Friday, August 19, 2011

Tears for our daughters

"Tears shed for self are tears of weakness, but tears shed for others are a sign of stregth"
Billy Graham

I am not sure where to start.
I have tried for a few days to articulate what my heart feels.
And there are just no words.

Dave and I have been in Kansas City, Missouri for a series of meetings. It is called the Compassion Forum. From Monday till Wed, we were part of a forum on human trafficking, and it has shaken my world.

It will forever change the way I think.
I will pray for Maggi and Emma very differently now.

I learned things like. . .
In India cattle cost more than children do.
(I can not wrap my mind around that. )

There are more slaves now than any other time in history.
There are 12.3 million adults and children in forced labor, bonded labor, and forced prostitution around the world.

Here in the United States, there are at least 100,000 children are used in prostitution every year. The average age of entry into prostitution is 13.

The average age is 13.
I can not comprehend that.

I caught a glimpse into the 3 largest industry in the world, next to drugs and weapons. That fathers will sell their children to brothels. The trafficker could purchase a little girl for as little as $150, that girl will then be sold to customers as many many as 20 times a night, and can bring in $10,000 a month.

I learned that father's are selling their daughters younger and younger to brothels, because there is a myth that if a person infected with AIDS has sex with a virgin he would be cured. So these men are infected 6-7 year old virgins with AIDS.

Girls and women are being beaten, drugged, and abused while living in the brothels. That they have no chance for escape.

Some families have been tricked into selling their children into the sex industry. Some knowingly sell their children, but sadly others are tricked into thinking that they are sending their children to a better life, schooling, or better jobs.

Many of these girls are forced into prostitution.

This is hard to understand all of this in statistics, the numbers are to hard to understand. Human trafficking seem so far away from home. . .

But is here in the United States. There are 100,000 children used in prostitution every year in the United States.

This tears my hear to pieces. I look at it from the perspective of my daughters, and the lives that they would be living, if but not for God's grace.

My heart is broken for these girls.

And today, I was thinking how much more must my Father's heart hurt. How much more grief does he feel?

I know that His hand is not short and His ear not deaf, so I know that He is reaching out to these daughters of His.

But what am I supposed to do about this? I can not sit by and do nothing. The country that He called me to is a destination for sexual tourism. Because prostitution is legal in Costa Rica, and because we live in a deprived country, we now have a large population of children who have been forced into prostitution. Costa Rica now rivals Thailand and the Philippines as a hot spot for human trafficking in the world. There are no official statistics, but an estimation is that there are between 10,000 and 20,000 sex workers in the country, and 25,000 to 50,000 sex tourist who visit each year, 80% of whom are U.S. citizens.

What will I do about this. What does God want me to do about this?

My heart has been stirred, my soul is seeking and I am waiting. . . I want to do something to impact this. To change the destiny of a little girl, before she is forced into this life.

Please join me in prayer for this, these women need to be reached, by the power of our Father, and His reconciliation, hope, and healing need to be offered to these women.

I don't know what our ministry will look like in Costa Rica. But I want to make myself available to show Christ's love to the most marginalized of society.

I have been reading, for the 3rd time a book by David and Beth Grant, Assemblies of God missionaries to India, called Beyond the Soiled Curtain. Below are some of the statements that gripped me.

"it is too easy to relgate girls caught in prostitution to statistics. But it is crucial that every girl be recognized as a daughter-a daughter of God and a sister to every believer. Perhaps then when we see them as members of God's family- we will be more inclined to make the sacrifices necessary to welcome them home."

"But how does one confront the dark and dangerous face of evil called suxual trafficking and see victims. . .changed? The answer is found in God's Word, where it says He works through His people. He gives us strategies, courage, power, ideas and resources to be used for His glory, to reach out to women and girls in need. He desires to rescue and restore them more than we do. He is simply looking for people who are willing to do their part, to raise their hands and say, "Lord, show me what I can do".

That is where I am tonight. . .Lord here I am, with my hands raised. . . asking. . ."Lord, show me what I can do". . .


1 comment:

  1. Ayumi (i-YOU-me) HardySeptember 21, 2011 at 12:07 AM

    Hi Dave (& Amy), I met you at oak park christian center Sunday night; i'm the one who told you my plan to be a nurse and i gave my testimony! let me just say, we are SO GLAD we stayed to hear your heart and vision (we usually aren't at the evening service in the main sanctuary; we are at the young adults group)! i had chills hearing the phrases "community development" (my degree at ORU), "water quality" (my husband charles' specific desire to "do missions" is as a water quality engineer; he is a civil engineer doing water resources work right now!), and that Amy is an L&D nurse (i ultimately want to be a midwife someday!!!!). And now this blog, this post....there is no doubt women & their plight around the world in human trafficking, in obstetrical trauma, in being "the least of these" is certainly the BIGGEST HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE of this day and age. I have a very keen interest/devotion/knowledge on those topics...1 book i HIGHLY RECOMMEND is a secular one called "Half the Sky" which I can't tell you brought tears to my eyes again and again on issues you just wrote about in your blog. Anyway, I will certainly have to read the one you commented/shared an excerpt from as well!
    GOD BLESS YOU ALL and i hope to be in touch...I am, like i said, helping Pastor Sean with logistics for next summer's mission trip to India...maybe someday the church can send a team to you all?! Would a team with no medical experience be able to help????