AND the winner is Stephanie! She will receive a free copy of Gettin’ Old Ain’t for Wimps by Karen O’Connor. Thank you to everyone who put their name in for the raffle. Congratulations, Stephanie!
Last weekend, Larry and I hosted a couple who are experts in human trafficking. As they educated us about this horrible crime and sin, I reflected back on an experience that should have been different.
My daughter Darcy, grandson five-year-old Raffi, and I spent the day at Disneyland, and in the evening, Darcy was meeting a friend in the park. I would take Raf back to the hotel room. As Raf and I said goodbye to her, he suddenly became upset that his mommy was leaving him. He is usually completely comfortable with me but unexpectedly, he was hit with a need-mommy moment. As I took him by the hand and led him away, he cried out, “I want my mommy!” For the next fifteen minutes as we walked to the hotel, he continued to cry out, saying he wanted his mommy. He didn’t act like he was trying to get away from me but he was loud and persistent. Several times, people looked at us and frowned. Some with knowing looks of “It’s been a long tiring day at Disneyland.” But others with expressions I couldn’t read.
As we walked, I began to feel very self-conscious. If someone inquired whether this child was really supposed to be with me, what could I say? Would a five-year-old be able to convince someone that I really was his grandma? And since Raffi has called me “Podditt” (don’t ask why) since he began speaking, how could I prove I’m his grandma? Although he loves to introduce me, saying, “This is my grandma, Podditt.”
At the time, I was relieved that no one said anything. But as I sat listening to our friends, I felt sad and disappointed. Why didn’t someone stop me and ask me about why this child was so upset? Would I have interrupted someone in that situation to inquire? Most likely not, but I realized someone should have. Every day, children are being abducted, even in the United States, and put into the trafficking cycle–and many end up sexual slaves.
I committed to being bold to ask if something unusual or odd should occur around me. If the situation is legitimate, the person should be glad that I’m inquiring. If something wrong is actually occurring, the person in the wrong will most likely run away and leave the child behind. They do not want to be questioned–our friends informed us.
Thankfully, human trafficking and sexual trafficking are being exposed more and more. If you’d like to learn more, check out www.love146.org and www.findingfreedomint.org, two Christian organizations which are helping fight these sins internationally.
God’s heart is broken by people being held in bondage, both physically and spiritually. He wants to set us all free, whether we are in human or spiritual chains. We can help others by being aware of what’s going on around us. Let’s be bold to inquire if we see something suspicious.