India (MNN) – According to Bright Hope International, 29.8 million people are victims of human trafficking for labor and sexual exploitation globally. 80% of all human trafficking victims are women.
India is the main destination for children under 16 who are trafficked to South Asia.
CEO and president of Bright Hope International C.H. Dyer says, “It is a billion dollar industry, and people who are making money off of it are upset if you do anything to challenge the legality or even the practice of what they are doing. Having people going into brothels, taping them, taping the owners, taping the girls that are enslaved in these places and then bringing that to the police is a threat.”
Often times, workers involved with helping those being trafficked receive persecution and threats for what they do.
“One of our main guys got calls in the middle of the night saying that he and his family were in danger if he didn’t stop what he was doing. It’s a reality of the world that we live in,” says Dyer. “There is other persecution going on in North India where pastors who are planting churches certainly have been threatened and beaten. We know of ministry friends who have been killed because of their work for Christ.”
Even though Bright Hope workers suffer persecution and threats, Dyer says, “Our prayer teams are praying for them and asking for God’s protection. We believe God offers protection for His people. We believe we are serving under His guard and His wing.”
Workers in this area often burn out in less than a year. However, Bright Hope gives great care to its workers and provides counseling in an atmosphere that says “we are in this together,” and “when you struggle, we struggle.”
Dyer says, “This is the ministry God has called us to and to help initiate and to help our Indian brothers and sisters do this work. It’s something we trust God with everyday.”
To Bright Hope, the gospel is directly tied into every area of reaching trafficked victims and workers. “Its in front of it, its behind it, its in the middle of it,” says Dyer. Bright Hope is committed to “speak truth to women who have been physically, sexually, emotionally abused and to share with them about a love that is pure, a love that is honoring to who they are, and a love that wants to see them restored.”
Dyer is passionate about prayer being the #1 need for the ministry. “Pray for the workers that are involved in this across the board. Pray for those who persecute you,” says Dyer. “Jesus said to love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you. Let’s take that seriously: let’s pray for these human traffickers and ask God to bring them to Himself.
“This is a sinful industry that is destroying lives. The people doing it have destroyed lives as well and they are in need of grace and salvation. We need to be on our knees praying.”
Bright Hope has made it possible for you to get involved. Go to Bright Hope’s Web site to find out how you can pray, volunteer, or give a gift.
“We have seen God at work,” says Dyer. “When you see God working, you want to do more of it. It’s an exciting ministry to be a part of.”