No Strings Attached

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In 2008, I served on an advisory board for an international foundation that supports non governmental organizations helping victims of human trafficking and sexual slavery in Southeast Asia. We targeted organizations that aimed to “rescue, restore and reintegrate” victims into society, and many were doing a wonderful job with treatment as well as prevention.

However, it would really frustrate me when some faith based non for profits would attach strings to their charity. Meaning, they would only give these young women food and shelter IF they would attend religious services, Bible studies, and accept Jesus as their Lord & Savior. It would honestly infuriate me to think that someone who has been a victim of the worst kinds of abuse would then be required to conform to another’s belief system before he or she could receive shelter, food, and clothing.

One example was a young girl less than 17 years old in Thailand. She was sold by her parents, most likely to make ends meet so they could feed their other children. She had been diagnosed with HIV, and was (understandably) feeling resentment over the awful hand she had been dealt in life. Her refusal to participate in Bible studies resulted in her rapid return to the streets.

The Jesus I know would not have refused help to anyone just because they didn’t believe in Him. Needless to say, that organization did NOT receive my recommendation for funding.

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