Look into the Eyes of a Sex Slave and a Former Porn Star

This past weekend I had the privilege of being involved in the 2014 SymposiaChristi —Human Dignity, Slavery, and Sex Trafficking. I met Melissa Woodward, who was used as a sex slave by her father, who happened to be a Baptist pastor. Her testimony occurs in the video below starting at the 28:24-minute mark.

Her testimony is inspiring. She currently has ovarian cancer. Off stage, my wife and I prayed with her and asked her about her prognosis. She enthusiastically said, “The doctors have given me about a 33% chance of living. However, statistics indicate that I only had a 1% chance of surviving sex trafficking. Thus, the way I figure it, I’m doing 32% better than last time and I survived. God has a plan for me.”

One fascinating aspect about this testimony is that a “normal” middle class pastor’s family, with neighbors all around, was hiding a dark and hideous secret—here in America, in a big city suburb, and in a church. The darkness is so great in our society that it is nearly unimaginable and it causes my heart to ache. Yet, the darkness is all some people know.

Another disturbing aspect of her story is that she tried, on at least two occasions, to seek help, but was not believed. Because her family was well respected, it was assumed that she was not telling the truth and she was sent back to her abusers. I can understand how hard it is to believe it – they may have known her family – how could this be happening without it being obvious? But…it was happening.

My wife and I also had the privilege of meeting  Crissy Moran and interviewing her.

Crissy is a former porn star who became a Christian. She readily confesses that she made the choices to enter into the porn industry because she was looking for someone to just love her. She ended up being enslaved to those who just used her.

If you are reading this and chose to watch their testimonies, please look into these ladies’ faces and recognize that they are souls to love and not to use.  Remember the heartache of these ladies at the hands of abusers and if you are looking at porn for your enjoyment, you too are their abusers.

I’m not sure how to fully process what I have been a part of this weekend. But I know my eyes are more opened. I pray that they stay that way. I took a new interest in this sex-trafficking bust story I saw today and rejoiced. The only antidote to darkness is the light. Any light comes through the love of a neighbor who brings good news. I am glad Faith is especially focusing on loving our neighbor this year, because there may be a Melissa or Crissy next door to you.

Brent AucoinBrent Aucoin
Pastor Brent Aucoin serves as the Pastor of Seminary and Counseling Ministries at Faith Church. He is the president of Faith Bible Seminary, and is a counselor and instructor for Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries.
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