|An amazing thing happened in Nepal this year, only hours after the end of a recent Anti-Human Trafficking training. As a local pastor processed all he had learned and started to apply his training to his own community, he came to a realization: he knew a girl who was about to fall prey to human trafficking. Newly armed with the knowledge of what to do, he reported this case to a JVI partner organization. With minutes to spare, rescuers raced to the bus station, met the woman, and intervened just before she boarded a bus to India.
Earlier this year, JVI worked with partners in Nepal to put on an Anti-Human Trafficking conference for local church leaders. Around 100 leaders gathered for three days of learning and discussion, envisioning the church’s role in the fight again human trafficking and developing needed awareness to recognize and reach out to potential trafficking victims in each of their home communities.
On the last night of the conference, each leader was given a candle. The speaker for the last session exhorted the leaders to step outside of their comfort zone in order to reach the girls in darkness and bring light to their lives. The leaders watched the candle light spread from person to person among their group, symbolic of the light they would bring to the community. But at the front of the room stood a girl, a bit removed from the group of participants who sat in the audience. Her candle remained unlit. They now grasped the full meaning of the exercise: in order to reach her, they would have to step out and walk up to her with their lights.
Less than one month after the training, a few of these pastors in a small town in Makwanpur, a district in south central Nepal, heard about three local girls who had gone missing. They reported the case to JVI partners, who immediately began tracking the girls. They were soon discovered in Kathmandu, about to be trafficked by a man who had tricked them into leaving Makwanpur. JVI partners worked with the police to successfully rescue all three of the girls. They returned home to Makwanpur, where the pastors have reached out to help the girls and provide support to them.
Amazed, the Makwanpur church leaders told us: “We never imagined that four girls would already have been saved as a result of the conference. The work started before we were ready!”