by Kathi Macias
Monique’s name is actually Marcia, but her captors thought it wasn’t sexy or appealing enough, so they changed it soon after they abducted her. She was just walking home alone from cheerleading practice when they grabbed her. She was 15 at the time.
She’s 18 now and despairs of living long enough to hit 20. Her parents have all but given up trying to convince the authorities that she is not a runaway.
Sumalee, whose name means flower, is only 12. She was orphaned 2 years earlier and ended up living on the streets of her poverty-stricken town in Thailand, begging for food until being forced into a brothel. At times her life is so hard that she prays for an early death.
Monique and Sumalee are fictionalized girls from different cultures in different lands with completely different backgrounds and lifestyles. But they represent so many actual girls trapped in modern-day slavery, along with an estimated 27 million other men, women, and children worldwide.
Many of that number are exploited for sex (including children younger than Monique and Sumalee), while others are forced to labor under dangerous and difficult conditions for no more than a crust of bread or a bowl of rice, if that. Still others are enslaved for the nearly unthinkable but lucrative practice of harvesting and selling human organs on the black market.
The undeniable facts and estimated statistics of human trafficking are staggering, while the faces of this evil crime are heartbreaking—as they should be. How can we in good conscience ignore their plight?
Women and girls like Monique and Sumalee are crying out for someone to rescue them. Can we afford to ignore that cry once we’ve heard it? Can we stand before our Savior one day and say we chose not to answer?
I don’t believe so. Countless organizations, like the Mercy Movement, are banding together in this fight for abolition. Won’t you join us? Email me at [email protected], and I will be happy to steer you in the right direction.
Kathi Macias is the author of Deliver Me From Evil, the first of 3 novels in the “Freedom” series on human trafficking. Red Ink, one of Kathi’s current fiction books, recently won Novel of the Year in the Golden Scroll Book Awards. Red Ink has also been named one of three finalists for the Long Contemporary Carol Award by the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).