Monday, November 4, 2013

Thankfulness Project: Day 4

Today I am thankful for those who are fully committed to justice and to mercy.  Not in some statutory way, but in waging war against the outrageous wrongs of our world and working to make them right. 

I am thankful for those people who devote their energy, their lives, their very well-being to love and fairness and balance in our world.  Who sacrifice their own rights and privileges to help others gain freedom from whatever chains bind them.

I am thankful that it is work that is seeing progress.  Sometimes I forget this.  I was reminded when I read Corrie Ten Boom's The Hiding Place.  The Holocaust was sickening and tragic and horrible beyond words.  But devoted people saved persecuted lives despite it.  Sometimes at the cost of their own.  And their work, their prayers, their unwillingness to back down brought an end to a cruel and gruesome regime. 

I must be reminded: Things are better today than they have been.  I'm thankful for that.  But there is still work to be done and I am thankful for those who have suited up to do it. 

My eyes were opened earlier this year to the proliferation of modern day slavery.  There are all types of slaves of all ages all over the world (yes, even still in the United States of America).  I keep wanting to do more to help all the slaves, but my eyes, my mind, my heart, my actions are drawn back to the unspeakable horror of child sex trafficking. 

Though my words feel too weak, I am thankful for those who are committed to ending this injustice.  A friend offered the most fitting description I have heard of these brave souls: They're going right up to the very gates of hell to battle.

Since the Tread on Trafficking fundraiser this summer to benefit Love146, I've continued to follow this one agency's efforts at the gates of hell.  I'm thankful they're willing to go there and I'm thankful for the children they're saving.

--- --- ---

His Name Was David. from Love146 on Vimeo.

A year ago, we opened a feeding center in the heart of a community in the Philippines where child slavery was thriving — where pedophiles preyed on impoverished families and even some parents felt compelled to sell their children for sex.

We wanted to close the gap between desperation and exploitation, so we began to provide food, medicine and education… some of the needs that push families and their children into the bondage of sexual exploitation. And we began listening to the children.

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 9.17.52 AM

Of the many children who came through our doors, it didn’t take us long to spot four girls that were in especially serious danger. We began to notice heartbreaking injuries that could only come from sexual exploitation. In their childlike ways, they disclosed that their parents were selling them to pedophiles.

Hands tied by protocol, hearts torn to intervene. We’ve faced this before:
Not knowing what happened to
the girl who wore 146 haunts us everyday.
We vowed this story would end differently.

Everything inside of us wanted to take these girls out of their community. But it’s never as simple as snatching a child up. At the time, we could only legally provide so much care and it was gut-wrenching to know that when they walked out of our feeding center, they were walking into a horror that no child should ever face.

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 9.18.26 AM

Love is tenacious…
After months of partnering with local law enforcement and working with the Philippines Department of Social Welfare & Development, we gained full custody of Camila, Claudia, Sonya and Ariel. They’re safe and sound in our Round Home, and we’re looking forward to celebrating this holiday season with them in our family.

-Love146 blog post, Love is tenacious, by Ryan Day

I'm also thankful we can support such amazing work.