When I was a child and our family headed out on a road trip, I was that kid that kept asking every 10 minutes: “How long until we get there?” I’m still asking that question.
When it comes to the heartbreaking stories of the children we partner with at Love146, the wait for justice is too long.
The road to recovery and healing takes a lifetime. And the time that it is taking to bring an end to the trafficking and exploitation of children feels like forever.
I was keenly reminded of this a few years ago when two very young children—just 3 and 6 at the time—who were victims of human trafficking were brought into our care.
We immediately began seeking justice for these children, and through a series of frustrating and heart wrenching roadblocks and circumstances, were prevented from doing so. Justice seemed so close, and yet so far away. I remember returning from the Philippines devastated. I knew full well that seeing justice done is such a crucial part of the long road toward recovery for these precious children.
I’m learning to wait. And it is excruciating.
What I mean by “wait” is not some passive, do-nothing while you wait kind of waiting. I’m talking about an active waiting that involves hard work and a lot of hope. I’m learning that reaching the destination takes time. And time often feels like an endless night and you wonder if you will ever see the day again. It’s what you do during that time that matters.
I’m reminded of this by Anne Lamott, who says; “Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.”
We just recently received news that a perpetrator was arrested for trafficking over a dozen children near the city that the young children I referred to above came from.
Sure enough, the two children in our care identified him as their abuser.
Upon hearing the news, the girls expressed being relieved that he can never harm another child. Our Director of Survivor Care, Dr. Gundelina Velazco, commented: “The girls eyes have somehow taken on a new glow, vibrant with hopefulness, beaming with triumph. The two girls seem to feel proud of their newfound bravery and self-confidence.”
Maybe you also find yourself in this place of waiting. Maybe you are also asking the question: “How long?” Please don’t give up. In the context of time and history, it won’t be long…