Heart-Breaking Statistics

We are reading a prayer guide for our class, entitled "A Voice for the Voiceless: 30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless". We read one to two days' worth of stories each class period. Today's were the individual stories of a child prostitute and a young African woman infected with AIDS. The following statistics broke my heart and greatly disturbed me:

- 10 million children worldwide are engaged in some facet of the sex industry. Each year at least one million children, mostly girls, become prostitutes.

- In Thailand, 10-12 year old girls service men in the sex industry. They typically have sex with men 10-15 times daily and sometimes as many as 20-30. (This one particularly kills me because this is the age bracket of my eldest daughter. Her face is the one I imagine when I think of these girls.)

- In South Africa, there are 40,000 child prostitutes.

- Africa has 12 million AIDS orphans.

- 43% of those infected with AIDS are women.

- Of the 40.3 million people living with AIDS worldwide, 1/3 of them are between the ages of 15-24.

Jesus, help us. Rise up and defend the little ones, Lord. They are defenseless. Many times sold into this living hell by their own family members. Have mercy on the adults who sell them and use them. Convict these individuals and bring your Gospel message to them so that they might cry out to You for forgiveness. Bring freedom, healing, and restoration to these little ones, Jesus. That they might come to know You. To know that they are beautiful boys and girls that were created in Your image. That they are loved. And loved unto death on a cross. Lord God, may there be men and women the world around who rise up in outrage over this horrific exploitation. Who will move heaven and earth to put an end to it. Jesus, don't just let us sit back, look on in horror, but do nothing. Move us to action. Move me to action. Show me how I might do something to help these little ones. Your precious children.

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