The Story of Champei: A Child Slave
I’m 15 years old and the oldest of 5. I have four younger brothers and sisters, I do not know where they are, but I know they are somewhere in the world. When I was 6 years old my mother died, several months later my father remarried. My stepmother did not like me very much, she used to beat me and tell me that I was “no good”. She had a “special” stick that she would beat me with til I was black and blue with bruises and bleeding. After my beatings, she would force me to do all the house work. Eventually, my father and his new wife started having more babies.
My family was poor, so my step-mother convinced my father that he should hire me out to families who needed field hands. The families worked me hard- and some of them beat me.
I had dreams that one day I would grow up and marry a rich man so I wouldn’t have to work so hard. When I was 10 years old a man moved to our village. The man approached my parents, asking if he could buy me, he was in need of a servant. Without much hesitation, my parents said yes. I suppose they thought it’d be one less mouth to feed if the man took me away.
At first, the man was kind to me. He seemed charming. However, his “charm” didn’t last long, it wore off within a few hours of me being in his home. My first day at his home I was demanded to do all the house work, cook, and work in the fields. As night approached, the man grew angry and started drinking. I’ll never forget that night, it was the night that everything changed. Once I was done with my chores for the day, I went out back to bathe and wash the dirt off my body. My body ached from working so hard all day. In the stillness of the night, I could hear the white man coming home. I heard clashing coming from inside the house, curiosity overtook me as I peeked through the cracks of the wood to see the commotion inside. Anger was written all over his face. The stench of alcohol coming from his body was so strong that it was unbareable. I moved away from the house to return to my bathe, it was then that I felt his his rough hand grasp my neck. He dragged me inside the house as he yelled meaningless things at me. As I tried to calm him down, I felt the back of his hand collide with my cheek. Frightened, I attempted to crawl away, however, my attempts were useless as he trapped me and began beating me. That night, he had his way with me- I cried, pleading for him to stop because he was hurting me. But my cries went unheard. That night, I went to the shabby mat that was my bed, and as tears welled up in my eyes, I felt ashamed of who I was. With my head down and holding back my tears I thought to myself “How did this happen?” On the eve of my 11th birthday I had become a slave.This is just one story of one girl.
However, today, there are 27 million others who are living a story similar to Champei’s.
Let me break it down for you: The number of humans enslaved in the world today is double the 12 million Africans that were estimated to be enslaved in the 400 year history of transatlantic slave trade.But here is the truth: At one point, all of us were enslaved, however, Christ came and rescued us.
As children of God, we have been called to freedom and have been rescued from the things that have enslaved us. We were called to walk in freedom and to be imitators of Christ. Christ rescued us through His great love, allowing us to experience freedom. So here is my thought: What if we were rescued, so that we could rescue others?
The Lord beckon’s his people to “live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory” (1 Thess. 2.12). It is time for us as children of God to be so enraptured by the love of God, that we cannot help, but be a part of a beautiful movement to rescue the world. There is power in love, Christ was an example of this. Songwriter, Paul Klein, once wrote, “We will be the answer to Redemption’s call… Love conquers it all, cross all boundaries, and breaks down the walls.”
So I leave you with this-
Will you be the answer to Redemption’s call? Will you let the love of God move through you to rescue others?
Join us February 2012 as we become the answer to the call and work with children who have been rescued out of child slavery. For more information please visit: www.gointernational.tv/trips/haiti
Written by: Lindsey Eryn Clark