Yesterday we hosted a friend, and visiting missionary, Kit Ripley for the day. Kit works with the New Life Center Foundation in Thailand – ministering to young girls and women 1 who have brought out of forced labor, sexual abuse, and human trafficking. It’s an amazing place, which we’re glad to support.
Kit preached at Central in the morning, and then again at IBC’s worship service 2. Her message was based off of Psalm 107:1-9, which formed a vivid picture of both her work in Thailand and life here in the United States. These verses formed the focus for her message.
Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story—
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those he gathered from the lands,
from east and west, from north and south.
Some wandered in desert wastelands,
finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungry and thirsty,
and their lives ebbed away.
Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
It’s a powerful picture, which brings forward a sense of what it is to be dispossessed — to be exiled and lost with no hope of safety. It’s a message which resonates today. It resonates for all those lost in the limbo of refugee camps. It resonates for undocumented immigrants, who have become the paper villains in a false narrative. It resonates for those who have been stolen from their lives and forced to exist as sex workers. It resonates for communities longing for justice, but feel abandoned by government institutions. It resonates along the Texas coast, where the floodwaters continue to rise.
It resonated Sunday evening with a group of Brazilian immigrants, who nodded and said, “We often feel like exiles here.” These Brazilian brothers and sisters, who feel like exiles in a strange land, took an offering to help girls on the other side of the world — girls who had been lost but have now been found, and given a space where they can grow and learn and live.
With so many needs in the world, we can’t do everything. But the one thing we must never do is nothing.