I was delighted to be invited to be a guest on the Faith and Feminism Podcast. Meghan and I had a wonderful conversation exploring the reality of Patriarchy and Colonialism in Western missions work. I deeply believe that things can be done better and offered my perspective on how that is possible. You can listen to our conversation here.
I was told that being a woman meant that I was supposed to know my place and allow a man to protect me. I was to go second, a step behind him, into the adventure God was calling him to. My role was to submit, to support, and to follow. That didn’t work out so well.
Sometimes I cry for them on my way home for work because there is simply nothing else to do but hold the stories they’ve shared and grieve for what they’ve endured and the injustice of it all. They are worth crying for when their own tears have long since given way to the shrug of acceptance. I also cry for how brave they are – how they continue to get back on their feet setback after setback, under the weight of pressures that would incapacitate me.
I have my own #MeToo stories and #ChurchToo stories. Yet, I also have #MissionsToo stories and they have yet to be given space in these movements.
my counselor casually mentioned how my family had been scapegoated in the missions community. After she said that I spent several weeks reading about scapegoating and trying to decide if she was right. I think she was,
If God’s desire is that men lead unilaterally over women, yet over and over in Scripture there are situations in which women are in authority over men, God is incompetent… or else this is how God wants it to be.
Sometimes people ask what it is like spending time in brothels with trafficking victims when I am powerless to do anything about it. This is it. It feels like a choice to love and a choice to give whatever I do have, even if it is only an offer to walk through the valley of the shadows alongside. I do it because the women and girls that I encounter are worthy of being loved. They are worth crying for when things do not turn out like I wanted.
Everything her traffickers did for her, providing food, clothing, and the bed she slept on or paying for her bus ticket to Bali, became a debt. And until she pays it off she cannot not leave the brothel premises. She hasn’t been outside the gate in four months.