Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Innocence Lost

I want you to think about the little girls that you know from the age of about 8 up.  Beautiful, innocent little girls that need to be protected by their loved ones.  The innocence and beauty of sweet little girls playing with dolls and flowers and immune to the dangers that lurk around them, but they are protected by loved ones.

Sunday at church during the children's moment I looked at the beautiful children and thought how could terrible things happen where children are taken and scarred for life?  How?  Is it because we turn a blind eye to what is happening?  Is it because we don't know what we can do to help?  It can't continue.  We must act in whatever way is possible!  So today I share a sad, but true story about little girls that some of the things that happen to them are unthinkable, but yet they do have hope because of people like Matt Roper!

Well, I signed up to review a book written by Matt Roper that was given to me to write this review.  I want to say that Matt captures the heart break of all these little girls that have lost their innocence along a highway in Brazil and is trying desperately to make a difference, to change their world by sharing their stories in his book, "Highway to Hell".

What do I say?  It's a book that opens eyes, but breaks your heart at the very same time.  It's a hard book to read, but one that we must to open our eyes to terrible situations that are around the world.

Did you know that selling of children was a big problem in Brazil?  I didn't realize how big of a problem it is and that the governments turn a blind eye to bring in tourist.  Yes, the leaders were turning their heads and putting on blinders because of the tourist dollars being spent and they did not want any negative publicity, so they let these children be sold to men that came to town.  They would pretend it wasn't going on...How?  How?  One lady that fought it happening was so discouraged when she was told the words that Hang gliding was the only tourist event they had in town, so don't risk it by fighting the child prostitution.  It boggles my mind...how is this happening in our world?

The author, Matt Roper was driving along this highway one night when he describes her as a tiny little thing wearing a pretty little lilac dress.  The dress was fluttering in the breeze as she began to wander toward the traffic no older than 11.  Innocence is the world he used to describe her.  Her hair was jet black neatly tied back with a ribbon.  He describes her as looking like she had been dressed by her mom who had fussed over her yet she was on this highway at night about 1 in the morning when they spotted her.  On a dark highway alone when his friend Dean ask "Did you see her?"  Do you think?  They went back in a few moments to find her asking if this is what she is doing and she replies yes, please let her in before someone sees her.  I cannot even imagine all the feelings of these two men.  A little girl, a little girl ...They ask about her parents she replies they know what she is doing and that they are at home.  She tells them that they take the money for food when she gives it to them.  

How do parents send their children out to make money to buy food like this?  We don't understand here in the land of excess, but poverty surrounds these families and they just send their children?  I just can't even grasp the thought.  The words these men shared with her next just give a touch of hope in this awful image in my mind...Matt tells this little girl, "You 're worth much more than you could ever imagine, please go back home.  You deserve much, much more."  She smiles for the first time and even offered them a hug, turns around and goes back to the highway...forever changed these two men...

When these two men find this little girl a year later, she is changed.  She is harder, she is cold.  I believe we  would all be changed after such a life as  she is living now even using drugs.  These little innocent children grow up very fast  ~ innocent no longer in their world...but hope brought in to their world by people like Matt and Dean who are trying to help  change their worlds.  

I don't want to give a lot away because I want you to order this book and read this not because it will make you feel better, but because you will have to help some way, some how...One chapter is entitled "Living Dead" and it describes how these young girls are described as saved now, but their days are more dead than alive.  I want you to imagine for a moment the healing that must begin to take place once they are saved from this highway to hell.  The self worth, the fear in their eyes that must slowly be removed by special people that come into their world to share words of love and  to be told "that indeed they are special."

So much in this book about Matt and Dean's journey down Highway 116.  The story of Matt taking home one of the girls that is now pregnant and then the loss of that baby to their home.  The added pain of loving and caring for one of these children,  the child not having yet realized what love truly is about...Matt and his wife opened their home to more pain for themselves by the loving of this child...but yet they could not leave her in the terrible place of pain and heartache that her own mother and grandmother brought to her life.  A mother who was jealous of her beauty that tried to kill her with her bare hands around her neck  and a grandmother who used the love the child had for her to send this baby out into this terrible world of selling yourself for your family.  One of the stories that touched me beyond words was of eating dirt.  Yes dirt and how she thought it was normal...

Matt started a non-profit to help these young girls change their world through dance.  The dance helps to bring hope into their world through a pink house....yes, pink!  Check out the website at www.meninadanca.org

Also, please order Matt Roper's book which is entitled "Highway to Hell" through Amazon. com or wherever you purchase books.  Order it and have your eyes opened to some of the horrors happening around the world that some people want our eyes shut to...some governments just want the tourist dollars, so what about little girls that have lost that look of innocence forever!  Let's help Matt change the world first by ordering his book and then by going to the website!

Sweet blessings,


Frankie said...

Heartbreaking! I am reminded of Scripture, Genesis 6:5-6, "The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on the
earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain."

Linda said...

Thanks for sharing, Debbie. What a wonderful ministry "dance" can become. I will be ordering the book to read for myself.

Linda said...

Thanks for sharing this Debbie. I want to read the book myself--solutions to a giant problem begin with small steps such as he is taking with his "dance ministry".