Sunday, June 21, 2009

New Intern

Welcome to Danna Neito. Danna is a graduate of Oklahoma Christian University who has raised support to come to Agape and work with Lori as a Women's Ministry intern. She is fully supported by our supporting church, the Park Plaza Church of Christ in Tulsa. She has already hit the ground running and is going with Lori on studies and meetings. She will also be part of our human trafficking ministry at Agape as well. We have about 12 people in this ministry who are wanting to focus both internationally and locally. Danna will be meeting with local agencies to support their prostitution and trafficking task forces. We've already met some of the leaders in the Portland community and are excited about what the team will do. She will help facilitate the team and empower them to lead and serve in these areas.

Our last intern, James and Andrea Wood, have accepted a preaching position at the Big Sky Church in Montana. He leaves a hole in our small group ministry leadership that I will have to fill myself for the summer. However, it is always good to have people come and lead ministries, and move on to continue the work in God's kingdom.

The same Sunday that we prayed for Danna, Agape collected over $350 to help a woman leave prostitution. We worked with the Oregon DA's office to help her. It was a pretty exciting day. We have come to realize that those in prostitution rarely choose this profession. They also make little money. The pimps are the ones who get rich.
My next major study will be on prostitution in the ancient world. I am beginning to wonder why the sacred text, and God, use "whore" or zonah as a shame word, when today it suggests slavery, not a choice to do evil. I am looking forward to wrestling with God in this. Should we use this word, even in the Bible, if we have women escaping this lifestyle who come to church and want to be loved, encouraged, and empowered? How insensitive we can be when we call someone a "whore" because of their actions when the very term today describes an underaged female who is being extorted.
We'll see. However, my faith will be strengthened through this journey.

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