Sunday, April 27, 2008


Recidivism. It's such an ugly word that describes an even uglier reality.

According to one statistic that I recently heard, sixty percent of sex-trafficked girls return to prostitution. Recidivism is so ugly not because it’s a big, fancy word but because it describes the life of a girl—a girl who was offered more but settled for less.

Why would someone do that? I suppose the experts have their answers. And I have my opinions. But what frightens me most about recidivism is that it threatens girls that I know, girls that I love.

I wish that every girl’s story would have a happy ending. But that happens only in fairy tales, not in real life. I have known girls who have chosen less. And there will be others.

Our ministry is too young to offer longitudinal reports on recidivism. But I can tell you something about my heart. I am personally going to do all within my power to help each girl to succeed. I am going to do all that I can to enlist the support of every person who will accept the challenge to join us in this fight. I will mourn the loss of every girl who chooses less and do what I can to offer her another chance. But I will not let the failure of one life rob me of the joy of sharing in the success of another. I cannot.

Even if six out of ten girls fail, I will work for the four who’ll succeed. I do this work not because it’s always rewarding. I do this not because it’s easy. Sometimes it’s hard. And sometimes it’s heartbreaking. But I do this because it is necessary; because it is right; and because it is what God wants.

Recidivism has always been a part of any important work to redeem others but so is success. I am praying and working for success. Precious lives hang in the balance.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)