For the dark [hiding] places of the earth are full of the haunts [homes] of cruelty [violence].
Once again the team loads up in the van and heads out to the streets. As we are driving down Van Buren we see a woman sitting at the side of the road and we pull over. She is so drunk she cannot walk. Her face is severely sunburn and she has no pants. She states someone stole her pants and she has wrapped an old dirty sweater around herself. We talked with her for a while and I told her we would be right back with some pants and to stay there. The team gets in the van and we head to the store. As we enter the store we split up to get multiple items. It was quite a sight to see about nine people racing through the store looking for clothes, a hat, backpack and sunblock. We were on a mission and it touched my heart to see compassion over-take us. These men and women of God were gathering all these items with such a love in them. We paid for the items headed back and there she sat, she had not moved an inch. We took her to the van and made a place of privacy for her while she changed into her clothes. We talked and prayed for her and she decided to go to the detox center across the street, but we could see she was too drunk to even walk there, so one of our men escorted her across the busy street so she wouldn’t get hit by a car and into the center.
These women live on the streets being violated multiple times. They have grown cold in their hearts to everyone, and everything, and even to themselves. They feel they have no rights and any one that takes advantage of them is never reported. Many sell themselves for their next fix, or money enough to buy their next bottle of alcohol, but many times they are raped and taken advantage of because of their lifestyle.
Most of these women did not just end up on the streets. Many have had horrible home lives. Growing up in violence, and escaping abuse from the ones that are supposed to be protecting them.
- Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
- Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
- Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
- The costs of intimate partner violence in the US alone exceed $5.8 billion per year: $4.1 billion are for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion.
- Men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice as likely to abuse their own wives than sons of nonviolent parents.
There is no easy answer! Jesus Christ is the hope of the world, and He has sent us out as His ambassadors.
Psalm 82:3 Defend the poor and fatherless;
Do justice to the afflicted and needy.
4 Deliver the poor and needy;
Free them from the hand of the wicked.
5 They do not know, nor do they understand;
They walk about in darkness;
All the foundations of the earth are unstable.
In ministry many times we see the bigger picture, and forget that ministry starts with the one standing in front of you. We cannot change the world by ourselves, but we can bring the hope of Christ to someone. Ministry begins with one heart at a time.