Recently, I took a team of people to Uganda to visit Kingdom Home, a collection of safe homes my wife and I opened for children at risk of entering the sex trade. During the trip, we visited all four homes, spending a day at each. We then went to the new land where we’ll be building more homes. Here, we circled the land, praying over it. We each took a rock, wrote Scripture on it, and then put it somewhere on the land. This will be the foundation these homes are built upon — God’s Word. This was symbolic of when Jesus told Peter in Matthew 16:18, “On this rock I will build My Church.”
Our team included board members, supporters and one of my teammates. When a teammate of mine approached me last fall and asked if he could join us on the trip, I asked him why he wanted to. “I really feel called to go. I’ve turned down God’s calling before and I don’t want to do that again.” Never having been out of the country, his experience gave him a whole new perspective.
Watching my teammate’s eyes opened to the whole new reality that these children experience, I was reminded of the first time I traveled outside of America to the Dominican Republic. I remember my own eyes being opened. What stood out to me was the incredible joy that I saw there, among those who knew so much poverty. I realized then that joy is found everywhere. It has nothing to do with one’s situation or how much stuff they have. God’s love is everywhere.
Years later, I went on a trip to Thailand to see the red-light district. Seeing women and children being advertised for the sex trade in broad daylight was astonishing to me. I thought, “This is so crazy that this is happening right here!” But it happens everywhere. It’s just that in most places, it’s in the dark. I had no words for it.
In Thailand, we saw children being sold on the streets. We also went to the villages from which the traders found the kids, and villages where children were playing and living as they should be. Seeing the full spectrum of it all — the darkness of the red-light district, the desperation of a family in need, and children living as God intended them to — I was moved. I knew something had to be done and thought, “How can we make it so that no child has to go through the tragedies of the sex trade?”
God has given me a passion and equipped me for what I’m supposed to do. I never want my kids, nor any other child, to experience something as evil as this. Now that our eyes are opened, we will do all we can to make sure this doesn’t happen.
— Matthew Boyd, Detroit Tigers pitcher
Matthew Boyd is a regular contributor to The Increase and provides monthly articles and opinions. Check out Matthew’s Increase profile here: https://theincrease.com/author/matthew-boyd/
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