last night, during our fellowship gathering, we had special guests with us. a friend of communality's brought two women who are currently touring the u.s. sharing about their incredible ministries. one woman is from thailand. she helps care for and educate children of prostitutes and literally saves children from falling into that horrific trade. a story of her ministry - garden of hope - was featured as a cover article for this christianity today article earlier this year. the other woman is from burma. she and a team of other women live on the border of burma and thailand and they save women who have been traded across the border as sex slaves. they risk their lives every day for the sake of these forsaken women and sometimes they actually "buy back" their lives - the very work of the cross. the stories they shared were devastating and glorious - the testimonies of god's redemptive work in the darkest places. while listening to them, we were moved and blessed and unfortunately, deeply ashamed because this sex trade is funded predominantly by westerners.
as we started our worship together, i read psalm 84. in this psalm are these verses:
"even the sparrow has found a home
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young -
a place near your alter, O lord almighty."
even the birds...