A lot of talk has been swirling around regarding Child Trafficking. It's seems to be on my mind lately. I have one friend who has a great heart for those who are involved in exotic dancing, I have another who's freeing child slaves in Ghana, and I graduated from Mercy Ministries and continuously read Nancy's (the founder and president) blog that is filled with Child Trafficking topics.
I don't think we really can wrap our little fingers around the idea that there are millions of children out there who are slaves. Children who have been either been sold, conned, or kidnapped into a horrendous life of bondage that no child should ever have to witness, let alone live. A couple of weeks ago I was watching America's Most Wanted and they did a whole 60 minute episode on Sex Trafficking. One of the stories was about this girl in high school. She was shopping at any regular store with regular people, when a woman approached her and said she had amazing talent for makeup. She continuously complimented her and gave her a business card. The girl thought she ran into this perfect opportunity to be a makeup artist. She ran home to tell her parents, and even had a professional interview, and was tested by putting make up on another young woman. She said yes to the job and the day she was supposedly to start her first day on the "job" A man grabbed her and brought her to a brothel. She was raped continuously and was forced to have sex with people daily. No make up involved except the make up she had to put on herself to look beautiful for her customers. She never got to keep any of the money she made. Eventually, years later, her and a friend she had made there escaped. Now she is telling her story all over America to help others who may be in the same situation or have other woman made aware so they don't get tricked like she did. She was just a typical high school little girl, who had no worry in life but to go to school, hang with her friends and clean her room. Now, a young adult who has seen things no person should ever have to see, emotionally damaged from years of abuse.
My friend in Ghana tells me stories of these young Ghanaians who were sold by their parents into slavery. Their parents are so poor and are usually in desperate need for money so they sell their children. These children are worked to the bone, physically abused daily. If you even just slightly extend a hand to them, they cringe and cover themselves up for fear that you'll beat them. They are so skinny but yet built from all the hard physical labor they are put through. It just breaks my heart. Once these children are rescued it's hard because where do you put them? They can't go back to their parents because they'll just get sold again.
Little do we know that child trafficking is happening right in our backyard! From statistics that IJM (International Justice Mission) provided during a presentation one day, the Mall of America right here in Bloomington Minnesota is one of the bigger hot spots for Child Trafficking. I went to high school in Harrisburg, SD. I picked up a newspaper one day and read the headlines that Tea, SD which was 10 miles away from me, just had a major Sex Trafficking operation busted! It's crazy to think that there are people all around us who are in such torture.
What can we do? The only thing I can thing of is... Pray. Pray about what you can do. Give. Give money to organizations and missionaries who are fighting and rescuing children.