By: Tina Francis Mutungu
I was a victim of sexual abuse as a child.
So when I traveled half way across the world to learn about human trafficking I mentally prepared myself to cry.
For the victims, I mean.
I didn’t expect to cry for the “bad guys”…
It’s all Laura‘s fault. She bamboozled me with the Barbara Walter’s question, “What can you do about human trafficking in North America?” (Forgiveness pending.)
My overwhelmed heart went rogue. I don’t know if it was the jet lag. Or the fact that I was missing my baby…
But I took off my Judge McJudgey pants and had what Oprah calls an “Aha Moment.” Or what my brilliant friend and pastor Helen calls an “Ouch Hallelujah” moment.
For a brief blip, I had the rare gift of clarity about our shared humanity: victim + aggressor + witness.
And the next thing I knew I was leaking buckets of water from my eyeholes. I attempted to wipe away big fat tears in a semi-ladylike manner. Because camera.
I was crying…
For the men who buy bodies. For the men who desecrate said bodies. For the pimps. For the traffickers. For the mamasans.
What in the actual…
Sometimes the heart has more wisdom that we give it credit for.
Here’s what I know for sure:
1. Numb people can’t service numb people in pursuit of connection.
2. There are no “bad guys.” Just fellow humans who have (SERIOUSLY %^#@&$!?) lost their way.*
3. The world is hungry for love. Real love.
*Even though I’m disinclined to label people as simply “good” or “bad,” let me be clear: lost people can do tremendously wicked things that cause incredible hurt and displacement for others. This is why the work and vigilance of The Exodus Road is so important.
Tina joined The Exodus Road in Southeast Asia in April of 2016, along with others, to witness first hand the realities of human trafficking and the strategies being used to fight it. Find the full collection of videos, images, and stories here: