Hello friends! In the midst of my "blogger burnout," my new blog friend Nina from The Grand Adventure of Me was sweet enough to email me and let me know that she'd be happy to write a guest post for me at this time. Nina has a beautiful heart for human trafficking with women. She recently just came home from the Dominican Republic, and today she's going to share more about this trip with the each of you. Thanks again Nina, I'm so happy that we crossed paths! :) Love, Jess
Hey! I’m Nina and I blog over at The Grand Adventures of Me about my life as a 20 year old college student. My 20's have started out quite chaotically, and my most recent adventure was to the Dominican Republic. When I'm not blogging, I'm eating Mexican food, reading books, craving cupcakes, and drinking frappuccinos.
On June 19 (which is my birthday, in case anyone wants to send me Starbucks gift cards next year – mark your calendars) I received an email telling me that I had been accepted to do an internship in the Dominican Republic with a safe house for women coming off the streets. The only problem: I was leaving in 12 days. I had 12 days to raise $1600! I put out my metaphorical fleece and left the rest up to God. He totally pulled through. 10 days before I flew out for a month-long slumber party with 7 incredible women, I received more money than I needed, without asking a single person for a dime . How great is our God?!
My passion for anti-human trafficking was sparked by a tiny flame when I was 15. I was at church camp and my heart just broke when I saw a beautiful young lady stand up and say that she was raped, but that she was purified through Christ. From then on, I knew it was God’s desire for me to work battered and abused women. Somewhere along the line, I heard about sex trafficking and I knew I wanted to help fight against this monstrosity that people are just now becoming aware of. I don’t think I can change the world, but I know that I can hug people, and I so desperately want to hug each and every one of these women, boys, and girls, and tell them that they are beautiful, they are loved, and they are special. I want each and every victim of sex trafficking to know that he/she is loved – not because of how they can service others, but because they are loved first by Someone who is the ultimate lover because He loves our souls.
So God blessed me with an opportunity this summer to spend a month working alongside women who are being rehabilitated in God’s Word, through discipleship, and making jewelry. I got to hug and love on these women and hear their testimonies. However, I was really frustrated with the language barrier. Despite my four years of
(I hardly put forth any effort in these classes,) I was not fluent. I knew
enough to get around and have shallow conversations, but I wanted to speak with
girls on deeper levels, and get to know their souls. But God said that He
wasn’t ready for me to do that, yet. (And it’s probably a good thing.) Because
I was unable to form relationships based on words, I had to form relationships
based on actions. I got to laugh with these women, dance with these women,
hug them, and pray for them. It was in this time that I really began to
understand that Christianity is not just for Americans, or English speaking
people. These women sang their hearts out to God in their own language, and it
was a tremendous blessing to be able to worship alongside these women. Our God
is multicultural, and multilingual. I just think that is so cool.
In the Dominican Republic, I discovered something. The Lily House (the name of the organization) director said that she wanted to write a book one day about how we all are prostitutes. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that we all are! You and I may not sell our bodies to other men for money, but how often do we "sell our souls" to the things of this world? I am no different than the women on the streets. I sell myself to things that are not of Christ to get my fix, just like these women sell themselves to other men to get their next fix - whether it be drugs, alcohol, or even meals to feed their family. We are all daughters of Christ, but only a few of us know that. And that is why I want to dedicate my life to a ministry of anti-human trafficking. Oftentimes we snub our noses because we don't understand the situation. I don't want to be a woman who snubs her nose at someone because her circumstance is different than my own. I want to get to know her, and tell her that she, too, is a daughter of Christ, and He is beckoning her with open arms. I want to make women feel beautiful because of who they are, not what they do.
I wish that we could all just sit down with iced lattes and cupcakes and talk about this, because I feel there is no way to convey how much I love what God has called me to do, and how passionate I am about this field of ministry just over a blog post. The most exciting part about it all: I have to completely wait on God in every area. He puts me in so many waiting rooms, and while I absolutely hate waiting, I am learning to develop a deep trust in God that I never thought I would have. My testimony in a sentence would be this - "prayer seriously works, and God always pulls through."