Picture if you will a dirty older street boy about the age of 19 years. He’s a rough and tumble youth and the designated leader of a gang of street boys ranging in age from 11 to 19 years. This boy, we’ll call Abebe, gets all kinds of ideas in his head for his “little” group of followers. This week his idea revolves around a prostitute. Abebe decides one evening that he will bring a prostitute to their usual hangout and each of the boys can pay to have their turn with her. The price is set per boy and the protection of choice- a plastic bag.
This young girl, possibly a child herself, spends the evening allowing upwards of 15 boys violate her for 10 Ethiopian Birr a piece. (Today’s exchange rate is 13.5 Ethiopian Birr for every 1 US Dollars.) Do the math & you will see that she “earned” approximately 75 cents for each boy. That night she sold herself for $11.25 and 15 possible chances of contracting HIV/AIDS.
Folks, we aren’t talking about consenting adults! We’re talking about children- some only 11 years old. Innocence repeatedly lost! Lives constantly shattered! These kids consistently allow themselves to be abused and actively engage in abusing others. They see and do things that are absolutely unimaginable to us as adults.
This is a true story told to a CHE staff member by a drop-in center boy during a one-on-one session last week. This is the way of the street, the truth for hundreds if not thousands of boys and girls in Ethiopia, and the life that will most likely continue for their children and their children’s children.
Let’s put this into perspective for most of our contexts – these boys are supposed to be playing Little League, riding bicycles or skateboards, and pulling girls pony tails in school. The girls should be going on date nights with their dads, taking gymnastics, and dreaming of being teenagers.
Jesus answered, "I am the WAY and the TRUTH and the LIFE.” John 14:6
I have never believed more strongly in this scripture than I do today. Jesus is the ONLY way out for these children. Jesus is the ONLY truth that will set them free from the bondage of the streets. He offers the ONLY life that will change these patterns and help these children LIVE the way God intended a child to live.
Join us as we storm the gates of heaven on behalf of these children of Ethiopia. May God by his grace and mercy open their eyes to his truths, lift their bondage and set them free!
He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight. Psalm 72:13-14