For the next two weeks you will find that social media, along with ‘normal’ media outlets, will be a buzz about the plight of human trafficking. Maybe it will raise an awareness…maybe it will bring us to our knees. Perhaps, it will set us on our feet and provoke us to wage the fight of our lives. But if we read the posts and learn what is really going on behind closed doors and before our very eyes, I don’t believe we can possibly remain unchanged or unchallenged.
For me, it’s a little personal. First, as a missionary, I’ve seen families whose lives have been devastated by the plague of forced prostitution and human trafficking. Stories of nine year old girls, sold into prostitution to put food on the family’s table. Children given in exchange for an ounce of crack and a high that will only last until the next day. These are real children whose innocence has been shattered and whose futures have been stolen. (I have to tell you, I can barely write this without bursting out into tears). What if that was my son or your daughter. Our precious gifts from heaven treated like trash and destined for ruin. How can anyone be so cruel? How can these things happen? How can we sit idly by while these sweet little children become merchandise?
And as one who has lost my own innocence through years of sexual abuse, I can only slightly relate to the trauma these children experience. I’m so thankful the grace of God enables us to turn the page of abuse and begin a new chapter in our lives, but make no mistake…scars run deep for the abused, bartered and battered.
Below is Krisi Stephen’s post. Perhaps after you read it, you’ll understand my heart for joining the others to be a voice for those who have none.
It’s Time to Wake Up
I have an odd defense mechanism with things that make me uncomfortable – I go to sleep!
When on long car trips through the mountains with no exits in sight, or stuck in a traffic jam in a tunnel, and we start to run low on gas, I lean my seat back and sleep (when NP is driving, of course!) I figure that if we are going to run out of gas, it will happen whether I am awake and anxious or asleep and blissfully unaware – most likely we’ll be fine, so I might as well avoid the stress and sleep!
There are a lot of horrifying and evil things in this world that I would rather not think about. I find myself metaphorically sleeping in my seat to avoid anxiety.
Human trafficking is one of those issues I would rather not think about.
Chew on these stats – read them out loud if it will help them sink in.
- 100,000 girls, ages 9-19, are trafficked in commercial sexual exploitation in the U.S.
- 3,000 children are forced into commercial sexual exploitation at any given time, just in San Francisco.
- 1.2 million children are trafficked internationally each year
- As many as 4 million women and girls are bought and sold worldwide every year.
I’m guessing most of us are like me – we’d rather close our eyes, stay blissfully unaware. We figure it’s going to happen whether we know about it or not, so we might as well ignore it.
It’s time to wake up, friends. There are things we can do.
The more I learn about human trafficking, the more it vividly illustrates for me my state as a former slave, redeemed from the bondage of sin. Christ paid the price with His own blood to redeem my life from the pit – the least I can do in return is to tell others about the freedom available through my Savior. And as a former slave, redeemed by a God who loves justice and mercy, I feel compelled to do all I can to secure freedom for the millions of physical slaves in this sin-marred world.
I humbly ask you to join me on this journey. For the next two weeks- the weeks before we commemorate the blood-price paid for our freedom – it is my honor to host Gillian Ferdwerda from Women at Risk, International here on KristiStephens.com. Gillian will be sharing amazing stories, horrifying statistics… and hope. Women at Risk, also known as WAR, is on the front lines – helping to find, rescue, love women and children who have been sold, abused, betrayed, forgotten. There are so many ways we can help.
So please be sure to read this amazing series. Visit Women at Risk, International’s website. Learn all you can about trafficking. Tell your friends. Post links on facebook, twitter, or your blog. Please help spread the word – wake us from our slumber.
If you are a blogger and would like to help, please grab this button for your blog – the more who hear, the better.
Let’s proclaim freedom for the captives in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.