Human Trafficking—the dream and the nightmare

This is the story of Anna (not her real name) who, by the grace of God, was saved from being taken into slavery in Saudi Arabia. Anna grew up in an 8 X 10 concrete and mud hut with parts of the metal roof missing. Her father, mother and younger sister shared this abode that had a community shower about 20 yards from the house. This is important because it gives you, someone who likely never lived in such a place, perspective. There is a great big world out there beyond this hut, and people that live in them, have dreams just like you and I do. And with those dreams comes not the promise of opportunity, like we have in America, but the fact that someone lurks on the edges of the dream to turn it into a nightmare.

At 20, Anna got a job as a houseworker in Accra, several hours from her rural home. Not long thereafter, a lady that came to the house often, approached Anna. She told Anna that her daughter was in Saudi Arabia, had a great job and that Anna could join her. The woman promised employment, enough money to buy cars and build buildings. It was Anna’s dream to travel the world and to make enough money to care for her family. So she gave her employer notice she was leaving. Within the week, the woman told Anna that all the arrangements had been made for her to go to Saudi Arabia, and that all costs were taken care of. She was told not to tell anyone, so it would be a surprise for her family when they heard of her good fortune. There were three other girls who Anna met that were going to Saudi Arabia with her.

Two days before leaving, Anna had worrisome dreams and started to put together that something was amiss. By chance, really a “God” appointment, she met Pastor William Agbeti. Sensing something was wrong William talked to Anna, and she told him what had happened. William advised her to cut off contact immediately. Once Anna told the woman that the deal was off, the woman and a man working with her began calling Anna repeatedly. So much so, Anna wisely dumped the phone in a bucket of water. Yet, the woman and man continued searching for her. Anna went back to her employer to get her belongings, and the woman found her there. The woman tried to force Anna to go with her. And when Anna refused, the woman called the man to come. The man reasoned that their investment would be lost if she didn’t go.

As Anna refused to go, the man began to physically force her into a waiting car to the airport. Anna began making a public scene, telling the man she will tell everyone what he was doing. Finally, the struggle ended because people were beginning to notice. Anna moved back to her rural home, where she lives now. The other three girls had disappeared and still have not been found. This is what we at the Daily Jot are developing an educational effort about the signs of human trafficking, the huge network that backs it, the cunning ways of the traffickers, and the perils of accepting a dream that becomes a nightmare. Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” Usually if something sounds too good to be true, it’s too good to be true.

Bill Wilson