As I write this, I’m sitting on a plane somewhere over the Atlantic. It’s 3:37am and I can’t sleep much. My perfectly spaced 19 inches from the chair in front of me feels like 1.9 inches. My legs are cramped. My neck hurts from straining to read my book because the overhead light is too dim. My wife is sitting next to me, restless and fading in and out of consciousness with the 4 inch pillow given to her. I’m hungry and need to pee, but don’t want to wake the dude next to me who seems quite comfortable taking up 1.7 of my 1.9 inches of leg room.
But none of this is what keeps me awake.
It’s the girls.
The girls I’m going to meet tomorrow.
Girls who have lived a life I cannot image…nor possibly understand.
A life of torture.
A life of slavery. Slavery like you’ve never seen before. Not slavery like American slavery of whites enslaving blacks that we’ve all read about in history class or slavery like we’ve seen in the movies.
Sexual slavery. Sex-trafficking. Human trafficking. Child trafficking.
This is what keeps me up at night. Not just now on this plane, but on other nights before this. It’s an adventure I never thought I would embark on. Brandy and I first learned about sex-trafficking and it’s 27 million slaves two years ago while reading about Hopechest CEO Tom Davis and blogger Anne Jackson taking a trip to Moldova to learn more themselves and expose one of the dirtiest secrets of man. You can read more about trafficking in Moldova here….. Since then, our lives seem to keep intersecting with this underworld of trafficking. Reading books, blogs, meeting Tom Davis and working with Children’s Hopechest has seemed to become a regular part of our lives….a small part, but a regular part.
So here I am, two years later…heading to Moldova with my wife…to learn about it first-hand ourselves.
And to meet the girls…
What will I say when I meet them?
These are girls who have been tricked, beaten, threatened, starved, raped, drugged, raped some more…
They experienced the worst from humanity and from…men. What does a ‘man’ say to that?
I’m not sure what we’ll see or hear or experience. I’m not sure how many girls we’ll meet or whether we’ll learn much detail of their stories. Who would want to talk about their past sexual enslavement where they were forced to service up to 30 men per day? And do I really want to know the details of their story? How much can I tolerate hearing about the evil my fellow man has brought on these innocent girls? Perhaps this is why sex-trafficking is so widespread…nobody wants to hear it.
So nobody talks about it.
So it goes on.
The girls I will be meeting have been rescued…physically at least, from their enslavement.
Rescued from their torture.
Rescued from their abuse.
Rescued from their horror.
Rescued from the men that treated them as dirt, as objects, as a product, as a tool.
These girls survived the daily torment that most people cannot possibly comprehend.
But can one be rescued mentally and emotionally from such experiences?
I believe that one can be…rescued from inside. But only by the grace and love of God. And this is what I want to see and experience and learn…and help with.
So here I am…sitting on a cramped plane on my way to Moldova…waiting with anticipation. And fear. And wonder. And hope.
And wondering…what will I say?