July 2010 was my first trip to Ghana, my first glimpse at Lake Volta, the first time I laid eyes on the trafficked children there. Many of the images captured of the children on the lake remain burned in my mind. Their hollow glances haunt; they desperately cry out for someone to speak up on their behalf.
I am humbled with the responsibility to tell the story of the children on Lake Volta. My job – not just for Mercy Project but also as someone who desires to make the world a better place – revolves around speaking out against injustice. The journey is teaching me so much and, at times, is full of challenge and sacrifice. But these are the questions that motivate our work in Ghana, the very ones in which Mercy Project originated: if we don’t tell the stories of these children, who will? How will the world know? How will the injustice end? Our team is so committed to this work, and I am simply honored to play a small role in sharing the story.
This last trip to Ghana, our rescue trip, was so rewarding for our team as we experienced new life through the eyes of 24 precious children. There are no words to explain the feeling of seeing over two years of work culminate in a single moment – how do you explain the laughter heard on a bus ride, the first full day of freedom from Lake Volta, the realization that "I get my very own bed" for the first time ever, the pride in a 15-year-old's eyes as he stood and counted to 30 all by himself?
That said, the journey we found ourselves on seems best summarized by moments – moments that are pivotal and meaningful. Along with Nicole, I was blessed with the task of documenting our trip to Ghana on camera, but one of the greatest parts of that job has been returning home to share these glimpses with so many of our amazing supporters. The hope is that each reader here will feel connected and a part of our work – and most recently of the new life brought to 24 FORMER trafficked children.