Thursday, January 13, 2011

SEX SLAVES – For the Sake of the Priceless

Over the last couple of years, the Spirit of Jesus has been drawing my heart toward those who are trapped in Human Trafficking. Human trafficking involves an “act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring or receiving a person through the use of force or coercion for the purpose of exploiting” them. After reading statistics and stories about victims of this detestable crime, my heart is especially drawn toward young girls being sold as sex-slaves.

Honestly, I initially resisted learning more about this heinous crime. I knew that if I learned more, something would be required of me. I questioned whether or not I have the emotional, physical or spiritual strength to respond like Jesus. Yet, God continued to tug at my heart and I believe He has brought me to a place where I’m genuinely saying: “Ok, Lord, I’ll do whatever you want with me in this.”

I think the final straw was a book that I read entitled, Priceless, a novel about Stuart, a photojournalist on assignment in Russia. Stu joins a life-risking operation to rescue girls from the sex-slave trade. Throughout the book, the author, Tom Davis exposes the evil committed against millions of girls while the government stands by, not only allowing it to happen, but even participating in the horror! Yes, the book is fiction. However, the realities it exposes are these:

1.2 million children are trafficked every year;
this is in addition to the millions already held captive by trafficking.
Every 2 minutes a child is prepared for sexual exploitation.
The average victim is forced to have sex up to 40 times a day!
The average age of a trafficked victim is 14 years old.
Tragically, only 1-2 percent of the victims are rescued,
and only 1 in 100,000 Europeans involved in trafficking are convicted.
Child sex tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry.
By 2010 Sex Trafficking will be the number one crime worldwide!

I can’t explain the why behind this kind of suffering any better than the words of Oscar Wilde (Irish writer and poet) –

Now it seems to me that love of some kind is the only possible explanation of the extraordinary amount of suffering that there is in the world.

I will be leaving tomorrow for Angeles City, Philippines which is one of the largest sex tourist destinations in the world with over 15 thousand women working in its sex establishments. A.C. is also the Philippine's second largest destination point (after Manila) for internal trafficking, & is one of the main recruitment points used by trafficking networks. I will be working with RENEW Foundation which is a Christian International Organization that “aims to empower female victims of prostitution & sex trafficking through an holistic approach to recovery. RENEW also works to prevent young women from being trafficked and from entering prostitution through community development programs including income generating projects, seminars and scholarships.”

If the Lord places me on your heart over the next five weeks, please pray that He would use this experience to teach me more about Love: Suffering With and For Others. I realize that there is more in store for me to receive than what I could ever offer. However, it is my prayer that Father would use even me to bring the healing hope of Jesus to these Priceless ones.


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