Lana read this book in August of 2019 and her heart broke again for the children of Brazil. She cried out to God to send her to the children of Brazil and received a release, after 19 years of waiting, to start Life Impact Brazil. This is a summary of the book. We highly recommend it. It is both well written and eye-opening.
Highway to Hell was written by Matt Roper, a journalist from the UK. He, along with Canadian country singer, Dean Brody began a long journey to drive the length of the famous Brazilian highway BR-116 in order to document the child sex trafficking happening all along this almost 3000 mile highway..
HER NAME WAS LEILAH
Their journey began as they were driving, late at night, on the BR-116, when their headlights flashed across a little girl in a lilac sundress standing on the side of the road. She was very young, pretty and innocent-looking, with long black braids that looked carefully done. She was not the sort of girl you would expect to see on the side of the road in the middle of the night. They stopped to talk to her and found that she was selling herself to the thousands of truckers that ran up and down this highway. She explained that her parents sent her out there every night to make money to buy food. She would sell herself to a trucker who would have sex with her then throw her out of the truck when he was done. She showed them the scabs of scrapes and cuts on her hands and knees from being pushed out of a semi. They urged her to go home and not do this horribly dangerous thing but she was determined to get back to work to earn the money her family needed. Before she left, she told them her name was Leilah.
This meeting changed both men’s lives forever. Matt Roper moved his family to Brazil and he and Dean continued to travel this highway, finding girls like Leilah in every town. Girls, by the thousands, who either willingly prostitute themselves or are prostituted by their parents or traffickers. He uncovered a culture that simply doesn’t see anything wrong with a young girl prostituting herself to make money for the family. In fact, in many cases it is expected, and families rejoice when a baby girl is born because in 10 years they know they will have a valuable source of income. For many teenage girls, it is considered “cool” to sell yourself for a few reals (dollars).
The stories are horrendous and eye-opening. Matt Roper and Dean seek solutions for this pervasive problem and eventually are able to open a prevention project in one of the towns along the highway called “The Pink House”. For more information about this ministry go to their website https://www.meninadanca.org/.
The world of child exploitation is unimaginable to most of us but this book sheds light, in a very compelling way, on the horrors of child trafficking. We can’t look away from it. We have to know so we can work to end this problem as soon as possible. To read more about how this book inpired the founding of Life Impact Brazil read our post here.
You can purchase this book by clicking here