Monday, January 30, 2012

A Bigger World

The Boy and The Starfish

One day, an old man was walking along the beach in the early morning and noticed the tide had washed thousands of starfish up on the shore. Up ahead in the distance he spotted a boy who appeared to be gathering up the starfish, and one by one tossing them back into the ocean.
He approached the boy and asked him why he spent so much energy doing what seemed to be a waste of time.

The boy replied, "If these starfish are left out here like this they will bake in the sun, and by this afternoon they will all be dead."

The old man gazed out as far as he could see and responded, "But, there must be hundreds of miles of beach and thousands of starfish. You can't possibly rescue all of them. What difference is throwing a few back going to make anyway?"

The boy then held up the starfish he had in his hand and replied, "It's sure going to make a lot of difference to this one!"
- Author unknown

Behind the beauty and allure that is such a vibrant and wonderful part of Costa Rica lies something sinister that's worth thinking on:

Did you know that the sex trade is rampant here in Costa Rica, specifically in San Jose? Not only is it rampant, it's also legal. Take a drive to the Children's Museum here in the capital city of Costa Rica, and you find yourself in the direct vicinity of the red light district, complete with brothels advertising their trade (trust me, trying to explain to your kids why they have to close their eyes as they near the CHILDREN'S museum is not easy task, but I diverge).

Even more disturbing? Costa Rica is known as a tourist hot spot for sex with underage girls as well. Sick, right? Have I gotten your attention?

Those facts, in and among themselves, are enough to call me to action even thought they are just a scratching-of-the-surface regarding this issue.But then...then there was a book. Little did I know that being loaned to me, by a fellow missionary/language school student, was a stack of bound pages that would impact me in such a profound manner. To say that I will never be the same is an understatement!

(Image courtesy of

While not a book written from a Christian perspective, this is a well-researched, personal account from a married, journalist couple who have travelled the world researching the various forms of oppression women suffer across the globe.

Now, before you think I've gone all "Women's Lib" on you, let me say this is nothing of the sort. The atrocities against women, many in developing countries, outlined in this book are staggering, compelling, and the sort of thing that has not only opened my eyes, but has also grabbed me by the shirt-collar and given me a firm shake.

I challenge you to join me in reading this book (I'm half-way though it currently). Be forewarned, this is not an easy read. You. will. be. horrified! And not only do I ask you to join me in reading it but, please, join me in asking God what he would have me (us) do, if anything.

Zack, the kids, and I are privileged to be here to serve the Lord with eMi, and we'll do so with our best, as unto Him. That said, I'm facing the possibility of having some time on my hands while the kids are in school and Zack is serving in the eMi office. Maybe the Lord has something in store for me in terms of this very subject? I know that there's more than chance involved with the timing of this book in my life.
Stay tuned!