I am so mad but I don’t know who to be mad at! The headline of the “news” we just posted at c2bu.dreamhosters.com infuriates me! As Americans we can be proud of the fact that the FBI and local law enforcement in 36 cities in our country are doing their jobs! They are dedicated to putting “pimps” away and rescuing child victims of sex trafficking! What I am so mad about is that no one is focused on restoring these children after law enforcement rescues them! I have personally read report after report saying the problem of child sex trafficking is increasing here in the United States but there is NO increase of services or homes for the victims! Due to our economy and budget cuts, the few that were in place are being suspended.
I’ve read reports from 20 years ago saying the EXACT SAME THING “the U.S. has a large juvenile prostitution problem” but there is a “severe lack of services and shelter” for these invisible, vulnerable children. I read a report written in December 2006 that states we in California have an enormous problem (first in the nation) and we have a “severe lack of services and shelters” for these victims!
When I’m not reading reports, I am listening to stories – heart stopping, gut wrenching, personal stories from grandmothers, aunts, foster parents, moms and just yesterday – a dad who have nothing in common except for the fact that a child they love, their child, has been trafficked for sex. Each and every one of them tells me, with tears running down their checks the same thing, “THERE ARE NO SERVICES OR HOMES” dedicated to the very specific needs of their beloved, now traumatized daughter, granddaughter or niece.
I am so mad I could scream! How many times do we have to hear it!?!? How many ways does it have to be said! There ARE NO HOMES AND SERVICES specific to the needs of children traumatized and rescued from sex trafficking here in the United States except for 3 – one in New York, one in Atlanta and one in L.A. For the rest of us around this country … there are none! Whose fault is it? Who can I be mad at?
“The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; Isaiah 59:16 (NIV)
I’m merely mad but God is appalled (overcome with horror and shock). I read this report from the Bible and knowing what I do about the injustice these children are suffering, I have to believe God is shocked that no one is intervening on their behalf. I wonder who He is blaming? Me? That thought gives me great pause. How can I blame anyone else when I have spent most of my life on this planet being more concerned about my wants and comforts (notice I didn’t say needs – because most all of them have been met) than I have about children in this world, in my country, repeatedly being sold to another human being so they can abuse and torture their bodies while calling it “sex”. Is God appalled at his beloved children? His church? Those of us He calls “His bride, “His body”? Big sigh.
I’m not mad anymore. But I am determined. I am determined now more that ever to do my part in making sure once these children are rescued they have a safe, loving home to go to where everyone is focused on their restoration, everyone believes in their unique value and that everyone tells them every single day; they were created on purpose for a purpose. I am determined along with every member of Courage to Be You’s volunteer staff to see the first Courage House built and full of children in 2010. The first one; in my own back yard – Northern California and at the same time, one all the way around the world in Tanzania, Africa. Next? One in every city in between the two locations!
Last night C2BU had the privilege of partnering with two amazing organizations, Law Enforcement Chaplaincy and CASA (court appointed special advocates) to begin training volunteers to be advocates for these kids. 115 people showed up. Everyone in the room was there for the very same reason … we want to see these kids get what they deserve; a home and someone to love them. What about you? Instead of being mad, will you join us? We have scheduled another orientation session on Tuesday, January 5th at Adventure Christian Church in Rocklin, CA. At 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Room A101). This orientation is mandatory to attend the 6 Saturday training sessions scheduled to begin on January 16th until February 20th. Please register online under volunteer registration. Details of the training as well as fee explanations are also under volunteer training.