Last spring, the youth at our church had a human trafficking weekend. I had heard about human trafficking only briefly while I worked for the State, as a bill was moving through the legislature. At the time, I really didn't get it or why there would be a bill in Missouri. Then Austen Barr had a vision for a trafficking weekend at our church and the youth pastor agreed it was a great topic.
I began learning about human trafficking during that weekend. I heard some of the stories, some even as close as Missouri. It was shocking the things that people here in the US had done and some of them with their own children. We heard about kids and women who had been trafficked for the sex industry, the coffee industry, and chocolate industry, as well as many others. These things were shocking to me. I just really had no idea before then.
I thought about human trafficking but I really wasn't sure what to do about it. What can I do to prevent it? There are 1.3 million women in sexual servitude in the world. This is not including the children who are kidnapped and made to work in coffee bean or cocoa bean fields with no pay, or any other sweat shop type industry. How can one person ~ in the middle of the Bible belt ~ have any impact on worldwide human trafficking? So while I thought about it, I didn't do much about it.
God may have had other plans though. While in Gerrard's Cross, UK in July at the Run the Race event, we had a Stop the Traffik night. Someone from the Stop the Traffik organization from that local area came to speak to us about it. She mentioned a book called Trafficked by Sophie Hayes. I immediately bought it on my Kindle and started reading it. 3.5 months later, I still haven't finished it as it is a haunting story of how this girl, around Hayley's age, was trafficked by someone she considered a close personal friend. I can't quite read it now that I am at the part where the betrayal actually occurs. But I am slowly making it through. I just really started thinking that some things needed to change. Again, though, what could I possibly do?
That is why I keep bringing it up on Women's Ministry newsletters. That is why I need to pray about it. That is why I am trying to figure out how to afford fair trade chocolate and coffee in our house, instead of the US companies that insist on making profits off the backs and through the blood of enslaved children. That is why I need to know what my role is.
James 4:17 ~ If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
I keep hearing about human trafficking. I keep learning more about it, although still I have only touched the tip of the iceberg.
James 2:14-17 ~ What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
James 1:27 ~ Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
James. The brother of Jesus. He is constantly convicting me of things ~ not taming my tongue, not submitting to God, boasting about tomorrow, etc. But this time I am going to try to heed his word. I want to know what it is I should do, then DO IT. I want to look after orphans and widows in their distress. I want to help those who have been trafficked, who think there is no hope, who don't know that there is a God who loves them more than He even loves the sparrows for whom He provides.
What does that look like? I still don't know.
But I know that it will be in the Women's Ministry newsletters each time. I know that Michael's coffee bill just went up. I know that our chocolate bill went up. I know that I will be praying for them. I will be figuring out how to be a part of this. I will be writing letters to these precious souls who have been rescued, to let them know they are treasured and loved. After that, I don't know. But I do know that I am praying for discernment ~ only God knows where this will take me. Maybe only as a prayer warrior. Maybe more.
I will be talking about this in the future. Trafficking. Please pray for those currently in bondage. Please pray for those who are doing the trafficking or are the slave masters/brothel owners/pimps/slave owners/etc. They need Jesus just as much as those who are enslaved.
Father God ~ I lift these lives up to You. I pray that You will put a hedge of protection around these little children who are beaten and starved, yet work more during the day than I do during the week. Protect them God, because they cannot protect themselves. Help us as Americans to realize that our coffee and chocolate addictions are not worth the blood of these children. God I lift up those women and children who find themselves slaves to the sex industry. I pray for their release and freedom Lord. I pray that they will be rescued and will learn that You love them. I pray they will find You. Father, I lift up those who are inflicting this evil on these people. I pray that You convict them, You grab hold of their hearts, and You turn them. I pray that they release these people. I pray that they find You. Lord, I don't know my role in this yet, so I am asking for discernment. I need to know what it is You would have me do. I don't believe this is something that I am just supposed to hear but do nothing about. It has been brought to my attention at FBC during trafficking weekend, at GX during Stop the Traffik night, and again this weekend at the Heart Retreat when Chelsea told us about Project Rescue. Help me see my role then help me fulfill it to the best of my ability. I know that only through You can I do what You would have me do. Thank You for my freedom. Thank You for my salvation. Thank You for bringing this to my attention. Three different times. I know that you will work all this for the good, as I love You God, and I am called according to Your purpose. Work through me. In Your name I lift my praise and prayer. Amen.