Saturday, August 13, 2011
Child sex trafficking.
This is part two of my blog on the Sunday that changed my life. I am going to be discussing some tough things. But please hang in here and hear the voice of the helpless- because WE can help them. Isn't that such an encouraging thought?
I went to a concert at the Vineyard on Sunday night, July 17, after spending the afternoon at The Net with my younger girls, dear friends The Cleres and their sweet girls, and some other amazing people from our church. I wrote about that experience in my July 31st blog entitled, What defines me. At the concert that evening, I learned about an organization called LOVE146 and my heart was gripped.
Shameful admission here- I have ignored social injustice issues for most of my life because I did not like thinking about uncomfortable things. So petty and selfish of me. But I also felt like there were too many horrors- it was all too big for me to do anything.
When I was at Desperation Conference in June with my girls and our youth group, I prayed for God to show me where to help and how to help- I prayed for specifics. I did not get much that day, just a churning in my heart that I could make a difference, if I would only be willing to act. That's all it takes isn't it? To be willing. On July 17th I got my task. It was two-fold, with the first being The Net. The second is LOVE146.
LOVE146 is an organization created to end child sex slavery and exploitation. I have copied the following from their website that tells about their name:
In 2002, the co-founders of Love 146 travelled to South East Asia on an exploratory trip to determine how they could serve in the fight against child sex trafficking. In one experience, a couple of our co-founders were taken undercover with investigators to a brothel, where they witnessed children being sold for sex. This was their experience. This is the story that changed our lives.
"We found ourselves standing shoulder to shoulder with predators in a small room, looking at little girls through a pane of glass. All of the girls wore red dresses with a number pinned to their dress for identification. They sat, blankly watching cartoons on TV. They were vacant, shells of what a child should be. There was no light in their eyes, no life left. Their light had been taken from them. These children...raped each night... seven, ten, fifteen times every night. They were so young. Thirteen, eleven… it was hard to tell. Sorrow covered their faces with nothingness. Except one girl. One girl who wouldn’t watch the cartoons. Her number was 146. She was looking beyond the glass. She was staring out at us, with a piercing gaze. There was still fight left in her eyes. There was still life left in this girl...
"...All of these emotions begin to wreck you. Break you. It is agony. It is aching. It is grief. It is sorrow. The reaction is intuitive, instinctive. It is visceral. It releases a wailing cry inside of you. It elicits gut-level indignation. It is unbearable. I remember wanting to break through the glass. To take her away from that place. To scoop up as many of them as I could into my arms. To take all of them away. I wanted to break through the glass to tell her to keep fighting. To not give up. To tell her that we were coming for her…"
“Because we went in as part of an ongoing, undercover investigation on this particular brothel, we were unable to immediately respond. Evidence had to be collected in order to bring about a raid, and eventually justice on those running the brothel. It is an immensely difficult problem when an immediate response cannot address an emergency. Some time later, there was a raid on this brothel and children were rescued. But the girl who wore #146 was no longer there. We do not know what happened to her, but we will never forget her. She changed the course of all of our lives." -Rob Morris, President and Co-founder
We have taken her number so that we remember why this all started. So that we must tell her story. It is a number that was pinned to one girl, but that represents the millions enslaved. We wear her number with honor, with sorrow, and with a growing hope. Her story can be a different one for so many more.
Love is in our name, because it is our motivating drive to end child sex slavery and exploitation. We believe love to be the foundation of real, sustainable change. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love." We hold that to be true. Love Protects. Love Defends. Love Restores. Love Empowers.
We are Love146.
I will have more information on this organization and on human trafficking in the weeks ahead. I am researching how to become a part of a local LOVE146 task force, there are several here in Colorado. I can't explain the passion in my heart for this organization, but I know in my soul this is where I will work hard to make a difference in the world. I am planning on blogging my journey into this issue and this organization.
This is my cause.
Have a good Saturday dear readers.