God hears the cries of children. When Jesus said, “Let the children come to me,” (Matthew 19:14) he was speaking for God, who desires all of us, no matter how small, to go to him when we are sinking, in trouble, in distress.
In our world today, more than 151 million children ages 5 to 17 are subject to exploitation by adults who profit from their work, who cannot see a way out of the poverty trap. Sadly, often it is parents who see no option but to offer up their children for a small amount of money. The children have no choice in the matter. They have nowhere to turn.
But God hears their cries. Even when they do not know of any other way to live. And then God tugs at our hearts, carefully and gently revealing the conditions of these little ones to us. Then he uses us to rescue them.
|Choad, 12, from Bangladesh spends 60 hours a week working in a mechanic's shop to earn $6 to help provide for his mother and himself. When he had to quit school to work, World Vision invited him to attend the Child Friendly Learning and Recreation Center (CFLRC) in his community. He is now able to catch up on his schooling and is still hopeful about pursuing a career in the army. (©2018 photo by Laura Reinhardt)
World Vision tackles the many co-existing problems – family illness and poverty, institutional exploitation – and works in areas to pull children out of unhealthy labor situations and human trafficking. At the same time, they set up Child Friendly Learning and Recreation Centers where children spend time playing and learning, so they can eventually escape the poverty trap.
Then World Vision works with the parents to co-create solutions that will not require selling the child’s security, things like new ways to earn money, small business loans, and savings groups. And over all, they work to advocate for better policies to prevent such abuse. Moreover, the children are taught how to fend for themselves, how to stand up for their rights, and how to defend one another.
2 Samuel 22: 2,3,7, 17-21 (NLT)
2“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
7 But in my distress I cried out to the Lord;
17 “He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
2 Samuel 22: 20 says “He led me to a place of safety, He rescued me because he delights in me.” These are the words of a grateful King David when God had delivered him from his enemies, but they could also be the words of a grateful child when World Vision pulls him or her from a tragic future.
David also said in 2 Samuel 22:3 “He is my refuge, my savior, the one who saves me from violence.” God wants to save his children, and we can help the process when we give to World Vision’s Child Protection work.
To God be the glory for every child lifted out of degrading exploitative scenarios. Praise him for the hope that springs up for rescued children, for the growth of love and goodness and security for whole communities.
God hears their cries.