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.
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.
“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.