Oceana's Story: Margaretta, a social worker in Munich, Germany, was walking home from work when she noticed a girl huddled under a cardboard box. She stopped, and to her shock discovered little Oceana. After notifying the police, she was allowed to take this small, scared girl home. She is just 6 years old. Over the past two weeks, Margaretta has bathed Oceana and taken care of some of her basic physical needs, including getting her a much-needed pair of glasses. As trust was built, Margaretta began to unravel a very sad story. It seems this little girl and her parents were trafficked from Romania about two years ago. The family was separated, and Oceana has no idea where her parents are. All the authorities know is that they are somewhere in the Schengen Area, a group of 26 countries in the EU that have no borders and no checkpoints. Oceana was trafficked and forced to beg on the street corners of Munich. She was drugged so that she would lie still on a blanket, and for over a year she was not allowed to speak. Her trafficker did not want her to tell anyone where she was from and about her situation. As a result, Oceana has limited ability to speak and will need extensive speech therapy. Thankfully, Margaretta was able to reach Beni Lup, our contact in Romania. A church in Germany has agreed to purchase a plane ticket for Oceana to return to her home country. Margaretta will accompany her and place her into Beni’s custody. Beni has already identified a Christian family that is anxious to care for Oceana as if she was their own child. This same family recently cared for another trafficking survivor for almost two years. This young lady has now graduated from the program and has since married. A beautiful story! The family will provide Oceana with everything she needs to start her healing journey — a loving home, healthy food, an education, speech therapy and legal assistance.
I am overjoyed that little Oceana has found a place of safety — and a chance for restoration.
I dream of the day when we will help not just one or two, but thousands of survivors. We hope to soon welcome young women and girls like Oceana into a Sanctuary — a place of peace and safety where they can heal.They’ll receive intensive, trauma-informed therapy as well as spiritual care, medical attention, education and vocational training — all within a community of hope. I’m praying God makes a way for this to happen — first in Romania and then all over the world. The Sanctuary model is the key to unlocking restoration in the lives of thousands of trafficking survivors. And you are the key to opening the door. Girls are out there waiting for us. They might be in a cage. They might be holed up in a dirty hotel room somewhere, or on the streets. But they are waiting. Please join me in saying to them, “We’re coming. God has not forgotten you. Please, hold on. We’re coming as fast as we can.”