Protecting the Innocent

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Day 8:  30 Days of Prayer for Hope

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:12-13)

When a twelve-year-old girl comes to us, we assume she has been sexually exploited. Because that’s what happens to children—especially girls—in the slums of Brazil.

We have seen the story repeated many times over. In a place of hunger and hopelessness, a place of pain and desperation, that’s what happens. Children living in desperately poor favelas with parents who can’t provide for them will always look for ways to survive. A little girl discovers she can trade the only commodity she possesses—her body—and the men at the neighborhood bar will give her a few reias (coins) for it.

All of her friends make their money the same way. There is no cultural stigma or moral outrage for what she has done, and the money fills the hunger in her stomach.

The story is all too common among the children of Brazil, and we must do something to stop it. We must start protecting the innocent.

Father, we ask your protection over these precious girls. Show them a new way. Give them hope beyond the streets. Call your people to intervene in their lives; may we be listening.

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