April 5th, 2011 by Kristi Stephens
For the next two weeks, I will be reposting our Redeemed series focusing on the serious issue of human trafficking and the ministry of Women at Risk, International. Gillian Ferwerda of Women at Risk (WAR) wrote these posts for us to open our eyes to the rampant problem of trafficking around the world, and also give us specific ways that we can make a difference! I pray you will join us and be changed through it!
Aapti grew up in a small Nepali village. Life was hard, but they managed. She helped her mother make alu roti, the Nepalese bread and fetch water from the well.
She knew her family was poor, but then the drought struck. There were days when they had nothing to eat… She remembers the hollow of her stomach echoed the hollow in her mother’s eyes. Her baby brother was always crying, but then he became too weak to cry.
A woman came to their village, richly dressed in a yellow sari. She was the only colorful thing in their wind-blown village.
She told Aapti that she was beautiful, and Aapti blushed. She said that Aapti could find a job in a city, taking care of a rich person’s children. Then she could send money back home. “And my baby brother would not die?” Yes, her baby brother would not die. Aapti could even buy a colorful sari like hers, the woman said.
At dinner that night, a thin gruel of potato, Aapti told mother and father what the woman had said. Father was intrigued.
The next day, he came home and said that he had talked to the rich woman. Aapti would go with her the next day to a big city. Mother cried. But Aapti was a little excited, but nervous as well. She had never left her village.
The rich lady took her to a big city and Aapti thought she had arrived. But then they got on what the lady called a train. And they went a long, long way, and then Aapti did not know the language. She did not know where she was.
When they finally got off, a big man met them. He gave the rich lady some money, and she started walking away. Aapti went to follow her but the man stopped her—she shouted out, confused. The lady turned around and said sharply, “Obey him.”
Aapti found herself in a brothel, drugged, beaten, and forced to obey. She was sold—another victim of human trafficking.
What is human trafficking?
Human trafficking is this century’s slavery, the buying and selling of people for labor or forced sexual exploitation. Vulnerable women and children find themselves chained to beds of horror, their spirits broken and their bodies sold. This evil victimizes people in every country, of every age, and of every gender.
800,000 people are sold across international borders each year; not including those trafficked within countries. 50% of these are minors; 70% of the women are sold into sexual slavery.
In total, some estimate that 4 million women and girls are bought and sold worldwide every year.
This evil is swelling; human trafficking is the fastest growing arm of organized criminal activity, second only to drug trafficking in extent and size. Evil eats up the victims, but also the traffickers, selling them to its minions of greed, hate, and self-worship.
What you can do!
How do we respond in the face of statistics like these? Do you long to do something and wrap arms of love around these women and children? Women At Risk, International (WAR, Int’l) was birthed out of this passion—we exist to educate and unite others to create circles of protection and hope around women and children at risk. Reading this blog series is a first step to become informed about trafficking and what you can do. Visit www.waritnernational.org for more information.
The truth is, Aapti’s story is our own story. We have all sold ourselves to something—a good career, image, perfectionism, alcoholism, self-concern, fear. These become our masters. We will do whatever it takes to feel accepted, loved, safe…
What seemed to promise happiness, freedom, and worth turns on us. We discover that the promises we believed were empty, hollow, deceptive. We discover that we are in bondage, for we are slaves to whatever controls us. (2 Peter 2:19)
Each one of us was born as a slave to sin, separated from God – the Creator and Sustainer of life, the giver of hope, the lover of our souls. There is no life apart from him.
But in Him, there is real hope—Jesus has paid the price with His own blood to buy us out of our slavery to sin! (Revelation 5:9) If we acknowledge our desperate need for Christ’s blood to free us from our sin, believe that He is who He said He is and commit to following Him, we will be rescued from bondage to sin (Romans 10:9) and brought into eternal life (Romans 6:23).
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Galatians 5:1
From Kristi: Want to know more about how to find freedom through Jesus Christ? Please email me – I would love to talk with you.
To find the other posts in this series, or to find how you can be involved in spreading the word, click here.
 U.S. State Department. Trafficking In Persons Report, 2009.
 Zonta International.