I'm a huge candy lover. Which is why I've always loved Halloween, because Halloween is all about candy, right? I dressed up to go trick or treating until I was 14- a little old, but in my opinion you are never too old to get candy. After going trick or treating, I would dump my pillow case filled with candy on the ground and make a huge train, first putting similar candy together, and then lining it all up.
But Halloween has a different meaning for children in the city where I am currently living. It's not about candy- it's about money. A ten year old was telling me about her experiences from last year, which made me very worried about her on Halloween this year.
"Karen, you should have seen how good I looked last Halloween!"
"Tell me about it! What did you dress up as?"
"I was a Zebra! I looked so good- my cousin lent me her high heels, and I wore a really short mini skirt, and I didn't even wear a shirt! I only wore a bra! And I had the cutest zebra ears. Wow- I looked so good, I wish you could have seen me!"
"I'm glad you liked how you looked! Where did you go all dressed up like that?"
"I went out with my cousin. And do you know what? My cousin wasn't sharing any of her candy with me, and I was so sad, but in the end I made more money than her, so I guess I was the winner of the night!"
"You made money? How did you make money?"
"Umm....I don't know.... I forget."
"I don't think you forget, I think you just don't want me to know! It's okay, you can tell me! Then if I want to make money, I'll know how!"
"Ok, well at the party I had to just walk down a runway and say 'Happy Halloween. That's all."
"You spoke in English? So you were with gringos?"
"Ummmm I don't remember.... I just don't remember anything else. I just looked really good."
The conversation then changed. But wow. She's 10 now, which means that she was 9 when this happened. She made around 25 dollars for dressing up like a prostitute and saying 'Happy Halloween' to a bunch of English speaking men. A 9 year old.
So this year on Halloween I was worried for her. I thought that if I had a sleepover and "protected" her on Halloween, than it wouldn't be a repeat incident. But in order to protect her, I would need to be with her the Friday and Saturday before Halloween, Halloween day, and the weekend after. Which just wasn't possible.
So I prayed for her. It was the only thing I could do, but maybe the most powerful.
She did end up going to 2 nightclubs last week. She is being desensitized into thinking that the life of a prostitute is glamorous.
But it's not too late.
Prayer can change things.
And so, even though I feel as it is a situation completely out of my hands, through prayer I can help her and ask God to intervene in the way he knows best.
And you can pray too. Not only for her, but for the other little girls in this community like her.