10 Days Without Speech

Day 3…

What is the most beautiful place you have ever visited? Was it a beach, the Grand Canyon, the place you live — where?

For me it was the Baths in the British Virgin Islands. The Baths are basically a pile of massive gray boulders in the Caribbean that are covered with beautiful coral and brightly colored fish. Imagine the clearest aqua water you have ever seen on a travel add or Corona commercial — that’s how amazing this place was.

My wife and I had the opportunity to visit the Baths a couple of weeks after we got married. My parents gave us two cruise tickets for Christmas that year. As young newlyweds without any money — this was great! The cruise was an amazing experience with amazing culinary dishes, exotic locations, and an on-deck water slide — but nothing compared to the Baths.

When we got off the boat, there were several options for different places we could visit. Being the less adventurous of the two, I was fine with finding a beach near the cruise ship — after all, they had basically scared us into never being late for a departure. But she insisted, and so we got on a giant ferry, rode for what seemed like a very long time, and then arrived on Virgin Gorda Island home of “the Baths”.

Immediately, we knew that we had made the right decision. We stepped off of the ship onto a splintered and rickety old dock — it looked like it was made of driftwood. You could tell this thing had been around for ages, and that the ocean had slowly broken it down over time. The air was salty and humid, but there was a perfect summer breeze coming off the ocean to cool us down. We stopped for a moment and took in the scenery. It was a perfect day.

We made it over to the Baths, and our first impression was one of awe and wonder. How did these massive smooth boulders end up on an island? It was almost as if God was skipping stones across the ocean, and had really good aim.

We threw our stuff down quickly because we only had about 6 hours to enjoy the scenery. Normally 6 hours is more than enough time out in the sun, but today we knew it wasn’t enough. I threw on my flippers and mask, Rebecca did the same, and after a very awkward walk to the water, we were swimming among the rocks.

The water was beautiful but the fish were breathtaking. I tried to capture their beauty with an underwater camera that I bought for, gulp, $25 (ouch), but a cheap camera wasn’t nearly enough to get this experience on film. I actually saw my first flounder that day which is an absolutely amazing fish to watch. Somehow it combines the flowing motion of an eel with the camouflaging methods of a stingray, and it only has eyes on one side of his head! Needless to say, I was mesmerized.

When it came time to leave, my wife and I stood on the dock trying to remember that scene forever — it was so beautiful that we never wanted to forget the glory and grandeur of the Baths.

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Evidently India has some pretty amazing beaches as well. I googled “india beaches” when I heard about this girl named Suhana, and the pictures are amazing (well some of them).

Suhana is a 13-year-old girl from India who also visited a beautiful beach, but it wasn’t to celebrate her marriage. Instead, the beach resort was the first place she was taken after being sold into sexual slavery or forced prostitution.

In India, there are 3 million sex slaves and over 1 million of those are children just like Suhana.

Here’s Suhana’s story:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nytkBRQ0qZI&list=UUXz8npmsiKKZkeo5B9dj4nA&index=5&feature=plcp]

Suhana’s mother sold her into slavery as a girl, and she was forced to do things that she NEVER wanted to do and as she says “can NEVER take back.” But thanks to IJM this is not a story of horror, this is a story of hope!

The International Justice Mission is made up of extremely talented investigators, lawyers, and social workers. These three groups work together with local law enforcement to not only save these children, but also to put the perpetrators behind bars for a long time.

These investigators are good, really good. And it was in one of IJM’s numerous raids that they saved Suhana and arrested her pimps. There is a lot more to this story including a boy that convinced Suhana to run away with him to be married, and instead sold her back into the sex trade (IJM saved her again). If you want to know more, you can watch the video above.

Here’s the point, we can help save these 11, 12, and 13 year old girls from forced prostitution. By supporting the work of IJM, we are putting investigators, lawyers, and social workers in the field to bring justice. The reason I support IJM over other similar organizations, is because not only do they save slaves but they do it from a Christian perspective (see “Core Commitments”)!

But I need your help! Donate today to make a difference in the sex trade. You will literally be saving girls like Suhana with your gift because you are keeping IJM in the field. To give, click here! Our goal is $325 which will give a girl like Suhana a talented IJM lawyer  to represent her in court for 5 days.

To give, click here!

Also, you can use your voice to ask congress to support anti-slavery legislation – simply print this Abolition Postcard, fill it out and mail it to IJM [IJM-Abolition Postcard/ PO Box 58147/ Washington DC 20037-8147], and they’ll deliver the cards on Capitol Hill for you. Better yet, you could take the 100 Postcard Challenge.

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