I just read an article on Somaly Mam, a Cambodian woman rescued from a brothel.
I am Somaly, but I don’t know my real name, my real age or my real family. Somaly means “necklace of flower disappeared in the forest,” and I like to keep this name because of my story. I was sold when I was young— I think I was 12. It was all suffering; I was raped and enslaved during this time. However, I don’t regret this experience, because it is my life experience, and I turned around to help thousands of victims from slavery. It makes me stand up and fight.
Maybe you can relate to Somaly’s story in some way, most of us will never come close to understanding the depths of her horror–sex trafficking. Somaly’s story moved me because of her willingness to use the most horrific experience to motivate her to change the world, lead, and guide her future story. She is an amazing leader making a difference because of her painful past.
The article shared some alarming statistics:
According to UNICEF, more than 1.2 million children are being sold every year to brothels. This staggering number has caused human trafficking (including labor and sexual exploitation) to be the world’s second, most lucrative organized crime, garnishing more than $20 billion annually.
Her story proclaimed,
Somaly, and other advocates like her, have gathered pieces of a broken past, crushed them down, and molded them to create a vessel that pours out love so that the girl who waits in fear will be rescued. She will no longer live in turmoil, but comfort; no longer eat bitterness, but joy; and no longer be clothed in shame, but strength.
She will be added to the army of The Brave Ones.
What makes you “stand up and fight”? Where will your name be added to “the brave ones”?
We can symbolically take the pieces of our lives and allow God to create a vessel. A vessel to pour His love into us, so that we can pour out His love. My deepest sadness from the article was women who are rescued but return because they know no other way, or desperately need the money. How many times do we resort to the “old way” of thinking, doing, and reacting because it’s all we know? How many times do we ask God, “Will I always have this pain?”
If you would like to read her story: http://www.theconversation.tv/truth-wisdom/the-brave-ones-the-gift-of-somaly-mam/