While in the Philippines last week, we had the amazing opportunity to attend the Manila Prayer Gathering–an annual event where believers gather to hear what is happening on the human trafficking front in the Philippines and pray for the greatest needs. This year, the meeting was focuse on combating Online Sexual Exploitation of Children (OSEC), which is quickly become a rampant problem in the country.
The theme verse for this year was Mark 9:37 – “Whoever receives a child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but Him who sent me.”
The focus is turning towards children because over half of the victims that have been rescued by IJM in the last 6 years were 12 or younger. This heart-breaking situation calls for action. The problem needs prayer, provision, and prevention. There are so many ways that people can help, but the good news is that God is on our side and He is bringing victory through justice and restoration.
We were blessed to hear the personal testimony of “Kim,” a victim of OSEC who has been rescued and now lives in a safehome. Her story itself was heart-wrenching and beautiful…but it was her smile that struck me the most. She has a joy and a freedom that comes from Jesus, and that’s the most inspiring part of it all. We’re again reminded of the God’s rejoicing and celebrating when the ONE that was lost is found.