Posted by: grantmiho | September 24, 2017

Running to Restore Women to Life and Hope

Give Life. Bring Hope. This is not only the slogan for Tokyo Life Church, but our life’s passion. When I got connected to Restore NYC, I discovered an organization with a similar passion, albeit in a very different context and type of work. They work with women caught in sex trafficking and walk with them to find freedom and a pathway to a new life, full of hope.

Several years ago I was able to visit Thailand and see the work of fellow Covenant missionaries striving to bring freedom to women caught in sex trafficking. Some women are truly trapped in this lifestyle, with no hope of escape. Some may feel desperate for work. Given that the minimum wage is around 50 cents, I can understand the allure of working in a massage parlor that charges around $10. If you are willing to do more, you might triple this amount. It is heartbreaking to see young girls forced to live like this. I can’t imagine the abuse, the feelings of being used by men, and being reduced to a sexual object.

Many of the women that Restore NYC works with in NYC came with dreams of opportunity. Many are moms who are trying to provide for their families back in other countries. The promise of a job deceived them, as they realized what the work really entailed. Being unwilling to go along with this kind of work could get them deported, out of a job, or worse. They may feel powerless. Vulnerable. Alone. Stuck in a nightmare. Restore NYC lovingly comes alongside these women and walks with them on a path towards freedom and renewal. They help train them to pursue other careers that restore their dignity and allow them to provide for their families. It’s one thing to pull them out of this life, but they still need to replace work options with something.

What can we do?

  1. Ultimately, this is about supply and demand. Women (or men) would not fall into this trap if nobody desired and paid for it. The blame cannot fully rest on one side. It is a complex problem. We live in a broken society with broken lives; with broken sexual longings. Obviously, there wouldn’t be millions of pages of pornography if people didn’t view and consume it. One of the first steps we, as Christians, must take is to live out our belief that all people are made in God’s image and worthy of respect and dignity, which is expressed by not fueling and contributing to the exploitation of women.
  2. Be part of communities full of grace. We need others to come alongside us to help us break free from our sexual brokenness. Similarly, we should be churches that would welcome those trapped in desperate need of grace and renewal. At our church in Tokyo, we see the brokenness around us, as neighbor businesses offer girls to bath you, love hotels, and DVD shops (though I doubt they are selling the latest Marvel or Disney films). What would it look like to be an oasis for these girls? A place of healing? As well as an oasis where God can be true source of longing for all people?
  3. Support the work of those fighting to free those caught in sex slavery and trafficking. I love the work of our fellow Covenant missionaries around the world, the work of International Justice Mission, as well as Restore NYC. On November 5th, I will be running the NYC Marathon to raise awareness and support for their work with women in New York City. My goal is to raise $3,000. I’m already over 1/3 of the way there. Would you consider partnering with their great work to give life and bring hope to these women (and their families)? Would you be able to give $1 per mile ($26), $4 per mile ($104), or more?

Visit this site to donate now: https://donate.restorenyc.org/fundraiser/1002976

 

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