AR: Safe at Home (Haugen)

Tyler Wigg-Stevenson confesses in his book The World Is Not Ours To Save that he believes there will be no perfect solution for this world’s great injustices “until the kingdom of God comes.” However, “the absence of evident solutions does not absolve us from the pain of loving the world as Christ loves it” (p. 60).


BACK FOR A VISIT: Two years after Liv Olsen first visited the Keep Girls Safe Shelter, she returned to track its progress. (Credit: Adventist Review)

I was reminded of this when I read about Liv Olsen, who works to save young girls from being trafficked in Thailand (Gry Haugen, “Safe at Home,” Adventist World, September 2014, pp. 40-41). Olsen, who is 82, “has a passion for children, especially children at risk. When Olsen, from Moss, Norway, was 78 years old, she traveled from Norway to Chiang Rai, Thailand, to visit the newly constructed Keep Girls Safe shelter, which she helped finance through ADRA Norway in cooperation with ADRA Thailand” (p. 40).

The Keep Girls Safe program has three initiatives: a “home for vulnerable girls; educational support for girls who remain in their villages; and value-based awareness campaigns and training for parents and adolescents that seeks to warn them about the dangers of human trafficking and exploitation” (p. 41).

The article reports two statistics that exemplify Wigg-Stevensons point — (a) the shelter can hold up to 40 girls and (b) worldwide, 40 percent of girls and young women in prostitution are from northern Thailand. Liv Olsen cannot solve that massive injustice, but she can care for those forty. And even this care must be given in collaboration with other volunteers and organizations. We can’t do it all, but we can do something. Olsen’s dedication shows what personal sacrifice can accomplish:

Over many years, Liv Olsen has saved money to be able to give poor girls in northern Thailand a home. To be able to do that she has, for example, ridden a bike instead of taking the bus to get around town. (pp. 40-41)

May we all live as faithfully as Olsen regardless of the particular mission God calls us to.

[Featured Photo: SAFE AND SECURE: Children who benefit from the Keep Girls Safe Shelter can look forward to a future that won’t be marred by the prospect of human trafficking. Credit: Adventist Review.]