Written by Marji Iacovetti, Manager of Program Services for ZOE Children’s Homes
Our ZOE Children’s Homes | Los Angeles (ZCHLA) team was impacted recently, by two important events.
First, there was a series of texts from a law enforcement officer. The officer lives across the country but has relationship with ZOE. He texted Betsy Meenk, ZOE’s USA Regional Director, about a young girl who had been victimized by producers of child pornography.
A few days later, a news story broke about charges that an 11-year-old girl was trafficked for two years — just thirteen miles from ZOE’s Santa Clarita office. According to a CBS news article, the girl was allegedly smuggled from El Salvador to the United States where she lived as a slave in Sylmar, California. A District Attorney’s Office representative stated that the child was forced to work in her slaveholder’s restaurant and clean her home. Neighbors said the child never left the apartment except to run errands.
I am grateful that both girls have been rescued. But what happens next?
Do the girls have safe places to go? Will they stay safe? Will they experience healing and love? Will they learn that they are loved and valued by the Creator of the universe?
Hearing about these two children caused my longing for the opening of ZCHLA to grow even deeper. The need is real and the children are extremely important. It will be a privilege to serve them.