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How do you debrief someone who has witnessed atrocities?

Today, Karen and I are leaving for Thailand. We leave the country tonight, so please pray that we would get plenty of rest on the plane and hit the ground running. We’re going to debrief the World Racers from the emotional and spiritual battles that have been waged over young girls captive to the…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Today, Karen and I are leaving for Thailand. We leave the country tonight, so please pray that we would get plenty of rest on the plane and hit the ground running. We’re going to debrief the World Racers from the emotional and spiritual battles that have been waged over young girls captive to the sex slave industry. I will be hearing many stories like this one below from Mallorie Miller. The names have been changed to protect these girls:

I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning.

I can’t do this.
I just

can’t do this.

I spent the morning emotional and angry, rethinking the night before.
hate working here [at the bar]. I have to go with every man that calls
for me. But my parents are sick and I need to pay the doctors…” I had received word
that thirteen-year-old Erica, who had been brought out of the bar
life, had run away from the safehouse the night before.

On the streets,
she was attacked, beaten, and raped. She is back at the safehouse, more
broken and ashamed than ever…

We had walked around a hotel lobby known
for having trafficked women available to rent. The lobby was teeming
with men.

They stared at me, asking with their eyes, “Are you for sale?” I wanted to throw up on the marble tile. I watched the women.

What are your stories? What horrors have you known? How did you end up here, and what is the fear that holds you captive?

I paced my room at the base. My mind was racing; my spirit was restless. I just wanted to

something! I searched the room for something to throw against the wall,
and then my spirit found the prayer to express the desperation. I paced my room at the break. I needed to break something.

TO BREAK SOMETHING! My God! Mighty Rescuer! Break something in the
spiritual realm. Something has to change! All I know at the core of my
being is that it can’t stay like this! This kingdom cannot stand!

I want to tell
these girls that You are going to rescue them.

“Save them from violent
men. Reach down from on high and take hold of them; draw them out of
deep waters.” But are You?!? Are You going to rescue them?

systematic oppression is relentless, and the darkness is overwhelming.
My spirit can’t breathe. I know you hate this more than I do, so what
do You want to do about it? I don’t see You here. I can’t see anything!

Then it hit me. I saw myself
standing on the sea in the middle of a raging storm. My head was
spinning. The wind was whipping me back and forth, and the waves were
looming over my head. I was sinking.

And then I saw Your hand. Reaching out to me. I heard the gentle, loving whisper:

My love, why so little faith?

Now, faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Lord, help me. Help me to hope. Help me to be certain of You. This afternoon, I stood on the rooftop and screamed, “My God! Come down here! We need You here! Bring Your Kingdom to this place!” Then the still, small voice spoke to me:

My Kingdom is in you.

Rob Bell says in

Velvet Elvis, “Why blame the dark for being dark? It is far more helpful to ask why the light isn’t as bright as it could be.”

Could it be that when we’re waiting on God to do something, He’s waiting on us? Can you

hear Him?

spirit lives in you. I have given you prophecy. Now go unlock those
girls. I have given you discernment. Now follow me into the storm. I am
the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Now go breathe life into the dead. I
AM love. Reveal me. I am giving you faith. Now, come…

Walk on water.

Comments (3)

  • Knowing that my daughter will be leaving Africa for Thialand soon, I have been struggling for several weeks with the blogs from the Racers in Thailand. I have found it easy to focus on the earthly and be overwhelmed by the Spiritual battle that Thailand presents. By God’s devine province, this week I have been studying in II Kings 22 and 23 about Josiah, who was presented with an overwhelming Spiritual battle. Of course God, as He always is, was faithful. Thus, God was started to give me a vision and excitement for what God has for my daughter. I am now praying expecting God to do the miraculous in Thialand.

  • Great blog.The problem of sexual abuse is far reaching.It’s not just in Thailand it’s prevalence is known and felt all over the world.It’s not only violent men it’s violent women.It’s about people who don’t have the courage to deal with what is stirring inside of them.It is taboo to talk about peopheliac thoughts.Yet if we don’t create a safe place for people to talk about thier struggles how can we expect them to do anything but fail.Christ came to heal the sick.Is this not one of the great sicknesses of humanity?Do we care enough to make a difference?Or do we shut people down when they start to open up?How do we treat others after they expose the darkness of thier lives?This problem will not just go away.The LORD uses people(his body)to do battle here!!!Whats he telling you to do?

  • Seth, you ask a very important question: how do you debrief people who have witnessed atrocities?? We need to model Jesus Christ. He laid down His best gifts to walk beside the suffering and to minister to their needs. Our faith, Christianity, is the only one which goes after lost things/people. So we seek out those who are lost in the seas of emotions and provide ballast for them, as is given to us by the Spirit of God.

    We validate their feelings as Jesus did, and as King David expressed himself openly to God. That is, we are willing to hear the agonies and angst of our brothers and sisters, and go with them upon this bridge of brokenness together, to the Cross.

    We listen. We love. We comfort them with the same comfort (from God) with which we have been comforted. We cry with them for themselves and for those for whom THEY cry.

    Jesus wept. In the scriptures, there are 2 Greek words used. One is for quiet weeping, and the other connoted convulsive crying.

    We frame their experiences both around the life of Christ and His redemption, and the Word of God. We stay with them as they traverse the memories of atrocities, until they begin to walk in wholeness. We ask God what we can learn from those who suffer in the first person, and from those who suffer for the suffering. To walk with another who is hurting is to lay down our “rights”, “liberties of the world”, and time tables. It is not a fast food experience. We model the eternal One who laid down His life for us.

    God always works on the 360. There is Holy Spirit food for us in this as well. We don’t bring formulas or platitudes, or even our plans for how the suffering experience God’s care and hope. Rather, we go together to the Father, and often asking on the other’s behalf as they frequently are so spent that they cannot intercede for themselves. And we listen for God to speak through His “Ruah”, in how He desires that brother or sister to be cared for in His Name. And we praise Him in advance, and with each step taken down Redemption Road.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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