Lucinda*, a very talented young girl, was passionate about two things; singing and hairdressing. She was popular in her community and knew she had something to offer the world, so when the opportunity arose to sing at an important church event in South Africa she accepted it without hesitation. An all-expenses paid trip to do something meaningful was exactly the opportunity she had been waiting for! Her recruiter also offered her the opportunity to find long term work in South Africa, ‘You have many talents, it will be easy for you me to get you a job.” he promised. She packed her bags and set off, praying that this would be the opportunity through which she could change her destiny. Unfortunately, the elation was short lived.

Lucinda arrived in South Africa full of anticipation, excited to embark on this adventure and enjoy the new life she had been promised. It couldn’t get better than this, how lucky was she? None of her friends had been offered something like this, so she vowed to make the best of it and really work hard. Her recruiter, a church man, gave her a script of things to say to the immigrations officials. The information wasn’t entirely true, but she had never done this before so assumed that was how it worked. In addition, she trusted this man; he was an esteemed man in her church and she had no reason to be suspicious. Unfortunately for Lucinda, men like her recruiter prey on naive, hopeful young women, luring them with stories that speak to their greatest desires and dreams. Once across the border in a foreign land, where they often don’t speak the language, have money, or friends, the reality of what has happened emerges; and it is in stark contrast to what they had anticipated.

But luckily for Lucinda, the team from Love Justice was there, looking out for people just like her, equipped with an understanding of how traffickers work and the ability to uncover sinister plots. Many red flags were raised as our team interviewed her; the truth of what was happening emerged as we dug to validate her story and as we looked in to the man who recruited her. Inconsistencies and discrepancies emerged underneath the hopes and dreams, and it was clear that Lucinda had been deceived. She was in danger of becoming a victim of human trafficking. We intervened on her path to slavery and informed her of the danger lurking in her hopefulness. We were able to assist her to safety and help inform her and equip her to make wise decisions when taking opportunities abroad.

Our team is compelled by God to fight for the vulnerable. We realise how Jesus fought for us and continues to fight for us, so we pay back a piece of that incredible debt to him by serving those whom he loves.

*Not the real name