On paper, Australian native Christine Caine has everything against her. She was abused by several men as a child. At age 30, she found out that she was adopted. Unnamed. Unwanted. Unclaimed.
Because of her past experiences, she struggled to establish meaningful relationships with others (especially men) and it was only through the grace of God and the perseverance of her then fiancé (now husband) Nick, that she broke that pattern. She had a miscarriage and battled for years with a crippling fear of flying (not ideal when you are a global speaker!).
A force to be reckoned with!
And yet despite all these obstacles, she has become a warrior for God, a weapon in His armoury against slavery and a force to be reckoned with! Today, as a wife and mom of two daughters, Christine is a glowing light in a world of dense darkness.
Today, anyone who has heard Christine speak, or read her incredible books would all the say the same thing: she is a funny, brave, outspoken powerhouse. An inspiring motivational speaker championing the cause of justice. She is a
dynamic, courageous fighter for freedom and is passionate about seeing God’s love spread to every person left for dead in the dark, dingy alleyways of life.
A life transformed by His power
Christine herself realises the magnitude of her testimony. She was lost, afraid, alone - and in that place God rescued her. He placed His Word in her heart and His love in her soul. And He guided her on the path of restoration. God took what the devil meant for evil, and turned it for good - so much so, that Christine is internationally recognised and lauded for her efforts in combatting human trafficking.
She didn’t always have a passion for this though...it was a moment of clarity one day in a Greek airport seeing the many ‘Missing Persons’ posters that drove Christine to helping these lost girls. Together with Nick, they established the A21 campaign (to abolish slavery in the 21st Century) and now several years on can rejoice in the fact that they are making a difference in ending this diabolical trade.
Rescuing the lost
It isn’t an easy task though and Christine shares: “One night I went to a gathering at the local A21 safe-house in Greece and sat in a room hearing the stories of women who had been tricked into slavery. For one girl, Nadia, it was a living nightmare. Girls in her poor Georgian village did not go to school beyond the second grade. They needed to learn only how to cook and clean, not to read and write. What man, after all, would want to marry a woman more educated than he? Nadia, an obedient daughter who desperately wanted to please her parents, tried to push aside her secret dream of becoming a nurse.
Yet embers remained in her heart. So, just three weeks before her seventeenth birthday, when a man approached her group of friends at their bus stop and told of opportunities to work in Greece, those embers began to glow brighter. The man told the girls that Greece was beautiful and that people prospered there. He said there were many good-paying jobs for waitresses, hairdressers, shop assistants and nurses.”
Encountering the broken
“For the next week, Nadia felt blinded by the light of opportunity. Her dream seemed so possible, so close. On Friday, she arrived early at the village community hall and found a seat in the front row. Several dozen other girls trickled in after her. Some men introduced themselves as agents and gave a compelling presentation of the opportunities in Greece. They promised a bright future.
After completing the paperwork, Nadia was met at the airport in Greece by a woman from a hiring agency who spoke no Russian. Nadia spoke no Greek. But despite that confusion, she went with the woman to an apartment building, where she was shown a room that she supposed would be hers.
Within minutes, her nightmare began. Several men rushed in and locked the door behind them. They beat and raped Nadia repeatedly. She tried to fight back. She screamed for help until she no longer had a voice. But for every protest, every scream, she received more abuse, more torture. For two weeks, the beatings and rapes continued.”
Sharing a message of hope
“Several weeks later, having being used as a sex slave, and no longer sure there was a God in Heaven, Nadia pleaded with Him anyway: “let me die!” No ember of her dreams remained.
One day when the guard left her room, he forgot to lock the window. Though her room was on the third floor of the apartment building, Nadia scrambled onto the balcony. She jumped. A woman passing by saw a girl throw herself from the third story balcony and crash onto the pavement below. Horrified, she ran to Nadia, who, miraculously, was uninjured. She was then taken to our A21 safehouse.”
As I sat there listening to Nadia’s story, I felt ill with disgust at what had happened to her. How can I make her understand, I wondered, that I too know what it is to be trapped, enslaved, with seemingly no way out, no way forward, no way back?
How can I make her see that, as bleak as her enslavement has been, there are prisons just as black inside oneself. How can I show her that there is a Rescuer, a Way of salvation from this bleak future? I felt daunted by the prospect of even trying to make a difference. It seemed so overwhelming!”
Allowing God to heal
“As I travelled away from that meeting that day, I thought of my own story. If anyone ever had a reason to feel unqualified, to feel daunted, it was me. And the reason for that went back to things that happened before I was even born...
What do you do when you have been living all your life, more than three decades, with facts that you thought were true, only to discover that so many of them weren’t facts at all? Only to discover in your thirties [by accident due to an administrative bungle] that you were adopted?
I had a choice. I could be devastated by this revelation or I could receive the unconditional love of my Heavenly Father. I could be bitter, or I could refuse to let this split my family. The day I learned I was unwanted, unnamed, the daughter of unknown, could have devastated me. And for a moment it did – until God reminded me that His Word means more than anyone else’s.
The very thing that the enemy uses to try to destroy your life is the very thing God uses to help others. God can heal every hurt and can turn your scars into signs of strength for His glory.”
We are part of His army
Now in her forties, Christine can truly say that God’s power has been made perfect in her weakness (2 Cor 12:9). And it is this very fact that spurs her on to tackling the minefield of injustice in the human slave trade, and calling others (like you and me) to join the battle.
“God’s heart beats for every lost person, every single second, of every single day. He misses the lost. There are so many who need rescuers, each of them is God’s missing treasure, His beloved. Whether they were kidnapped or tricked into slavery, or whether, like the prodigal son, they chose the wrong way...God calls us to love them back into His care. That’s what He wants us to remember: we, too, once were lost and now are found. And because we’ve been found, we are part of His search-and-rescue team. That day in the airport, and again in the room with those girls, and again when visiting Auschwitz, I felt God stir something in me. He was saying: “Christine I am going to awaken you to things you did not know were taking place. I am going to use you to rescue these girls. It was as if God nudged me to wake up from sleepwalking through life, to open my eyes to the living nightmare of others.”
How can ordinary people make a difference?
“My eyes, that day, were opened to how, by doing nothing when others suffer, we add to their injury. Where once I saw persecutors as in another place, of another time, I now saw myself standing beside them, while those suffer stare back at us. The oppressed do not see too much difference between those who would keep them down and those who do nothing to help. There is no in-between. We who live in privileged conditions don’t worry about basic survival. We don’t live in fear for our safety during the simple tasks of daily life. But this is not the way much of the world lives.
How often do you, as I used to, switch TV channels with your remote when the channel you’d been watching confronts you with some ugly tragedy – or even turn off the television lest you feel some guilt? The people living in those situations can’t turn off their pain or the reality of their circumstances as easily as we turn off our TVs. How could I have ever thought that this had nothing to do with me? Were these people not loved by God? Doesn’t God have a destiny in place for each one?”
Every day, there are situations in our normal routines that require us to be the light of Christ in darkness. Waking up spiritually is not just about participating in life-changing efforts of worldwide importance, such as stopping genocide. It is walking through our lives wide awake. It is rising ready where we are with what we have. It is seeing people where they are and meeting their need. Do something today!
To get involved with A21 globally or locally or for more info about human trafficking, see their website: thea21campaign.org
Compiled by Jackie Georgiou