A story of trafficking, forgiveness, and redemption recently showed up in my Facebook feed. Three Times Sold is the biography of Sioni Rodriguez. The summary on Amazon says, "Sioni was born in Mumbai, India in 1970, and moved with her family to Costa Rica when she was five years old. Raised in poverty under unthinkable conditions, she might have been lost to a life of pain and abuse. This was almost guaranteed when, as a young girl, she was sold into bondage—a young victim of human trafficking. Instead, she escaped and created a new life for herself. It wasn’t easy. She worked hard and overcame the troubles that threatened to crush her. She learned how to cope with her mother’s failures. She eventually became a citizen of the United States, married and built a loving and close family of her own. She has dedicated her life now to sharing her faith with others who have been abused as she was. Sioni speaks at churches and conferences to raise awareness of human trafficking, both around the world and in the United States."
The Facebook post from penews.org (an online publication of the Assemblies of God) explains how and why Sioni learned to cope and overcome. It says she "Knew that God had forgiven her so much that now it was her turn to forgive in order to be right in His eyes." And so she did -- forgiving all in her family that had abused and trafficked her.
Sioni found that "God was providing emotional healing and restoration in her life, and a blessing seemed to be placed upon their family. She now works with a ministry called A Time to Heal Beyond Survival International Ministries, founded by AG minister Sue Willis, that assists victims of rape, sexual abuse/assault, or sex trafficking." She also is using her book, Three Times Sold, and various speaking opportunities "..to minister love and hope into lives of victims of abuse."
Scott Carver, Sioni's pastor says, “She is so grateful and so passionate about what she does because she recognizes the goodness of God compared to what her life could have been, and that’s what makes her story so amazing.”
Amazing! But then God is in the business of doing amazing things in this fallen and broken world.
Want to learn more about the face of modern-day slavery? Visit www.hope4justice.org/learnmore/
Day 6 of Dana P's blog about volunteering in Cambodia with AIM (Agape International Missions) discusses bride trafficking and organ trafficking. (Read the details HERE.)
Her thoughtful conclusion states: "I worry about stupid American problems that - at the time are overwhelming - but that are selfish a lot of the time. But due to the reality of what goes on. I should keep my mind in perspective of what really matters."
HAPPENINGS INJOIN US
The next Hope4Justice quarterly public meeting will be on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 from 7-9:00 pm. It will be a film night featuring, "The Abolitionists." (Note extended time due to length of movie.)
Location: Engedi Refuge Counseling Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264. . Put it on your calendar now!
Directions to Engedi Counseling Center: From Wiser Lake roundabout head North on Guide Meridian; immediately after Simple Box Storage Containers turn right into the driveway and drive to the second building on the left
You are invited to the Engedi Refuge 2018 Annual Gala:"Restoring Hope"
When: Saturday, March 10, 2018
Where: Four Points by Sheraton, 714 Lakeway Dr., Bellingham, WA. Registration opens at 5:30; Dinner begins at6:30
Cost: Single ticket: $55; Sponsorship for table of 10: $600
Click HERE to purchase tickets