By Wendy Booth | Journey Trip Member
Introduction from Bailey Kalvelage | Director of Mobilization
Not only does World Orphans send Church Partnership trips, we also send Journey Trips. Our C2C trips are for US churches who are in a long-term relationship with one of our international church partners. But what about people who have a heart for orphan care, for what God is doing to care for children around the world, but are not yet in a C2C partnership? That's why we also mobilize Journey Trip teams. These trips are for individuals who are passionate about the Gospel, the church, and orphan care. They want to see what God is doing around the world and prayerfully consider to what He may be calling them. Journey trips include an intense pre-trip discipleship process and it has been a joy to see how God has awakened hearts and transformed lives through the process of preparing for, going on, and debriefing a Journey Trip.
One of our Journey Trip team members has written a blog that I'd like to share with you today. Meet Wendy Booth. Wendy is preparing to travel to Haiti in May with one of our Journey Trip teams, and she writes beautifully about how God is awakening her heart to the plight of orphaned children around the world, how deeply He cares for them, and that He desires for her to care for them as well. Thank you Wendy for sharing your words and heart with us. - Bailey Kalvelage | Director of Mobilization
I know it may sound strange, but as I tucked my grandchildren into bed the other night my heart began to break. I had been hearing the statistics, but now I am starting to see their faces. I can't ignore the facts any more. Approximately 2 million children are being exploited by the global commercial sex industry.1 That is the whole population of Rhode Island and Delaware according to the 2010 Census Bureau. Can I even begin to grasp that?
I can begin to believe that it might happen in foreign countries, but in America? Then not too long ago on the evening news I saw that one of the largest events for human trafficking is happening right here in the United States at the Super Bowl. Really? Can this be happening in our back yard? I have asked myself, how does this happen? What are the causes of this horrific exploitation of children? As I began to delve into the sad story of these victims, I started to see the picture. Poverty, humanitarian crises, lack of education, absence of birth registration, lucrative activity, insufficient or unenforced legislation, and even international adoptions are being being cited as the causes of children being at risk.2 When I look at this list, I see things that can be addressed, as none of these causes are necessarily hopeless. Overwhelming yes, but not hopeless. Am I going to continue to stay outside the gate of this injustice, ignoring that it exists, or will I step through?
Will I enter in?
I am human. My heart wants to pretend at times that things are good in the world. I can feel safe here and my family is safe here, in this world of my hopes and dreams. Then the gate of injustice rears its ugly head again, and I have to stand before it once more. My Heavenly Father’s love for me will no longer let me live as if none of this exists. It won’t allow me to just enjoy the good and beauty of this world and share it with my grandchildren while there are precious others that that are imprisoned in a world where they have no hope. I didn't know what to do. I didn't even know where to start.
Then I said a prayer. I asked the Lord for an opportunity. He is faithful and brought me to to the edge of an ocean. Would I step out in faith, cross the waters to go to a country I had never been before? Would I trust him beyond the borders of my world? Would I step out of my comfortable world to enter a world I know nothing about? Yes, I can only now say yes. I wouldn’t have been able to a few years ago, but God has brought me to this new place. I know it will only be a drop in the ocean, but if just one child is spared, won’t it be worth the sacrifice?
"Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon waters wherever you could call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior."
We would love it if you took a journey with us, too. If you're interested in an upcoming Journey Trip, click here.
1. UNICEF quoted in U.S. Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report, 10th edition (Washington, DC: US Department of State, 2010)
3. Hillsong United, Oceans