That moment when your world is wrecked

Dylan and the KidsOne thing that I am almost certain is a part of every mission’s trip is a moment that completely wrecks your world. In the past few weeks, I have seen a lot of things that I have never seen before and heard a lot of stories that I can’t imagine ever going through. Each and every experience deepened my burden and love for Kenya and the beautiful people that live here. It wasn’t until two nights ago; though, that I really had that wreck your world moment.

It was the night that the three-week group was flying out of Nairobi to head back to America. We had dropped them off at the airport and were driving back to Naomi’s Village, which is where we have been staying for most of our time here. There is one main highway in Kenya, and that highway is the one that we were traveling on to get back to Naomi’s Village. Right before we get there, we pass through a little town called Maai-Mahiu. That stretch of highway has overtime become known as “HIV Highway.” Basically what happens is the street is lined with prostitutes at night, and truckers driving through will stop there and pick up a prostitute for the night, before continuing on their way. At night, that road is lined with 18-wheeler after 18-wheeler, and the reason that they are stopped can be quickly determined. So during my time here, I have heard many stories about that highway and how truckers will buy a hotel room for the night, but if they don’t have enough money, they will just spend the night under the truck with the prostitute. Hearing stories like that broke my heart, but I hadn’t even experienced the worst of it yet.

It was around 10:30pm when we were driving through Maai-Mahiu, and the edges of the highway were lined with trucks. We looked out the window in awe, because seeing all of that made the stories more real. But now, the wreck your world moment for me comes in. Underneath one of the 18-wheelers pulled over on the left side of the road was a trucker and a prostitute with what looked like to be some sort of blanket. In that moment, I felt more anger and sorrow than I have felt in a long time. Actually seeing that situation puts all the stories into a greater perspective. I immediately saw that and thought to myself, “that is someone’s daughter, sister and friend.” It completely broke me. At Passion, I learned that there are over 72 million people in the world today involved in sex trafficking. Seeing one of the women that is included in that 72 million makes that number so much more than a statistic. Imagining the hurt and hopelessness she feels made it nearly impossible for me to fall asleep that night. Seeing something like that is by far the hardest thing that I have ever seen.

It is easy for me to question why her, why does she have to suffer like that, why does she have to feel that depravity, why is the devil feeding her these lies that prostitution is her only hope? My mind is immediately drawn to the story of the blind man in John 9. This is a story that our group as a whole has talked about a lot throughout our time in Africa. The story begins with the disciples asking Jesus who sinned that caused the man to be born blind. Jesus answers in verse 3 by saying, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” That woman is not being punished by God, but God, in His sovereignty, will get glory even out of situations like that. It is heartbreaking and world wrecking to see circumstances like I saw two nights ago. Even in circumstances that seem so hopeless, so much hope can be found by focusing on the Lord and knowing that He gets glory and His work is displayed in good times, as well as in bad times. I don’t know what the future holds for that woman that I saw, but what I do know is that she is created and loved by the Creator of the Universe. My prayer is that people will be placed in her life that will draw her to the Lord and show her that even though now she thinks she has no sense of hope in her life, that there is hope that is found only through the Lord. And that hope is so fulfilling and satisfying.

Dylan Caulder


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