Hell is just not many circles below the surface. And human beings can actually make it a routine abode. The darkness is very nearly total. And it's here. And that's where we've got to go. (143)
And that is where Gary Haugen and Gregg Hunter take their readers in Terrify No More, to the brothels that sell little children's bodies to lechers for a night's pernicious enjoyment, to the brickkilns where generations of Indians still work as slaves, to the jails where innocent victims try to survive corrupt cops, to earth's hellholes.
Haugen is the founder of International Justice Mission (IJM). His past jobs have carried him around the world investigating human rights violations. As he investigated the genocide in Rwanda, the Lord dealt with his heart about the injustice many people live under with no hope of deliverance. He recognized that the Lord Jesus had accused the Pharisees of "neglecting the weightier matters of the law--justice, mercy, and the love of God." (31) Other passages in scripture, such as Psalm 10 from which Haugen draws the title and Isaiah 1:17 also convicted Haugen and guide him in his efforts to secure justice for those who most need it but have no hope.
Terrify No More primarily tells the story of IJM's efforts to rescue children from five to fourteen years old from brothels in Svay Pak, Cambodia, a town where the sex trade in children is the town's primary livelihood. We meet IJM's dedicated and courageous staff, follow their investigation, and join them in the final raid. Along the way, Haugen and Hunter also introduce us to victims rescued from other oppressions: David, a Kenyan, an innocent victim of corrupt police brutality; four-year-old Martha in Kenya who was molested by a neighbor who paid the police to threaten her family; dignified Anita, a Nepalese, who spoke to the United States Congress about the realities of being kidnapped and forced into prostitution; courageous seventeen-year-old Ashok who stood up against his masters in order to free his family from generations of illegal slavery; seventeen-year-old Elisabeth who tried to be a testimony for Christ even after being sold into a brothel; and sweet young Jhoti whose smile dazzles you from the pages when she is freed from a brothel after praying to Jesus.
Haugen and Hunter emphasize the importance of "the one." They realize that God will not use IJM to right all injustice, but to the ones they can help, their work means the difference between life and death, hope and hopelessness, a chance at living and the assurance of continual brutality.
Terrify No More tells a powerful and fascinating story of IJM's efforts on behalf of these children. Parts of the book read like a spy novel. The account's greatest weakness is the sidet rips which interrupt the flow of the central story, yet introduce us to more of IJM's ministry and the people they help. It's hard to imagine how the authors could have described IJM's ministry as fully and introduced some of the victims without the subplots. Haugen and Hunter work many of these side stories in well by preparing the reader at the end of the previous chapter. However, a few slip by without much preparation and the reader finds himself saying, "Where am I? Who is this person?"
Regardless of the distractions, Terrify No More is powerful reading, though sometimes the darkness that IJM fights reaches out to pull you down. Reading it makes you appreciate IJM's committed staff and their ministry, especially as you see God working out details that seem impossible from the human viewpoint. This is not light reading, but the photographs and descriptions allow you to share the dazzling smile of Jhoti, the bright light of Elisabeth, the hope of David, and the innocent play of young children who only hours before were being held in unimaginable sexual bondage. -- Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
In a small village outside of Phnom Pehn, little children as young as five years old were forced to live as sex slaves. Day after day their hope was slipping away. Tireless workers from International Justice Mission (IJM) infiltrated the ring of brothels and gathered evidence to free the children. Headed up by former war-crimes investigator Gary Haugen, IJM faced impossible odds-police corruption, death threats, and mission-thwarting tip-offs. But they used their expert legal finesse and high-tech investigative techniques to save the lives of 37 young girls and secured the arrest and conviction of several perpetrators. Terrify No More focuses on this dramatic rescue story, and uses flashbacks to tell those of many other victims who were given a second chance at life by this amazing organization.
Readers of John Grisham and Ted Dekker novels will appreciate the suspense, plot twists, and relentless pursuit of justice found in the true story of Terrify No More.