Because Boys Shouldn’t Hit Girls

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During our recent exploratory trip to Thailand, our team was blessed with the opportunity to minister at a few orphanages. Due to the nature of the trip being just about meeting people, we hadn’t anticipated this and therefore we went in without a solid plan on what to present to these kids.

What message can you give a child who will soon understand from their culture that their body is only worth as much as they can rent it out for? Where does healthy sexuality fit into a culture where sex can be bought for $5 a night?

At one particular orphanage we ended up presenting a modified version of our “lies” skit. We had Eddie stand tall and represent a young boy seeking to be a man. Megan and I stood on either side of him and alternated giving him advice.

“If you want to be a man, you need to stand tall and speak the truth” Megan would say. Eddie would comply and stand tall and say “Jesus loves me”. Then I came in and said “No Eddie. To be a man you must lie and steal, that is what real men do.” Eddie would sink down a little and consider this advice while the children indicated with a shake of their heads that this wasn’t good advice.

The youth (ages 4-30) were really getting into the game of helping Eddie decide what was truth and what was a lie. He would offer hints by sinking lower or standing taller depending on the advice given. The last piece of advice I offered was that real men hurt women. You could have heard a pin drop as the room waited to see how Eddie would respond to this message. With valor Eddie stood tall and declared “No. Real men do not hurt women. They protect them and they love them like brothers should love their sisters.”

Our translator took the stage after the end of the skit to follow up on that note. He is an American friend of ours with a lifetime of experience working in Thailand. While he spoke, you could see each young man in the room stick his chest out a little farther and sit up a little taller. Each young lady looked around and began to relax in the presence of young men who (we found out later) were being admonished to be valliant protectors of women.

God has a beautiful calling for each child that was present that night, and we know that we were privileged to deliver a piece of it to them through a counter-cultural message. Those orphans now know that they are not alone or abandoned, and that they actually have an opportunity to be family to each other. And family members don’t abuse each other – they protect one another.

What would you give to help a child in Thailand hear this message? We’re going back to deliver this message along with 3 days of additional content about healthy sexuality to children at an orphanage. Can you help us? Just $30 will provide this material to an orphan AND his or her caregiver.

-Courtney Alberson

Courtney is Generation of Virtue’s lead solutions specialist. Which is a fancy way of saying she handles the team’s many IT needs and spends a lot of time in Photoshop. When she’s not finding solutions to problems, Courtney enjoys communicating God’s truth about love and relationships to teenagers and…drinking coffee.

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Prostitutes, Abuse, and Thailand

4ddca121-053b-400c-981e-1e65c4d0cca7_profileEarlier this summer, on the eve of an exploratory trip to Thailand, I found myself asking the Lord again if we were supposed to go. The purpose of our trip was to meet with ministries, churches, missionaries, non-government organizations, etc. who were working with children, youth, and parents in some capacity or another, and see how GOV might serve them. The only thing more intimidating than going to an unfamiliar nation to see how you might teach on the issue of sexual integrity is going to that nation after you’d been repeatedly warned it was going to be very hard (perhaps even impossible) to do what you were setting out to do.

I had been to Bangkok several years ago to learn about the sex trafficking industry, so I had somewhat of an idea of what we were in for, but what I didn’t know was how we were going to “sell” the idea of proactively equipping individuals and families to pursue a lifestyle of sexual integrity in the midst of a culture that, in many ways, embraces things like prostitution. Would it even work?

I prayed again the night before we left Singapore. “Lord, are you sure?” The answer I got left me speechless. Straight from Matthew 21:31: “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.”

Once we were in Thailand, the main response we heard from ministry workers (precious people doing some very difficult work) after explaining the type of proactive and preventative work we’d like to do went something along the lines of “This is such a big need here” and “When can you come back?” Courage stirred in my heart as I realized I had heard correctly from the Lord. Yes, He did want us to come minister in Thailand.

As we met with orphanages and safe houses, the picture started becoming clearer. These children had almost all been sexually abused, or at the very least were at risk for being trafficked because of their families’ extreme poverty situations.

I quickly began to realize that I didn’t know what to do when faced with a child struggling to make sense of the abuse he or she had experienced. I asked the Lord, “Father, if we tell them how good it is to wait for sex until you’re married, and we tell them how to protect themselves from sexual predators, what are they going to think about what has already happened to them? There is a lot of pain here. They need your healing, Lord.”

Again the answer came from Matthew: “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’” (19:14) After reading that verse, I came to the conclusion that I would rather teach a child about sexual purity and guide them to the healer of any trauma they may have experienced than consider them “too badly wounded” to receive such teaching. Isn’t it the Lord’s will to heal us instead of just helping us cope with our wounds?

Our team certainly has a lot of work to do (and a lot to learn!) as we prepare to minister more extensively in places like Thailand, but I am convinced that this kind of ministry is something the Lord is very keen to have us do. I know we don’t have all the answers, but I do know the One who does. I am encouraged when I realize we do not labor in vain when we partner with Him to bring about His Kingdom.

To read about our upcoming trip in October, please click here.

– Megan Briggs

Megan joined the Generations of Virtue team to become the Product Manager, a position which keeps her busy researching, reading resources, managing inventory and speaking to young people.

Electrical Tape and Answered Prayer

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Even in the small things God is faithful.

Monday morning started off as most Mondays typically do (mine include coffee and some time with the Bible). I had to rush off to a meeting that day, though, and barely had time to choke down my coffee before leaving. As I stepped on to the bus, it came through. A whatsapp message from a friend who was writing to tell me she wanted to support GOV financially through a monthly donation.

A smile slowly broke across my face as I realized this friend was our first committed monthly international donor for a project we are calling 100squared.

In May, Julie was in Israel and during her prayer time one morning, God impressed upon her to ask 100 people to partner with Generations of Virtue and give $100 a month. This is to support GOV as we transition our operations from being funded on a speaking honorarium and book sales basis to developing partners with our ministry vision. Our team feels the Lord leading and opening doors to transition from being based primarily in the U.S. to ministering in all regions throughout the world. God has developed this international focus over the past 5 years with an escalation in many amazing doors opening over the past year and a half especially. During this transition stage, we are looking for monthly support to help with basic ministry expenses as we are developing new sustainable income that has a global focus and giving partners around the world. There is a huge need for our team to spend some time developing curriculum and material to be able to meet the needs in the countries we are traveling to, but we have found our time very much taken up by the preparation for and execution of speaking events to cover basic ministry expenses. Additionally, members of the GOV team have always served as full-time volunteers, using our free time to take on odd jobs to support ourselves. This also needs to change as finding odd jobs overseas is slightly more complicated than what we are able to do Stateside.

The meeting I was headed to held another surprise. As I shared with this friend about our 100squared campaign, she also committed to donate. I sat amazed as she related a story about a property she had been trying to rent for several months and only just recently found a renter. She felt the Lord prompting her to tithe the income from the rent to GOV. Two donors in one day. And we hadn’t even publicly announced the 100squared campaign.

Leaving that meeting, on the way to a second for that day, another whatsapp message came through. This from a friend who had volunteered to help with the translation of a children’s book into Thai. Not only was her service in this area an answer to prayer, but she also wanted to help pay for the cost of translating another resource we want to give away in Thailand to parents and caregivers. The cost of which I had not mentioned to her. Only prayed the Lord would provide the finances necessary for the project. Could this day get any better?

As I met up with two other GOV team members after the second meeting of the day and relayed to them the miraculous provision I’d witnessed, the final blessing came. One only God – with His good humor and generous nature – could do. Earlier that day, I had expressed I was in need of electrical tape to fix my phone’s charging cord. It was frayed and the wiring was exposed. “I need to get some electrical tape” I had said, holding up the frayed cord. As Courtney, Sara and I made our way to the bus stop (in transit to meeting number three), there in the grass was a roll of electrical tape. I almost missed it on the first pass, but Courtney saw it and pointed it out. “There you go, Meg – there’s your electrical tape”.

I smiled. “Thank you, Lord.”

God is undeniably providing for us as we are in this transition phase. It’s been a very challenging season for us – both as a ministry and as individuals. But it’s also been very faith-building, and we are excited to co-labor with the Lord in new ministry ventures. Like all hard things the Lord has us go through, He always has a reason for it and that reason is often tied to our betterment.

Would you join us as we ask for monthly donors? Would you consider praying for us and asking the Lord to prompt the people He wants to give to give? Finally, would you like to be 1 of the 100?

– Megan Briggs

Megan joined the Generations of Virtue team to become the Product Manager, a position which keeps her busy researching, reading resources, managing inventory and speaking to young people.