I recently had the opportunity to speak with a missionary working to fight human trafficking in Thailand (to read more about the problem of trafficking in Thailand, click here). Unfortunately, our Skype connection failed before too long, but she was able to reply via email to tell us a little about her work, her challenges, and her faith.
1. What led to your interest in fighting human trafficking?
The Lord. I know that I have given you a simple, ‘Sunday school’ answer, but there is no other way I can answer that with out it not being true. I never imagined myself as a person who would be working with a foundation that deals with the human sex trade – but this I know; the Lord has called me to work with the least of these, and that deals with the human sex trade on all levels.
2. What opposition have you faced on your mission field?
One of the biggest hindrances I have faced on the mission field is the spiritual warfare – not only in my life, but in the environment that happens on a daily basis. Every day is a battle between Satan and the Lord because they are in an all-out war for human souls. Another big problem that I have faced is other people’s opinions of me not being “equipped” enough to do the work the Lord has called me to do. This, in many ways, is understandable because I didn’t go to college, I have no prior training, and I didn’t go to Bible school. I have very high respect for all of these achievements – but these personal opinions usually have to do with people fearing that I may come back extremely changed or not at all.
3. Are the people receptive to what you’re trying to do, or resistant?
The majority of the people around me are receptive, a small handful are not, but all of them are living in some amount of worry, if not fear, for what I am about to step into. As I mentioned above, people have their opinions, but I do my best not to allow that to affect my pursuit of the call the Lord has placed on my life. I think people have their worries and their resistant concerns, but that all comes from not being the one with boots on the ground. Some just don’t fully understand until things become more personal, and the statics no longer carry a number, but a face. That is what this past visit home has allowed me to do with the people in my life: give them a face and stories of children and women who find themselves enslaved to the human sex trade.
4. What do you wish people in American churches knew about your work?
I wish they knew that it’s difficult, hard, painful, and, more often than not, heartbreaking – but it is also one of the most rewarding things you can ever do. Not rewarding in the eyes of man, but in the eyes of the Lord. The people I have worked with don’t get up every morning hoping to change lives so that they can be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize; they get up to spread the Gospel to one child, one woman, one man, for the Lord’s kingdom and his divine purpose. One more thing I wish they knew is this: the human soul and spirit can overcome anything that it is faced with. No matter the circumstances, it can take on the day with the utmost joy and happiness you can imagine.
5. What is the greatest impediment to your work? (Lack of finances, lack of missionaries, lack of resources, or the culture?)
Lack of finances and the culture. Lack of finances because nothing is free. It all comes with some financial cost. The culture because what most people don’t know is that to take someone’s virginity, in this culture, is a way to gain luck and favoritism for the next life. In some countries and cultures in South East Asia it is not culturally frowned upon to be married to multiple wives or have a night with a “prostitute”. There are also many foreign visitors who contribute to trafficking because they seem to think, “I am helping their economy. How is that not a good thing?”
Victoria continues her work fighting human trafficking in Thailand. Please pray for her safety, and for healing, restoration, and salvation for those still in slavery!