When Geoff and I were facing transition around a year ago, we asked ourselves what difference we wanted to see in this fallen world. If there was just ONE specific area of evil’s infection that we could bring LOVE into, what would it be - world hunger, disease, war, genocide? Human trafficking and all its related woes quickly topped our list. This is why we moved to Ecuador. We were originally drawn to Latin America when we made contact with a human trafficking organization in Honduras that targets the fight against sex slavery in particular, the worst form of human trafficking in my eyes and the one we oppose most passionately. There was nothing we could do with that particular organization, especially without fluent Spanish. We began searching for a country to move to in order to study Spanish and engage the culture in order to become more aware of the reality of this infection and to develop skills that may be useful for fighting it as GOD allowed.
We weren't in Ecuador 2 weeks before we were hearing conversations among Gringos and locals on “where you can get a girl for only $5-8, anytime” in town, as if it was common place – because it is. Most gloss over the “industry” justifying its existence as if that’s what the girls (and/or boys) want to do with their lives, so who are they to argue? They won't risk considering a different reality - that these are children/adults who have been kidnapped, sold, or forced for survival reasons into this horrific, evil nightmare. Really, who would CHOOSE such a life, and even if they did, is this a reason to abandon them to it?
I am sleeping in a beautiful, safe place tonight, only miles from known “brothels” of sorts, where girls are beaten into submission to please the 20-30 men or more who will pay their “owners” pennies to rape them one after another into the early morning hours, day after day. Some are hungry for young children, some want them older - maybe 13 years old, maybe 30 or more - and there will be plenty to choose from of every age whose spirits have been so crushed they cannot imagine another reality.
It’s easier to stay self-absorbed in our own concerns as we seek to survive and/or thrive in this life. I prefer it that way, most of us do. It’s hard to let problems of this magnitude become OUR problems – we'd much rather deal with our own issues, that are often not issues at all. My “issues” usually turn out to be selfish deceptions; I fall under the illusions of false realities presented on TV and other entertainment feeds, justifying my selfish existence, and recognize inconvenience as sacrifice. My biggest complaint tonight will be sharing a lumpy twin size bed with an incredible, loving husband. I dare complain? My GOD is gracious with me in spite of this, though HIS heart is also present with and breaking for those being tormented in ways I cannot imagine.
The tragedy of human trafficking is not isolated to certain areas of the world, as some would like to think, but it is more blatant in some areas than others. We knew it existed around us in the States, but we weren't confronted by it the way we are here. Like most spiritual warfare in the United States, and other first-world countries, such evil gains power hiding deceptively under the glossy cover of what I'll refer to as the “American Dream.” It is still possible (for now) for many to live life in a dream of what is good in the world as we stay concerned with our own welfare, encouraging others to do the same. We strive to keep the fallen world realities of evil and pain as far away from our lives as possible - though they exist next door. When news or daily interaction uncovers such evil we are shocked and feel like the world is SUDDENLY spinning out of control - getting worse every day. In reality our eyes are simply being opened to the fallen world realities that have existed in different forms since we were kicked out of Eden. As followers of Jesus we cannot be surprised by the reality of sin, and we have no reason to despair like those who have no Hope, for we believe that HE died and ROSE AGAIN! Yet there is still work to do.
We feel helpless to do anything but are committed to doing what we can, through HIS power and guidance. What can we do? Awareness is one need we can all address. Even through this blog Geoff and I hope to shine light on an evil that would prefer to hide unnoticed, safe from those who would intercede in prayer or call attention to this evil in their own locations. Prevention is another. I will teach and love on the kids at the orphanage, who are high-risk for ending up in this “industry,” and I will continue to open my heart to opportunities to bless them in ANY way that GOD allows.
My comfort and hope come from knowing that this is HIS fight and that through the Blood of JESUS – HE already won the war! There are still battles to fight, though. Please join us in interceding in prayer at least once a day for HIS justice, love, and peace - on earth as it is in HEAVEN - for those enslaved in the evils of human trafficking.
President Obama speaks about human trafficking
And/or check out this link from Fox News:
Alarming Trend in Human Trafficking into US