Supporters often wonder how Project Rescue secures the release of trafficked women and children.
Human traffickers are dangerous, violent criminals. Many are part of sophisticated, ruthless organized crime operations. Human trafficking generates more than $39 billion in revenue worldwide ($10 billion in the U.S.). It’s the second-largest organized crime activity (behind drugs) and the fastest growing.
Trafficked people are the assets of this “industry.” They’re not easily surrendered.
Rescue happens in four general ways. Some organizations force release using raids and police actions. This can be especially difficult in countries where corruption is endemic and police may be involved with or paid off by the traffickers.
A second option involves the local legal system. Again, corruption and intimidation limits the ability or willingness of courts and judges to challenge powerful criminal enterprises.
A third choice is to purchase the release of a trafficked person. Project Rescue actually tried this in their initial efforts, but realized that they were contributing to the problem by providing an additional revenue stream for the traffickers. The sick, sad slogan among the criminals became, “Keep the most productive ones, and sell the rest to the Christians.”
Project Rescue settled on a relationship model. In New Delhi their mission is called SURAKSHA, which means safety and protection. A staff of local Christians works with two American missionaries to live Jesus’ kind of love.
SURAKSHA purchased a permanent Outreach Center in the very heart of the two-block red light district in New Delhi, which I’ve heard described as one of the most evil places on Earth. In the center, the staff provides meals, counseling, medical care, and prayer support to anyone who comes. They walk the streets and form relationships with prostitutes, brothel owners, pimps, and madams—no questions, no strings.
These staff members must be women, since men in this district would be highly suspicious. Imagine the courage required for a woman to work in that violent area, especially a Christian woman in a country where Christians aren’t always welcomed or trusted.
The Outreach Center also hosts worship services, Bible study, Sunday school, night care for kids—all designed to serve the people, oppressed and oppressors, trapped in this horrible setting.
It’s exactly what Jesus did. He hung out with those nobody else would associate with. I think we tend to romanticize and sanitize those bible stories, but this makes it real. SURAKSHA extends Jesus’ love where it’s most needed.
As they serve and form authentic relationships, SURAKSHA staff are able to demonstrate genuine concern for the young children trapped in this terrible environment. They’ve been able to convince some of the women, and the brothel owners who control them, to surrender their children to the hope of a better life.
Those rescued kids now live at the HOME OF HOPE, where they receive food, shelter, clothing, education, counseling, and medical care in a safe, nurturing environment. SURAKSHA staff hopes they’ll become future dreamers, an internal cadre of leaders dedicated to eradicating this problem in their country.
The kids have been rescued. SURAKSHA staff is doing the hard part. We’re going to partner with them by riding bikes and raising funds to pay the yearly operational costs for the HOME OF HOPE.
Want to know more? www.projectrescue.com
Want to help? www.richsride.org/front-range-freedom-tour
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