I can't get a picture out of my head. Maybe you can help me. A few days ago my anti-trafficking colleague, Pat Bradley, was in town. Pat is president of International Crisis Aid, which does great work rescuing trafficked kids in Cambodia, Ethiopia, and also in his home state of Missouri in the US.
So Pat shared a story with me. He was in Ethiopia recently, where ICA has built some safe houses for the little girls they rescue from forced prostitution.
Pat and his colleagues were in the red-light district one night rescuing girls. They could rescue only a certain number of girls because that's all the room they had in their safe houses.
But more girls showed up. A lot of them.
And this is the picture I can't get out of my mind: They ran up to Pat carrying all their worldly possessions in little plastic bags--and they begged him to take them away from the horror.
And he had to say no. I can't even imagine the pain in his heart at having to do that. I've cried for 36 hours since he told me. I'm crying now.
You might say, "Why didn't he just take them all? Figure out what to do once he had them."
Easy to say from your comfortable computer chair reading this. Where would you take 100 traumatized little girls? You can't just hail a cab. You can't just show up on someone's doorstep and say, "Can you take a girl or two? Feed them, clean them, house them, heal them, love them?"
When Pat told me this story, we talked about another kind of begging--that we constantly feel like we're begging for money to fund our projects to help kids trafficked for sex. I spend as much time fund-raising for Born to Fly as I do on the actual project. It's sad but true. He'd tell you the same thing.
Last year someone accused me of constantly begging for money for Born to Fly. "Something must be wrong if you're always begging for money," this person graciously wrote in an email. "I'm going to ask God what's wrong in your life. There must be sin somewhere that He's not blessing your efforts."
I don't mind begging for money to help little girls like the ones I can't get out of my mind.
So while I need to be begging for money to fund my own project, I'm going to beg you for some to fund Pat's project--building a village of safe houses for these little girls in Ethiopia. So he won't ever have to say "no" to a little girl carrying all her worldly possessions in a plastic bag.
You can donate via the Born to Fly website and we'll send 100% of your contribution to ICA to build the village. Just click on "general fund" and indicate "Ethiopia" on the PayPal form. Or you can donate right on ICA's website.
Forgive me for begging...but if those little girls can do it, so can I.