Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Amazing Story

It's not every day that I get permission to repeat a story of a pastoral call someplace public, like this blog is. And specific requests for me to do so are... well, this is the only one, to my memory! I hope I do it justice.

So, the other day I was chatting online with one of my favorite people, and she shared with me the story of a friend that she had met on-line through Pandora's Aquarium. Her friend was living somewhere in the UK, if what she was going through can appropriately be called living. You see, her friend was being sold for sex by her father.

Go ahead, read that again. No, it's not a typo, her friend was being sold for sex by her father.

Luckily, one of my favorite people knew about Love146, an intenational abolitionist organization dedicated to ending child sex slavery and exploitation. She immediately told her friend about the organization, and despite catching flak from an administrator of the message board (for being too "dogmatic"), one of my favorite people contacted Love146 on behalf of her friend. Love146 pointed her to International Justice Mission, who in turn pointed her to CAST (Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking). One of my favorite people asked me to pray for her friend, and you better believe that I did, and wholeheartedly.

Some time after that, I received a phone call from one of my favorite people. She told me that she had just heard from her friend, and that she was attempting suicide. It very quickly became clear that one of my favorite people had her friend on-line right there, and so I gave her some advice concerning what she should be trying to do (including getting an address so an ambulance could be sent and giving her online suicide hotlines). Her friend, however, was insistant that suicide was the way out. I told one of my favorite people that she was doing the right thing, and to stay with her friend as long as she could. And when we ended our phone conversation, that's where we left it.

I kept imagining what it would be like, wondering if your friend was alive or dead, possibly never hearing from them again and not knowing one way or the other. It would haunt me...

So I was exstatic when I got a happy phone call from one of my favorite people, and she told me that not only had her friend lived, she had been rescued by CAST! I'm always happy to field those difficult phone calls, but it absolutely makes my day to get one of those joyful ones!

A final note: I recently heard from one of my favorite people that her friend had just had a miscarriage and gone through a surgery that is very similar to an abortion. I have a friend who went through the same thing, and it was very traumatic for her. But one of my favorite people's friend was upbeat, happy, and hopeful. And that was what finally prompted one of my favorite people to ask me to write this post. Because her friend was so very inspiring.

Whatever difficulties you're going through right now, you can make it. Her friend has.

Be good to each other,
Rev. Josh

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