Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Kregel Tour: Highway to Hell: The Road Where Childhoods are Stolen by Matt Roper #grow4christ

on March 10, 2014

About the Book:

The black heart of human exploitation and the brave few seeking change

A child is sold for sex every ten miles on Brazil’s BR-116 motorway. This 2,700-mile road is “The Highway to Hell” for the thousands of children, some as young as nine, who are trapped in sophisticated child prostitution rackets organized by businessmen and politicians.

An experienced journalist, Matt Roper has witnessed the extent of the trafficking firsthand. Highway to Hell documents his journey on this road. He meets the girls and hears their stories; he interviews truck drivers, pimps, brothel owners, and traffickers; and talks to the brave souls who are trying to make a difference.

Part documentary, part personal memoir, Matt honestly shares his struggles to understand what his Christian faith has to say about the things he encounters and how God wants him to respond.

You can purchase a copy at Kregel.

My Opinion:

It’s hard for me to write about this book – not because it wasn’t good but because I have two daughters who are or are very close to being the ages of the girls in this book – and my heart broke while reading it.  I even hate to say, “this was a good book”, because of the subject matter – however this needs to be out there and everyone needs to be made aware of what is going on in Brazil, since even their government there is turning a blind eye.  Imagine sending your 9 year old daughter out to prostitute herself because it’s what your mom did, it’s what you did and so that is what your daughter will do and it’s seen as normal, it’s seen as normal that some of these girls are never seen or heard from again.  Can you?  I can’t.  I can’t imagine being that grandma (one of which acts almost like a pimp for her grand daughter!), I can’t imagine being that mom but unfortunately when a girl baby is born it’s almost a given that she will become a child prostitute.

Hard to read.  Heart breaking.  Eye opening.  I am so glad that Matt Roper has written this book, I have never before heard of this travesty in Brazil, I’ve heard of human trafficking (I even hate to refer to it as trafficking and call it what it is slavery) and yes I know some are children but to have a whole country and the politicians and even those that are supposed to be protecting these children turn their backs and refuse to admit there is a problem – it’s horrendous to even think about.  Not only are these girls selling themselves, they are becoming pregnant, they are thrown out of trucks, involved in horrific car accidents while the man is distracted during their ‘programme’ and left maimed or dead, or just out right killed.  Matt works to open houses that seek to get the girls off the street and into a place where they are given tools to become more, such as dance which promotes self esteem (many girls have been abused by male relatives long before they begin selling and their self esteem is non-existent), and other tools and the message that God does love them even if their parents don’t and they can turn to Him.

As a mission minded person I wanted to hop on the next plane to Brazil and start grabbing these girls and give them help – but of course that is not feasible nor is it logical – but I’d love to find someway to help these girls, such as giving money to help build more houses and providing people to staff them.  Is it a good book?  Yes, but not in the way a fictional book is good – it’s totally different and I can say only read it if you are willing to have your eyes and your heart opened and then also be prepared to see how God is working through the people who are trying to help these girls and get the people of Brazil to realize just how wrong the whole situation is.


(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws


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