Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Heart Broke

Two weeks ago, our church hosted their first "Justice Weekend".  We had a speaker from International Justice Mission, and various other speakers throughout the weekend, as well as a great display created by people from our church about human trafficking.  We went right from the church service with the IJM speaker, into the display, and by the end, my heart was broken.

I learned a lot that weekend, not just through the display.  In addition to the speaker from IJM, we also had a speaker from an organization in Cambodia, who told a story about a little girl who came into their building, and just watched him vacuum, and then she ran out of the building.  I don't remember the whole story, but eventually, it ended up that SHE would vacuum, and he just sat and was available for her to do that.  After one of these times, they went out to get something cold to drink.  The concept of being available to those around you, and being open to God changing your day around struck me as important.  I'm still trying to figure out how to incorporate that sort of thinking into my life.

Did you know that there are many different kinds of human trafficking?  I think the one we are beginning to hear  lots about is sex trafficking, especially in SE Asia.  Did you know that humans are trafficked and brought here to the US to work on farms?  They are "recruited" from places like Thailand, and told that they will have a good job here, but when they get here, they have to work to pay for their transportation and room and board and they can never earn enough to pay their "owners" (my word) back.

Another kind of human trafficking that made me cry were the 'restaveks' in Haiti.  These are children whose families cannot support them, so they are sent to work for relatives, or even complete strangers, in exchange for room and board.  They have to work from dawn until dark, and even though there may be school children their age in the family they are serving, the restaveks do not get to go to school.  They have to stay home and work all day.  I believe that all children deserve to be able to go to school, don't you?
*UPDATE* Here is the link to a documentary CNN filmed on the plight of the restaveks. Thanks for the link, Mandi!

The third type of human trafficking that makes my heart hurt is the sex trafficking that happens right here in the good, old USA.  I'm appalled by the promises of modeling careers, or better lives, or stable relationships that people use to lure these girls into the trade.  Thankfully, there are organizations & campaigns that want to help these girls.  One of them is SOAP.  They have a hotline, which sex-trafficking victims can call, and get help to get out.  They put these numbers on bars of soap, and leave them in high-risk motel bathrooms.  As part of the display at our church, we were asked to label bars of soap while we listened to the story of the victims, so that those bars of soap could be taken to a high-risk motel in our local area.  I'm glad that something is being done locally to rescue the victims of sex-trafficking.

Have you ever had your heart broken by God over a particular issue?  What did you do about it?


  1. Here is a link to a documentary that CNN recently did about the restaveks in Haiti.

    1. Thanks for the link to the documentary, Mandi! I watched it this afternoon after you posted. Very eye-opening, and very sad. :(

  2. The kids at the Joshua Project in Romania when I went to help host a camp for them. Amazing kids!

    Also, every time I see a World Vision ad.

    1. Thanks for the comment Kim! I agree that the World Vision ads are heart-breaking.


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