This came to me from Harmony Beck. You can find more thoughts from her here. In May 2010 I traveled to Cambodia with Defiance College (where I am an early childhood education student) for three weeks to provide teacher trainings. Although I was there simply to teach, God opened my eyes to the tragic act of human trafficking I had previously only read about.
It was a late, sweltering night in Battambang, Cambodia when our bus rolled into the next hotel on our itinerary. All 20-some of us poured out into the small hotel lobby anxiously waiting for a cold shower and a place to rest our head for the night. Lounging around on the small sofas and chairs, while geckos ran across the walls above our heads, an expensive SUV full of young girls pulled into the parking lot. The driver - a middle-aged man, dressed to the nines - opened the back passenger door and out came three girls, no more than 14 years old, scantily dressed in ridiculous high heels. The man ushered the girls into the lobby, past the clerk behind the desk, to whom he waived in recognition, and marched two girls down the hall and the other up the stairs to a door with a waiting customer on the other side.
I sat in shock. I was frozen in disbelief. I turned to one of my friends and said "Did you see that?!" She silently nodded and pointed to a tattered piece of paper hanging on the wall that simply said "No Drugs and No Sex Trafficking". My stomach twisted into a knot instantly. I was then handed a key to my room. Once I unlocked the door I stood frozen as I looked at the bed I would sleep in for the next several days. There were filthy footprints on the wall, blood smeared above the headboard. How could I rest in this bed that has been repeatedly used for the prostitution of young, innocent children?
It was then that the Holy Spirit turned my gaze upon the bedside table. I reached out to open the drawer and found a Bible, placed there by the loyal Gideons. This was the first Bible I had seen after a week and a half in this Buddhist county. I spoke a quiet prayer for God to guide me... this is where he led me:
Matthew 5:3-8 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God."
Since I have been back in the States I have lived with this experience that has forever changed my life, but unsure of what to do next. My husband and I have made monetary donations to an organization to rescue someone suffering in human trafficking, but all we personally see is the money being taken from our bank account. I want to physically DO something. I feel such a deep, driven-desire to take action myself.
Today all that changed. Because of you. I clicked on the link in your blog to The Daughter Project page and found that they are in need of teachers to tutor rescued girls. This is how I can act! This is how I can make a difference! I will complete the application and send it in right away.
Thank you for taking action, thank you for inspiring me. I thought I had to be in Southeast Asia to "do" something about this problem. When I found out that this was right here in my backyard, that I could get to a place where I could help by a car ride versus a plane ride, I knew it was my time to act.
I pray that someday I will be able to thank you in person, and share my experiences with you.
God Bless you. You're an angel in a simple gray dress.