Ethel, a participant of this year’s Barefoot Walk, writes, “It was my first time to join CEDAR’s Barefoot Walk. I was excited and ready to walk for the victims of human trafficking. But when the moment comes to take off my shoes, suddenly, I felt insecure: would I get bacterial infection if my feet get hurt? As if this anxious feeling was urging me to step out of my comfort zone.”
Amen! Ethel grasped one of our purposes of organising CEDAR Barefoot Walk. We want to walk with the poor, not just verbally and mindfully, but we should place ourselves in the poor’s shoes to act and respond accordingly, which includes stepping out of our comfort zones.
The streets in Hong Kong are designed and paved for people with shoes, not those without shoes. The way our modern world operates also favours those who hold the resources, not the poor and deprived. As we feel anxious and afraid of walking barefoot, we are getting a taste of the daily life of the marginalised and neglected.
Ethel and other participants experienced what a victim of human trafficking and slavery experience, “I and my ‘family’ (team mates) started off applying for a job to work as a domestic helper in Hong Kong, looking forward to earn money for the family. At first we were hopeful for our job as a maid in a big house, but then one of our members got kidnapped and was forced to become a beggar, then we were all sold to do laborious exercise in the circus; and at last, I had to go work in the red-light district so that I can earn more money to help my very ill grandpa at home.
In reality, this was not the case.
While I did 5 minutes of laborious work, they may be forced to work up to 15 hours a day.
While I spent 2 hours in experiential activities, they may be suffering enslavement for 2 years.
How are we supposed to sit still when there are so much injustice in the world?”
After getting a glimpse of human trafficking and forced servitude, we now understand better the injustice victims of human trafficking experience. Let us pray continually for them:
- First, let’s pray for ourselves that after participating in the Walk, we would be more aware of human trafficking in our daily lives, and let us speak out against human trafficking in our city.
- Lord, teach us how to act justly and love mercy every day, so that we know how to care for the oppressed and support anti-human trafficking work.
- Pray God to save over 40 million people trapped in modern slavery, free them from oppression, exploitation and manipulation.
- May CEDAR and its partners be God’s channels to combat human trafficking and bring renewed hope to shattered lives.
Combatting human trafficking is a long fight, you can support CEDAR and our partners’ anti-human trafficking work in Asia through regular donation.
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