I have known about this organization for about a year now. When I was first made aware of this grave injustice, my heart broke. So I made a commitment to pray. I didn’t know what else to do. But about two weeks ago I had an experience that I cannot brush off, nor can I claim as coincidence.
For the last 3 months or so I have been having these nightmares. It got so bad that my husband has started praying for my mind to rest in God’s peace before we go to bed. So this one night, he prayed and we went to bed. He woke up early and left for a meeting, while I got some extra zzz’s. However, during that extra sleep time, I had the scariest, most real dream of my life. Here is an excerpt from my journal that morning:
I woke up in this dark and dirty tavern. My vision was fuzzy but I could tell there were men drinking all around me. Then women started to come in and sit with the men and it was as if we were all going to watch a play. The curtain to the stage was drawn and actors were running about frantically. I decided I needed to find my husband. I looked backstage, in the side rooms, outside, but he was nowhere to be found. And people I had known for years were walking by me as if they had never known me before. No welcoming smiles. Only the sound of drunken brash men and the high pitched yelping of their women.
It was then that I realized, I was living in a brothel.
For some reason the brothel allowed its girls to go home on the weekends, so I raced home to look for my husband and any other men I could find to rescue me from this awful place. But much to my dismay, I found no one. I was running out of time so I returned to the brothel, took out my red journal and began writing down the names of all the men in my life that I would round up next time I went home. I also wrote a prayer that went something like this, “God I know I’m here for some reason. I’m confused but I know you are going to use this in other girls lives somehow. You always do. I trust you.” As I was writing, the girl sitting next to me nudged me as a warning that the headmaster was coming. I hurriedly slipped the journal beneath my leg as he approached my table. He proceeded to tell me that I had broken the code of silence and that I was to be punished. He pulled a drill out from his pocket, grabbed my right hand, and began to drill a hole in the flesh between my thumb and index finger.
At this point I woke up in a frantic with a sharp pain in the exact spot of my dream. I thought maybe my hand had fallen asleep or that something had bitten me, but nothing. No mark and my hand was fully functional. It took me a while to remember where I was and realize that everything was just a nightmare. But then the real pain hit me. For me, it was just a nightmare. But for thousands of boys and girls across the world, it was reality. They didn’t get to wake up.
Soon after I started researching organizations on this topic of sex-trafficking and remembered about Love146. I searched their website, watched every single video, and read all the blog entries about what these people are trying to accomplish. It is amazing. To see and hear the stories of lives they’ve touched, girl’s who were considered “discarded” from brothels are now finding new lives in the recovery homes. Girl’s and boys who once lived their lives as gruesome entertainment and pleasure of others, now experience Freedom and Hope.
I am brought to tears again and again because I know the God of the universe and I know He sees the pain and suffering of these children. And yet, He is still good, He is still sovereign, and He is still God. And He uses people like me and you to bring justice and peace to this hurting world. I mean, logically, if He was such a powerful God could He not just free those children Himself? The answer is yes He could. But time and time again He reveals to us in His Word that, “they will know you are My disciples by your love for one another” (John 13:35). It is our job, as believers, to brings justice to those who are in need. To rescue the weak, give homes to the poor and needy, and be advocates for those who cannot advocate for themselves.
We do not serve a God who is absent from our current troubles nor the injustice of the world. He makes a promise in Psalms that says, “Because of the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy, Now I will arise,” says the LORD; “I will set him in the safety for which he longs.” (Psalm 12:5) We serve a great God who, in His time, will bring all injustice to its right judgement. But for now, we, His people, have the responsibility to arise and help in the ways we see necessary. The greatest crutch we have created is the mentality that someone else will do it. If that was the mentality of Rob Morris and his crew, Love146 would never have existed. Lives would not have been saved. And hope would never have been birthed in those beautiful girls.
Below is the story of how this organization came to be. I hope that you will read it and be inspired as I was. I was not only inspired to DO something about it, but to change my own mentality of how I face everyday life. That when I am complaining about the amount of laundry that needs to get done, or become petty on what my husband does or does not do for me, I remember this story and realize how selfish and minute my complaints really are. This is the story of the hundreds of defenseless women and children all around our world.
A Number for Her Name
[Excerpts taken from Love146.org]
In 2002, the co-founders of Love 146 travelled to South East Asia on an exploratory trip to determine how they could serve in the fight against child sex trafficking. In one experience, a couple of our co-founders were taken undercover with investigators to a brothel, where they witnessed children being sold for sex. This was their experience. This is the story that changed our lives.
“We found ourselves standing shoulder to shoulder with predators in a small room, looking at little girls through a pane of glass. All of the girls wore red dresses with a number pinned to their dress for identification. They sat, blankly watching cartoons on TV. They were vacant, shells of what a child should be. There was no light in their eyes, no life left. Their light had been taken from them. These children…raped each night… seven, ten, fifteen times every night. They were so young. Thirteen, eleven… it was hard to tell. Sorrow covered their faces with nothingness. Except one girl. One girl who wouldn’t watch the cartoons. Her number was 146. She was looking beyond the glass. She was staring out at us, with a piercing gaze. There was still fight left in her eyes. There was still life left in this girl…
“…All of these emotions begin to wreck you. Break you. It is agony. It is aching. It is grief. It is sorrow. The reaction is intuitive, instinctive. It releases a wailing cry inside of you. It elicits gut-level indignation. It is unbearable. I remember wanting to break through the glass. To take her away from that place. To scoop up as many of them as I could into my arms. I wanted to break through the glass to tell her to keep fighting. To not give up. To tell her that we were coming for her…” “Because we went in as part of an ongoing, undercover investigation on this brothel, we were unable to immediately respond. Evidence had to be collected in order to bring a raid, and eventually justice on those running the brothel. Some time later, there was a raid on this brothel and children were rescued. But the girl who wore #146 was no longer there. We do not know what happened to her, but we will never forget her. She changed the course of all of our lives.” -Rob Morris, President and Co-founder
You may be asking the question, “How do I get involved?” First, educate yourself on this issue. There is plenty of material on the Love146 website for you to explore through. Second, this Spring Tyson and I are hoping to have a benefit concert for this organization. If you are interested in participating, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With great ambition,