I just received good news from friends in Costa Rica about a colleague in ministry who works with victims of commercial sexual exploitation. It has been my honor to work alongside of and learn from Mariliana Morales. The ABW Tour this summer was privileged to visit the Rahab Foundation and meet both Mariliana and the women she serves. Here is what LAM missionary friend, Shelly Rice wrote:
"Last Friday, the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica invited Mariliana Morales, the Rahab Foundation founder and Director, to go to the United States Department of State in Washington, D.C. to receive an award as a "Trafficking in Persons Heroine" or "Heroine against Modern Slavery", which she received today from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
This prize was given as part of the presentation of the ninth annual Global Trafficking in Persons Report (GTIP). Mariliana is one of nine persons distinguished worldwide for their commitment and fight against this type of organized crime. She was chosen among hundreds of candidates for this prize.
Just last week Costa Rica was shaken by news that two Costa Rican women were trafficked to Mexico for sexual slavery. At a time when this news confirms the existence in our country of organized crime networks which recruit Costa Ricans to be exploited as sexual slaves, this prize calls attention to the need to strengthen the national conscience, as well as to improve actions for the prevention of this kind of crime and to develop effective services for these victims, such as those offered by the Rahab Foundation over the last eleven years.
For more information about this prize, you can see the video and text of the presentation on the State Department web site, http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2009a/06/124872.htm. In the last few minutes of the presentation, Mariliana shared a few words of appreciation. In addition, some people have told us that news of this prize can be seen on CNN news, probably in Spanish."
Thank you for making it possible to be involved in such groundbreaking and grace-filled work.