Go to Messenger International (A Ministry of John and Lisa Bevere)
Save the Next SophiaSave the Next Sophia. Help Bust a Major Trafficking Ring.
Sophia was trapped on the streets of Malaysia. They had told her back in Russia that she would have a job as a waitress at a restaurant for tourists on the coast of China. They told her mother it was by the beach, and that Sophia would be able to send over $300 USD home every month and still have enough to live comfortably herself. She and her mother had dreamed of sending her younger brother to school and maybe even buying a train ticket home every few years.
Sophia and her mother trusted them, with their papers and their promises, and so, Sophia packed bags and hugged her goodbyes.
The 16 year-old knew something was dreadfully wrong, however, when the driver refused to provide her passport or a decent meal, despite her many requests. Fear sunk further as she crossed through southern China, then Laos, then Thailand's borders, only to find herself beaten, hungry, and terrified, delivered with two other fair-skinned girls to a pimp in a local red-light district in northern Malaysia.
Three long weeks from her mother's goodbye, Sophia found herself in a foreign country without a passport or cell phone, forced into prostitution to pay a debt of $6,000 USD the pimp said she owed him. She had done the math--she knew she'd never see the beach, never send a paycheck back home, and probably never see her mother again.
Sophia was a teenager, and she was trapped in the hell on earth that is sexual slavery. She had fallen victim to not just a local pimp, but rather she had become a pawn in an organized crime ring that regularly deceived young Russian girls, shuttled them through a series of bribes and connections south across borders, and into Malaysia, Thailand, and Cambodia--where having sex with a white-skinned prostitute was a high commodity, bringing the pimps and traffickers high pay-outs.
***It's not often that the average person gets to literally play a role in busting a major crime syndicate overseas. It's not typical for most of us to actually empower high-level investigations into a human trafficking system that spans at least three countries. But seriously fighting for God's justice can lead us all places neither average nor typical.
We have the opportunity to fuel an investigative effort into a crime ring, like the one that entrapped Sophia. This particular system of trafficking from Eastern Europe into Malaysia is a well-oiled machine that will take great resources and collaborative efforts to battle and bring down. The local government and an investigative team in the field have asked for funds to gather key evidence in their second stage of investigations into this crime syndicate. Prayerfully, the teams will gather enough evidence to build a case against the key players involved-- from Russia, through China, into Thailand, and into Malaysia. The unique thing about this case is that the local government believes so greatly in its importance that they are willing to invest a large portion of their limited budget into the pursuit of it. And we have been invited to help.