Joy born, Joy destroyed.
Can the Joy be found again?
Yes! When freedom rings.
~ Haiku, by Dr. Jeff ~
WARNING: Portions of this story has graphic content
For the past 30 years I’ve been involved in the rescue of children in some way. The past 4 years we have been devoted to the rescue and restoration of children forced into the child sex trade. It is without question THE worst, most evil, horrific and heinous crime perpetrated against children in our world today. I read horror stories literally every day – 7 days a week. Just go to www.twitter.com/joyupdate to see what I mean. Each story of the commercial sexual exploitation and abuse of a child is heart-wrenching alone – but no story or report has gotten me so upset and angered about this nightmare to children as this. I’m sickened by it. As the headline I wrote says – a child was beheaded during an anti-trafficking campaign. The report was sent to me by my friend and co-worker in this fight, Diana Scimone of the Born-2-Fly Project. This is one of the projects that JOY International supports.
Here is an edited version of the report I received from Diana: (you can read her entire report here: http://bit.ly/qq8iZp)
Child Kidnapped, Beheaded in Village Where B2F Anti-Trafficking Program Being Taught ~
Reported by Diana Scimone ~
“When I tell you that child trafficking is organized crime, I’m not kidding. Trafficking is very, very lucrative with very few risks. Organized crime has made it the 2nd-highest grossing illegal industry on the planet.
So what happens when you threaten the traffickers’ livelihood?
~ Let’s say you want to cut off the supply line of kids…
~ Let’s say you teach kids and parents how to stand up to traffickers…
~ And let’s say you do this in an area where kids are regularly kidnapped and trafficked…
This is what happened in a village in the Philippines where our brave partners have been openly teaching the B2F Project anti-trafficking curriculum to children and their parents.
First, our Philippines director was attacked by a trafficker who broke one of her ribs. (He was arrested.) Then this happened, as reported by the Philippines director:
“One of the children who we have worked with for over a year was kidnapped this week and later returned with all his organs gone and head cut off.
“His mother is obviously traumatized and is uncertain where to go from here and to be honest I just don’t have answers for her. My heart is breaking and I feel angry all in one breath.
“We have had so many children taken from our village in the last couple of months that our team is in shock and the government is searching for answers and help.
“Our course is set to expand whether we are ready or not. Prevcention is what we are aiming for.” ~
I am outraged and shocked by the murder of this child and I condemn it in the harshest possible terms. This was a warning shot from the traffickers. No traffickers bother to return a body; they did it as a warning to the team to stop interfering with their livelihood.
Did it work? Has the team pulled back?
Here’s what the Philippine director emailed a week after this child was murdered:
“After many setbacks physical and emotional, being run off the road and vandalism, we are still standing and focused probably more than even before. Our team members are more more determined than even before to protect these children and youth especially.
“Two weeks ago I was involved in a [trafficking] intervention, which saved several young girls and was an exceptionally rewarding experience.
“Our most recent test of Born2Fly is going great. The kids are loving it and the teachers and parents numbers are increasing too. Thank you, blessings and strength to you as you spearhead this movement. We are with you all the way.”
What an absolute honor to partner with brave warriors such as this director and her team who are standing up to the despicable actions of these traffickers. Please keep this team in your prayers as they continue to fight on the front lines. They are my heroes.
From Dr. Jeff Brodsky ~
My friends, I consider myself to be greatly motivated in this fight. When you’ve looked into the eyes of children who have been rescued, held them in your arms while they share their stories and weep, if it doesn’t motivate you to action then you need to check the beat of your heart. To bring greater awareness to this global tragedy, I’ve now gone barefoot for 462 days with the last 3 months 100% totally barefoot. After reading this tragic story of what the traffickers did to this child, I’m ready to put on combat boots and go into a new battle. These animals must be stopped.
A one man war will not accomplish much unless that man has an army behind him. So I’m recruiting. Yes, YOU can help in this fight. Do you know what wins wars? Commitment and major funding. We are fighting a 32 billion dollar industry. Our enemy has the funds to fight. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE EXTRA FUNDS TO GIVE – WE CAN HELP YOU BE A FUNDRAISER. A young girl at a high school in Colorado said she had no extra money as she is saving for college, but what she does have is passion and commitment to help. She is putting together a fundraiser (with our help) where she is going to go barefoot for a full week (I suggested one day, but she’s committed). You don’t have to go barefoot, there are a myriad of things you can do to raise funds to help us in this fight.
Our greatest weapon in this battle is more money. The funds we receive are used for the huge expenses for undercover rescue operations as well as the cost of after-care. It is also used in the area of prevention through education and the prosecution of the traffickers and abusers.
Let’s not allow the tragedy of what happened to this child be in vain. Let’s show the animals that did this that they did not stop or deter us from our fight against the sexual exploitation of a child. Let’s show them that what they did has motivated us to greater action against them and we will not be stopped.
Please write to me personally www.joy.org/contact and tell me how you would like to help.
I need your help to win this war – one battle at a time.
Dr. Jeff Brodsky
To Give Now, Click Here: www.joy.org/getinvolved/donate/
“One hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove…but the world may be a better place because I was important in the life of a child.”
Today begins my 10 day countdown to the end of my 1 year journey of not wearing shoes. You would think I’d be excited about finally being able to put on a nice comfortable pair of shoes. Surprisingly, I’m not. As a matter of fact, I can’t imagine even putting on a pair of socks, let alone shoes.
Pictured here are the feet of two of the children in Cambodia who actually started me on my barefoot journey. It was when I saw these children (along with several others) that started me thinking about the plight of so many children who are at high risk of being exploited by the most vile, evil men on earth today. These children were standing barefoot outside a garbage dump in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The predators who seek them out will give promises of a better life. Once lured by their lies, these children are taken to a place where they are forced into a life of servitude. Usually beaten, drugged and forced into submission, they are forced into prostitution but I refuse to call them child prostitutes. They are sex slaves. The child is forced to serve the most depraved, despicable, sick human beings on earth. I will do anything to rescue even one of them.
That night, while taking off my shoes in the comfort of my hotel, I couldn’t stop thinking about these barefoot children. I wondered what it would be like to go 1 full year without shoes. I made the decision that as a show of solidarity and a way for me to relate (in a very small way) with these children, I would do it. I would go 1 year with no shoes – even through the winter in Colorado.
Now that the year is coming to an end, people are beginning to ask me if it was worth some of the discomfort and suffering I endured.
I have never once given it a second thought. The children who are forced into this life of terror and horror are forced to service 10 to 15 men a day…every day. Suffering? Discomfort? If the small amount of pain I went through would help bring awareness and the potential of even one more child being rescued in my lifetime – I would go through the rest of my life without shoes. Yes…even for just one more child.
On day 300 of my barefoot journey I challenged people to join me and go barefoot for just 1 day. I got 1 response. I’ve come to a place in my life where I know people are not me. People don’t think the way I do. People don’t feel what I feel. Sometimes it saddens me that so many people just don’t get it. I’d like to say I understand, but that would be a lie. I don’t understand why the entire world is not in an uproar over this crime against the precious children in our world.
I’d like to leave you with a challenge. During the last 10 days of my barefoot journey will you consider joining me for just one day? How about a half day? Even one hour.
If you do accept the challenge and someone asks you what you’re doing, don’t tell them about me – tell them you’re doing it to bring awareness to the plight of children who are forced into the child sex trade and used as slaves. If it opens the eyes of just one more person to the desperation of these cherished children – it would be worth it.
“No man is worth his salt that is not ready at all times to risk his well-being, to risk his body, to risk his life, in a great cause.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)
~ Dr. Jeff Brodsky ~
I’m an early riser. I am usually out of bed anywhere from 3:00 to 4:00 every morning. It’s really not by choice, because once my eyes are open – that’s it for me. The moment my eyes open, my thoughts awaken too. My first thought is usually the same – a greeting to my Lord with thanks for giving me another day. I then ask for a blessing for my wife, family, friends and co-workers in this fight. My thoughts then turn to what can I do today to be more effective in this battle? The rescue of child sex slaves.
One thing I can say without hesitation – this was not what I dreamed of doing with my life. It was not the profession I thought I would be in. Many times I’ve wondered when it will end. This morning, I pondered, “When can I stop doing this work?”
Then I began thinking of the many children who have already been rescued. I began looking at the numerous pictures I have of those who now have a life of hope… and joy. When I looked at the picture of Somana (the one with me in the picture), the answer came to me. “I’ll stop doing this work when the last child is rescued or when God takes me home?”
I know without question there are more children like Somana being held captive in brothels around the world and forced to do things that are unspeakable. How can I stop when I know this to be true? JOY? These children have no idea what true JOY is.
If you want to hear her story – in her own words – click on this link: Somana’s Story
When you are bombarded on a daily basis (literally 7 days a week) with dozens of news reports from all over the world of child sex slaves, child prostitution, child trafficking and the worst stories imaginable of child abuse – it’s sometimes overwhelming. In October 2010 I wrote a story about How I Stay Focused when there’s so much pain. If you never read it – please click on the link.
The easiest way to stay focused is to meet someone like Somana and hear her story and see the new life she has as a result of being set free from slavery. Then I hear a story of rescue like the one I received yesterday from a group we’ve supported and worked with in Thailand and the successful rescue of 8 more girls – and it gives me hope. It helps me to know that rescues happen. Not nearly enough because there are simply not enough people doing actual rescue. There are many organizations that claim to do rescue, when in reality – they do restoration – care after rescue. Both are necessary, but there are simply not enough people or organizations willing to take the risks associated with actual rescue. It’s risky, it’s dangerous, it’s costly and you are entering into the most evil, atrocious, heinous world imaginable. JOY International is willing to do whatever it takes if it means a child sex slave is set free from her life of pain and horror.
We are planning an undercover rescue operation in late May. I cannot share where or any details here. If you would like detailed information, feel free to write. Please know we will verify who you are before sending any additional information.
We welcome your support as the rescue operations are costly. You can donate by simply clicking here http://www.joy.org/getinvolved/donate/
Other than my own personal relationship with God and being with my family, there is no greater JOY in my life than knowing we had something to do with setting a child free. When you give to our work – you’ll know what I mean, because we cannot do these rescues – without you and your help.
Be blessed and be a blessing,
“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove…but the world may be a better place because I was important in the life of a child.”
Feel free to ask questions or leave a comment below.
I recently read a post from a precious young woman who was part of the youth group I Pastored many years ago. Here is what she wrote: “I heard the most horrid thing on the local news tonight! I feel sick to my stomach from it. I wish I had not heard it. It keeps replaying in my mind….my heart is heavy
When asked what happened, she shared: “A 2 year old boy, abused/beaten to death. They were reporting all the horrific details.”
~ Some of the advice she received from (well-meaning) friends was: “I hate that kind of thing.” “Fill your mind with things from God and there will be no room left for “news”. “News is depressing at the best of times and that’s why I hate the local news.”
I changed her name, but I wanted to share what I wrote to her, because I have heard this so many times. It almost reminds me of the 3 monkeys – “See no evil – Speak no evil – Hear no evil.” We must not turn a blind eye to the evil things happening in our world. We must stand strong in our faith and fight injustice. Especially when it’s against an innocent child. We must “see it, hear it and speak against it” if we want to change our world. Here was my response:
My Dear Mary.
You will always hold a special place in my heart. I have to respond to what you wrote. I want to begin with this verse from John 14:27 ~ “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” ~ Mary, you are a gifted, anointed, precious woman of God. When I see and read of your life with your husband and your beautiful children, my heart explodes with delight for all of you.
Yes Mary, there is evil in the world. In the verse your friend shared, it says “whatever is just…” Turning a blind eye to the injustices in the world and ignoring it is the worst thing we can do. It’s our responsibility as Christians to fight injustice. I believe, the reason you responded the way you did is because of the sensitive spirit that God has blessed you with. I hope it always stays with you.
You know the work that I do with JOY International. I receive more than a dozen news reports from all over the world every day about the worst horrors imaginable that happen to children. Sometimes, I wish that God would simply call someone else to this work. It is the worst form of evil in our world today. Each day I hear the cries and feel the pain of children suffering around our world as they are forced to do the most despicable, heinous things we can imagine. It literally tears me apart. As I hear their cries, I remember the following verse in Psalm 126:5 ~ “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.” ~ It’s to that end, that I work diligently.
When I see one of the girls we rescue singing and dancing before the Lord, it gives me a joy that is indescribable. It would never happen if I looked away and did nothing. Mary, you don’t have to do what I do. Some (like me) are called to go, some are called to send, but we are all called to pray.
When you see (and feel) the injustice and horrors of our world, my hope would be that you would pray for the victims and perpetrators and to sing songs of praise that you are blessed with a wonderful husband and 3 precious, beautiful children.
Mary, always, always remember… it’s not the sadness of our situation or the horrors of the world we look at, but we need to “be thankful in ALL things” because “the JOY of The Lord is our strength.”
Be blessed Mary… you’re already a blessing.
“Success is focusing the full power of all you are, on what you have a burning desire to achieve.”
~ Wilferd A. Peterson (1900-1995)
On my last trip to Cambodia I met with many leaders from several different organizations. They are all doing wonderful work in the areas of Rescue, Restoration, Reintegration and Prevention of children and young women who are forced into the sordid world of commercial sexual exploitation.
After flying to Cambodia from Australia where I met with a Rescue Team and the most fascinating young woman I have ever had the privilege to meet, my meetings in Phnom Penh began straight-away. Each day from sun-up to sun-down I met with a myriad of leaders. In some of those meetings I was joined by a team of leaders I was co-hosting from Saddleback Church.
After each meeting, I gained greater insight and a stronger perspective of the needs of not only the various organizations – but especially the girls that are rescued or convinced that there’s a better life than the one they have working in the brothels.
During the past 16 months of traveling more than 100,000 miles on 5 trips to Cambodia and Thailand, I’ve gotten a clearer focus of how to reach and touch the lives of children and young women being used and abused in the most heinous, horrific way imaginable. Each time I think of what happens to these precious girls – my heart breaks a little more and I become more determined to see them set free.
I remember after my 2nd trip I was ready to start a work there as quickly as possible. After correcting a hasty decision that would actually have taken me away from the vision God called me to, I took quite a bit of time to reflect on what happened. I was reminded of a line from the Simon and Garfunkel song: “Feelin’ Groovy”: “Slow down, you move too fast!” ~ And that’s exactly what I did. As difficult as it was for me, I realized that if I wanted things to be done right, so as to accomplish the best result, I had to do the following: I had to slow down! I needed to take the time and effort to learn of the depths of this tragedy and have a deeper understanding of what could be done – in a proper way, so as to ensure that the best end result is realized in the life of each individual child and young woman.
You know what – it worked. What I have learned the past 16 months of going, meeting, asking, watching, seeing, and doing has given me a much greater insight and understanding of how JOY International can best be used. I found many organizations that do things right and many that do things wrong. I found organizations that claim to do Rescue – when they are actually doing Restoration. There’s a big difference. What I learned will result in a much more efficient use of our funds and a better end result in each life we touch. Although I was anxious to get something started as quick as possible, with each trip I had a tender peace as only God can give, because I knew He had His hand on me as He was directing each meeting, each experience and every step I took. I truly praise God for His loving-kindness and patience with me as He guided my steps and taught me valuable lessons that will result in greater long-term success for our work and especially in the lives of those in such desperate need.
JOY International now has now established some key strategic relationships with some of the most successful organizations in this field. International Justice Mission, Precious Women, Daughters of Cambodia, Chab-Dai, Love 146, White Doves, MST Project and Celebrate Recovery – just to name a few. I have learned that in order to win the battle against this atrocity we MUST be willing to work together. I have evaluated many organizations and have found the ones we will work with and the ones we had to walk away from. Those we have chosen to work with have the highest degree of integrity and ultimately – success.
When you give into the work of JOY International you can have comfort in knowing your funds are not just going to one organization – but to many that are working diligently – together – to accomplish the greatest end result you could ever hope for in the Rescue, Restoration, Reintegration and Prevention of children and young girls, who are brought out of a life of pain, a life horror and a life of sadness and guided into a new life of true JOY. Thank you for supporting this work through your prayers and financial gifts.
Dr. Jeff Brodsky
How do you kill a giant? We all know the story of David & Goliath. David did it with a slingshot. I sure could use him right now, because the giant I am fighting is much bigger. His giant was one man, while I’m fighting an entire industry. A 32 billion dollar a year industry. An industry called Human Trafficking and The Child Sex Trade… and it’s growing. Something is very wrong here. Very wrong. Sometimes I wonder if the best slingshot I have – is my pen.
There are hundreds of thousands of children’s homes, orphanages and organizations working with orphaned, abused and abandoned children around the world. Yet, THE (yes, THE) worst atrocity being perpetrated against a child in our society today, has just a handful of organizations that are involved in the actual RESCUE of children being held captive and used in the most heinous way imaginable. I’ve heard the excuses of “It’s too dangerous” and “It’s too dirty… too evil… too…” Would it be too dangerous, too dirty or too evil if the child we were trying to rescue was your child? Probably not. Why is that? Why can people risk their lives for their own child – but not for a child of God?
My friends, this is what’s wrong in Christianity today. We have no conception of what truly loving one another is all about. Love our enemies? Oh my. How can we love our enemies when we don’t know how to love each other? I see it in Churches all over the world. I see it in Ministries (Christian Ministries), fighting one another, jealous and envious of another’s success. Something is very wrong here my friends, and the only one who can fix it – is us. How can we make the world jealous of what we have – when we don’t a true understanding what we really do have?
We are allowing our enemy to destroy us… one Ministry, one Church, One Family, one Person and one Child at a time. We are fighting a giant and we need a better slingshot.
I’m going to engrave a name on my slingshot. I’m going to call it “love.” My friends, we cannot possibly love our enemies until we learn to love one another… unconditionally. That’s loving “because” – not “if.” Not if the other person says the right thing or does the right thing or dresses right or looks a certain way (or color), but simply loving each other “because” God told us to – and it’s the right thing to do. It’s what will make the world a better place… for all.
Got a giant in your life? Maybe your giant is called fear. Maybe it’s called prejudice or hate. Perhaps you call it something else. There are many names for a giant. Maybe we both need a better slingshot.
I wonder what would have happened with David, if there were 1,000 giants standing before him. Would the army behind him have taken up their slingshots? I don’t know. What I do know is the giant that stands before me is not alone. There are literally hundreds of thousands of brothel owners, pimps, pedophiles and abusers of children in our world today. We MUST fight this battle together. Sorry David, but this one is going to take more than a slingshot and more than one man.
As David relied on his faith in God, so do I. I know He has called me to fight this evil. I cannot believe He has not called each one of you to do the same. I challenge you to fight with me. I’ll even provide the slingshot. Let’s add a word to love and call it JOY – because the JOY of the Lord is our strength. And as we stand strong – together – we can win this fight and end this evil.
I know you would do anything to rescue your child – what will you do to rescue God’s child?
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you…” – Jeremiah 1:5
“So long as little children are allowed to suffer, there is no true love in this world.” – Isodore Duncan
I call child prostitution a paradox because to use this term is absurd. I believe in most cases, prostitution is a choice. That is not the case with children who are sexually exploited. Every child I have ever found who was in the child sex trade was there because they were either kidnapped or sold and forced into a life that was not their choice. How can anyone call a child from the age of 4 to 12 a prostitute? Children who are sexually exploited for financial gain by the most evil, vile human beings on earth – are slaves. They are used for two reasons: 1. To satisfy the sick desires of the most despicable men on earth and 2. To give financial gain to people with no conscience or compassion whatsoever.
I have met many young women through the years who were rescued from their life of terror. I have yet to meet one who has said it was their choice to go into the sex trade and service 10-15 men a day for almost nothing, enduring beatings, starvation, being drug induced and forced into sex or rape… sometimes violent rape. The beatings would happen whenever the girls did not perform to the satisfaction of the client.
What has happened in our world? Shouldn’t we be progressing as a civilized society? We are surely progressing in the area of technology, but as a civilization – we are failing socially. This is one of the fastest growing industries in the world today. A multi-billion dollar enterprise. If we were progressing as a society should be in the arena of social behavior, shouldn’t this be decreasing? Shouldn’t the demand be declining? How can we (who are civilized) allow this evil to happen? And it is happening throughout the world at an alarming rate. There are currently more than 2 million child sex slaves. How is that possible? How can any nation turn a blind eye to this crime against innocent children? As I write this, my heart is breaking with the knowledge that right now – somewhere in our world – there are children being used in a way that is simply unspeakable because of how evil, dark, dirty and heinous a crime is being perpetrated against them.
English Philosopher Sir Edmund Burke once said:
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” It was true when he said this in the 1700’s and it is true today.
Albert Einstein, (one of the greatest minds in modern society) said:
“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”
One voice cannot do much. I’m reminded of the beloved classic Dr. Seuss story; “Horton Hears a Who.” One voice did nothing, but when the entire city of Whoville joined together… their society was saved.
One voice can scream about this injustice until his voice becomes nothing more than a whisper. Few will hear him. It’s going to take each one of us who see this injustice for what it is for something to change, and to make a difference in the life of that young girl who will cry herself to sleep tonight. No matter who you are, no matter what country you live in, no matter what language you speak, we must cry out in unison to end this evil against our children. We must band together.
Will you join me? Alone I can do very little, but screaming together about this injustice we can change the world for many children who are desperately crying for help.
Will you be one of those who “do nothing”? Will you be one who doesn’t “do anything about it?” Or will you live the following by Mahatma Gandhi – one of the world’s most humble men?
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
Throughout my life I have had experiences that most will never have. Riding a bicycle across America, walking across Death Valley, traveling to more than 40 nations, seeing and hearing things in the supernatural (that I simply cannot share) and many, many other incredible experiences. Many friends have asked me to put them in a book. Maybe one day.
Some of the experiences I had caused me some fear, but not like tonight. What I experienced tonight caused me to have fear that I didn’t know existed.
Today was a myriad of emotions for me. I knew I was going out with two Khmer men who were going to take me to the seedier side of the sex trade. The day actually started out with a beautiful walk through the streets of Phnom Penh where I finally got my first great cup of coffee here. So my day began with joy. Lunchtime was a wonderful 3 hour meeting with one of the most extraordinary women I have ever met. Lida goes to the bars and places where young girls sell themselves and gives them an opportunity to escape their lifestyle and helps bring them to an understanding that they can get their dignity restored. I was blessed and grateful God brought Lida into my life and our ministry as a partner. I was elated with her stories of success. When she ordered an appetizer of Crispy Tarantulas with Spicy Chili Sauce, I had a sense of wonder and “uh-oh” – but I (gulp) did it. I ate the whole enchilada… oops… I mean Tarantula… the body, the head and each hairy leg.
I then went with Lida to a Christmas Show where many of the NGO’s here who are working in the rescue of trafficked women, girls and boys sold the many items that they make to help support them with a trade. It was fabulous seeing the many items. I’ll try and have a short clip on our YouTube site so you can see some of the incredible things they make.
I went back to the hotel for about an hour’s nap and then the sun went down. Tonight would bring the worst fear I have ever experienced. When “V” and “M” picked me up, I was not prepared for what they were about to share. Here’s just part of the conversation: “Jeff, we will go to the village outside of Phnom Penh tonight.” We will be meeting with “D”. He is a former Pimp who now works with _______. We have found out today that there are very young girls available.” I asked V, “How young?” When he answered “As young as 4, 5, 6 or 7” it tore at the depths of my heart. He said, “These girls are only available for oral sex, but you can find them.”
I became nauseous. When we picked up “D” he directed us where to drive. He said because they were with me we would not be able to see any of the girls, but he then went on to share in detail what I could do, if I was serious about finding them. He said it can be very dangerous and you must go through a certain “protocol” before you would get to even see a girl. He did say that they would show me pictures and I could choose. As we were driving I had out my video camera and when we approached a certain area I was instructed to turn it off immediately.
It was from the tone and how it was said that caused me the fear I mentioned.
My friends, yes, there are young girls being used in this most despicable, monstrous, atrocious way… to service the vilest men on our earth today.
The night ended with this: “Jeff, if you are serious about finding these children, we can arrange something, but we cannot take you. You must go alone or it will not happen. You would be on your own.
As my mind raced and I was experiencing emotions that caused incredible pain and grief, all I could think of was tonight there were young children somewhere close by that I could not get to and whose precious lives were still going to suffer horrible abuse. It broke my heart.
God help me. Give me strength. Give me wisdom. Give me clear understanding. Give me guidance and direction. I’ll do anything Lord… if just to rescue one of your children, one of your creation from this nightmare.
“No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his well-being, to risk his body, to risk his life, in a great cause.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)
I’m not talking about your own, or a baby or a child. I’m talking about humbling yourself and washing the feet of another person, even someone you may not know. I have. During my years as Snuggles, The Love Clown, I designed a service where I washed the feet of many. Too many to count. I can assure you, it is very humbling, but a sincere blessing.
Today is Day 116 of my one year journey of not wearing shoes. I’m wearing just sandals or going barefoot for one full year. After 116 days of this, I’ve learned a valuable lesson: When you don’t have shoes and socks on, you’re feet get dirty real fast. As a result, I find myself washing my feet much more often than I ever did. Sometimes twice a day.
Researching the time (during the Passover) when Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, I’ve been amazed at all the different analysis and philosophies about the foot-washing service. I’m a believer in the KISS principle – Keep It Short & Simple. When Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, I see it as most do… an act of servanthood. After all, Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. To symbolically show He was a servant of all. Sure, there are valuable lessons to be learned here, but that would take a little book! I’ll just stick with the KISS version.
Thinking about that time in history, I’ve come to realize the significance of that event in a way I never saw before. If my feet get dirty faster, how dirty were the feet of those living a few thousand years ago? No shoes, no socks, no sidewalks or paved streets. No carpeting or wooden floors in the home. Just dirt – in the streets and in the home. Man, I’ll bet everyone had some dirty feet! During that time, when people came to a home after walking around, it was actually customary to have a bowl of water and a towel for people to wash up and rinse off their feet. I’m sure it became standard operating procedure. I’ve seen many children who literally live in garbage dumps. They are usually all barefoot. Sometimes, one of them might have a pair of worn out sandals. Thinking about them walking in the dirt and garbage, helped me remember what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.
The reason I chose to wear sandals or go barefoot for a year, was as a show of solidarity and in an anomalous way to help me identify with the children we are trying to set free. Although our first goal is the freedom of a child who is being held as a slave (a servant, if you will), our ultimate goal is to see each child go from a life of horror, a life of hopelessness – into a life of JOY.
What matters most, is that people just like you get a greater understanding of not what I’m doing – but why I’m doing it. If you come to a deeper understanding of what I am trying to accomplish, and you are motivated to action in helping us in our rescue efforts – then it will have been worth each day of being barefoot to me. Especially if the end result is another child being rescued.
When there was a servant in the home, they would typically be the one who was instructed to wash the feet of a guest. Jesus is The King of Kings and yet he humbled himself and became a servant to not only wash the feet of his disciples – but to ultimately set the captives free. That’s what I believe God has called each of us to do in setting free children who are being held captive – as sex slaves.
Many people have asked what they can do to help me. Because of so many requests, I’ve set up a program where you can do a simple sponsorship right from your phone. If you just gave 10¢ a day for one year, it would come out to about $3 per month. Of course, you’re welcome to do more – but just a dime a day is all I ask and would be a blessing. You would be amazed at how much that can help. It’s less than 1 Starbucks – a month. A dollar a day would just be $36 per month. If you are interested in being a sponsor – you can go here: www.firstgiving.com/jeffbrodsky ~
When I first started this barefoot challenge, I did not do so to raise funds… just awareness. I’ve created the fundraising page from the suggestion and request of others. No matter what you decide, if you’ve been challenged to get involved and share the plight of this atrocity with others – it will be worth every minute. If you want to help in other ways, we have a team at JOY who will be more than happy to show you what you can do. Alone I can do something, but together we can accomplish miracles.
Be blessed my friends… and be a blessing,
“One hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove… but the world may be a better place because I was important in the life of a child.”