WARNING: This post is not for young readers. Seriously, PLEASE check with your mother or father before you read. I have resisted writing this, but I know I have too. Not just to inform others, but so that I NEVER forget.
The last several months human trafficking has been HEAVY on my mind. Seemingly from out of nowhere this issue has begun to weigh heavy on my heart.
This post will be about trafficking.
Maybe you don’t want to read. Maybe you don’t want to know about such things that happen far away in other lands to other people.
Maybe you’re exactly the person who should read.
It happens here in our little south Texas town. Just last week a story broke about a young girl trafficked in San Antonio, just thirty minutes away.
It happens in cities all across this country. It’s America’s dirty little secret.
It happens in every country, every day, to children. Children barely out of diapers. It happens to young girls promised a better life or a job.
It happens to boys and girls who look just like the children you see each morning as you drop your children off at school.
It happens because people like us choose not to know.
It happens because people know and choose not to get involved.
For me it all began with a dream.
The most vivid dream I have ever had. Even though it has been a couple of months since the dream, I can still remember it vividly. It was one of those dreams that seemed to last hours, although in reality probably only lasted a few minutes.
It was the most horrible dream I have ever had.
Our family was somewhere that was not home. It was dusty and barren. It seemed to be close to an industrial park. Grace and I were kidnapped. Richard in the process of trying to rescue us was shot a killed. As we were being driven away, through the back window of the van, I could see my other children frightened and bewildered.
Grace and I were brought to a building. It was not someplace we had ever been before. It resembled a hotel. Not a dingy rundown hotel, but more of an upscale resort/casino or something. We were brought into a room and locked in. Slowly it began to dawn on me what was happening to us. I understood where we were and what would soon take place. I was frantically trying to make a plan, to somehow get Grace of there. It was my one consuming thought. I knew I had to save her from the horrors to come. We were up several stories in a locked room, there was no way out. I began to think that maybe I could strike a bargain with them. Maybe if I promised to do all they wanted, just maybe they would allow her to leave.
The next day a man came in. I begged and pleaded. I attempted to bargain with him.
He laughed and sneered. He told me that since I was so willing to corporate, perhaps they would let me stay there with her, in the nice place, rather than send me where he had planned. However he assured me that there was no way they were letting her go. She was too valuable. He told they already had a buyer for her. He told me a young, attractive, and pure girl like her always brings in the most money. The man was evil, and stuck terror in me deep to the core.
The emotions I experienced during that dream seemed so VERY real. Even now, my stomach is in knots, I feel like I need to puke, my heart is racing, and I can’t breathe.
I could feel the panic and fear.
It was palatable, even after I awoke.
I could feel the anger welling up inside.
When they came for Grace the next day I begged. I cried. I screamed. I fought.
They took her anyway.
I could hear her screaming and crying as they carried her off.
I began to become consumed with finding her. I knew they were keeping her there. I tried cooperation, manipulation, begging and pleading. This only made them torment me and abuse me all the more.
Finally they sent me away.
To my own living hell.
I felt such despair, loneliness, and hopelessness.
I knew that there was no hope for Grace. I knew I would never see her again. I knew she would live a life filled with unspeakable horrors and so would I.
I knew no one would come and rescue us.
I knew no one even cared.
I knew the only way to survive was to cooporate.
I wanted to survive, because maybe just maybe I might find a way to get back to my daughter and rescue her.
I awoke from that dream so shaken I didn’t go back to sleep. Words cannot even begin to describe how REAL it felt.
I immediately had the thought that maybe the Lord allowed me to see and feel it so vividly so that I would act.
Two more dreams followed that one.
Each a continuation of my nightmare of being someone’s slave.
Each dream just as vivid and real as the first.
In my last dream I was completely broken and resigned. The drive to escape was gone.
What would I escape to?
How would I live after all that I had done and experienced?
How would I even know how to fit in on the outside?
Who would want me?
In my spirit I believed that the life I was living was truly the life I deserved.
I was beaten down, degraded, and broken.
I couldn’t even think about what had happened to my beloved child.
I was covered in shame and guilt.
I was completely without hope.
I got to wake up from my nightmare.
I got to walk down the hall and hold my daughter in my arms.
I got to look at my husband, knowing he loves me, is alive and well, and here to protect his girls.
I get to live in world where he would NEVER sell his wife or children for money.
I live in world where I don’t have to use drugs just to make it through what I will experience today.
My children get to live in a world where they are safe and loved.
They are not used, beaten, degraded, and then abandoned.
We have hope.
We are free.
So many are not. This is their reality. Their nightmare is real. This is their life.
Which leaves me with the questions:
What will I do with my freedom?
What will I do with what I know?
What will I do with the knowledge that today an estimated 27 MILLION people have been trafficked and enslaved?
What will I do with the knowledge that of those 27 million half or 13.5 Million are children?
What will I do with the information that of those trafficked 70% are trafficked into the sex trade and the remaining 30% are used for slave labor?
What will I do with the information that between 14,500 and 17,500 human beings are trafficked INTO the United States EVERY year?
What will I do?
What will you do?
I don’t yet know what I will do, but I will do something.
I have no other choice, for the love and freedom I have in Christ compels me.
“Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not repay man according to his work?” Proverbs 24: 11 & 12
“Wash yourselves; make yourselves; remove your evil deeds from before my eyes;
cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression;
bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widows cause.” Isaiah one:16-17