This evening, I overheard Mom talking with someone on the phone. She said of me, “She’s doing really well, but she’s still processing all she experienced there… There are so many needs.”
People see me for the first time since my return and ask, all smiles, “Did you have fun this summer in Cambodia?” or, even worse (because this question demands more of a response), “How was it?!” My mind frantically searches for words to say that won’t sound sad, angry, or draw me into a long monologue with a reluctant audience. This evening, when asked the latter question by the dear wife of my brother’s basketball coach, I responded hesitantly, “It was good- but- hard,” adding quickly with a smile and slight shrug of my shoulders, “You know- the ‘good hard.'” She looked at me with more understanding than I thought she posessed.
“It was real,” she stated.
“Yeah,” I replied. “It was real.”
Sometimes, I want to scream, but I haven’t managed to get far enough away from people to scream. Oh, I let out a yawp this morning when I received word from NightLight Ministries in Bangkok, telling me that so many women were coming to them for help getting out of the bar-brothels that they don’t know what to do. I yawped for joy because the LORD is advancing their ministry mightily as hope spreads through those bars and women come to them for help. But that joyful cry was very unlike the mournful, angry cries I’ve swallowed since my return. Night after night, I awoke with a deep ache inside while my mind tried to make sense of the visions of abused young women I saw when my eyes closed.
I just don’t know what to say. This hasn’t been easy to process and package for public consumption… The other night I cursed while trying to describe the lies and fierce strongholds binding so many around the world in this cycle of abuse and destruction… That caught my mom off-guard. 🙂
Part of all this frustration is that I feel no matter what I say or how I say it, my audience won’t do anything to intervene and stop this evil. I feel like people listen, but don’t hear. They try to respond with some anecdote from CNN or Oprah… I mean, yeah, it’s great that they are aware… but I don’t care how aware they are if they just sit back, mutter something abstract about evil in the world, and do nothing.
I was feeling rather hopeless on Sunday morning when I went to my grandparents’ church with them. After Sunday school class had finished, an elderly man came up to me. He had heard from my grandparents about my time in Cambodia and had joined them in praying for me. He said something about being glad I was back safely and began asking probing questions. I recognized that he really wanted to hear what was on my heart. As I began sharing, I saw in his face and heard in his response that something inside of him reverberated with my growing anger and cynicism. Suddenly, I heard my voice speaking faith to him. Not really knowing where those words came from, I paid attention to the distant sound of my voice. “It’s a battle that won’t be won by any human strength. There is nothing we can do to fix this problem in the natural because this battle is being fought in the supernatural realm. But our God is able. Nothing is beyond His reach or ability.”
I went into church, still praying and praising God- because I was beginning to recognize that my fretting and frustrations were depriving God of His proper place of power and authority. Then, the worship team began singing this song,
‘Your strength indeed is small.
Child of weakness, watch and pray.
Find in me your all in all.'”
Am I still angry? You bet I am. But this anger is no longer due to frustration and desperation due to human weakness, ignorance, and apathy. No, I’m angry at the father of lies who blinds this world to the Truth, and I know a weapon to fight Him.
The LORD reminded me of this passage later in this service,
“‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD, God Almighty.'”
– Zechariah 4:6
Let’s walk on then. In prayer. By His Spirit. Let’s do it! Let’s end this thing! Not by our might or power- but ONLY BY HIS SPIRIT!
Please pray. And act in obedience. NightLight Ministries need further support to continue. Please send them a gift through their website or purchase some of the jewelry made by the women they help out of the bar-brothels.