My name is Aaron Donohue (second from the right), and I grew up in a Christian home. I was very involved/familiar with church, the Bible, and all your typical Sunday school questions/answers for most of my life. But being able to make a 100 on my Sunday school test did not mean I knew God or had any kind of understanding of His grace. That realization wasn’t to come until many years later.
When I graduated from college and achieved my goal of becoming a firefighter, I became heavily involved in my new church home in Dallas. I attended discipleship groups, eventually led in various capacities, and was at church more often than I was anywhere else. I became friends with a young woman who was helping combat the sex trade in Dallas — something I knew very little about.
She spoke to me about the dangerous places she was going and the mission to set enslaved people free, and I felt like I’d be a bum if I didn’t get involved somehow. That is how I came to serve with Reclaimed even though my notion of what it meant to fight sex trafficking was more closely aligned with Liam Neeson in the movie Taken.
As my knowledge and understanding of sex trafficking has grown over the last few years, so has my knowledge and understanding of my Savior Jesus, His Love, and my response to His love. Now, I can enter the ministry of Reclaimed with a renewed mind and heart. By His grace I have been able to connect all my correct Sunday school answers to an increasingly yielded heart. It’s not just about being able to say the Gospel to someone now, it’s about having actually experienced it in my own heart also.
“For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” (Romans 7:18)
Finally, my heart understands that doing good is actually impossible by my own power (Romans 7:18) and that spiritual disciplines aren’t tools I can use to fix myself. They’re a means of grace for me to participate with God in what He is already doing inside of me.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)
When I think of serving with Reclaimed, Luke 19:10 comes to mind, and how Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. He has shown me that that was me, and now I have the opportunity to do that with Him. It is only by God’s grace that I am not a pimp or a victim of sex trafficking myself.
Our current culture misunderstands sex trafficking and prostitution. The individuals in that industry are easily seen as bad, dirty, and evil. Yet, who am I? Is Aaron so “clean?” What about my sin? What about my millions of failures? To a holy God, I too am bad, dirty, and evil. I have more in common with traffickers/trafficked persons than I might initially think. They are all sinners. Just. Like. Me. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.