Well… I made it to Manila. I'm waiting for my YWAM team to pick me up and the practicum will officially begin. So far, smooth journey, great food, nice people, and since I didn't bring any checked luggage — EASY customs experience.
Already I've noticed something in me that is rather disturbing, however. Since I'm here to help YWAM's Mercy Ministry to women exiting the sex trade, every time I see an upper class white man, my radar starts screaming. The first thing that pops into my head is: "Oppressor!"… so this is where hatred begins.
I stood behind 2 gentlemen who, on our flight, sat in first class. Obviously they have a bit of money. They were bragging about their land they own here in the Philippines as well as exotic pets. They hooted about how they couldn't wait for their wives to have beer and cigarettes waiting for them once they got "home". By the time it was their turn in line for customs and immigration, "wives" had been downgraded to "girlfriends".
What's a gal like me to think?
She's to think like Christ would think: with love and discernment, that's what.
But it's hard.
When sex tourism is being exposed in so many nations around the world, and SE Asia being a hot spot, and me focusing almost exclusively on assisting women who have suffered at the hands of such men, I am more able to understand how easy it is to develop stereotypes. Who's to say that these white men are not here strictly on business (all ethical and above board)? Or what if they have family here in Manila? Or what if they, like me, are here in a ministerial capacity?
I'm thankful God struck a chord in me early on. Not every white person to Canada was a colonialist or a hater of aboriginal people or black people, as is true now… not every German was a Nazi… not every Muslim is an extremist (not even close)… and… not every white man I meet in SE Asia is a sex fiend.
God help me discern the troubled ways of my heart.