Pastor responds to human trafficking in Southeast Asia

By May 22, 2017

Southeast Asia (MNN) – As Christians, we are called not just to spread the Gospel, but to care for the vulnerable as well. And sometimes, that requires us to confront uncomfortable situations.

Rev. Adrian De Visser (Photo courtesy of Asian Access)

That’s something Adrian De Visser, a pastor from Sri Lanka and partner with Asian Access, says Christians often have a hard time accepting. On a trip to Cambodia, De Visser says he witnessed women, including young girls, being sold for sex. He says the Church must be willing to confront these types of issues, not turn a blind eye to them.

“I had to take some of the pastors over there, because you know, in Asian cultures we are very shamed-based, so people are ashamed to even admit what happens in our part of the world,” De Visser says. “But for me, it is a sin of my nation, and I need to address that. It took a lot of teaching, debating, to get them on board to realize that this is a problem the Church must address.”

De Visser has taken it upon himself to respond to this issue. He is partnering with a local pastor in Cambodia and the surrounding community to build homes for girls rescued from human trafficking. They plan to help send the girls back to school and provide them with a sustainable means of income.

“I think I have just opened a can of worms,” De Visser says. “I don’t know where this will end. I have done this in Sri Lanka. We have children’s homes, we have centers for young ladies who have lost their husbands. To me, a very integral part of Christianity is to love and to care. And who else can love a vulnerable girl than a man and a woman who has been touched by the love of God?”

De Visser says he hopes Christians in North America recognize the severity of these types of issues and begin to grapple with them. The future of the Church, he says, depends on its dedication to the poor and hurting.

(Image by Asian Access)

“I’m concerned for the Church in North America,” De Visser says. “The younger generation, they’re looking for a different form of Christianity. Young people are postmodernists, and they’re also living in a post-Christian era. My interaction with the young community in the U.S., they’re looking for tight communities, they’re looking for causes to be involved in.

“I feel if the Church can open the doors for causes and the young people to champion these causes, we might retain the young people in the Church.”

Asian Access is dedicated to identifying and raising up leaders in Asia to serve their home country for Christ. You can learn more about this ministry by clicking here and can find ways to pray, serve, and go here.

8 Comments

  • I would agree with that. Young people, in particular, need a challenge. So much has been taken away from them, and when one takes something away, it must be replaced with something else. Better!!!

  • Jim Laird says:

    I’ve been with Pastor de Visser to Cambodia, Thailand, and to Sri Lanka many times. He truly has a heart for the vulnerable and abused in Asian society. I trust his work and as an American I believe he is bridge builder for Christian Asians and Christian Americans to actively the help women taken into the sex trade.

    • Jim,

      Amen! I agree… both Adrian and Ophelia De Visser are extraordinary models of Christ’s love. They challenge believers (and the Church) to embrace the whole Gospel and live it out.

  • Your Name says:

    Rev. De Visser I agree wit you but if we were really honest this type of abuse is happening all over the world. I am in a rural area of Georgia and I would say more young women in the south have been grabbed and used in human trafficking. It is really horrible that i find as an older woman men tending to do this as well.

    • Sadly, this is the result of sin, which is the human condition. The ravages of sin are everywhere; sin knows no bounds. But wherever the Church is and wherever believers are, we can be part of extending the Kingdom of God—the reign of Christ—into individual lives, regardless of where those people are geographically located. Rev. De Visser lives in Asia, so that is where he is making a difference. You are in Georgia, making a difference. Bless you! Let’s continue to pray for the Church to be salt and light all over. Thank you so much for your comment.

  • Jo Dawkins says:

    I agree we tend to look the other way when we see prostitution but never really understand the depth of what these women have gone through. I post the missing and I find that in the south more times than not young women in the United States have been grabbed for the purpose of human trafficking.

    • Yes, Jo, all too often we are like the Levite, who looks the other way instead of seeing the injustices and the hurting people on life’s road. Indeed, compassion starts with seeing. Jesus looked upon the sheep without a shepherd, and he had compassion on them. Thank you for your concern and burden for the downtrodden and exploited. Thank you for being a good Samaritan. Blessings on you!

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