I couldn’t begin this testimony other way than sharing two things that trespass me deeply:

I. Yesterday, inside the mark of the week of awareness for the war against human trafficking, I read that in the whole world there are 40 millions of victimes of this hell. My heart of a mother was destroyed when I’ve read it. What an impotence! What a pain! And in front of it, I just fall prostrated facing the profound mystery of darkness and pain. I have 40 millions of children to love, to embrace, to take care of, to sustain; children who are suffering, wounded, scared, and many of them in agony; children with whom I feel my obligation and commitment to defend them and to be their voice, because of love.

II. My life depends on it, and I am not afraid to sacrifice my life so that they may live, to raise my voice so that the world may believe. I give it freely and for love. If I didn’t do it, I would lose my sparkle, my essence, I would complete lose myself. I can’t help it, even when “the closest world” won’t understand. There is no time to waste, no time for doubts, every minute counts, because being late means that some lives will be lost, some dreams will be dead, some wounds will never heal. I can’t help it. The Church destroys my inner self with her cries!

Therefore, continuing with my previous testimony, and remembering the sentence of Fr. Palau: “Our heart was fabricated to love and to be loved, and it lives only out of love”, I believe it could be a good sentence to understand the depth of the miracle that God had worked and continues working in the victims of human trafficking, his children, my children, his favorites and preferred.

Before I will tell you anything, I would like to share with you a testimony of one of my children whom, with purpose to keep his identity secret, we can call Mary. So not to be killed by her oppressors, she wanted to suicide herself, but the rescue team saved her in this exact moment (she died some days after), and I had a privilege to accompany her in her agony.

“Mommy Angel, I’m sorry if I failed you. I was scared, they are going to kill us and I preferred to do it myself than to allow them, because it would be horrible. But it all went wrong. Thank you for your letter, I wanted so much to talk to you, to hear the voice of the one who saved me from this hell.

Why do you love me? Nobody loves those who are like me, we aren’t important for anyone. Why do you love me? Are you not ashamed of me? It’s so strange for me to think that someone loves me… Ehm, mommy angel? What is love? Why are you telling me that you love me? I think about you, like what do you look like, what your gaze is like, your face, your words. You are so courageous and I am fearful, and I can’t keep living. I can’t, they are powerful and evil, they always win. You gave me again to life, and I don’t want to die, mommy angel, not by their hands.

I like very much what you wrote to me, that I am precious. It’s the first time that someone will tell me that my life has value, that I am a treasure, that I am beautiful. I would like to hear you saying these words and engrave them in my heart. They sound so good, and for sure they are true if you say so. I don’t know you, but since you saved me I know I can trust in you, in noone else but in you who loves me and will never hurt me, like they had. You will never abandon me. Here I don’t know in whom I can trust, I am afraid of all of them, they are everywhere, in my head, in my body, in my dreams, everywhere, they never leave me alone.

I accept being your friend and that you will accompany me in my journey. I have no friends. Those who used me are not my friends. And who are all those aunts and grandmothers? Could I choose a grandma for me? Or maybe, two, or all of them, if all of them love me I want them all. It’s because I am so scared and I need them all so that they won’t find me and I will be safe from those monsters. Please! And this God, who is he? I don’t know him, but maybe you could tell him to give me strength, to make me courageous like you are. To take away my fear. Tell him. If he gave it to you, maybe he could give it to me, too.

And yes, I promise you I will declare. It’s not that I don’t want to help to all those other kids, it’s just because I’m so scared. I want to live, I swear to you, but I/m scared. Now that someone loves me, I don’t want to die anymore. Help me, mommy angel, please.

(She died some days after this letter, knowing that she is deeply loved and that she would go straight into the arms of God).

This testimony is very eloquent. Mary, my daughter, my little one, taught me that the most important thing, aside from therapy, medicines and interviews, is LOVE. Without this experience of feeling loved, of having home, family, there is no reconstruction, no freedom. The amor is urgent, it burns me inside, questions me, reveals me; it announcement and denounce of what we are forgetting.

They, my children, taught me day after day that the “rescue” is the first part of a chain and the first step towards freedom, but not the only one, it’s not “task accomplished” not consolation for our conscience. How many of my children after having been rescued continue being slaves of pain, of the shadows of monsters, of marks and corporations, of fear and mistrust, of rapes and tortures, of terror and hell! It is not an easy journey, everything goes so slowly, at the rhythm of every life, rhythm of loving, respecting, of being and staying, of accompanying without forcing. Of Loving and keeping loving. It is not an easy way, but I assure you that it is really passionate and deep.

To rescue, accompany, restore, give capacity, reinsert, it’s true are the basic steps that lead toward integral liberty of the victims, but there is another step lacking that for me is the most important one; LOVE, FAMILY, HOME.

I am the witness of seeing my children raised up only after having experienced of feeling loved; I am the witness that the phantasms of the past start vanishing only when the embrace of love and the presence of a family can give you warranty that you will never be alone again. I am the witness, and I would like to shout it to the world, that even those who were agonizing died in peace when they heard whispered words in their ears: “I love you, you are loved”.

As God’s inspiration, as soft sounds of the wings of his Spirit, we had the idea of creation of the Homes of Mary and Joseph (given that they identities need to be confidential, in their testimonies each child was called Mary or Joseph). They are homes with flavor of a family, with places taken care of and welcoming, personal and intimate up to the last detail. And it was in these homes where my children return to be children and teenagers, and not “adults closed in the bodies of children”. They started to laugh again, to play, to misbehave, to fight, all that is proper to the dignity of a child. I was so happy every time talking to them and seeing this small ray of light of innocence and life that was beginning to wake up in each one of them. I cannot explain with my words how proud they made me feel, because I celebrate each one of their achievements and efforts, because they deserve to live in peace, they’ve already suffered enough, they’ve lost too much.

For them, to have a family was the greatest treasure they’ve ever received. I can still remember the words of one of my little one agonizing: “Thank you, mommy, for this family. Even if I am dying today I know that for someone I existed, I was afraid of dying and noone would know that I even existed”. Words like this destroyed my heart with love again and again. I promise them and I will keep this promise forever: Mommy angel will never forget you. Ever. I know that neither will your grandma of long arms, nor some of your uncles and aunts. I am sure of that.

Love raises up. Love gives wings of freedoms. Love is able to heal the wounds that cause pain. I did my own experience of that and I feel reconstructed, renewed, full of life. And this life that overflows in me is the one that urges me to give it away. I cannot enclose it, nor distract myself in the middle of unimportant matters. I love life so much that I can only give it, freely and for love, for them, for my children, my sisters, my family, the Church, for whom God will present me in my journey.

I would like to finish making this call of attention. These homes today are not functioning anymore. The fear, gossiping, corruption and power took away from the children this possibility of having a family, of integral reconstruction. I cannot be silent, it burns out my throat, escaping like a cry. I would give anything if I could give back to the children what they need the most. Having them rescued is only the first step and we cannot abandon them. I protest against it.

I look at my hands and I can see blood poured out as “Body that we are”. I can see how difficult it is for us to go out of our commodities and wounds, how centered we are in ourselves, in what is individual and egoistic. And I suffer for it.

I just want to invite you to wake up, to commit yourself deeply, to stop wasting your life in details that don’t matter, to break the walls that stop you from offering yourself. This and many other situations are urgent, they cannot wait. Because while you are deciding to do so, time passes, and they can’t wait, their lives can’t wait, because the evil doesn’t wait, corruption doesn’t wait. And maybe even without realizing it, our hands of the Spouses of the Church become full of blood, of innocent and vulnerable lives. Wake up, please, wake up! In your surrounding there may be someone who needs that you will forget a little about yourself, go out to encounter him/her, tell him/her that you love him/her, that he/she is precious, that you accompany him/her. He needs you. She is waiting for you.

Christ – The Church is waiting for you!

I believe that the bigger one heart keeps its limitations and wounds, the faster this suffering throws him into the heart of God. There is always an infinite relation between the abyss of human life and God’s tenderness. Never a person can be more wounded by life than loved by God. Never.

Marcela Alejandra Macagno, cmt