by Larry Sharp
This month we are featuring stories from Larry Sharp. Larry’s new book ‘Mission Disrupted: From Professional Missionaries to Missionary Professionals’ tells 27 stories and is out now!
Abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), Gloria was forced to be a child soldier in northern Uganda. Although girls sometimes carried rifles on the front lines, they usually did the cooking for the boys involved in guerilla warfare and served the sexual wishes of the commanders. After eight years, she managed to escape the LRA and returned home. Life, however, continued to be hard. No one trusted her, not even her sisters. They thought she was a killer and to be avoided at all costs. She couldn’t find work and barely survived on the few things she could grow on a tiny subsistence plot of land. But then her life changed:
The moment I stepped inside the gates of Nguvu Dairy I felt a sense of peace. James was so kind and friendly, and he taught all of us victims how to make yogurt. He was patient and encouraging. Nguvu Dairy has changed my life. I have a job and can rent a little house in town and afford school fees for my son.
As a highly traumatized young woman, Gloria was forced to labor as an exploited, brain-washed, and hopeless child. But by God’s grace she was one of the few who found hope of the more than one hundred thousand children worldwide forced to serve in state and non-state military organizations.
James Dirksen is a seasoned entrepreneur and business owner and while in northern Uganda asked himself the foundational question, “what happens to survivors when they finish a program of the NGO, mission or care organizations?” After plenty of research and planning he began to focus on starting real businesses to take the next critical step to bring healing to survivors and provide full-time employment.
Human trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar business, trading in people. Creating safe jobs is critical to ending the cycle of economic vulnerability at the root of this global crisis. Without safe employment 80% of those rescued return to trafficking or voluntary enslavement. Read more