Sending Ourselves

Six months after my husband, Nick, and I launched the A21 Campaign, a rescue ministry for young girls caught in sex trafficking, a hurting young woman from Russia asked me a question that rang in my ears, shook my mind and unsettled my heart: “Why didn’t you come sooner?”

We were in the ministry’s safe house in Greece, with 14 recently rescued women all listening in. No one spoke. But I could feel their eyes on me, their minds screaming that same question.

On the surface, there was a reasonable answer: I hadn’t come because I didn’t know. How could I be blamed for not fixing a problem I didn’t know existed?

But I didn’t offer that excuse. The depth of their suffering at the hands of cruel and evil men deserved more than that.

A scene from the Steven Spielbeg’s movie Schindler’s List rolled through my mind. The movie tells the story of Oskar Schindler, a Gentile businessman in Nazi Germany who saved the lives of more than a thousand Jews by breaking the law to keep them working in his factories.

In one powerful scene, Schindler is thanked for what he has done by a crowd of those he has rescued. The grateful Jews present him with a ring inscribed with a saying from the Talmud: “Whoever saves one life saves the world entire.” But, distressed, Schindler says, “I didn’t do enough.” He looks at his car. “Why did I keep the car? Ten people right there.” He pulls a pin from his lapel. “This pin. This is gold. Two more people ... and I didn’t ...” He then collapses into tears.

Sitting with those hurting women in Thessaloniki—that was my Schindler’s List moment. What, in my life had been my golden pin—the thing so precious that I never thought to use it to ransom someone else?

“I don’t know,” I stammered at last. Such weak, small, light words for such a weighty question. “I am so sorry. Please forgive me.”

I heard the words of Jesus before I spoke my own: “Tell them that I came to give the Good News to the poor. To heal the brokenhearted. To set the captives free. Tell them these promises are for here. Now. As well as for eternity.”

I focused on each girl. “From now on, wherever I go,” I said, “I will ask them the very same question you’ve asked me. I will not sit back waiting, hoping, wishing for someone else to do something. I will be that someone. Now that I have found you, I will find other girls like you. I will do everything I can to stop this.”

When we feel that gentle urging to make a bold step, serve others and commit, so often there are reasons we hold back. We don’t feel qualified. We think we lack the strength, the wisdom, the money, the experience, the education, the backing.

We feel like Moses when, from out of the burning bush, God called him to speak for Him before Pharaoh. And Moses answered, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent ... I am slow of speech and tongue ... Please send someone else” (Exodus 4:10-13).

Not me, God. I’m afraid. Weak. Poor. Stupid. Unqualified. Daunted.

We don’t want to sound like Moses, stammering around in search of excuses. And we don’t need to. Because just as God gave Moses what he needed to accomplish great things in His name, He will equip us in just the same way. If He calls us to slay giants, He will make us into giant slayers.

Adapted from Undaunted by Christine Caine. Copyright ©2012. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com

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