She could be your daughter, your sister, or your niece. She is one of 3,000-5,000 children sold or lured into forced prostitution every day. She is raped repeatedly, beaten, drugged, and left for dead. Traded as a commodity on the black market, she is a victim of the sex industry, the second largest area of organized crime in the world.
When I was brainstorming characters and plot for my third novel, Chosen Ones, in the Born for India trilogy, my youngest daughter and her husband awakened me to the horrific crime of human trafficking. Up until that time I had no awareness that 27 million slaves existed in our world, generating $32 billion in revenue each year. I did not know that there are about two million women in prostitution in Asia and half of them children. I did not know that every minute, two people are trafficked across international borders, nor did I know that every year 200,000 American girls are at risk for sex trafficking.
My grown children's passion quickly became my own, and I knew exactly who Chosen Ones would profile: a sex-trafficked girl.
Punita, a young, poverty-stricken Nepali, is sold by her father to a strange woman who claims she will employ the child as a maid with a wealthy family in the city. For two years, the family would care for the girl and provide a good education. Then Punita would return home to marry Omar.
All lies. Instead, the woman delivers Punita into the hands of Vladimir Hochek, a ruthless kingpin who runs a multimillion-dollar business. Her new and better way of life becomes forced sex, turning 20 tricks a day.
Unaware of Punita's plight, a missionary couple dealing with their own crisis in Chennai, India, ministers daily to orphans at The Oasis Compound. Their world is about to change when they unexpectedly meet Punita and attempt a daring rescue.
My prayer in writing Chosen Ones is that eyes will be opened to see the severity and prevalence of human trafficking and be moved to action. My own burden led me beyond writing a novel to sponsoring an abused girl who has been rescued and placed in a Safe House for rehabilitation, education, and training so that she can become self-supporting.
Barbara Everett, Director of Destiny Rescue USA notes: "Human trafficking may be the worst human rights violation in the 21st century." God has not allowed this tragedy to go unnoticed. David says it well in Psalm 10:17-18: "You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; You encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more."
The Lord calls His Body to be the voice, the hands, and the feet of Jesus to reach out to these precious women and children who are being terrorized by traffickers. He tells His people to "speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute" (Proverbs 31:8).
- Trafficking statistics provided by Destiny Rescue USA, Inc. www.destinyrescue.org
Eileen Rife's novel, Chosen Ones (Born for India trilogy, OakTara), profiles a young girl taken captive by traffickers. Her youngest daughter and husband are training to minister to abused girls who have been rescued, cared for, and educated in Safe Houses. www.eileenrife.com