Deliver me from evildoers and save me from those who are after my blood. See how they lie in wait for me! Fierce men conspire against me for no offense or sin of mine, Lord. I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me. Arise to help me; look on my plight!—Psalm 59:2-4
Ruptola and her friend, Jori, both saw their parents struggling to provide for their families in rural western Bangladesh. Ruptola’s cousin, Farida, promised the girls jobs in the country’s capital, Dhaka. The 14-year-old girls jumped at the chance to help their families. Without telling their parents, they got on a bus with Farida.
But soon, Ruptola noticed that the signs were in a different language.
Instead of Dhaka, Farida had taken the girls to a red light district in India, where they were locked in a warehouse for several days. There, they were beaten, starved, and humiliated into submission. When Ruptola questioned Farida about the jobs she had promised them, Farida beat her more and sold her as a sex worker.
Worried when her daughter didn’t come home, Ruptola’s mother remembered seeing her daughter talking to Farida the day before the three disappeared, so she went and confronted Farida’s relatives. They weren’t able to reach Ruptola, so they contacted a local anti-trafficking committee, which is supported by World Vision.
A committee member spelled out the consequences of trafficking and gave Farida’s family 24 hours to reach their daughter and return the girls. Farida left Ruptola and Jori at the border, and from there the girls traveled home.
Globally, millions of children are trafficked each year, and many never return home. Thankfully, Ruptola and Jori were saved, but they had suffered terrible abuse and came home viewed with a stigma by their community. World Vision provided them with counseling to help them heal from what they had experienced. At the same time, they helped them prepare to return to school. World Vision also helped the families earn more income to reduce overall stress about money matters.
Join us in praying Psalm 59:2-4 over children in desperate need of protection from trafficking.
“Deliver me from evildoers and save me from those who are after my blood.”
Since coming home, Ruptola has showed great courage in defying the stigma people want to assign her and speaking out so she can help others understand the dangers. The government even awarded her a prestigious national prize for survivors who have the strength to forge ahead. “Today, I have the freedom to be what I want to be,” she says. “World Vision has helped me lead a good life and be educated to give me a bright future.”
Sovereign Lord, we thank You for delivering Ruptola and Jori back home. Strengthen them as they continue to recover. Give them the words to help others not fall into the hands of traffickers.
“See how they lie in wait for me! Fierce men conspire against me for no offense or sin of mine, Lord.”
Fifteen-year-old Moni hung out at the playground in southwest Bangladesh. A man asked her about her family, and she told him her parents were divorced and how hard her mom works. He offered Moni a job in Dhaka, the capital. She instructed him to speak with her mother, and he told her to never say anything about their conversation. Now suspicious, she began walking home. But he grabbed her, covered her mouth with a handkerchief, and forced her onto his motorbike. She woke up in India. Moni’s community came together to find her and bring her home. World Vision provided her with counseling care and also helped her mom find ways to earn more money. Now Moni is back in school and dreams about the future.
Father, thank You for guiding Moni’s community in finding her. Continue to heal her. Foil the plans of those who plot evil against vulnerable children. Turn their hearts, so they might seek good instead of harm and evil.
“I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me. Arise to help me; look on my plight!”
Sixteen-year-old Lampheung looks around her community in Laos and sees vulnerable teens and children. “Two of my sisters moved to Thailand for work without any practical skills, along with many other young people from my village,” she says. But Lampheung refuses to become a victim and is helping other young people not fall prey as well. World Vision has set up children’s clubs to teach kids about how to protect themselves, and Lampheung is now a volunteer and advocate with the program. “At first, I just wanted to learn about the issue, so that I could share important information with my sisters working in Thailand,” she says. “But I developed a strong interest in and passion for it as I continued to learn.”
God, we’re so grateful for Your protection of Lampheung and the passion You’ve placed in her heart to teach others. Help her and other volunteers reach as many children as possible with this life-saving information. And when kids are in vulnerable situations, bring what they’ve learned to the front of their minds to keep them from danger.
*Note: All names have been changed to protect identities.
Contributors: Mary Lipy Rodrigues, Nila Douanesouvanh, and Gloria Das