All of a sudden I was awake. I saw a message from Cliff. Here is what it said:
"The largest child sex trafficking bust in law enforcement history is about to begin. Prayers are appreciated."
Wait? What? What did I miss?
I began reading through Cliff's other messages and found what I had missed in his other messages. Cliff had put together a group of men to execute what would be the largest sex trafficking bust in law enforcement history. They nicknamed their group after David's warriors from the Bible.
For months they not only had prepared physically and mentally, but they had prepared spiritually for this mission. A mission to rescue kids as young as 10 and as old as 14. Ten year olds. They are worth more Cliff says because they are virgins. Which makes me sick to my stomach because it insinuates that the 14 year olds are not. Oh the horrors they have already seen.
They arranged take downs in three cities simultaneously. They arranged with these evil men to have these children brought in for "parties" as the men posed as clients. Once there they would rescue them.
Not long after the sting began Cliff messaged that they had been introduced to an 11 year old boy that they were willing to sell for sex. After that introduction, the team loaded up with five trafficking chiefs to the sting house. Those of us being kept informed were praying and waiting for updates. My stomach ached for Cliff and his team, but especially for those children. Over 100 children who were within minutes of freedom. They had no idea. They were literally about to be set free. Please, Lord, allow it to all go smoothly and flawlessly.
When they reached their destination they sat down to eat and broker their deal. Imagine sitting down to eat and talk about how much you were going to pay for a child's life. To rescue them like these men were doing I would pay anything. To do what most people would do with these children.... sick, unbelievable, evil. My stomach hurt.
Soon they had an entire notepad listing the children and how much they were worth. Five young ten year old girls wept as they thought they were being sold for $1,000 because of their status as virgins. I weep for the thought of all the ten year olds today who aren't being rescued and will be sold. Oh, God. How can you stand this evil world?
I felt grounded again as Cliff messaged us their purpose. It came from Psalm 82:4, "Rescue the weak and the needy. Deliver them from the hand of the wicked."
My coffee is cold and football means nothing to me as I sit here waiting for Cliff's next update. Waiting to see if that crucial moment when they announce that they are law enforcement has gone well. I am praying God's light will shine in the midst of all that evil darkness. That those precious children will see these Warriors for what they are. A extension of God's saving grace. Hope. A future.
I cannot imagine what it feels like to be that team as each minute that passes seems like an eternity. One hour passes and I pray that no news means that they have taken the traffickers captive and are comforting those children. I pray as I wait.
Finally he posts and says, "They are safe! 100 children have been saved."
I also know this fight isn't over. It is so far from over. These 100 children are only a tiny portion of the sex trafficking problem around the world.
How did I become aware of this problem? Through an incredible man named Cliff Graham and an organization, Operation Underground Railroad.
Get involved. Pray. Donate. Tell someone. But don't pretend this problem doesn't exist. You know now and you are accountable... to God.