Way of The Cross of Human Trafficked Victims

Introduction

  • Leader/ As we begin our journey along the path Jesus chose, we pray for the strength and courage to walk beside him and for minds and hearts open to the stories of all those people who walk the path of abuse and humiliation every day.
  • All/ We live in a world where 30 pieces of silver can still buy the life of a person; where the market governs the price of coffee and people; where young men, women and children carry the cross of exploitation.
  • Leader/ By the sharing of His steps, may we confirm our solidarity with all trafficked people and be inspired to action.
  • L/ We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
  • R/ Because of your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.
FIRST STATION
Jesus is Condemned to Die.
  • Amina works for a family in Saudi Arabia, she does not know the name of the town or city where she is. In Nairobi she only saw her passport briefly. Because she is illiterate, she could only sign it with her inked finger. Then she was taken to departures – escorted by a madam who had eight other girls, all Kenyan – all bound for Saudi, all condemned
  • to a similar fate – the bottom line is poverty. On arrival her phone is taken,
    Poor Amina, even her best friends back in Kibera slum could never imagine
    what fate awaited her.
  • Leader/ Jesus walked this path
  • All/ By the sharing of His steps, may we confirm our solidarity with all trafficked
    people and be inspired to action.
REFLECTION
Jesus is Condemned to Death.

Jesus is deserted by the twelve. Then he faces the sham high priests and a cowardly judge. He is alone and condemned and Peter denies him. Finally, Pilate is swayed by a blood thirsty mob and Jesus is swapped for a notorious prisoner.

SECOND STATION
Jesus Accepts His Cross

Betty is in a state of shock. She was promised a ‘clean’ job with an expatriate family in Mombasa. The couple have two teenage boys and she is informed that “they are no bother at all and are very serious about their studies”. But she arrives after dark and is ushered into a highly secure brothel. It trades as a ‘gym & massage’ but most men pay for sexual services. And she is warned sternly by the madam to “do whatever our visitors tell you”. There is No Way Out. So, our sister Betty must carry a very heavy Cross indeed.
Leader/ Jesus walked this path
All/ By the sharing of His steps, may we confirm our solidarity with all trafficked people and be inspired to action.

REFLECTION
Jesus Accepts his Cross

Jesus is already weak from the severe scourges and lashing. Some of his flesh clings to the thongs. From the crowning with thorns, blood trickles down his face and body. Mere mortals mock and taunt our Savior. A heavy Cross is laid on his shoulders. The pain is intense yet he stumbles on.

THIRD STATION
Jesus Falls the First Time

Jacinta comes face - to - face with what is to be her lot in Qatar. With her phone taken the loneliness and isolation is unimaginable. It is past the end of the first month and she has not received her promised salary, of KShs 30.000/- equivalent $300.00. When she plucks up enough courage to ask about it, she is given a strong slap on the face then the lady washes her hands. So, Jacinta whispered to me “I think she had fear of contamination by African skin” She is now told in harsh words that there is no salary for 4 months until her airfare is recovered.

Leader/ Jesus walked this path.
All/ By the sharing of His steps, may we confirm our solidarity with all trafficked people  and be inspired to action

REFLECTION

Jesus Falls the First Time

Despite this painful struggle, he falls on the rough ground of “Njia ya Msalaba” (Way of the Cross in Kiswahili) The Divinity of Jesus lies under the load of our sins.

FOURTH STATION
Jesus Meets His Mother

Nancy tries to accept her mother’s terminal illness. She is recently back from Oman, where despite increasing weakness, she was denied medical care. ‘Kenyan maids’ a r e expendable, but her death brought untold hardship to her three teenage children. There is only an aged grandmother to give parental care now. Poor women – abused, enslaved, humiliated and impoverished. Like Mary, they also carry a heavy Cross daily.

Leader/ Jesus walked this path.
All/ By the sharing of His steps, may we confirm our solidarity with all trafficked people and be inspired to action.

REFLECTION

Jesus Meets His Sorrowful Mother.

Mother and son come face-to-face, a meeting of excruciating pain. A sword pierces her soul right to its very depths. Mary knows the price he paid for our sins. Her beloved son is on his way to a criminal death.

FIFTH STATION
Simon of Cyrene is forced to help Jesus to Carry His Cross

Like Simon many men are forced to carry the Cross of forced labor – Andrew, Joseph, Kamau – they bear the brunt of heavy construction work in intense heat of Qatar. Others drive for ten hours daily with no break; it is known that more than one man dies daily of thirst. Slave drivers who have no respect for human life and dignity will not transfer a body back to Kenya. In a matter of hours, he is buried - another casualty of Human Trafficking.

Leader/ Jesus walked this path.
All/ By the sharing of His steps, may we confirm our solidarity with all trafficked people and be inspired to action.

REFLECTION

Simeon of Cyrene is Forced to Help Jesus Carry his Cross.
Jesus’ weakened state has deteriorated considerably, but the authorities want to see him lifted high on his cross of shame. Simeon is the reluctant stranger forced to carry Jesus’ cross. When our own cross seems too great, can we walk alongside Jesus to lighten our own load?

SIXTH STATION
Veronica wipes the Face of Jesus

This gentle woman of God reaches out in the way she knows best . . . at least to wipe away His sweat and tears. Joshua cannot complain even when the temperatures soar beyond 50.C. He cannot stop and rest – on top of his vehicle is a minute CCTV scanner– any stop will merit a severe flogging. So, he must drive on even if it results in his death.

Leader/ Jesus walked this path.
All/ By the sharing of His steps, may we confirm our solidarity with all trafficked  people and be inspired to action.

REFLECTION

Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

 This woman disciple makes a kindly gesture – just to wipe his sweat and blood. Jesus the God-man walks in the intensity of pain and all his closest friends have run away. Can we walk in solidarity with Jesus when all we have is a piece of cloth and nothing else.

SEVENTH STATION
Jesus Falls the Second Time

Wanjiku knows the dangers she faces, but her newest agent assures her that “this time it will all work out better” With her diploma this same agent gives her a job offer as “an IT specialist with Samsung Corporation in Dubai”. Then she adds” I send all my clients there and they all achieve their dreams” Next morning she finds herself as a house help in Saudi Arabia. The lady of the house rains down insults and racist remarks on her. Dear Jesus: our poor Wanjiku is down, down, very down . . .. Please help her to straighten up and move on again.

Leader/ Jesus walked this path

All/ By the sharing of His steps, may we confirm our solidarity with all trafficked people and be inspired to action.

REFLECTION
Jesus Falls a Second Time

 With his whole body wracked in pain, this fall leaves him completely motionless. But he is only kicked and goaded on – to the onlookers he is only a spectacle and a rather stupid fellow who called God his Father. But to the authorities she is merely one more challenge who will be removed swiftly and soon.

EIGHTH STATION
Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

What comfort can we bring?? I sit in a tin hut with Mwende in Majengo slum, she is a recent victim of human trafficking. Yes, there were the multiple rapes in a brothel in Malindi for days and nights on end. But since she returned to her slum village, she has faced the worst stigma and rejection from her very own family.
They simply do Not want to know her. Mwende would like to end it all and quickly!! “But what would happen to my 2-year-old twin boys?? They are fatherless and now can I leave them motherless too”?

Leader/ Jesus walked this path

All/ By the sharing of His steps, may we confirm our solidarity with all trafficked people and be inspired to action.

REFLECTION
Jesus meets the Women of Jerusalem

Of all the onlookers only a few women step out to say ’Pole’ (sorry) he cautions them saying “Weep not for me but weep for yourselves and your children” His compassion, love and care of children is the lasting message he gives them. Despite his own plight, his mind and heart reach out to the children of our own day now, where in our world millions of children already walk the path of pain, sorrow and abuse.

NINTH STATION
Jesus Falls the Third time

“My husband just walked out of our marriage; it was a heavy blow to take” I could see she was profoundly depressed – but life goes on. Imagine, just then my best friend suggested she could get me a great job opportunity in Mombasa, it sounded good. I left my three children with my mother. I knew I would be able to send her money home to feed them”
Amid copious tears she told me: “I was plunged into a highly secure brothel. We were 11 women and each of us ‘serviced’ more than ten men in every 24/7 period (daily). There seemed to be no escape route at all. “I became dead inside” does Jesus feel dead already too? Who can lift Him up again?? In Amina’s case the way to Golgotha is very far indeed. . . . . .

Leader/ Jesus walked this path
All/ By the sharing of His steps, may we confirm our solidarity with all trafficked people and be inspired to action.

REFLECTION
Jesus Falls the Third Time.

 The sheer weight of our sins pulls Jesus down again and again, he paid a price beyond words. Here is a man beset with mockery, taunts and insults. How many world religions do not believe our Christian faith, simply because they cannot accept ‘that a God can be a real-God’ if he dies such a cruel and ignominious death.

TENTH STATION
Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

How many times is too often to be stripped? Florence is stripped of all her dignity. At 3 years of age she was defiled by her uncle, her mother could not understand why she ran away any time he came to their house/slum rented room. At 12 she was raped by her father. Her world was a very insecure place to be. Those memories intruded on her school work and she has frightening nightmares. Her mind often wanders back to those painful encounters when her innocence was destroyed.

When she reached class 7 her mother pulled her out of school saying “Flo, I know you’ll not perform well in the exam next year - better you take up a job in Saudi now. I hear there are many great jobs there” At 13 years she had no choice and having been brought to a brothel in a foreign land the multiple raping became her daily ordeal - being stripped over-and-over again. So, I ask Jesus, how can any of us find dignity and self-worth when one’s very flesh is stripped day-after-day-after-day and there is no end in sight?

Leader/     Jesus walked this path

All/ By the sharing of His steps, may we confirm our solidarity with all trafficked people and be inspired to action.

REFLECTION
Jesus is stripped of his garments.

 The stripping of his garments is of more than his clothing - his very flesh is torn too. This sadistic act of the soldiers inflicts maximum pain. Of Jesus, Word of God made flesh our very sins tear his flesh. But he is God-made-flesh wounded and bruised for us.

 

ELEVENTH STATION
Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

Being Nailed takes many shapes and modes of ‘being under the control’ of another. Julie is stripped of her freedom and effectively becomes the ‘property’ of others. She is in a foreign land but who cares? With no salary, Arabic, phone or passport she is merely a utility in a house of strangers.
Jesus Himself, was nailed “outside the walls” and just like Him who was fixed with nails, Julie is nailed and chained by strangers. It is 6 months of grinding hard labor and she has not seen or felt the sun’s warmth, Julie is dying a slow and agonizing death.

Leader/ Jesus walked this path.

All/ By the sharing of His steps, may we confirm our solidarity with all trafficked people and be inspired to action.

 REFLECTION

Jesus is nailed to the Cross

Being nailed he is subjected to the ultimate cruelty humans can mete out to another. Now they only want the most shameful abomination to silence him forever.

TWELFTH STATION
Jesus Dies on the Cross

Rahab dies slowly too. Each 20 hours of every day is unrelenting labor. Winfred is doused with acid liquid for every small mistake. She escaped by climbing over a 10’ wall. I’ve witnessed the acid   burns   on every centimeter of her flesh. “From the sole of the foot to the head there is no   sound spot” (Isiah 1:6)

Leader/     Jesus walked this path

All/ By the sharing of His steps, may we confirm our solidarity with all trafficked people and be inspired to action.

REFLECTION
Jesus Dies on the Cross

 Lifted high – a spectacle of derision to passers-by and the drunken, cruel mob. Men who only want to take spiteful jibes at him, before darkness finally covered the earth.

THIRTEENTH STATION
Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross

Dear Jesus, let me hold you lightly and very gently. He is wounded all over – so is Wanjiku, Lujaas, Anyango, Rotich and hundreds of others. Mwangi tries to fight back the tears   –   this fine-featured young man found himself trafficked to a gay club in Dubai. Over and over again he shakes his head in his hands saying: “it was hell, a living hell all the time” He has yet to learn that he is HIV positive.

Leader/     Jesus walked this path

All/ By the sharing of His steps, may we confirm our solidarity with all trafficked people and be inspired to action.

REFLECTION
Jesus is taken down from the Cross

With the piercing of his side comes the announcement of his death. It was the day that God died and we reap the reward. He gave his life’s blood, there is apparently nothing left of a young life cut short.

FOURTEENTH STATION
Jesus is placed in a Tomb

We wrapped Jesus’ body in a shroud and placed Him in a Borrowed Tomb. With Trafficked Victims we wrap them in a shroud of compassion, kindness, love and care. Some Day they will be Resurrected and Restored. We will journey with them till All the Pain is driven out and each one experiences the Joy and Dance of Easter Morn.

Leader/     Jesus walked this path

All/ By the sharing of His steps, may we confirm our solidarity with all trafficked people and be inspired to action.

REFLECTION
Jesus is placed in a Tomb

Now his bloodied body wrapped in a shroud. Jesus is placed in another man’s tomb. Who comes forward to take the body back to his family and kin?

 

FIFTEENTH STATION
His Resurrection… our Ransom

“Through him, with him and in him……” ours is the Victory, the Joy and the Glory. A tomb cannot contain him for soon Jesus bursts the gates of hell and shame.

Now we know him as the Risen One, the Lord of history and our savior. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!!!

REFLECTIONS
Way of the cross of Trafficked victims

These reflection on the “way of the Cross of Trafficked victims” is my experience of encounter with them. They have taught me something of the Pain of Jesus.

All names are changed but the circumstances and gender are real people-women, underage children and men. They continue to endure Appalling Slavery in our modern world.

 

 

© Mary O’Malley MMM
Email: mary@momalley.or.ke
 Mobile: +254 795 369 810

Sketches by Margaret O’Hara

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