What Helps Me Most in Ministry

A couple weeks ago I went with my family to visit some of our friends in Dallas, Texas. On our way back, we stopped at a major truck stop for gas. Having learned all I have in the last few years about trafficking, my head was on a swivel. I was very on-edge.

As we were on our way out, two young hispanic girls (about age 7 and 9 if I had to guess) spilled the drinks they had been carrying. They were quiet and seemed to be a little overly upset about the drinks they had spilled, and a family member of mine stepped in to help them clean up. She attempted to make small talk with them while she wiped up a mixture of coke and strawberry milkshake, and soon an older white man stepped in to profusely thank her for helping them and stood somewhat over the girls.

We hung around in the parking lot after this happened, suspecting that the girls may have been trafficked, but we never saw them come out. With no proof of anything, we didn’t feel that we could call authorities or the trafficking hotline.

Hi, yes, hello. I have a gut feeling that someone is being trafficked at this truck stop…

I don’t think that conversation would go over too well.

I was still convinced that something was weird about that situation, though, and I began praying about it. I think it was more an attempt to get God on board with my own idea of what should happen. I’m still not so sure as to why, but I received a firm “not now” from God.

Trying to be at peace with God’s direction, we drove away. We will likely never know what that situation held, but we have to trust that God and his heart for his children is infinitely more equipped to know what was needed.

This is something God has really been working on for me. I have a strong passion against injustice, and sometimes it’s hard for me to keep my mouth shut (even when I know I should). There have been many times in this ministry where God has directly led me away from a situation where I felt the overwhelming need to act.

God has revealed something to me in this process, though.

I have to know that God has so much more knowledge than I do about the situations I come into contact with.

Sometimes it’s the hardest thing to listen to the still-small voice telling you to walk away when everything else in you is telling you otherwise. Sometimes what God is calling you to do is terrifying, and you try to explain away the value by listing reasons it would be better if you didn’t.

I’ve come to learn that well-intended disobedience is still disobedience.

This has helped me tremendously in finding peace in the enormity of the trafficking and commercial sex industries that I’m called to minister to. If I try to think logically through the impact I can have, it’s minimal at best. Or if I try to logically think through why I don’t just grab up the women I come in contact with and physically remove them from their situations, I can’t.

The only explanation I can give is not logical at all. But when I’m walking in what God calls me to, I know that I am doing exactly what I need to. When I’m intentionally obedient when he asks me to walk away, I understand that sometimes snatching women out of the industry only removes them from some of the conditions they face, it doesn’t empower them or give them the ability to choose for themselves. When I know that God is building a network to take down these industries and fight the oppression his children are experiencing, it shows me that my calling is part of a bigger picture, no matter how small the action I’m taking may seem.

Abby Shrewsbury

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