In the world of sex trafficking, one of many reasons or factors that contribute to sex trafficking of women and children is simply a demand for sex. While it is not the only reason, sadly, the demand for sex is fueled by the massage parlors, karoke bars, brothels and internet pornography. So in tackling the 'demand' side of the equation, one of the groups that I mentioned last week in the blog is known as the MST (Male Sex Tourist) project. Today at the ICA church it was so encouraging to hear a testimony of one of the guys overseeing the MST project in Cambodia. But even more encouraging was to see 7 other men who are volunteering and are part of the MST outreach being surrounded by a group of their brothers in Christ laying hands on them as prayers were offered up for their ministry outreach.
In reaching out to victims of sex trafficking, the challenge has always been how can men get involved. The MST provides a way for guys to minister to the perpetrators. Today we were challenged to see the sex tourists the way God sees them. We were challenged to consider that they too need healing, they need to be restored, they need to be redeemed, they too were in need of God's grace. We were challenged to view them not as they are, but what they can become in Christ. As I sat listening to the testimony of one of the leaders of the MST project, I couldn't help but think that the work of transformation and healing needed for the sex tourists were as much an impossible task as the work of transformation needed for the victims. But we serve a God who is in the business of doing the impossible for both the perpetrator and the victim. We serve a God who is calling us to move out of comfort zones, we serve a God who does not believe in selective grace. We serve a God who challenges us to be His light in some very difficult, depraved and dark corners of this world because ultimately, He is challenging our belief systems that no one is beyond Christ's ability to transform or save.
Today I was encouraged to see that God is raising up men in the church, who are willing to step out of their comfort zone, to reach out to these 'modern day lepers', to tackle the demand size of this issue. Just as we who minister to the victims desire to seek justice one child at a time, so too my brothers in Christ who are involved in the MST project, are seeking to reach one sex tourist at a time. I am thankful to God for raising up godly men who are taking a stand for righteousness, for justice and for truth in difficult circumstances. This is not an easy ministry by any means as most men (and many females) that I have talked to about the sex tourists or pedophiles usually have a more hostile response to reaching out to such people. But God is challenging all of us to channel His righteous anger in us into a way that is so contrary to the way the world looks at these men. Once again, I am forced to wrestle with the truth of John 3:16 'that God so loved the 'WORLD' that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Jesus died for the victim of sex trafficking as He did for the sex tourist. What a Savior we have. His love never ceases to amaze me! His grace continually astounds me and His mercy humbles me! God's ways are certainly not our ways, neither His thoughts our thoughts!
Pray that God would raise up many men in our churches that would be willing to do such outreaches. Pray for their protection as they do their outreaches in the red light districts of Cambodia. For those who may feel led to get more involved in the MST ministry, they have put out a prayer guide for Cambodia.