The laws of supply and demand govern the price and sale of everyday items like strawberries and gas for our cars. It also governs the sale of human beings who have been trafficked into a worldwide web of evil that reaches into every corner of the world—including our own suburban neighborhoods.
Last June I traveled to the small nation of Latvia with my wife, Karin, who co-directs the Human Trafficking/Slavery Fund with me, to visit a lesser-known corner of that insidious web on the coast of the Baltic Sea in Eastern Europe. There, young women with few job skills and who live in a region where few jobs are to be found feel trapped, making them easy prey for organized crime gangs that force them into prostitution against their will. Many of these women are then trafficked to destinations around the world via an illegal “underground railroad” of sorts to meet the demands of clientele. And the demand for European women is supplied via tourist cities like Riga, the capital city, where women are often transported from still-poorer areas of Russia and Eastern Europe.
An encouraging development, however, is that a ministry called Freedom 61 has spearheaded first-ever efforts in Riga to reach out to these women with the love and hope of the gospel. One of their strategies has been to open a small cafe where they invite women off the cold streets to enjoy a free bowl of soup, coffee or tea, and accepting friendship. And it’s working. Here’s a testimony from one of their staff:
It has been very busy lately in the cafe. Many nights all the girls who are working that specific night are also coming to the cafe, which leaves the streets empty! Praise God, this is amazing. Please keep praying with us that we can really touch their hearts with God’s love.
Please pray that Jesus will open more doors in Latvia for women to be rescued, and provide more opportunities for Heaven’s Family to help. Soon we hope to tell you more about the difference we are making there.
Because of Him,
Director, Human Trafficking/Slavery Fund