Written by Bridget Battistoni
on May 28, 2014
I imagine most of you who attended REST’s Sex Trafficking & the Gospel event this past weekend are still considering the powerful teachings presented. I am, too. In fact, I’ve spent the weekend pondering the sharp, yet truthful words shared by Reverend Eugene Cho, “We love justice until there’s a cost.”
Jesus’ words in the book of Luke come to mind, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost?” In this passage, Jesus is talking about the cost of following him as a disciple. He tells his followers the cost would be great. This great cost would be nothing less than death to self. Following Jesus requires him putting to death your old nature, along with its sinful desires and passions. To love what Jesus loves requires further cost. Jesus instructs his disciple Peter that loving him means loving his people. Upon hearing these words, no doubt Peter had Jesus’ gruesome and unjust death on the cross, which happened just days before, on his mind.
When Jesus counted the cost of redemption, he concluded that the hefty price, death on the cross, was his joy to pay. Because of his sacrifice, we can count our sacrifices as joy and love what He loves, like justice, in the same way. We may lose time, comfort and money, but we receive an inexplicable joy when we follow Christ. We can join the Apostle Paul in saying, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain,” because “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”
I had the privilege of seeing joyous sacrifice among the nearly 350 attendees of Friday night’s Sex Trafficking & the Gospel event. We want you to know that we consider each of you essential partners in our work. We appreciate your generous giving of time and money. Your generosity helped us raise more than $16,000 and allows REST to continue providing services to the most vulnerable in our city. You make providing pathways to freedom, safety and hope, for victims of sex trafficking and those exploited in the sex trade, possible.
A huge thank you to Ghost Ship, who led us in an incredible evening of worship; to Reverend Eugene Cho, who beautifully ushered in both the comfort and the call of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; to Dottie and Brett, who bravely shared their stories of sin, suffering and redemption, made possible only by Jesus; and to all our panelists – including Detective Brian Taylor, who not only fights for justice daily, but gave up his evening to include us in his work. Thank you! Thank you!
Thank you to each of you who attended to learn more and fight for a community free of sexual exploitation, and to all of you who texted in questions during our Q&A. We received so many great questions; we wish we could have answered them all. In the coming weeks, we’ll be texting you directly to answer your questions, and we encourage you to stay tuned for upcoming blogs that include answers.
Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to see what your sacrifices are making possible. If you have not joined our work, we invite you now to learn more and take action against the injustices happening in our city. We invite you to join REST and count the costs and sacrifices as joy.