Why I Couldn’t Post Today…

 

I couldn’t put this book down.

It’s the story of Somaly Mam, a Cambodian woman sold into prostitution as a young teenager. It’s a gritty, honest telling of her life. I want to describe her story too you but it’s just too much. Here is what Somaly says in the introduction,

In 1986, when I was sold to a brothel as  prostitute, I was about 16 years old. Today there are many far younger prostitutes in Cambodia. There are virgins for sale in every large town, and to ensure their virginity, the girls are sometimes as young as five or six.

In Cambodia and throughout Southeast Asia, tens of thousands of minor children are forced into prostitution annually. They are raped and beaten, often for years. Many are killed.

I dedicate this book to the thousands of little girls who are sold into prostitution every year.

My mom told me once of a missionary friend who went to another country to help with an organization that rescued girls from enslavement as prostitutes. It had been several months that she had been back in the United States and my mom asked her about the trip. She said, “I still can’t talk about it. It’s too much.”

I almost feel that same way after just reading Somaly Mam’s story. There is too much pain and too much suffering. Little girls being sold so men can take advantage. Women profiting from them. Police and government officials being paid to ignore.

As a comfortable American, it’s hard to even fathom. How are we so blessed? Why?

I can’t really say anything more without just telling you some of the girls’ stories. So instead, I’ll direct you to the Somaly Mam Foundation and two another organizations, The Home Foundation and Love146. (Their mission is the same, to stop  human trafficking, especially of children and little girls for prostitution).

Please visit these sites and read their stories.

If you leave me a comment and tell me you even remotely looked around one of these sites, I’ll enter you to win this book. (It’s slightly used, by me.) Random House sent me only one copy, but I think this one needs to be shared. It’s not one I want to read again. But I do want you to read it once.

One more thing. Something that really stuck out to me is how even after years of being “freed” from slavery, Somaly still has horrific nightmares about her past life. She can smell the stench of the brothels and her attackers. She says she buys an enormous amount of lotions and perfumes to cover that smell…a smell that is only in her mind. She still feels dirty and unworthy. She feels rage for the people who did this to her and the ones that continue to victimize children and women today.

I’m just asking you to join me in praying for Somaly. That she would receive beauty for her ashes and that she could really be free from her past. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but, I think about how God knit her together, too. He knows her by heart and weeps for her loss. Pray for her. And the girls she rescues. Pray they’d find The Rescuer, too.

Update 5/2014: Apparently Somaly Mam fabricated much of her story. Still praying she discovers the beauty God has for her.

Comments

  1. Amanda, that description took my breath away. It’s quite pathetic that I’m not sure I can even stand to visit those sites, that I want to burrow in my comfortable life in the boonies of West Virginia and forget about the horrors that are reality for so many people around the world. If I think for just a nanosecond about one of my girls experiencing such horror, I’m pretty sure my heart might stop beating.

    And yet, you’re right. We can’t ignore it. We must pray for them and we must DO something. Something tangible. Something lifechanging. I am going to visit those sites…I’m just not sure I can do it right now.

  2. Wow. Two kids are inslaved every minute. I have no words.

  3. One of my friends is on her way to one of thse countries to help with this problem. I have watched many documentries on this topic and if I remember correctly one of them was about this brave woman in particular.

  4. Sad. She sounds like a very courageous woman. I’ve seen countless stories on this subject. It breaks my heart to hear about these poor girls.

  5. Unbelievable. It’s hard to fathom so much bad in the world and so much suffering. I will be praying too.

  6. I have heard of human trafficking but I never imagined how widespread it was and how many young girls are affected.

  7. It’s hard to even think about this…

  8. I know how you feel, Amanda! I read it in one night, and then blogged it the next day. You just want to reach into the book, wrap your arms around her and share Jesus with her. What she’s doing is SO GOOD, but would be SO EXCELLENT if she was doing it with JESUS empowering her and setting her free:-)

    Love you, dear sweet sister in Christ:-) Joining with you in prayer for Somaly and so many more like her. Oh, Father, hear our cry for our sisters enslaved!!

  9. OhAmanda – there is actually a group in Atlanta that works with young women (and girls) who have been in the “commercial sex industry” here. I am good friends with a member of their Board, and he said it’s heartbreaking to watch these young girls trying to rebuild their lives when everything that makes a child a child was stolen from them.

    As a mother, one of my main goals in life is to protect the innocence of my children. I cannot imagine the heartache of knowing one of my children losing that innocence – or worse – thinking that the only way to survive is to sell my child into that world.

    The organization is: http://www.wellspringliving.org

  10. My heart aches to hear those stories. We actually had a guy contact us that was from a ministry that rescues child prostitutes. We don’t really know of much that happens here, but he’s done a lot of work in other parts of Mexico. I know that God can restore every bit that the enemy stole from Somaly. Thank you for sharing.

  11. This issue is a big problem and really weighs heavily. I found out about this issue at a Fireflight concert, a band that sells T-shirts to support Legacy of Hope (http://www.lohintl.org/).

  12. Amanda, I don’t even know what to say about this. It’s such a sad and difficult thing to even imagine what these children are experiencing. But reading this makes me want to do something and I definitely want to read this book. Though I will probably cry the entire time.

Trackbacks

  1. […] I forgot about the Somaly Mam book giveaway. I guess the pirate took precedence. Anyway, my real life sisterchickie, Kristen wins the […]

  2. […] few days before Asa was born, I read a little book in one sitting. It’s called The Road of Lost Innocence by Somaly Mam. Even now, almost 4 years later, I can […]

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