traffick jam 2011

I could kick myself for not blogging about this sooner. I kept meaning to, but I was waiting to get all my detail-ducks in a row. I’m still not sure everything is all figured out, but time’s a’tickin’!

As I’ve mentioned at least once (ahem), our trip to Cambodia last July rocked my ever-lovin’ world. And these days I spend a lot of time and energy trying to do whatever I can to make a difference over there (and in other places around the world–including my own city) now that I know some of the horror and can’t possibly look away ever again.

And every single day I wish I could do more. I know I could do more.

I looked back through some of my Cambodia posts just now, looking for one where I talked about some of the awful things we experienced while we were there, and I couldn’t find one. I don’t think I ever wrote it. I was afraid my words couldn’t do justice to the awful and the evil.

And they can’t. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try.

So I’ll tell you about a visit our team made to a village in Cambodia, a village known for its shameless trafficking of children. A village where the people are so poor that the parents and grandparents will often sell their children (by the night or altogether) to pimps and brothel owners in exchange for enough money to feed the rest of the family.

We met people and heard stories that ripped my heart in two. At one point, I sat in a renovated building that had once been a child brothel and bawled my eyes out. The new building was beautiful and was being used for God-honoring purposes (they got it for cheap, because no one else wanted to buy it–they were afraid of the spirits of a couple little girls who had died there), but the workers had left a reminder of what had been.

Stall #9. An ugly cement structure barely big enough to walk around in. A bed made of slats of wood where a little girl (as young as 5) would stay chained until it was time for her to be used again. And again and again.

My girls were 9, 8 and 4. I bawled. We sat on the floor in a circle and prayed, and I just bawled.

After that, we got to sneak in the back of a room where hundreds of kiddos were having Kid’s Club. The teenage leaders were up front, grinning, leading the young ones in a rousing rendition of “Jesus Love is a Bubblin’ Over” complete with energetic motions. Tears of happiness pricked my eyes, mixed with tears of sorrow. So many of these darling little children would learn about Jesus that afternoon and be sold that night.

But there is hope. Hope for rescuing one precious child at a time.

Traffick Jam 2011. It’s a 10-mile walk being held all over the United States on May 7. The goal? To bring child sex trafficking in Cambodia to a screeching halt. It’s a crazy-huge goal. But with enough money and manpower and GOD-power, these sweet kiddos can be rescued.

If you’re interested in walking, click here for a list of the coordinators in each state. If there’s not a walk in your area, you can coordinate one! I’m co-coordinating the walk in Columbus, OH, and we would LOVE to have you join us!

The goal is for each walker to get 10 donations of $10, but I’ll bet you could get even more than that. If you can’t walk but want to donate, I’ll be writing another post in a couple weeks about that. Our family of 5 is doing the walk together, and we’d love to have you sponsor us!

Are you wondering how in the world a bunch of walkers are going to bring an end to child sex trafficking? Here’s a list of what the money will be used for. I’ve witnessed this firsthand, friends. God is MOVING in Cambodia.

My friend Yvonne (who spent time in Cambodia and is back in the States raising awareness of Traffick Jam 2011) is especially excited about the Boys’ Club they’re going to start–the first of its kind in the country. Boys are being trafficked just like girls, but the stigma is so much greater and no one wants to admit it’s happening. It’s happening.

I can’t wait to see what God does through these 10 little miles.

If you have questions, let me know. If you want to walk with us in Columbus, let me know. Thanks, friends!

37 thoughts on “traffick jam 2011

  1. Pingback: 10 ways YOU can fight human trafficking | Marla Taviano

  2. Pingback: Marla Taviano » let’s do this thing!!

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  4. Yvonne

    Marla…. 🙂
    You are just plain amazing, thank you for the ways you choose to stand up for justice and use the gifts He’s given you to spread the word. Thanks for the blog shout out too!

  5. Kathleen-NM

    Great stuff, thanks as always for passing on the info. There is no coordinator for NM yet, but passed on the info to a gal I work with in WM. She is helping start 5 Stones, a local ministry to bring awareness and help to people in this dreadful trap. One of our pastors really has a heart for this ministry, so it was great info to pass along since they are starting from the ground up.

    Thanks!

    Kathleen

  6. Mary

    Would walk if I wasn’t worried I’d have a baby in the middle of it 🙂 But would love to support with prayers and financially! Please send me your donation link when you get it set up.

      1. Mary Nowlan

        Looks like the closest one is KC area. SO, my choices….organize a walk here or donate flat amount through pay pal.Not sure yet, but already promoting the cause. 🙂

  7. Amy Kate

    I want to join you! I’m near Columbus (Newark) and I want to bring friends. Can I spread the word at my MOPS group, homeschool co-op ,and my blog…basically to anyone who will stand still and listen? Going to put it on my calendar right this instant. Many blessings to you!

  8. Keri

    That’s it…..I want to hop on a plane and go rescue them all. The anger and passion this stirs up in my heart is overwhelming. They are just children. I struggle so much to understand, choosing to believe in a loving God who hates evil more than I do. My sister and a friend in Houston are involved in a ministry addressing the human traffiking there. I need to make sure they know about this!
    Love you!

  9. Brooke

    Unforunately, there isn’t one near me. I barely have the confidence to raise the money much less coordinate an event.

    I will pray and seek God in how he would have be be involved.

  10. liz

    Signed up for Indy and already have my sponsors! I will be praying the whole walk. My son is a missionary in Thailand and he does work in Cambodia as well so I am very aware of this.

    God Bless you Marla!
    ~Liz

    1. Laura

      Is there one in Indy? I looked at the list and didn’t see it. I would be interested in joining in and getting some of the ladies in our church to be a part of it.

  11. Wendy

    You’ve stirred something in me. There isn’t a coordinator in my state, but I’m going to look into this more. Maybe I’m to be that person.
    ~ Wendy

  12. sharon

    God is already blessing this event and what He plans to do in each of our hearts. Thanks for getting the word out. This is gonna be great! I love your heart!

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