Helping the trafficked in Singapore

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Army home cares for four victimized children intercepted at Changi Airport.

by Ian Robinson, Captain –

In January, four new children arrived at one of the Salvation Army children’s homes in Singapore. Immigration police intercepted them at Changi Airport. These children—two 11-year-old boys and two girls, ages 9 and 11, were all being trafficked for sexual purposes.

The first child, trafficked from Sri Lanka by a syndicate, was a bright and lively 13-year-old boy, seemingly unaware of what was happening to him. A 9-year-old girl, also from Sri Lanka, arrived a few days later and was much more withdrawn and uncommunicative. Little is known about her family and she does not speak any English, only Tamil. Two Malaysian children arrived together after their escort was arrested. One was an 11-year-old girl who doesn’t eat very well. She often cries quietly in a corner, asking to speak to her mother. The other was a 13-year-old boy who loves to run and play football. His Tamil is a different dialect from the local one so communication is difficult.

Men in some developed country were willing to pay thousands of dollars to be the first to have sex with them. Does that shock you? I hope so. Every country in the world has a trafficking problem, originating, transiting or receiving, and sometimes all three.

We can’t do much for these children except give them food, shelter, and, for a few days, God’s love. And we can’t be sure that when they get home they won’t be turned around and put right back into the trafficking system. What you can do is pray for them, that their return home will be permanent, and that God’s love, planted in their hearts in Singapore, will grow and flourish as they go back to their family. Pray for the perpetrators of these heinous crimes, that they would be confronted by the terrible sins they are committing and fall on their knees to ask God to forgive them. Pray for the governments of all countries, that they would step up their efforts to end this human slave trade. Statistics tell us that there are more people in slavery today than there has ever been throughout history. Pray for The Salvation Army as it takes a major stand against trafficking, that it can use its worldwide resources to alleviate pain and suffering, and spread the love of Jesus to all.

Pray that men and women everywhere would heed Jesus’ warning, “If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck” (Mark 9:42).

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