She doesn’t cry anymore. It’s just easier to be numb than to think about the repugnant place she calls home. To think about the 28th customer that day who is about to walk into her dingy room. Little food and minimal sleep, she is isolated and has nothing. It’s just easier to be numb.
But the pain is so real. The tormenting thoughts that cloud her mind in the brief moments she has to rest leave her even more exhausted. How did she get here? She longed to make a good life for herself, but instead, she is raped, beaten and forced to live in deplorable conditions. Conditions she wouldn’t wish upon even her greatest enemy. She should be celebrating her 14th birthday with her friends, cake, balloons, and presents.
The smell. The dirt. Grime that may not be seen by the naked eye, but the kind that even ten showers can’t wash off. The residue etched on her soul that can only be explained by one thing. She is a victim of human trafficking.
This unimaginable existence is a reality for millions. There is an estimated 20.9 million victims of forced labor globally. From remote villages in Ethiopia to major highway cities like St. Louis, no place is safe. Human trafficking is one of the largest organized crimes in our world today, with an estimated $39 billion annually generated from these girls and boys who have had their childhood ripped away.
For the fortunate one who is able to escape, the tragedy is far from over. She is left broken with scars that can’t be easily erased. Scars so deep that only God can heal her from the memories she has tried to bury for so long. The only way to have complete restoration is through an encounter with our heavenly Father, the one who created her for a purpose. A life that may have been sidetracked, but not forgotten.
Isaiah 61:3 says that God will give us beauty for our ashes, joy for our mourning, and praise for our heavy, burdened and failing spirit. He has called us to be “oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God].” Only God can take our brokenness and put the pieces back together to make something beautiful. Despite everything her feelings are screaming at her, God can go into the darkest places of a girl’s broken heart and make something lovely and new.
Now look at verse 1. God is calling us to be a part of the solution. “…The Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound.”
How could we play a part in ending something so big? For most of us, our first reaction is to physically go in and rescue the victims ourselves. While we all can’t knock down the doors, we do have a role to play. Here are a few steps you can take to make a difference:
1. Pray for the victims
2. Get equipped by learning more about human trafficking
3. Spread the word to your family and friends
4. Volunteer and donate to organizations that are working to combat human trafficking
Joyce Meyer Ministries is committed to doing what we can to bring the restoration and love of Christ to those trapped. We are partnering with:
A21 to rescue women in Eastern Europe (Greece, Ukraine and Bulgaria)
LA Dream Center rescue home
The Gabrielle House in Thailand
Crisis Aid International’s two rescue homes in Ethiopia
The She Rescue Home in Cambodia
Community Development Center in India
She may be broken and alone, but she still has hope! Go online to joycemeyer.org/handofhope and see how you can make a difference to a victim of trafficking today.