Have you ever reached the point where you feel simply... hopeless? Where you can find no way out? Where you wonder how in the world things can change? Where you think it would take a miracle for things to get better? Honestly, living in this world how can we not reach that point sometimes when we watch the news? Racial problems, fighting in the streets, war over borders, people used as shields,... the nightly news gives us enough issues to throw our hands up in the air and think we are hopeless.
While some of us watch this world through the television or through our computers, many people live this life literally. They wonder where their child has gone. They question if any hope can come. They don't know which way to look or think there is anything they can do.
Thankfully all of us have someone we can turn to, and we simply don't do it often enough. This morning we talked about Daniel in the Lion's Den, and what got him in trouble was worshiping and praying to God as he ALWAYS did. He didn't turn to God in a moment of stress or worry, but he always turned to God, and refused to give up doing so when things got hard. What would happen if we continually turned to God in our every day, and what would happen if we did do what we could, even if it seemed like not enough?
In Asia children face many hardships. They are a great portion of the workforce. They are taken into slavery for the sex trade or forced labor. They are on the streets begging. They work in dangerous places kept from the public eye where they are malnourished.
One child who has lived and suffered such a life is Nadish. He lived as a slave forced to take care of animals and clean up after them, locked in a room from the age of 9 until 13 when his captor forgot to lock the door one night. I can't imagine how hard his life was and still is. My heart breaks to know this is a child's reality in so many places.
Nadish, unfortunately, is not alone in his story. There are more children under the age of 15 working in India than there are people living in New York City. And these things can threaten to overwhelm us.
Instead of throwing our hands up in the air in confusion and hopelessness, let us raise our hands to the One who can make change and bring hope. Let's pray to the One who can change and direct hearts, who can shine His light and give His strength. Let's pray to the One who can close the mouths of lions.
And let's do what we can when we can.
Consider the following:
Rescue an abandoned child who lives on the streets.
Sponsor a child who still has their family.
Pray for children to be rescued, reunited and accepted back into their families.
Pray for the physical needs of the children. Most do not get enough to eat, and the physical labor they are forced to do can cripple their bodies. Pray for the Lord to provide for them and protect them from harm.
Pray for the girls—and boys—forced to work in the sex trade. Ask the Lord to bring the brothel owners' and customers' misdeeds into the light and for the love of Jesus to permeate those dark places.
Pray for a radical attitude shift in South Asian society so citizens of these countries will demand an end to the exploitation of children.