Danny Cox joined a team from Kensington Church in Michigan that traveled 15,000 grueling miles to a remote area of Nepal to visit an Extreme Response partner. They weren’t there to sightsee. The team made the journey to see the reality of human trafficking first-hand, determine out how to respond, and tell the story to anyone who will listen.
I have heard it said that once you start to despise your own sin, then your life can truly be transformed.I was having that thought as I was setting up the audio gear to help capture a few trafficking stories of young women in Nepal. We were perched on the third floor of a safe home for the women in a city outside of Katmandu. I was excited to be on this trip, but to be honest, I had struggled to fully commit to going.
Just a few weeks before we left for Nepal I almost backed out of the trip. I was feeling incredibly uneasy and was wrestling with the decision.
I suspected it had to do with the many years of an adoption process my family and I have experienced from 2005 until the present. In 2005, my wife and I went to Honduras to a small fishing village on the northern coast to serve at an all-girls orphanage. While there, we fell deeply in love with the girls.
But three young teenagers in particular captured our hearts and we felt a call to make them part of our permanent family. It took four long years and many miraculous events, but they finally came to live with us in Michigan.
These past 10 years have been beautiful, yet difficult. There is so much hurt and pain mixed with hope and love. Over time, we learned the devastating events our daughters had experienced at the orphanage for many years.
I didn’t realize how much of the struggle and pain I had locked away in my heart as an act of self-protection. It hit me as I was sitting on the roof of that third-story safe home in Nepal listening to the story of one of girls who was rescued from being trafficked.
We were not allowed to be in the room listening to the stories. These girls had been through so much already; the last thing they needed was another unknown man sitting in a tiny room hearing their heart-wrenching stories.
So I was outside the room with earphones to monitor the sound levels and make sure everything was technically correct. Before the interview started, I decided to set my mind for what I was about to hear. I found a powerful story that described the need to receive mercy in order to understand what mercy truly meant.
As I finished reading, the interview started. I listened intently to this innocent little voice of a very young, beautiful little child talk about the horrendous circumstance of her own family selling her into slavery.
About halfway through the interview, perched high about this little city, looking out over Nepal in a little shady spot on this roof of the safe home, the floodgates opened in my heart.
I began to weep. I wept not only for this little angel, but also for my own journey. I wept for the depraved nature of these men who pervert innocent lives. I wept because of all the years we have spent fighting against the same things for my daughters. And I wept for my daughters and all of their pain of being orphaned and abused.
As I wept, I became angry. I became angry at the evil of our world. I became angry that young lives are being so badly distorted and harmed on this earth. At that moment I could hear in my earphones this precious child receiving comforting words in another language that felt familiar and true. Somehow, the presence of hope prevailed. The interview was over. I walked into the room after the people had left. Our team was wrecked.
We had two more interviews to record that day. Though there was incredible darkness in each story, there was also a powerful sense of light. In each story there is a remarkable discovery and a transformation from hopelessness to hope.
Each one of these girls has become a special treasure. Each of them is now a bright light for all to see. My hope is that we all become wrecked to help us see our own sin, and bring light into the darkness. These girls have inspired a whole new spark in our hearts. We are forever grateful.
For more information on the work Kensington is doing in Nepal and around the world, visit: http://tinyurl.com/plkylkq.