Overwhelmed by Human Trafficking?
I recently moved. And to those of you who are organized and love packing and unpacking, I will admit, I'm jealous. Moving has been the bane of my existence. It's a lot of work! As I've gotten settled into a new town, unpacked my boxes and put all my knick-knacks away (finally!), I have also been getting to know the area in which I now live. I've learned which grocery store has the best deals, where I can buy my particular flavor of coffee creamer, and have found a church that I've been settling into. I've also learned where not to drive late at night, who the local town gossips are, and that my new hometown of Atlanta has recently been named one of the nationwide hubs for human trafficking and child sexual exploitation. I was shocked, to say the least.
But my shock grew more, when, at first glance, it seemed that most people didn't care (or even know) about this fact. Their seeming callousness rubbed me wrong. Non-Christians, I could cut a little more slack, but Christians? Shouldn't Christians be more concerned and responsive? And what exactly should our response be to modern-day slavery?
I began researching the topic and talking to a few people who worked in ministries like Wellspring Living and Out of Darkness. It quickly became my quest to equip myself to understand how slavery could still exist today. I read the book Sold (which made me sad and sick to my stomach during some parts). I prayed. I listened to Focus on the Family radio interviews on the topic during God-ordained times while I was searching unsuccessfully for Christmas music. But it wasn't until I decided to put on an awareness event based on The A21 Campaign that I actually became encouraged about how God is working in the midst of the largest trade of human slaves in all of history.
God is active. I know this, and you probably know this, but at times—at least to me—it can seem like he is active in theory only. But God is working! He is also powerful and just. Christine Caine, one of the founders of the A21 Campaign, speaks on their website about an instance in which they ran out of money for their rescue mission while in Greece. They prayed, asking God for the men who were exploiting women to instead rescue them, and then for those men to turn themselves in to the local police station. A seemingly impossible prayer—and God answered it! This particular story really excited me. I wanted to see God do amazing things like that in my city! Christine's story reignited a passion in me that I hadn't even realized had dwindled.