tax deductible purposes, my name cannot appear anywhere on the check. Please mail the checks to me for collection and then I will forward them to Arise! Women’s Ministry. All donations made to Arise! Women are tax-deductible.
Certain Christian counseling techniques only look at your fault in any given situation and often minimize or discredit the sins done against you. The assumption is that if you start focusing on the other person’s sin, you will likely fall into the “victim” trap where you don’t take responsibility for your own sin but instead blame others for your problems. This has been taken to the extreme in certain disgraceful occurrences where rape victims are told to repent of their sins.
I disagree with the conclusion that you will become a victim if you are allowed to see what sin was done against you. I believe that recognizing the sins done against you is just as important in healing as recognizing your own sins. If you can’t recognize the sins done against you, then you cannot forgive. Forgiveness always includes full recognition of the sins done against you.
In my book: Forgiveness Fail, I poke fun at myself for a time when I helped a friend of mine recognize all the problems in his life without walking with him through any of the forgiveness stuff. To say the least, it was not helpful.
There is a way to forgive that does not minimize the offender’s sin or let them off the hook while also keeping the hurting one from labeling himself/herself as a victim.
If you are interested in supporting my book, please consider donating $25 to help me print 5 books. I will send you a copy once they are printed and you will have provided the opportunity for 4 other people to hash out this critical doctrine. Click here to visit my GoFundMe.com page.
The premise for my upcoming book – Forgiveness Fail – is that many believers today are authentically trying to forgive, but it doesn’t change anything. They’re still bitter, angry and frustrated. Here’s an excerpt from my book:
I grew up overseas in an Eastern country that is not too favorable of their people converting to Christianity. One of my favorite recreational activities was to “teach” our visiting friends a few helpful phrases. It never worked like I wanted it to, mostly because my mom would come to their rescue. Dad, on the other hand, was probably the one who gave me the idea in the first place. The hope was that my friends and family would stroll around town saying, “I have no underwear,” as a formal greeting.
As soon as they started speaking, it would be blatant that they were led astray. The gag would come to a screeching halt, and they would be forced to creatively discover ways to test their newly acquired words before committing to them whole-heartedly, boldly proclaiming their lack of undergarments while wearing an all-too-friendly smile.
We need to start treating our theology in a similar manner.
We know that the Bible is true, like we know that the language we are trying to learn works. What we don’t know is how to appropriately apply the Bible in a way that produces the correct result. Your theology should work! If your theology doesn’t do what it’s supposed to, then it is wrong.