|© Colby Moore Photography|
But sometimes when I look at them, my heart grows heavy as I am reminded of little girls who are also incredibly dear to my heart. Like Emma and Ava, they twirl in sundresses and sing goofy songs at school. They love pink and purple, mermaids and princesses, jewelry and flowers and giggling a lot!
They are the little girls who live in Svay Pak, Cambodia. At first glance, you probably won't be aware of the immense injustice that is rampant in this city because when you first walk the streets everything looks relatively normal. Kids are in school. People in the market are working. Street vendors sell noodles and fried food. Mothers cook and clean their homes. All the while grandparents sit in the shade observing the everyday adventures of the town.
What you won't know by glancing into this community is that 80-90% of parents are selling their daughters into the sex trade. In this community the mark of how much parents love their daughters is not indicated by whether or not the parents will sell the little girl, rather it is indicated by whether they sell their daughter to a pimp who will take her to another region versus keeping her local and selling her to men and tourists in their own community. This thinking is so outside the realm of normalcy for most of us in the United States, I feel like I need to say that again. A parent in Svay Pak is thought to love his or her daughter if the parent only sells the girl's body in his or her own community. Because I am sensitive to the horror of this reality, I won't go into more detail here. For those of you who want to know more, this article depicts the situation in Svay Pak in much more detail.
The reality, however, is this. Little girls should wear princess dresses, never be forced to flirt and perform sexual favors for 40 year sex tourists.
So today, I pray for all the little girls in dresses. Emma and Ava. Phy and Kang. And every little girl in the world. I pray that even if they don't have the ability to dance in dresses today, that Jesus will dance with each little girl in her dreams. I pray that if today a little girl is forced to wear a dress to please men older than her dad, that tomorrow she will be freed from this hell. I pray that innocence and dignity will be restored into every little girl's soul today.
Dear little girls,
You are worthy and beautiful and so so loved.