Illegally crossing the border on a moonless night with only what she could carry on her back, she ran for her life. Many things were left behind including a crying two year old son. She quickly integrated into her new culture. She went to work in a factory. She was safe but nothing could comfort the ache she felt for the child she left behind. Hope came dressed in black. A man offered to bring her son to her. For a small fee, of course, the child could find his way “safely” again into her arms. Though, her heart warned against trust, temptation won the day. The man kept his end of the bargain and two weeks later a two year old boy-child was again in the familiar embrace of his mother. But then, the “too good to be true,” became a living nightmare. The agreed upon fee was doubled, tripled, interest was added and then multiplied. An ultimatum was given and the mother faced an unthinkable choice. In three weeks the debt would be paid, one way or another. On the last day of December either she had to pay the debt in full ($267.00 USD), or she would be taken to work off the debt in a brothel, or she would have to surrender her child to the slave traders. She had no way out, no money to pay her debt and nowhere to go. It was in this place that God decided to intervene.
Compass 31 has many goals and objectives, but they can all be summed up in our desire that God be glorified by captives finding freedom in Christ. When we heard of this woman’s situation we were moved to tears and we were driven to our knees on her behalf. While wrestling with the right thing to do here in Thailand, God raised up some modern day abolitionist half way around the globe. From the safety of their suburban homes, with passion for justice burning hotly within them, they raised the money to ransom this woman and her son. But the one email, the one announcement and the many prayers resulted in more than just physical freedom. God did what only God can do. Our project administrator, armed with prayer and money in hand, went to meet the woman and her son. She explained to the woman that there is a Most High God, One True God and that He cares deeply for her. She explained that the Most High God had provided for her debt to be paid and gave her the money that would pay for her and her son’s freedom. But that was only the beginning of their hour long discussion. Our administrator was able to use the woman’s experience to help her understand that we are all held captive, living in darkness. She explained that we all have a debt that we cannot ever, ever repay but that the Most High God sent his one and only Son to walk on the earth, to suffer the same ways we suffer, to live a perfect life, to pay our debt…to buy our freedom. The light bulb went on…the woman’s heart cracked opened to faith…she understood. A foreign message in a foreign world often gets lost in translation. Unfortunately that is how the gospel is usually received in Thailand. But this, THIS was different…this was no foreign story…this was the woman’s own story. She knew her role and she knew God’s role. Our administrator, who has 12 years of ministry experience, said she had never, ever seen anyone respond to the gospel so openly the first time that they heard it. Make no mistakes about that God is determined to set the captives free. Despite the pervasive darkness, despite the struggle and the loss, God wins. He wins EVERY time…and every once in a while He lets us have ring side seats to the action.