Girl Sold into Life of Oppression Finds Freedom
Deborah was only 14 years old when her parents gave her as a wife to a man she didn’t want to marry in exchange for a horse.
This practice, seen as a dowry for an arranged marriage rather than as human trafficking, was not uncommon in her impoverished region of the Philippines. Drug trafficking was also common, and her husband tried to overcome poverty by selling methamphetamine known as shabu.
Strung out on shabu himself, he began beating her regularly after the birth of their first child, and by the time they had two children, authorities had imprisoned him for illegal drug trafficking. With no education or skills, Deborah tried in vain to provide for her two children by gathering and selling scrap.
When her first-born got diarrhea, she had no way to treat it. When her kids would reach school age, she would have no money to pay for fees and supplies. Deborah had no hope that her life or those of her children would ever be different.
The thing that changed her life seemed to come from Heaven itself. A Christian ministry based in the Philippines gave her a water buffalo.
Deborah had no hope that her life or those of her children would ever be different.
The native ministry was able to purchase the animal for Deborah as part of a project to provide small businesses for the poor. She began to make a living renting the water buffalo to people who could use it for farming or transport.
“Things drastically improved when she received a water buffalo from offerings sent through Christian Aid Mission,” the ministry leader said. “She now has daily income. When she’s not using the water buffalo to haul things, others will rent it from her. This financial blessing has made a huge difference in her life.”
Likewise, most fathers who receive water buffalos from the ministry become more responsible.
“They became more active in the Lord’s work and always available especially in the outreach program in our ministry,” the director said. “The community where we are working is now safer and peaceable.”
Upon hearing God’s word, he said, most of the men in the community stopped drinking coconut wine and quit smoking.
“And instead of just sitting idly, they are now excited to work every day, according to what the Bible says in 2 Thess. 3:10, ‘that if any would not work, neither should he eat,’” he said. “God’s Word really made a difference in their lives.”
The lives of people throughout the Philippines are being transformed through such community engagement projects. Please consider a gift today to help sustain and expand these ministries.