Amy Richey is director of EFCA ReachGlobal’s Global Equipping and leader of the Community Development Team.
How Will You Celebrate “International Day of the Girl Child”?
On October 11, start with prayer.
When you hear the phrase International Day of the Girl Child, what emotions are stirred? We’re not initiating a gender feud about who is better at math or whether Barbie® should be banned. Instead, we’re using this “holiday” to pray about a worldwide reality whereby:
- girls are viewed as sex objects;
- girls are less likely to be educated;
- women and girls make up 71 percent of all human trafficking victims; and
- girl babies are routinely selectively aborted in countries such as China and India.
What can we do?
To start with, be aware. Be aware that everything from discrimination to the horrors of sex trafficking happen in our country too. We’re part of the “international” that’s being recognized here. But then, I am more convinced than ever that the best thing we can do is fervently pray. Let me tell you why. . . .
Just this summer, a 12-year-old girl in another country (where the EFCA has partnerships) was asked for directions by a female stranger in the local marketplace. Sex trafficking is rampant in this country.
After asking her question, this stranger offered the 12-year-old a sweet to eat. All the girl knew was that, 24 hours later, she found herself traveling with this woman in a train two hours from home.
Many people were praying, though, as news of her disappearance spread through our global community. We believe it was the Lord who gave this 12-year-old the wisdom to act. Pretending to be thirsty, she asked her traveling companion to get her some water. In the woman’s absence, the girl jumped off the train and wandered into the crowds of a street fair. That evening, she caught the attention of two men who, instead of trafficking her again (a very real risk), handed her over to the police, who called her parents.
But again, remember: We were praying. All over the world. We had realized all too quickly that none of us could physically find her. So we did the only thing we could do.
The testimony of God’s protection, courage and provision for this girl is now known throughout her village. We prayed and God answered.
Yes, there are ways we must fight for women and girls to be granted equal rights. There’s much we can and should do about the monumental problem of human trafficking. But perhaps we’d do best to remember: We know the One who alone can truly bring lasting changes—in cities on the other side of the world as well as with girls who live right next door.
On this year’s International Day of the Girl Child, let’s join together and ask Jesus to intervene.