Why the World Cup Makes Me ILL…

On October 30, 2007 the world learned that Brazil would host the 2014 World Cup. I couldn’t have cared less.


On October 2, 2009 the world learned that Brazil will host the 2016 Summer Olympics. I couldn’t have cared more.


What changed?  I did. Some of my ignorance was gone. I knew things…


You see, in 2007, Renaissance Man had been President of Hope Unlimited for Children for only three days. We had so much to learn.


Now we know…

  • Girls (12 years or older) who come to us at Hope have almost always been sexually exploited.
  • Girls are sold by their parents for family income or status.
  • Girls sell themselves for a few coins, a new blouse, a compliment… food to stop the hunger pains.
  • Prostitution knows no cultural stigma – no moral outrage – in Brazil. That’s just what happens to the children of the favelas.

We also know…

  • Sexual exploitation brings pain – always.
  • Prostitution leads to drug use to numb the pain.
  • Drug use leads to more prostitution to fund the addiction.
  • Without intervention, the end of the cycle is death.


What does childhood prostitution have to do with the World Cup?  Everything.


Soccer Brazil

When South Africa hosted the 2010 World Cup, reported sex crimes against children increased by 66% – and we all know some are never reported.


Now, four years later, Brazil – one of the world’s top destinations for sex tourism – is expected to host 600,000 fans. You can be certain some of them will be drunken predators, preying on the country’s most vulnerable children.


Little can be done to stop it.


Trafficking-poster1-615x1024To be fair, you should know that Brazil has a code of conduct for taxi drivers and hotel receptionists. Signs in airplanes, airports, bus and train stations, and hotels warn that the solicitation of minors for sex is illegal. But that won’t stop the problem.


When the tourists go home, organizations like Hope Unlimited will pick up the broken pieces…


We’re about one-third of the way through the 2014 World Cup with its non-stop media coverage. At the very least, will you please take time to pray for the children?


Then… will you do something to change the life of at least one of them before the 2016 Summer Olympics? If you don’t know where to start, you can always partner with us at Hope Unlimited for Children.


We’re in the life transformation business!


Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.

Matthew 25:45


I’ll be joining:

Testimony Tuesday at Holly Barrett

Unite at Rich Faith Rising

#TellHisStory at Jennifer Dukes Lee


  1. Thank you for this sad and timely reminder. My home state (Washington state) has an ongoing problem with sex trafficking in the Seattle area – but due to drug addiction it is even happening in the town nearest us…Standing with you in prayer for these in Brazil as well as around the corner.

    • Oh, yes, Mindy — “around the corner” as well! Trafficking is happening near me here in E. Tennessee, too. Quite honestly, until we decide to do something about the global orphan crisis, we’ll just keep “feeding the pipeline” for the traffickers. We really must wake up!

  2. Thank you for linking this post to Testimony Tuesday. It seems to be such a growing problem surrounding these big sporting events. Or maybe we’re just more aware now. Either way, it must be stopped. Appreciate your heart for these precious children!

  3. Sound the alarm! We need to awaken and wage war!