I do not know if you are acquainted with David Platt but if you are then you probably are familiar to my title, because it is the title of his own book. David Platt is a pastor, writer and also into ministry work. I have spent two weeks at LBC already and I love my classes and my professors, I just don’t like the reading and assignments but they kind of go together. I would not say College Composition and Research is my favorite course, but I thank God for letting my professor choose A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture as one of the course textbooks. I have been reading this book since last week- mainly for school work and I have grown to appreciate and respect David Platt, but I have just recently finished reading a chapter that has spoken to my soul and heart.
Permit me to tell you a story of one of David Platt’s experiences. ‘Maliha’ means beautiful and she is a girl that was born in northern Nepal, among the Himalayan mountains. She was nine years old and Maliha and her family has struggled to survive, they lacked clean water, sufficient food and basic medical care.
Imagine her mother’s hope when a young man saw beautiful Maliha washing clothes and talked to her about how he would love to help provide for her family. “There is opportunity for various jobs in Kathmandu, the large city at the base of these mountains. So many jobs for families like yours” the man said. Maliha’s mother attention had been captured at this point, but she was reluctant as she did not want to let go of her daughter.
In days to come however, Maliha’s mother kept thinking of what the man said, she would look at the beautiful, hardworking Maliha and think, Could this really be true? Can my daughter be well cared for? Is it possible that she can later be able to provide for our family? Yet as these questions churned in her mind, she immediately thought, No, I cannot be separated from my daughter. Until one day the man returned and pledged to Maliha’s mom that he would bring Maliha back with him every year to see her, and he gave her ten thousand rupees to show his desire in providing for her family. Ten thousand rupees is the equivalent of about one hundred dollars to approximately half a year’s wage for Maliha’s mom, and she thought of how generous the man was and agreed.
Now when Maliha was told she was to go to the city she was sad to leave her family, but of course she wanted to be able to work and help them. Maliha went off to the city with the man and was given an amount of food she had never had in her life. She was taken to a small room and after the long journey she went directly to bed. The next morning she was given pretty clothes to wear and the man sat her down to explain to her that she would have to start working to pay him back the money he gave to her mother. Maliha nodded and asked, “what would you like for me to do”. She never could have imagined what her answer would entail.
During dinner the next day, the man gave her alcohol with her meal. With her senses impaired, he escorted this nine-year old girl upstairs, took off her pretty clothes, took away her innocence, and raped her in her room. In days that followed, the man repeatedly raped her and naturally she fought back even though she did not understand what the man was doing to her. But the man threatened her by using her family and reminded her she had to pay him back the money he gave to her mother, there were days she fought back and wanted to go home but she was beaten into submission. It did not take long-only a couple of months- before different men started trooping in, take a look at her beautiful face and lead her upstairs, eventually her spirit was broken.
This was Maliha’s life and she couldn’t find a way out.
I have never felt so helpless like I did tonight. I was overwhelmed by anger and frustration that my tears could not stop because I realized that right then little girls like Maliha were falling into the trap of sex-trafficking due to ignorance. This is probably another touching story for you, you feel pained and emotional but then your phone rings, or your loving daughter calls for you, you suddenly remember you have a paper to submit, you are late for work, or you get a message asking about that party tonight- and then this moment passes away. You might also think or believe this was made up, but you would be staggered at how the rate of slavery presently is more than even centuries ago when it started.
David Platt said and I quote, For Christians, it is the portrait of Christ in the gospel that compels us to fight for the detonation and destruction of slavery in the world. We cannot be silent, and we must not be still. We do not have that choice. We are compelled to pray, to give, and to work to see sex slaves released from their captors and restored to a new life. We are compelled to proclaim Christ, who alone has the ability to bring complete freedom. We are compelled to fight in all these ways with the truth of the gospel on our minds, the power of the gospel in our hearts, and the love of the gospel in our hands.
I have never been more sure of my calling as a social worker like now, imagine looking down to see all these evil and violence in this world, how it saddens Christ that the work of his hands will be so vile and cruel. He has called us to fight against every single one of these evil with his power and I want to say thank you to all those who have prayed and helped me to be here so I can know how to fight against injustice and be the voice for the helpless and desperate, thank you, thank you so much.
Remember you cannot be still, you cannot be silent. You do not have that choice!