As a way to continue the conversations in The Biola Hour, we've invited Becky Mitchell to blog her thoughts after each episode. This is a response to Episode 48 on the human trafficking and modern slavery. Feel free to interact with Becky's thoughts in the comments below.
Human trafficking. My heart clenched in preparation. But yet not prepared enough for the words of “child soldier.”
My mind heard the examples of children in slavery and human trafficking as a ploy. I wanted to block her words because she was just trying to get to my emotions. But, of course, it worked for after all this is a real life circumstance around the world that I would rather ignore. Instead my Instagram feed fills again, from the End It Movement to child soldier’s awareness day. I saw a picture of a woman crying with her hand painted red. I hurt with her but still I questioned Dr. Laura Dryjanska’s words.
The processing and caring for those two words of “child soldier” took more than a moment. It meant God reminded me of the atrocious reality. There is no dreaming of childhood because it was lost before it was found, whether the child was forced or chose to join because of poverty, war or family situations. An identity is given, one that often involves a gun. Child Soldiers International broadens the picture. These children “are used as cooks, porters, messengers, informants or spies, or in any other way their commanders want. Child soldiers are also used for sexual purposes.”
The questions rumble through my mind, out of my idealized childhood that so many—child soldiers and more—do not have. Who will remind you of your belonging? Who will tell you how loved you are? Who will walk with and encourage you out of the childhood phase?
The last idea I want to leave you with is one Dryjanska gave as a challenge for all of us in supporting survivors of human trafficking. It comes rich with Jesus’ way of living, of aligning with those who are considered outcasts. Who are you willing to welcome to your table?