Last night a girl was abducted.
Her home is in the neighborhood I have volunteered in and fallen in love with over the last several years. The girls I mentor live in that neighborhood, and I have walked it and prayed over it many times. The people there have captured my heart.
So many crimes go unnoticed and unstopped in that neighborhood. Crime there is much of a way of life. But last night a crime occurred that crossed the line, even in one of the roughest areas around. Last night a little girl was in her neighborhood, playing in her own front yard, when a man forced her into his truck.
The story captured the attention of the city. Suddenly everyone who heard the news felt connected to this little girl and her family.
The news gave her a name, and the news gave her a face, and many hearts were broken for her.
Her name is Elisa, and she is 8 years old.
Today she was found alive.
A man who saw the abduction story on the news thought he spotted the truck that was decribed. He pulled up and asked the man inside if he had kidnapped Elisa. When he took a closer look he saw a young girl inside the truck. He risked his life to stop this man and save this one child, and he succeeded.
The child now sits at home with her family, and the abductor in a jail cell.
Tonight Elisa is at home with her family, the same girl that I prayed for her and cried for this morning. When I found out she had been rescued, I was saddened to hear the atrocities that were forced upon her by the man who took her, but also relieved to know that she was now safe.
When I praise God for Elisa, who tonight sits at home with her family, I can't help but think of the millions of children who lay in brothels, the streets, with strangers, who are owned like a piece of property.
Children are not property. And each child has a name; a name and a face, a personality, and a soul. Even if we don't see them, they exist, they are real.
I pray that this righteous rage that filled Elisa's community at her disappearance would fill our hearts for the abused and enslaved children all over the world. I pray that the courage which filled the man who risked his life for this one child would fill us as well, and that we would step up and take a risk to save these children.
The challenge this month is a continuation of last month's challenge. Please check it out if you have not done so already. If you participated in September's challenge, I ask that you would take the challenge to a more personal level.
I am not sure what this will mean to you, or exactly what it means to me, but I know that I am not ready to move on from this challenge just yet.