Shared Hope. Rescuing Children from the Dark Places of the Earth.
It Can’t Go on Like This. Dear God.
Congresswoman Linda Smith served in the House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. Her mission is to rescue children from the unbearably dark places, and that is why she founded Shared Hope. The opening story of her book, From Congress to the Brothel, takes place India:
The 13 year-old girl crouched in the dark corner on the dusty floor, her hair dirty and tangled, her eyes hollow and lifeless. Raw sewage flowed through an uncovered ditch on the other side of the thin brothel wall. The scent of a hundred men clung to her small frame. Her expression revealed total desperation. This was not a look that said, “Please help me.” This was a look that said, “I am doomed forever, beyond help, beyond hope.” What happened next was personal: God Himself whispered in my ear, “Touch her for Me.”
My hand suddenly weighed 90 pounds. I froze. My head felt light from holding my breath. I could taste the stench. Would the filth make me vomit? Would I contract a disease just by breathing the air? I wanted to leave my hands tucked safely in my pockets, With my arms pressed tightly to my sides to avoid brushing up against anything. But I couldn’t ignore the internal voice, “Touch her for Me.” Obediently I reached out and touched her dirty, frail shoulder. In that moment, my life changed. At my soft touch, the desperate little girl fell into my arms with gratitude. My simple gesture overwhelmed her because she was so utterly unloved in this world. Suddenly, the stench evaporated. She didn’t appear filthy. She appeared beautiful. She was not worthless. She was a child of God. I raised my eyes to look around the small room. Dozens of girls sat around me—all trapped in the same living horror. How could I return to the safe halls of Congress, knowing what I now knew? I had to do something, but what?”
Blincoe: If you want to know what happened next, you will have to read Linda Smith’s book, or visit her website here. If I did not think I could change the world by teaching and speaking and writing, I would join Congresswoman Linda Smith and risk all for the most vulnerable, our children.
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