Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Ultimate Betrayal

Recently, I saw a movie in which a Rapha girl recounts her story. It’s heart-rending.

I’ll write more about this film some other time. As I watched this girl’s story unfold, I was struck by the magnitude of betrayal that she endured. At every turn, the people she encountered used and abused her. The men to whom she was labor trafficked the first time as a young child mistreated her and cheated her out of her money. Then, she was trafficked again to Bangkok with the same results. She desperately wanted to help her impoverished family, so she took what she thought was a restaurant job in Siem Reap. On the way, she was raped not once but twice and brutally beaten. The restaurant job was a ruse, and she ended up trapped in a living nightmare at a brothel, where she faced unthinkable horrors, including unrelenting sexual assaults and forced drug addiction. That went on for month after month. One betrayal compounded upon another.

Today, I spoke with a young woman at church about this film. She wants to invite her parents to its preview, but she says that they’re good Christians and don’t like to see anything that makes them feel bad. They like to keep life positive and upbeat.

I understand. But nobody gave this young girl the chance to keep her life positive and upbeat. Her desires were never considered. Never heard. Never respected.

I understand that stories about the human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children are disturbing. We don’t want to consider such ugliness. But unless the church turns its face towards this reality and acts decisively and boldly, we are guilty of the ultimate betrayal. For who should take the lead in fighting evil, if not Christ’s church?

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. (Proverbs 3:27)