Innocence lost, Jesus found

By SIM USA | Bangladesh in South Asia

Once a captive, Tia no longer lives in the horrors of her past.

“Please, God. Please let him forget about me tonight.”

Tia’s* infectious, little-girl giggles were once known throughout the neighbourhood. She melted hearts with the light in her eyes and the dimple dots on her face.

But all that changed the day her father started to see her differently.

Her mind couldn’t make sense of it, but she knew in her gut: This is wrong. So, so very wrong.

Her soul shattered, and her innocence vanished.

Are all adults monsters?

Desperate for safety, she ran away—out onto the cold, hard streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

But she could not hide.

Tia’s mother and father seemed to have night vision; they found her in an alleyway…not so they could begin protecting her, but so they could act as her pimps.

This is how Tia became a victim of human trafficking. Not by a stranger’s will, but by that of her own flesh and blood.

The nightmare caused Tia to shut down and stop feeling. As a hollow, emotionless shell of a body, she could at least survive. And that was the goal: survival.


The light of truth shines into the darkness

 

One day a perfect stranger (“my angel!” says Tia) came to her aid. The police got involved, a rescue organization opened its doors, and SIM workers began pouring into her young life.

“Tia, you are precious and a daughter of the King!”

She had never heard such words before. She had assumed her identity was defined by her monster of a biological father.

Her eyes widened as the missionaries unfolded the truth about God’s immense and undying love for her, that it runs deeper than the greatest sin committed against her. Day by day, the life once sucked out of her began to return. Childlike wonder again filled her.

“Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them.” PSALM 10:17-18 (NLT)

Tia received counselling for the deep trauma she’d experienced and resumed her studies. She learned to tell her story without shame and with great courage. Courage that took her to court.

Free to dream

In court she bravely testified against her parents. And her words held weight. Her parents were sentenced to prison.

“My memories, they are so awful,” she says. “I don’t like the past, and I don’t want to live there. I want to forgive. I am asking God to help me.”

Tia now looks to the future with great anticipation.

“I want to be a teacher,” she says, her radiant smile taking over her face. “Or a policewoman!”

 

Pray with us

-•Pray for Tia and other human trafficking victims as SIM seeks to restore and empower them with the hope and love of Jesus Christ.

•Pray for women freed from the sex trade, for job skills that will provide gainful employment and keep them from otherwise returning to it.

•Pray that God will raise up more SIM workers with a heart for human trafficking victims in Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Ethiopia, and other places.

 

*Names and photos may have been changed for the sake of privacy and safety of our workers, ministry partners and those we serve.

SIM Asset Publisher Portlet

Asset Publisher

SIM Asset Publisher Portlet

Asset Publisher

Related stories

More than 800 years of combined missionary service: a SIM Kenya legacy rooted in faith

The first night of the SIM Kenya team retreat wasn't filled with the usual icebreaker questions.  There was a team trivia night. One of the questions asked, “If you add up all the years of service on our entire SIM Kenya team, how many years would that be?”

Dynamic Diana creates a very healthy space for the gospel in Nairobi

When Diana Ayabei turns up for work in the Kenyan capital Nairobi she must be ready for just about anything.

Sao finds comfort and hope in Christ through palliative care team

Sao has been battling breast cancer since 2021. She lives in Angola, where life expectancy is just 62 and healthcare is far from perfect.  She has been from hospital to hospital but the cancer always seemed to be one step ahead. She was never able to get the right help. 

Widows in West Africa bonded by faith and community are evidence of God’s restorative love

Across West Africa, widows often confront a brutal reality. Ostracised by some traditions, they can be left feeling isolated and vulnerable. Widows are more likely to face discrimination and economic hardship, with a staggering 1 in 10 widows globally living in extreme poverty. As Marthe Chantal Ngoussa, President of the Cameroonian charity Widows in Distress, says, "The death of the widow begins with the death of the husband."