When I started learning about problems like hunger and slavery, I started reading more about them. And when I did that, the suffering of people really grabbed my heart.
I’ve been over to a teenage homeless shelter, and I learned a lot of things. I wondered why teenagers are homeless. Are they running away? And I learned something shocking. Yes, some of them are runaways. But a lot of them have come out to their parents and said that they are gay, and their parents kicked them out. These kids are on the street because their parents want nothing to do with them because of their sexuality. They get kicked out of their houses, and they get trafficked. They get sent out as prostitutes, because they have to go. Something like 80% of the girls in one of the shelters had been trafficked at one point in time, or had been raped, or had to have sex for money. They have no choice. It’s this, or they die.
How do you look at that? This is not light! There is something so wrong with this. As a believer, as a Christian, I don’t favor the homosexual lifestyle. But I would never throw my son or my daughter out on their own, saying, “Fend for yourself.” Because they’re going to die! They’re either going to die emotionally, or they’re going to die physically.
It’s so sad, and so confusing. It’s happening in our own country. There is no love. There’s no understanding of the concept of love. I just don’t get that. Maybe I used to understand. Or maybe I was able to ignore it. But now I’m not okay with any of it.
So my biggest passion with young people is to show them, hey, I don’t care if you’re gay or straight, I don’t care if you’re Christian or non-Christian. I love you. Because that is the love of Jesus.
All these things are hitting me now, because God is showing me. And the more I pray about it, and the more I ask Him to show me awareness, He just shows me more and more of this stuff. And it doesn’t overwhelm me. It doesn’t make me say, “God, there’s no way I can ever help.” It actually stirs me. It stirs me to reach out, to everyone everywhere, to raise awareness of suffering and to teach about love. Because every single one of us was created to love.