While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?” Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” And they ridiculed him. Then he put them all out. He took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was. He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. [At that] they were utterly astounded. He gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat. – Mark 5:35-43
Named after this particularly touching story in the Gospels, this international association of religious orders works to stop human trafficking by raising awareness, advocating for change, and helping individuals who are victims of trafficking. Talitha Kum helps particularly for these orders to network and connect in order to better combat such a huge international injustice as human trafficking.
This international group includes orders that work undercover, dressing as the prostitutes they seek to rescue. They befriend them and give them a way out by offering food, shelter, and training in a safer, legal, marketable skill. People who are trafficked, understandably, have a hard time trusting others especially men or anyone in authority. So these humble women dressed as they are are best equipped to help the victims out.There is estimated around 1,100 women religious worldwide who work undercover to free the enslaved.
These orders also actively pay for children who are sold into slavery so that they can be free. They provide the children shelter, food and an education.
How courageously awesome are these women!
Let us now pray for them and the human trafficking victims:
O God, when we hear of children and adults deceived and taken to unknown places for purposes of sexual exploitation, forced labor, and organ ‘harvesting’ our hearts are saddened and our spirits angry that their dignity and rights are ignored through threats, lies, and force.
We cry out against the evil practice of this modern slavery, and pray with St. Bakhita for it to end. Give us wisdom and courage to reach out and stand with those whose bodies, hearts and spirits have been so wounded, so that together we may make real your promises to fill these sisters and brothers with a love that is tender and good. Send the exploiters away empty-handed to be converted from this wickedness, and help us all to claim the freedom that is your gift to your children. Amen
-Prayer from Talitha Kum