December is a special month for Christians as we prepare to celebrate and declare to the world the best gift of all: God coming to Earth as a baby to live among us. During Christmas we don’t like dwelling on negative things, but although Jesus came to save us from our sins, he won’t end sorrow and pain until we enter heaven.
And those sorrows are also experienced by women in Canada and the United States, who are not immune to some of the same issues that females face all over the world: child marriage, divorce, domestic violence, human trafficking, rape, and others. They, too, need the hope and healing of Jesus.
Even when the legal marrying age in both countries is 18, exceptions are allowed with the consent of a parent or judge. Too often girls are forced to marry older men to avoid family shame, and this can result in the cover-up of sexual abuse.
Girls who run away from home or are in the foster-care system often become victims of sex trafficking. Looking for friends, food, and shelter makes them vulnerable to those also offering alcohol and drugs to help them forget their pain. Traffickers, often posing as boyfriends, lure girls as young as 13 and trap them into submission by shaming them into believing no one will ever care about them.
Tens of millions of immigrants are in Canada and the U.S. seeking a better life. Many become victims of human trafficking. Women from China, South Korea, or Thailand are often exploited in massage parlors and nail salons. Some are legal immigrants with work visas, but they are threatened with deportation by their traffickers, who withhold their income and control their lives.
Please join us in praying for women in Canada and the United States to find hope through Jesus.