International (MNN) – According to an International Mission Board news report, between 12 and 27 million people across the globe are involved in some form of forced servitude. No small portion of these is slaves to human trafficking.
Trafficking has been a longstanding problem in India. Due to extreme poverty in many parts of the country, many families sell their daughters into the sex trade to get by. Some families try to "mortgage" their daughters with the hope of bringing them back to the family later; by this time, however, the young women have scars deeper than their poverty could have produced.
Recently, a young girl was rescued from the trade in north India. The girl was born into a poor family and forced into child labor by age six. She was certainly not allowed to attend school.
At the age of 14, the young girl was taken by her stepmother to what she was told was a youth hostel. Although there were several youth there, the facility was not a hostel, but a brothel.
Upon the arrival of her first client, the young girl ran away and was found by a Christian rescue mission, according to IMB. She is now safe and learning about the Lord.
This beginning of this story is not uncommon, but the happy ending is. In 2003, the profit for selling a girl to the human trafficking ring was often around $1000. IMB Erich Bridges notes that "human trafficking is a business…. Like any other business, it has employees, buyers and sellers, supply and demand. The only difference: the products of this business are people."
The business, of course, stretches much further than India, to every continent. Even in the United States, an estimated 14,000 foreign nationals are imported and sold into trafficking.
IMB recognizes that the only way to provide safety for victims of this business is through Jesus Christ. In order to bring Christ to these helpless women, IMB has instituted programs to reach out as they can. One program in Ecuador helps to reach prostitutes with Christ's love by meeting them on the streets.
At the very least, all believers need to pray. Pray that hearts would be changed and that human traffickers would be led to Christ and see the evil of their ways. Pray for the countless victims involved that they would see the light and hope of Jesus, and cling to Him with all their strength.
To learn more about the IMB program in Ecuador and other areas, click here.