You’re a fifteen year-old girl in a developed nation. You attend high school, practice piano, and participate in after-school sports. You’re dealing with all the drama of teenage relationships, having recently broken up with your first boyfriend, when your mother tells you she wants to take you to another country to visit some extended family. The chance to travel, meet some new relatives, and get away from the drama at school sounds heavenly, so it’s not difficult for her to convince you that it is a good idea.
The next thing you know, you are in Africa. Your mother leaves early one morning without saying goodbye. You wake up to realize you are alone and have no identifying documents. The people in the house say they are taking you to Sudan. You refuse to go anywhere until your mom comes back, but they beat you and force you into a car. You’re all alone, you’re terrified, and you are being smuggled illegally across the border from Uganda to Sudan.
Then, as the vehicle jolts on the unpaved roads, one of the men hands you his phone. It’s your mother. What a relief! But as you hold the phone to your ear, her familiar voice utters words that cut like a knife. She says, “I am not coming back for you. God doesn’t love you. If He loved you, maybe some people would come and take you back home. But He doesn’t love you, and you are stuck here.”
That was the story of one trafficking victim here in Sudan. But, she’s no longer trapped here. She has just safely arrived back in her home nation, and I’m thrilled. Do you know why? Because I had the joy of sitting with her just last month when she realized two things:
1. She was going to get out, despite what her mother said.
2. And… God loves her.
Ahaha – and I love my job!