I watch from the window of my cozy farmhouse as my girls (ages 10 and 7) walk to the barn. Their blond hair shines in the sun and I am filled with thankfulness for this beautiful life. It's safe and peaceful here in rural-farm-town USA. Sure, I have worries for them. Accidents happen, the girls are building a boat out of rough wood to float down the stream. What if one of them gets hurt with the hammer or poked with a nail? Or what if they forget to be kind to one another and they come home crying because a name was called and feelings are hurt? These are my worries, [small they may be].
In the mountainous country of Nepal, are women, many of them mothers, with different worries. They worry about what to feed their children and how to make enough money to survive just another day. The distance and different life circumstances can easily lead me to think I have nothing in common with a woman who lives so far removed. Yet, as women, we have commonality -- we have hopes and dreams for the future. We seek safety and security for ourselves and we desire love. In this way, we are the same.
I already have a safe life and honestly, I don't want to leave it, even in my imagination, to let myself ponder what life is like for a poverty stricken woman who lives in Nepal. But for a moment, I try. I dig up the greatest empathy and compassion I can muster and I begin to breathe in her reality. I determine to walk in her shoes along a path my naivety invents... to not have the freedom to choose a career, to not get paid a livable wage, to not have health care, to not be able to send her children to school, to not be safe, to not know hope for her future. I imagine she has little girls like me, I let myself picture those girls without any of the security I expect, lured into a despicable life, traumatized beyond my wildest imaginings. Right there I stop and tears fill my eyes. My mind hurries back to the safety of my farmhouse.
It challenges me just to picture her life and that humbles me. What amazing strength it must take to rise above dire circumstances and learn to trust and hope, learn a new skill, and live in freedom.
Every year more than 10,000 girls and women are trafficked from Nepal. It's a real, huge, and ugly problem. It may feel too far away for me to help, but there is hope. There are compassionate and driven people working to set women free in Nepal by creating and sustaining businesses that rescue women, give them employment, health care and importantly, Christian counseling that teaches them about freedom in Christ. From my corner of small-farm-town USA, I feel a common bond with them, women and mothers just like me, but who are courageous and strong as they make a safe life in Nepal.
Author: Alysun Peters