Paula’s Bracelet–Advocating for the Teen Girls in Eastern Europe

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Prayers have been covering the NHFC Facebook page this week.  Many for our long list of orphans who are still waiting for host families and many for my partner volunteer Paula.  She’s been in the hospital for the past 7 days with serious medical problems.  It has been incredible to see all the overwhelming support and prayers coming from all over the US and the world on her behalf.

PhotoGrid_1351359019208Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit her in the hospital.  She was in a lot of pain still.  It seems like the doctors are doing what they can to help bring her back to health and fix the ailments. 

While I was there, the nurse came in to check her vitals.  As she asked Paula to raise her arm to check her blood pressure, I noticed a little beaded bracelet. 

She has been wearing this bracelet ever since she returned from this fall’s NHFC interview trip.  While she was in Ukraine, one of the girls she met gave it to her.  Paula told me that she was committed to keeping it on and praying for her to find a host family. 

When she returned from the trip, she told me about the orphanage this girl lived.  She said she loved all the children there, they were great kids, very talented, and beautiful.  She said she had never seen so many beautiful children in one orphanage before.  But at the same time, she was concerned.

Those beautiful girls live in a part of the world where human trafficking is a huge industry, especially sex trafficking.  Knowing the statistics and the stories, Paula just knew that that these beautiful girls at this orphanage would be prime targets for traffickers when they would age out of the orphanage in a few years… if they were not already targeted. 

Paula met these girls, and couldn’t help but dwell on the future that lay before them.  Leaving the orphanage with no family connections, little education, no skills to help them make a living.  If a person was to approach them with great ‘opportunities’ to give them a job as a nanny or working in a restaurant, who would provide great pay and a place for them to live… how could they resist?  (Click here for a horrific report on this reality for so many older orphan girls in this part of the world.)

And that is why we are advocating and praying for these girls.  That is why Paula has kept wearing this bracelet for all these weeks.  To give these girls a chance, a hope at a safe and secure future. 

There are still 5 older girls from this specific orphanage that Paula felt so drawn to advocate for who need to be hosted for this Christmas.  Older Girls Waiting For Host FamiliesThe opportunity to spend the winter with a loving host family could change their lives, and surely their futures.  They could be encouraged and build self-confidence with the love of a family.  Host parents could guide her in safe ways to pursue an education or a trade after graduating from the orphanage.  A family could help connect her with local ministries to help her to live for Christ and trust in Him to provide for her future.  She could find a forever family in the US that will love her and raise her to live in Biblical truth and hold on to God’s promises for her.

Please join us in continuing to advocate for these girls and find them host families.  The last day to sign up to host for most children will be November 1st, only 5 days away.  And please continue to pray for Paula, she is still in the hospital and battling a lot of pain. 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

“Priceless”–Book Review

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  • 1.2 million children are trafficked every year; this is in addition to the millions already held captive by trafficking
  • The average age of a trafficked victim is 14 years old
  • By 2010 Sex Trafficking will be the #1 crime worldwide

We have all heard the statistics – sex trafficking is an enormous issue.  In recent years, the severity of this reality has slowly come out of the darkness and into the public eye.  I have even been in Eastern Europe and met some of the most vulnerable girls to this great crime.  I have know all this and yet was never truly impacted by the horror of this world… until I read Priceless by Tom Davis.

Amazon.comThis fiction novel follows the story of an American photojournalist who is visiting Russia on assignment.  He unexpectedly becomes involved in rescuing innocent young girls from the trap of a band of cruel predators.  It is his life he ends up risking in order to save these girls from a life of objectification, despair, and hopelessness.

This is one of the best books I have read in a long time!  I could not put it down.  I have been quoting the statistics for years – “90% of the children who graduate from Russian orphanages face a future of drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, prison, or suicide” – but this book brought the reality of prostitution alive in a new way.  Although this is a fictional story, I know this is a very close resemblance of life for thousands of young girls across Russia and the CIS.  Tom Davis artfully weaves reminders throughout the book that this is a lethal spiritual battle driving this industry.  It left me frightened and disturbed, while still making my passion and burden for these girls grow.   To pray for them, advocate for them, connect them with forever families or some place that will protect them from the dangers that await them right outside the orphanage door.

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“Priceless” Trailer via

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