Have you ever noticed that when you are in the light, you have no fear of the dark? Sometimes you can even forget it exists. But when you’re in the dark, any light is a welcome relief. For most of us, we live in the light. We live our lives in freedom and rarely experience the darkness of evil. But, unfortunately, for far too many people, their life is dominated by this darkness. They have been taken captive by evil people in this world who use them for what they can offer, instead of valuing them for who they are.
Many of us who live in the light can live unaware of this darkness, even when it’s right in front of us. Light drives out darkness, but sometimes light can also blind us to darkness. As people like you and me go about our days, we constantly drive past those living in darkness and we don’t even know it. Women are being exploited for sex in plain sight, yet many of us are unaware. We hear about sex trafficking and we stand against it, even wearing a red “X” on our hand once a year to “end it”. But is that enough?
Thankfully, most of us will never have to grapple with the depths of darkness these enslaved women live in. But I shudder at the thought of what they have to endure day in and day out, with no way of escape. Sex is supposed to be a gift from God, but a gift isn’t a gift if it’s forcefully taken. Yet these women have it taken from them forcefully over and over again by men who don’t even know their name.
So what are we who are in the light to do? If light overcomes darkness, why does darkness seem to be prevailing? Honestly, I have struggled with these questions over and over again. It is extremely frustrating to have this evil happening right in front of me and feel like I am unable to do anything about it. I just want to go busting down doors and bad guys like Liam Neeson in Taken and rescue all of these girls (anybody with me?). But, unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be a feasible option.
So back to my question, what in the world are we supposed to do? I wish I had a good one-size-fits-all answer. I don’t think we are all called to the same thing, but we are all called to do something. My pastor likes to say in regards to missions, “pray, give, or go”, but to do nothing is a “no no”.
So for some of us, the answer is to pray. Pray for light to overcome darkness. Pray for the dignity of the girls who feel like they’ve lost it all. Pray for the fight in them, that they would continue to hope. Pray they would find Jesus, but more importantly pray that Jesus would rescue them. Rescue their hearts and redeem their bodies.
Some of us are called to go. Thankfully there are multiple organizations, like Redeemed, that are on the front lines of this battle by spreading awareness of the realities of sex trafficking and providing restorative aftercare for women who have been rescued from exploitation. I am so thankful for Redeemed and the work they do, following God’s call “to proclaim freedom to the captives and…to set free the oppressed” (Luke 4:18). Many times I envy those He calls to be on the front lines of this battle, but I know not all of us are called to that.
Finally, some of us are called to give. If you’re anything like me, sometimes giving feels like a cop out. And if God is calling you to go, then I hope you don’t cop out by just giving. But the reality is, giving is the call He puts on some of our lives. So if that’s your calling, please give. All of us in Christ are a team, and without giving, our teammates on the front lines can’t do their assignment. We can’t all be quarterbacks where people can tangibly see the work we’re doing. Some of us are called to be lineman. Do you ever realize when you’re watching a football game you never notice the lineman. Until when? The quarterback gets sacked. Then everyone’s like “c’mon, man, block!”.
So, for those of you whom God’s called to give, let this be my “c’mon, man” to you. Our teammates at Redeemed need you. Without you, they get sacked and can’t do their job. And the woman being sexually exploited need Redeemed to do their job. They need you. They need the light that you have. They need your light to overcome the darkness.
Author: Ashley Mancillas
Howdy! My name is Ashley and I’m thankful to be a born and raised Texas girl. I am a graduate of Texas A&M University (whoop!) and just recently became a mom to the sweetest little boy, Judah. I’m doing my best to walk daily with my Heavenly Father and make Him known to those around me. I am married to my college sweetheart, Steven, who I met country dancing while in school at Texas A&M. We currently reside in Houston, where we still enjoy dancing together and doing life with our awesome church community.