My name is Rachel and if you ask some people, I’m crazy!
Why would anyone leave a comfortable life at the beach to move to a third world country? More so, why would any one move to a third world country to work with prostitutes?!?!
My best response is, why would a holy God come to a sin-ridden world to redeem humans?
God, my creator, Jesus, my savior, has laid a very specific mission on my heart, to spread the love and redemption of Jesus Christ among the men and women in prostitution in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Around 7:00 pm on Monday, August 24th, 2015 my world changed completely. God called me to leave my life in Wilmington, NC to go into full time missions. At the moment I surrendered to the will of God I had NO IDEA what that meant. All I knew was that God had said, “It’s time to go.”
When I woke up the next morning I knew the following: I would move back to Western New York, live with my parents, get out of debt, and prepare to move to San Jose, Costa Rica to minister to prostitutes.
What does that even mean? I have no qualifications, no background in theology or psychology or counseling!
What could I possibly offer?
Over the last 18 months I have learned the answer to the question “why me?”
I look back over the events of my past, I see great sin and great triumphs and I realize that God in His perfect timing, has worked all things together for HIS glory, to use me as a vessel of His love and mercy. He has used the mistakes I have made, to show me very specifically, what an amazing, redemptive God He is!
I have personally lived through a cycle of shame and hopelessness as a result of my own sin. Miraculously, I have also experienced redemption from shame and sin that can only be given by a perfect and gracious God. Having been changed by this tremendous love, I am now joyfully compelled to share it with others who live under this vicious cycle!
So what will this look like? I have been blessed to find 3 organizations in the capital province of San Jose with whom I will be volunteering. Two are anti-trafficking organizations that have similar missions. One focuses primarily on prevention. One of the ways they do this is by partnering with churches and schools to teach children about trafficking and also about self-worth. They also partner with a youth organization that focuses on teaching biblical values and life skills. I hope to augment their ages 3-12 program, by creating a teen program. The other anti-trafficking company focuses more on intervention and restoration. They coordinate with the local authorities to teach them about how to recognize trafficking and victims of trafficking. They also work with the country’s child protection agency to run a safe house for girls between 13 and 17 yrs old.
Some of the work I will be doing will be prevention work, doing basic community volunteerism, teaching English, sports or singing. Some of the work will be intervention focused by being on the streets, building relationships with the men and women in prostitution that will hopefully spill over into day to day life. Through this format, God willing, people will come to know the redemption that is possible only through the salvation offered by Jesus Christ!
Some of these men and women have been trafficked into a life of prostitution, but many have not. Many prostitute to support a family, some to support themselves, some to support a drug habit. Regardless of the motive, any way that you look at it, these people have placed a value on themselves. For a high end escort, this value may be $300 per client, but for those on the streets it’s closer to $13. What hurt or despair must it take to warp a mind into believing that $13 is a fair exchange? What level of self-worth must one have to see their body as merely a tool to be used as a means to an end, and not as the temple of their soul? For every person on the street their is a story of some kind of abuse. For some it will be physical or sexual and for others it will be mental or emotional. I believe that God has called me to love these people, the let them know of the value they have in Christ and help them to realize that they are WORTHY of love and redemption.
I pray that you will join me in this mission. I pray that God will move your heart for those in prostitution. I pray that you will pray for me, that God’s plans may be accomplished.