Mary Jane Veloso, originally of the Philippines, is imprisoned in Indonesia as a result of her unintentional involvement in drug trafficking as she was seeking employment to provide for her two children. The thirty-year-old mother traveled to Malaysia for a job she had been promised. When she arrived, she was told the job was no longer available, but there were possibilities for jobs in another area. In the meantime, the recruiter would send her on a “seven-day vacation to Indonesia”. When she arrived in Indonesia, she was astonished to find that the suitcases she had brought contained heroin. She says she had no idea the drugs were in the luggage. Mary Jane was prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to death. Her appeal has been rejected, although her death sentenced was temporarily suspended, on the day she was to be shot. According to The Human Lens:
Not fluent in English and limited in formal education, she was swept up in circumstances resulting in her conviction: she had no legal counsel for most of the process, she did not understand most of the proceedings, and her family received death threats from the drug syndicate, warning them not to go to the media or seek help.
Mary Jane is a victim of human trafficking. Her search for employment initially led her to Dubai, where she worked as a domestic until an attempted rape against her. Many illiterate, itinerate workers suffer such things as they search for work in other countries. Although there are organizations designed to help these victims, they are not able to provide nearly as much help as is needed.
The government of the Philippines is working to bring Mary Jane home so that she may witness in a case against the woman who recruited her. The president himself is acting on her behalf. Representatives of the Indonesian government say that is not likely to happen.
What you can do:
- Pray for Mary Jane, and all the victims of human trafficking (there are millions of them).
- Pray for the governments of the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
- Pray for the organizations working on behalf of migrant workers will become more efficient, effective, and energetic in working on behalf of the oppressed.
Father, You are Lord of all, whether people want to believe it or not. You inhabit all of the universe, and You are active in the lives of every person on earth. Nothing happens of which You are not aware and intimately acquainted. You are the protector and defender of the afflicted, the poor, and the oppressed. With all that is in me, I lift up Mary Jane to You, along with millions of people who find themselves in similar circumstances. I ask You to be her strength, her comforter, her supporter, and her rest. I ask You to bring justice to her, to support the efforts of her government to bring her home, and to provide for the needs of her children while she is gone. Surround her with Your love. Reveal Yourself to her in all Your power and great glory, to bring honor and respect to Your name. Show her Your love and Your care for her. Give wisdom to the courts of Indonesia as they work through this situation and others like it. I ask You to bless those agencies that are working on behalf of the victims of human trafficking. I ask You to guide them in the best way to provide support and to bring justice to those they are attempting to serve. You alone are able to bring good out of evil. I thank You for all You are already doing, and will continue to do, to help Mary Jane and her children. Amen.