For those of you close to me, you know I am deeply burdened for those victims of human trafficking. It’s easy to keep it at arms length tho~ I live in a small bubble, have a great family, wonderful friends, and a fantastic church.
But my thoughts started to change 5 years ago when Adam and I started traveling to Moldova. The kids became like family and each year we grow closer and closer to them. I am drawn to the older girls because their temporary safety in the orphanage is quickly coming to an end. Their future is bleak.
Richard Stearns says in his book “The Hole In Our Gospel” that when we take away statistics and actually connect with a face, a real person, our attitude changes and we become more motivated to take action.
Tragically, sadly, I can now connect a face with child slavery.
I met Christina on my second trip and connected with her instantly. Coincidentally, Adam and I sponsored her cousin the year before. They looked like sisters. Each year after that, we sponsored Christina and became extremely close to her. Even tho we could never communicate with her directly (unless through a translator) we could communicate by being with her, hugging her, or holding her hand.
So this year was no different..when we arrived at Tocuz we always look for certain kids. Christina was no where to be found. As we started our distribution, I had her bag in my hand waiting to give it to her. But the director saw it and started shaking her head. I pulled Ala, our translator aside, and asked her where Christina was. She told me that her mother “forced” her to get married. At 14 years old. If you have ever had the wind knocked out of you, that was kind of how I felt.
14. “Married.” To me, it was sugarcoated…if she was “forced”, my intuition tells me that money was involved for the mother. She was sold.
Why do I share this? Because my prayer is that whoever reads this, will connect Christina’s face to the astounding statistics. That when you hear the phrase “human trafficking” or “slavery” you will see Christina’s face, a young girl who likes music, clothes, and everything a typical 14 year old girl should.
But don’t just read. Take Action. Pray. God tells us in Isaiah to “Seek Justice.” Not someone else. But you and me.
I shared this story with some people and one person’s reaction was “Oh.” Don’t become complacent to terminology or statistics. Remember Christina’s face.
|Christina, Oct. 2009, opening her Face Of A Child bag.|
|Christina and I right before our team left Tocuz. Oct. 2009|