Written by Gabby Butcher, Veritas student in San Jose, Costa Rica. See her other posts at http://compelledtocostarica.blogspot.com/
This Thursday, I found myself doing ministry outside the largest brothel in Central American named “El Rey”(sorry, mom and dad, but I’m alright). Although this sounds terrifying, I had such peace. Even though this sounds incredibly dangerous, I have never been so safe. You may think that I’m crazy, but I have never felt so in place. I’ll tell you why…
A group of my friends and I got in a taxi and joined up with a human trafficking ministry. There, two amazing women, Patty and Ashley, greeted us and shared with us about the ministry and told us our mission. After 30 minutes of crazy awesome worship, we grabbed the coffee and cookies and headed out to the corner.
The crazy part about that night was that we met pimps, clients, prostitutes, taxi drivers, policia, etc. How this scene works is that American men (usually American with wedding rings) come to Costa Rica to go on “tours”. Because prostitution is legal, taxi drivers take these men all around the city of San José to all different “Hotels”. If the men want a 13-year-old girl, the taxi drivers know exactly where to find one. Sick, right? Something in the minds of the people who run the scene just shuts off. They think they have to provide for their family and that it’s “just a job”.
So with that said, I sat in worship crying and praying that God would give me strength to see this face to face. That breaks my heart. I was so so angry. Then… I found out that our mission wasn’t to go and hate these men. It was to love them…How the heck was I going to do that? That’s impossible. They are terrible people who know exactly what they are doing.
As I stood outside that brothel and made friends with the taxi drivers, I saw that they needed normal conversation, even if it wasn’t about Christ. Can you imagine being involved in that all day and not be able to have an innocent, loving conversation? Everyone knew our group there as the fun Christians who give out coffee and cookies. We weren’t a threat, but the hope in a messed up situation.
A Muslim man walking by went up to one of the women who runs this ministry and asked, “Why do you do this?”. She responded, “Because we love to give out coffee and love on people.” He could not understand. After asking a few more questions and hearing that she does this to show Jesus, he broke down sobbing. He told her that he was a very wealthy man, but so poor in spirit and admitted that his people should be out there serving on the street corner as well.
It was great to build relationships. We are not starting God’s work, but joining in His plan for us as a body of believers.
I join in to proclaim that death has been defeated, and the power of sin has been broken, even in Costa Rica. Even in the United States.
This week I will be doing more ministry with prostitutes and am starting at an orphanage for kids ages 0-5 called Hogar Cuna. AND I finish my first of three parts of my Spanish program!
Please pray that the brothel will get shut down, for the prostitutes, drivers, pimps, and clients.
Lessons of this week: We have a gospel of hope. God has entrusted us with the mission of proclaiming the Gospel to the nations. Unless we do it, it will not get done. Christ has not yet returned; therefore, the mission is not yet done. What are you doing to radically further the Kingdom? It’s time we stop living a selfish faith that doesn’t give unless we get. We have been given a blessing to be a blessing.
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
For your own opportunity to impact a community and experience walking out the Lords love for every nation, check out veritasabroad.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org!