As the war continues in Ukraine, refugees hope to leave the country for safety yet rampant cases of human trafficking at the Ukrainian borders added to plague the refugees.
The regional manager for Europe of Orphan's Promise, Natasha Boom, told CBN News about the situation at the Polish border where many of the Ukrainian refugees chose to flee from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. "It was pure chaos," she described the border.
Boom explained that "Human traffickers are despicable, taking advantage of the chaos and confusion and posing as pastors and aid workers to abduct these vulnerable children and youth."
The trafficking issue was the "biggest prayer request at the moment," she said during a special live prayer event Friday hosted by CBN News.
"We heard reports on the ground this week regarding traffickers pretending to be pastors and turning up with mini busses and coaches," Boom said. Some of the border guards also claimed "There are traffickers here, but how do we know? There are thousands of people." As the situation got difficult, she asked the people to pray for these "unimaginable evils to be thwarted."
"That is one of my biggest prayer requests ... that this evil can be exposed for what it is...that children would be spared," she said.
Boom recounted the stories she had seen at the Polish border including the story of a mother who had tied a rope around her girls for fear of them being taken.
"This one mother...she had a rope tied around her waist with four little girls probably under the age of five wrapped around it because there [is] risk of traffickers and she didn't want to fall asleep with her children there," she said.
"The border guards were some of the most incredible people I met. Some of them haven't slept because they wanted to stay awake to protect the children," she continued.
She claimed the Orphan's Promise has been ready to meet the needs of the refugees in the region due to God's calling on staff members' hearts five to seven years ago, Faithwire reported.
"A lot of our Ukrainian Orphan's Promise staff felt called by God to move to Poland, particularly the border of Poland a couple of years ago," Boom explained. "And when they felt called, they didn't understand why. And whenever they prayed, all of them got the same feeling and the same words: 'If you knew, you wouldn't be able to bear it.'"
The staff obeyed God and now their calling to serve is clear. Boom said that the ministry was equipped to help the kids and others through psychological needs.
She said, "God prepared staff ahead of time," she said. "God did go before us. That is the biggest miracle in all of this."
The World Vision also warned recently that the conflict would increase the number of vulnerable women and children due to displacement and the death of loved ones. According to them, human trafficking in Eastern Europe was prevalent.
"The risk of human trafficking here in Eastern Europe was growing even before the Ukraine conflict. Now that risk is even larger."