Through the last month, I have been reading Christine Cain’s book Undaunted. It has been a book I wish I could have read when I was in my early 20’s because of how powerful it has been to me. Christine is an Australian who has traveled the world speaking to various groups and her heart is to reach those who have been victims of human trafficking, or sex trafficking. Her and her husband started the organization A21 Campaign to help expose the problem of human trafficking and eventually and hopefully bring it to an end. The fact that it is even a problem in this world today tells an even bigger story of the depravity of humanity.
When you think of human trafficking, what first comes to mind is slavery and dealing with older people. However, the problem does not just involve older people, it involves people of all ages. The even more unfortunate part of human trafficking is the fact the biggest targets for those in human trafficking are little children through teenagers. When I say children, just being open and honest here of the severity of the problem, it can mean kids as young as infants. Let that sink in for a second. Romans 1:30 speaks of how humans can be “inventors of evil.” Little kids are taken from their homes and beaten and abused by others for their own pleasure and profit. How has the human race become so depraved as to actually do something so hideous and horrible? This breaks my heart even more now that I have an almost 3 year old daughter at home. Unfortunately, it does not break my heart like it should and as it no doubt breaks the heart of God.
Christine shares personal stories of how God brought her to the place of giving all she has to this cause and how He helped her overcome fears and feelings of inadequacy to actually begin doing something. She shared a powerful story of how her, her husband and a couple friends were lost in the Australian wilderness overnight and most of a day. Nick, Christine’s husband, left the other 3 to go try to find help and was gone for a number of hours before finally finding civilization and a helicopter to go back in and rescue the others. When she heard the helicopter, she say that God clearly spoke to her in a way that she has never forgotten. She remembers that when she first saw it, her thoughts were “We’re saved. We’re saved.” She shares what God spoke to her heart that day:
“Yes, Christine, you are saved. Remember what it is to be saved. Remember what it is to be lost. Remember the darkness and the difference between feeling carefree one morning and by evening sad and scared and sorry for being careless. Remember that I am here. Remember that I want to save every soul. And remember what it is to be unable on your own ability to get out of the dark. “
Too often, once we are saved, it is easy to forget what it is like to be lost, or caught in darkness. We forget what it is like to be scared and without hope. We do not like to think that there are people out there who have no hope unless we as Christ’s followers stand up and do something. We believe that since we are able to “pull ourselves up by our bootstraps” then these people should be able to also. But that just reveals how uninformed we are.
One of the most powerful stories she shares is when her and Nick took one of their daughters to get a flashlight at Wal-Mart. After picking one out, they gave it to her and she turned it on and because of how bright the store was, she could not truly see the flashlight working. So she asked them “Can we please go find some darkness.” This little girl spoke mountains of truth into their lives through that statement and even as I sit here thinking about it, is that my mindset? Do I realize that Christ in me is a light and through me, God wants to shine a light into the darkness all around me? Do I really want to seek out darkness so Christ can truly shine? Or am I content with being in so much light that I forget about the darkness all around me? Or, am I fearful of what it might mean to my life?
I have to admit, I have many fears in my life and many times, I find myself being more driven by them than by my faith in God. It’s amazing that even those of us who claim to have faith in the almighty, powerful God who saved us from death and darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son can still be driven by fear. Christine’s book truly challenges you to live undaunted in the world around us. We need to stop living so blindly and allow our eyes to be opened to the world around us, the hurt, the pain, the darkness; and then we need to run towards it because we have the light. We have the answer; we have God’s Spirit inside of us and His mission to make disciples as we are living this life. We are to be carriers of justice and hope and peace in this world. But we cannot do that while waiting for them to come to us. We need to go to them.
One final story for this post comes when Christine was able to meet face to face with some girls who had been trafficked. After talking with them for a while one of the girls asked why she was there. She was able to share with them the gospel and why she had come. The girl’s response was this:
“If what you are telling me is true,” she yelled, “if what you say about your God is true – then where were you? Where have you been? Why didn’t you come sooner?”
I cannot imagine the feeling in that room at that moment. But I can understand her question. God tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. If something were to happen to someone in your family or in mine, wouldn’t you stop everything and help them or search for them if they were lost? If something were to happen to my family, I would give up everything to search for them and would not stop until they were found. If that is the case, if we say we love God, how can we sit by and do nothing when those around us, those God calls our neighbors, are hurting and lost? This just makes me think even more about the part where they were lost in the wilderness and God told her to remember what it was like to be lost.
If we as Christians have this light to shine in the darkness, how can we just sit back and be ok with what is happening in the world around us? If you were sitting face to face with someone who had been trafficked, what would you say to them if they asked you why you didn’t come sooner? How would you respond? At that time, I really believe your life would be put in perspective and what you spent your time doing would be shown their true importance. Unfortunately, we are so easily distracted. I can honestly say this book has truly helped open my eyes and challenged me to not let fear drive me. I have God’s Spirit in my life and a mission from Him that He wants me to accomplish. And because of that, I can live undaunted. Because of the Gospel at work in my life, I can live without fear because the Gospel changes everything.
Before I close, I want to share a couple quotes that stood out to me:
“He does not ask, Are you capable? He asks are you willing?”
“The oppressed do not see too much difference between those who would keep them down and those who do nothing to help. There is no in-between.”
“Saving costs something. Rescuing risks everything.”
“When you’re not lost – when you’re safe – it’s hard to understand the urgency of needing to be found, needing to be rescued.”
If you are not sure where to begin, you can start by checking out organizations such as International Justice Mission, A21 Campaign, Freedom 4/24, End It Movement, Do Something Now, Liveyourdream.org and Polaris project. These are a few to start with but there are so many more out there working to the same end.
2 Timothy 1:7 says “for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and sound judgment.” Let’s live that way and run towards the darkness with the light that we have. Thank you for taking the time to read this review. If you want a challenge, please go out and pick up the book, it will definitely challenge and change you.
In compliance with regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, I received a complimentary copy of by Zondervan in exchange for this review.