I was approached about a month ago by a friend and fellow freedom fighter for sex slaves in Korea about organizing a "flash mob" event. It wasn't really a flash mob as you would think of it. It was more like just a mob. HA! The goal was to raise awareness among the Korean and Foreign community to the truth of sex trafficking in Korea by getting a large group of people together and hit the streets picking up illegal prostitution ads. I had many meetings and stayed up many nights planning for this event. A few of my team members and I even scouted a few areas of the city to find the best district to collect cards in. We didn't know how many people to expect, but I wasn't so concerned about numbers. I knew this was something the Lord wanted to happen, and that He would do His thing so I tried to be faithful in doing mine. The event was planned for Saturday, Dec. 10th.
I had three major events going on this weekend, two of them I was in charge of, so I was super busy and all over the place, but I enjoyed it! I attended a Single's Conference that was at my church but hosted by a number of English Ministry churches in Seoul. The conference was Friday night, Saturday morning and then Saturday evening. Saturday afternoon I had a 2 hour sound check for the Christmas program I was asked to plan at church and then Saturday night we were card collecting.
Saturday night we met around 10:30 and we had 50 people!!! (Only about 37 had confirmed they were coming) My team and I were so excited!! We had two journalists that work for local newspapers, and three videographers that were there to document and film for us so that we can make a video to raise awareness and educate people on the facts. So I made a few announcements and passed out bags and gloves. We got everyone these worker gloves to wear because picking up trash off the ground gets gross. The palms were red and we made sure to show them on camera a lot :-) We first started in a popular area of the city, lots of people, but not a lot of cards to pick up. Then we took the subway two stops away and when we got there the moon eclipsed. I remembered my students told me about it earlier in the day but I had forgotten, it was cool. I was so full of energy and excitement when we walked down the smaller street into the back road where we'd had a run-in with the pimp weeks before. I'd collected in this area at least twice before and what took 4 of us about 2 hours to pick up, 50 of us did in like 20 min. It was great! Many people overheard residents of that neighborhood say, "I'm Korean, I should be picking these up." We were able to get interviews with a few Korean teen guys, but I haven't heard how that went yet. We also overheard one of the pimps saying to the others that they should stay inside and not mess with us tonight which was pretty awesome! Everyone that went was pretty surprised at the volume of cards that were everywhere. After we did two sweeps of the street we consolidated all the cards probably 5 or 6 bags and went to the police station. We were there for a long time going around in circles with them and not really getting anywhere. We went to the headquarters for all of Seoul, and they told us we needed to go through the proper chain of command, but we told them we already had multiple times. Then we asked them what more we could do, or who else we could contact, but they weren't interested in helping us. The whole conversation was in Korean, obviously, and I am meeting with my team on Friday to debrief.
Overall the whole event went really, really well. Everything I wanted to be accomplished was, and 50 was the perfect number. Too many and it would have been unmanageable and too few wouldn't have had the same impact. The community noticed us, the pimps for sure noticed us, and we were able to raise awareness among foreigners that will then go spread the word for our next event. I was almost giddy with excitement at what the Lord did. Isn't it true that when we are serving the Lord, we receive a blessing? I love it!!
Oh!!! And at the police station, one of the women on my team mentioned to the police officer about Sweden and their zero tolerance policy for prostitution and sex slavery, and she suggested they look into.
One prayer request I have is that through the holidays we can still press on with our prayer meetings, they've kind of taken a back seat to the planning of this event and the Christmas event. There have also been a lot of birthday dinners and goodbye parties that have happened during the time we would normally meet to pray. And while anyone who knows me knows how social I am, I'm wanting to end that trend, and start meeting regularly again.
Thank you for all your support. It is making a huge difference and gives me strength to continue on.