Jeremy Statton

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Wendy Brooks: The Secretly Incredible Light

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From Jeremy: I want you to meet Wendy Brooks. After seeing the devastation caused by human trafficking and the sex industry, she has stepped up to be that somebody and do something about it. You can follow Wendy on her blog or on Twitter.

JS: Wendy, you are involved with mission work in Thailand that helps to deal with the issue of human trafficking? What is your ministry and what do you do?

Wendy: I participate in a group called Anastasis International Missions who have joined another group called XP missions in a project called Extreme Love Thailand. We work to help women and children who are enslaved in the sex industry in that country. I learned about the problem first hand with this group and have been there to witness the devastation caused by this problem.

photo by moomoobloos (Creative Commons)

JS: When you took your trip to Thailand, what exactly did you see?

Wendy: When we would drive down the street in the parts of town known for prostitution, I would see countless women standing just outside the bars dressed for their job. When I stopped staring at their outfits and noticed their faces, they had completely emotionless stares. Just looking at them I could see the emptiness.

Can you imagine what it must be like to have to give your body to a stranger up to 20-30 times a day? Can you imagine what it must be like to be completely helpless and unable to escape?

JS: Some argue that these women have chosen this as a profession, and wonder why we should interfere with their choice. Is this true? How do the girls become enslaved in prostitution?

Wendy: Most of the girls are from a more rural part of the country. They are enticed to move to the city to work as a “bargirl.” They are told they can make more money than they can at home. Many of the families are devastatingly poor and extra money is hard to pass up.

Once they are there, they can’t leave. Some start with a hope for a better future, but they find themselves standing on a street corner, and that bright future is long forgotten. They become trapped by money and drugs. The work ceases to be a choice and the girls find themselves enslaved.

And that doesn’t include the underage prostitutes. As far as the kids go, some are taken. Some are sold by the family just to make money. It is incredibly sad. And incredibly wrong. It is something we need to interfere with. To do nothing is just as wrong.

JS: How did you first become interested in mission work?

Wendy: Growing up in church, I had always wanted to be a missionary as a child. I dreamed of going to other countries and helping out those in need. But like many, I strayed from my faith in college and early adulthood.

Then it was the Father’s unconditional love that started to pull me back. At that time I was an Assistant Director of Nursing at a healthcare facility, making a big salary, but I was completely empty. I was broken in every area of my life. Late night partying with alcohol and prescription drug use was more than I could handle. I was depressed and anxiety had me spinning out of control.

Then a co-worker invited me to come visit her church one Wednesday night. I walked through those doors not knowing that God was about to wreck my life forever. I saw His love flowing through real people. For many years I had sang the little song “Jesus Loves Me”, but never understood how much He really does love me.

On July 24, 2007, I rededicated my life to live for Christ, and haven’t turned back on that promise.

JS: Did that difficult time help prepare you for your mission work later?

Wendy: I think it did prepare me, in a way. When you have walked with the enemy, you are wise to his tricks. With this type of work, you come into contact with lots of people. Many are caught up the same mess you once were trapped in. Your main mission is to let them know just how much Jesus loves them.

JS: What you see in Thailand sounds awful. Does this ever get you down and how do you keep going?

Wendy: When I sit and think about Thailand or ponder the work we are currently doing in the United States, it would be very easy to allow it to depress me. But I know I have to focus on the reason I’ve been called to this work. These places are dark because there is no light. We carry The Light of Jesus Christ.

Many people do see the situation of modern-day slavery (human trafficking) as hopeless, and wonder why we are wasting our time.

Then I quickly remember back when I felt hopeless, UNLOVED, and thought I could solve my problems with alcohol and drugs…..UNTIL somebody took the opportunity to tell me just how much Jesus loved me, even in my mess.

Those women are no different than me. Sin is sin. They need to know just how much Jesus loves them, and it’s up to me along with many others called to this work to go in the darkness and tell them. I keep going because they need the Light of His unending love, just as much as I did.

JS: What about the men who see out the services of these women? How are you able to minister to them?

Wendy: This is an area I continue to pray about. As with everything, I had to ask the Lord to help me and break my heart for what breaks His heart.

It’s all about the supply and demand concept. The Lord allowed me to see that these men are just as broken as the women they are seeking services from. They seek a form of love, to fill the void in their lives. Many of these men have suffered abuse on every level as a child, or they’ve been emotionally damaged by failed relationships throughout their lives.

They need the real love, that only Jesus can give them. Some of the men are driven by sexual addictions and compulsions which have them bound. They are driven to seek out these acts much like someone addicted to heroin. The only answer for each one of these issues is Jesus Christ.

JS: How can others get involved in the issue of human trafficking?

Wendy: Pray. Pray. Pray. Psalm 2:8 reads,”Ask of Me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost part of the earth for thy possession.” We are all called to pray. We work in prayer with Him in some of these dark places. Nothing is too hard for the Lord to do.

Those who would like to contribute financially can make donations through XPMissions or through International Justice Mission.

Have you had your life wrecked? Have a question for Wendy? 

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

About Jeremy Statton

Jeremy is a writer and an orthopedic surgeon. When not ridding the world of pain, he helps you live a better story. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google +.

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15 Replies

  1. This wrecks my heart!

    Katie

  2. Katie- the Father’s love continues to wreck my heart for this issue too. Because He FIRST loved us, it propels me to love others extremely.

  3. Wendy, I know a little of the work you do, from friends who have journeyed to Patayya from my church.  I love to buy jewellery from Rahab, a Christian organisation that provides jobs – making jewellery for girls who have left the bars, but need money.  One of my favourite Christian songs was written by Arran Boyd of the band Bluetree who at this point were a part of my church in Belfast, about Pattaya, it is called ‘God of This City’ you can listen to his storyon how he wrote the song here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXh_tgjnYJw

    No matter how dark, parts of Thailand – parts of the World are, our God is greater, and He is the God of that city, of your city of mine.

    Thank you for sharing Wendy’s story with us Jeremy.  I love reading your incredible stories on Friday.

    Have a great weekend.

  4. Yes Nics!! This is one of my favorite songs. One night we sang the song over the city from the floor of the hotel we met in. It was a powerful moment. And definitely, the Lord reigns in the darkest of the dark places – He simply needs His willing foot soldiers on the ground to go into these dark places and set the captives free.

  5. Thank you Jeremy for sharing my story. I’m so very humbled and grateful to God that He never left me. Huge thanks for shedding more light on human trafficking (a.k.a. Modern-day slavery. Blessings!

  6. Hi Jeremy, I’m hopping over from Jodi Schum’s blog. Thanks for introducing us to Wendy and her ministry. I’m constantly amazed at the evil in this world. Maranatha, already!

  7. Good to hear from you, Susan. Maranatha.

  8. I really love that part of your story. His love is faithful and persistent. It gives hope when dealing with the kind of stuff you are dealing with. I love how you see yourself in them and want to bring that light to them.

  9. I love that song, but didn’t know it was written about pattaya.

  10. Amazing story Wendy! I’m so encouraged when I hear about people walking by faith and obedience to God’s leading, even in seemingly impossible places. I’m working on a trip to Serbia to care for disabled orphans. At times I feel overwhelmed but stories like yours give me hope!

  11. Praise God Beck! So excited for you on planning your trip to Serbia- Go For It!! My heart goes out to you. Nothing is impossible with God. Whenever I start feeling overwhelmed I put myself in ‘time-out’ and get quiet before the Father. I make sure that I’m casting ALL my cares on Him, and totally relying on His strength and not my own. Praying for abundant blessings & provision for your trip.

  12. Glad you found. Often we need help finding our hope.

  13. As someone who currently lives in one of the worst cities for this in the US, thanks for fighting on the front lines and talking about a dark issue that makes people uncomfortable.

    What is the biggest challenge facing this issue going forward?

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