This week I left the city for a few days to head to a district where a good chunk of the women I work with are from. It is not only a trafficking source but also a destination.
I visited the main town as well as three villages.
It was interesting, heartbreaking, anger inducing, but most of all hopeful.
We are looking at starting something new in these areas to stop girls from entering the sex trade.
Two things stood out to me on this trip.
The first was a family. We are talking a mum and two girls 12 and 8.
The mum has been involved in the sex industry for the last 10 years she was trafficked into the area. I have the opportunity to sit down and chat with her. When I ask her if the kids go to school she answers, no how could I send them to school, I have no money.
We chatted for a little while longer, but this family stayed with me the next day and the next day.
I was looking ahead to the future of her girls. Her 12 her old daughter just starting to enter puberty; no school, no opportunity for school, no hope of a job, daughter of a sex worker. What will her future be? Unfortunately she will most likely follow the path of her mother, what else is there? What else does she know?
We are looking at starting work in these villages so this girl and girls just like her don't have to be sold. It's exciting and it gives me hope, hope for this girl.
The second thing that really stuck me as I process all that I saw was the utter evil in human nature. That people could do this to other people. In one village we went to, the girls serviced customers in a shack with only three walls. There was no mattress on the floor no door. For this the girls must pay 200RPS a night. That is more than what I pay for my home.
It is horrific and twisted that others are making so much money of another humans indignity.
In the main town of this district there are a group of older ladies who have been in the trade for many many years. Their situation is even more disturbing, they don't have any place in which to service customers, they must go into the field and do it there.
As I sat and chatted with these ladies men came and went taking a lady into the field and returning 5 mins later. It was sad, and it made me angry. These are real women, with real feelings. How could someone do this to another person. These women had all drunk a lot of alcohol by the time we sat to chat with them, no doubt to mask the pain of what they had to do to be able to eat the next day.
As I was reflecting, processing and praying through what I saw and experienced I came across Psalm 5: 1-3 and I made it my prayer.
Listen to my words, Lord
consider my lament
Hear my cry for help
my King and my God
for to You I pray
In the morning Lord you hear my voice
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly
God let your kingdom come.