Red Letters

Red Letters

Sex Traffickers and the Craziest Day…Ever

posted by Tom Davis

Today, we meet a psychologist to girls who have been rescued from the sex-trade.

As we walk down the street, she tells us she has a "surprise" waiting at our destination. I'm up for surprises. In fact, I kind of flow with them. The day is clear, a slight breeze is blowing, and for the first time I don't even need my Northface jacket. We sit down in an outdoor cafe with green umbrellas and Ahmad tea signs all around. Reminds me of Kiev and the sun feels good. 

"Do you want to know why I brought you here?" Nothing to fear, no need to worry. Of course we do. The black stuff in my cup isn't real good so it's not the best espresso in the city. "Why are we here?"

"One of the girls you will meet was trafficked from this restaurant."

What…did…you…say? At that moment, my world changed. The crowded city street was a different place. A man from the Middle East appeared over Anne Jackson's right shoulder. Something about him, it wasn't right. 

"In fact, they're here right now. And so are the girls who are being trafficked. They lure girls here for a job. Then they are sent to Turkey, Israel, and Russia."

I saw them. Teenagers draped with blond and brunette curls. You've got to be kidding me. And I've brought Anne here? I mean Simon and Brad are one thing, but a girl? Someone I'm responsible for, and I've brought her into the midst of a den filled with sex-traffickers? I looked to the right and saw two more men emerge out of the restaurant. They weren't Moldovan. Simon's camera didn't help things. He was shooting pictures and video faster than Usain Bolt runs the hundred yard dash. 

TraffickingPigsNow we're the center of attention. We tried to play it cool, acting like we belonged there and were just shooting a plain 'ol video about life in the big city. My chest got a little bigger, my sixth sense a little stronger. If there was ever a time I longed to be a CIA agent. 

An overweight, middle aged man sits down with a young girl at a table ten feet from us. She might be seventeen. We captured the photo. She bats her eyes and tries to impress her. He hands her a wad of cash for last nights exploits. TraffickerI'm sickened beyond explanation. And then I realize, this happens every single day. What am I suppose to do? Turn a blind eye? Pretend this evil doesn't exist? Go back to my comfortable life and wish that young girls aren't trafficked like this right in front of my eyes? 

Something inside tells me I can't. I've been exposed and I'll never be the same.

At least ten traffickers sniff us out. They're behind us, in front, to the right and left. We're absolutely surrounded. But were not in prison like the young girls who fill the chairs. We have a choice. Their choice had already been made for them. 

This place has the heavy-weight title of the highest rate of trafficked women in the world. Tens of thousands simply disappear. Our psychologist friend pulls out a local newspaper. "This is how they trap them. Local ads promising well paying jobs abroad. Everyone wants to leave so all young girls are potential victims."

I look to the left and to my utter shock, see two girls reading the same kind of newspaper. Once your eyes are opened, it's everywhere in this place.

GirlsNewspaper"I brought you here so you can see the realities in our country. It doesn't do you any good if I only show you what most people want to see. This is the reality." 

Tomorrow, we will be with five of the girls who have been rescued from this nightmare. I want to be a real presence in their live and fight back the evil that had control over their life. Thank God there are people here who go to the front lines every day. I have to do something, I can't sit on the sidelines and hope this goes away. 

We're in Moldova. Who would like to join us?  We stood up from our table and walked out of that hell hole. The beautiful blonde girl didn't have that choice. 

Comments read comments(20)
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posted April 8, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Absolutely horrific. People need to wake up now to what’s happening to these girls. Thank you for posting this and helping to shine the light on this darkness.
Too many lives depend on us rocking the boat so people pay attention.

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posted April 8, 2010 at 7:12 pm

So much to say, but yet left speechless. Please know that my family is praying for you continually and I am spreading the word and asking others to read, pray, be broken and become a part of the solution. As you said to me on my blog when the earthquake in Haiti hit, “Come, Lord Jesus, Come!”

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posted April 8, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Tom. Books like “Say You’re One of Them” and “Half the Sky” have been extracting tears and groans from me of late. Now your blog is doing the same. When you get back, let’s you, Emily, Rick and I talk.

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Kirsten Vogel

posted April 8, 2010 at 7:49 pm

uugh. You know God is letting you see these things for a reason… HIS reason. Be strong brother. Jesus feels your pain.

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Tiffany Stuart

posted April 9, 2010 at 7:51 am

I’ve been conned as a teenager. And I too have never been the same.
Everything in me goes crazy reading posts like this. Young girls dream big and to know their dreams are stolen breaks my heart. The sex trade is beyond comprehension. I can’t imagine what it must have felt like watching the madness. Oh God, help us be a people who fight back, pray and reach out with love. Your love, Jesus…

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Wes Roberts

posted April 9, 2010 at 8:02 am

…prayers continue
…looking forward to conversation when you return

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Lisa Button

posted April 9, 2010 at 8:02 am

I traveled to Russia with Children’s HopeChest back in 2002. (A phenomenal experience) Recently, God has been hammering my heart with the sex trafficking issue. It haunts me. I’m looking for an opportunity to travel to one of these areas (Europe, Thailand, Cambodia) to see this issue face-to-face so that I can more effectively speak to (and write about) this issue. Do you offer any trips for people like me?

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Natalie Teabo

posted April 9, 2010 at 8:24 am

I’m a puddle on the floor here! My blood boils at the sight if these photos, and sickens as I read your expierence. Praying for you and wondering the next step. How do you stop this?

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posted April 9, 2010 at 8:29 am

Tom…when you return. the four of us need to meet re your trip.

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posted April 9, 2010 at 12:17 pm

I don’t know you but found this link from the My Crazy Adoption blog. I’ve read about this and given aide to these things before but never have I seen pictures like this. Keep posting these “notes from the field” so we can can learn how to better serve and how to redeem…

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Tom Davis

posted April 10, 2010 at 2:11 am

Lisa, absolutely! I’ll have several posts on what we can do as well as a trip coming in the fall you can be a part of. Thanks for caring.

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Tom Davis

posted April 10, 2010 at 2:11 am

I’ll do it Rory. Thanks for dropping by the blog and being engaged in these issues.

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Tom Davis

posted April 10, 2010 at 2:12 am

Tiffany, your generation will make huge impact in these typed of justice issues. Thank for praying!

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Tom Davis

posted April 10, 2010 at 2:13 am

I’ll check it out. Look forward to seeing you and Rick when I get home.

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Tom Davis

posted April 10, 2010 at 2:13 am

Thank you for remembering us and praying. Lots to do over here but God is at work!

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posted April 10, 2010 at 5:55 am

I am thinking that anyone can take their pick of the craziness in the world and go crazy. It is so mind boggling. We need to seek God’s peace in everything we do. It is still his creation although we have managed to turn it upside down.
Do all that you can Tom, but do not internalise it or it will send you crazy. None of us can really imagine the reach of this sort of thing.
“The love of money is the root of all sorts of evil.” This truth is played out in millions of lives everyday. The world has too many problems and I am not so sure that problems which people sign onto can really be solved.
I can call to mind the transatlantic slave trade, apartheid, things which no one signed up for. So people fought for others’ human rights and dignity. Human trafficking has many facets and I am not sure that it is a problem which will ever go away. Pray that Jesus returns sooner than later.

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posted April 10, 2010 at 9:44 am

I hate feeling blind sided by reality. How could this happen. I hate seeing so much pain in the world and feeling paralyzed unable to do anything to help these girls. I can’t imagine how you felt. Here they are right in front of you and you could not do anything to stop them from selling themselves.

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posted April 11, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Found you off of Rachel Olsen’s blog… had already read Anne’s posts and reposted them on my site. Thank you for what you are doing – for how you are opening up the conversation. I had it in my mind that the worst trafficking rates were Thailand and the Philippines… I had no idea that they were so bad elsewhere as well… just makes you wonder what is also going on in our own backyard.

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posted April 13, 2010 at 2:02 pm

This issue has been heavy on my heart lately. How can I help?

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Robert Williams

posted April 14, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Women being miss treated as objects. These are people with hearts that should have a life to look forward to. This day and age people are truly loosing the understanding of what Life is truly about. I will continue to keep this in my prayers and look for places to make a difference.

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