All I have been thinking about the past few days is human trafficking. Coming up with awful, murderous thoughts about people who do it and praying God not withhold his wrath from these people. and then I felt this huge, huge, huge conviction. So I began to pray that these people be redeemed and reconciled to the Lord, that their lives not be wasted or their souls never saved.
That was good, because then it got me thinking proactively.
Emily sent me a message yesterday about my post. She is doing her senior project on human trafficking and was telling me how she must, in her paper, answer the question “Is it possible to end human trafficking in the U.S.?” The same thing I have been thinking about. When you look at it like that, it seems so hopeless and overwhelming.
But what about in my own life? Can I take personally the call to live in a way that allows no room for the condoning of human trafficking? Does my day-to-day life matter at all in this battle?
Five things came to mind, and I want to share them with you and challenge you to do the same. They are not in order of importance.
#1. Love the teenage girls in your life
There’s a teenage girl I’ve known for awhile. I love her beyond reason and have seen her go through a lot. As I have been thinking about human trafficking and the reality that it happens here in America and not just in third world countries, I could see situations where this girl would be in such pain, feel such an overwhelming desire to be loved, that she would do something crazy like take someone up on promises to care for her. She would do it with no concern for herself, because her desire to feel validated is so deep and so strong. Being a teenager isn’t as easy as it was for me. We live in a society that allows us to be distant and anonymous, and when you are 15 and hurting you need someone up close and personal.
Love these girls, and in a tangible way. Take them out for coffee, discover hole-in-the-wall restaurants and make a habit of trying the same dish at each one. Go to their school events. Call them just to check in on them. Invite them over. Do whatever it is you can to not just say you love them but give them no reason to doubt. They will inevitably doubt, but as far as it depends on you, love them. A teenage girl who believes and knows she is loved, valued, cared for, cherished, important, and has worth is one less teenage girl with a chance of finding herself being taken advantage of.
#2. Stop watching porn
I was originally going to write something about having a healthy view of sex and blah blah, but really what it boils down to is to stop watching porn. And this, my friends, is not just directed towards men. In fact, it is mostly directed towards women. There’s less of an acceptance of women struggling with pornography and it is harder for women to really rise up and deal with it. One way that people are used as sex slaves is through pornography. Don’t support this industry.
A few days ago I decided that I want to absolutely protect myself from this, in a way that is engaging and accountable. I installed the X3 Watch program on my computer and asked a woman I respect to be my accountability partner. Every two weeks, she gets an e-mail that will list the questionable sites I’ve been to. In the message I sent her asking if she would do this for me, I told her I hoped it was like babysitting a sleeping baby, where you just sit and eat food and watch TV and never have to encounter the baby. But on the off chance it is not, I want someone there to call me on it.
Stop watching it. Stop feeding the demand. If you are a woman struggling with watching pornography, check out Dirty Girls Ministries. Install the x3 watch software on your computer and get an accountability partner, just in case.
#3. Support fair trade
Numbers 1 and 2 can have little check marks next to them for me as things I have done or am doing. This one, the fair trade one, is something that I have heard about but have never actually gotten all crazy about. Except now I’m starting to get it. Sometimes I’m slow at getting things, like the day I realized that dirty water in Africa isn’t just inconvenient, but that it is potentially fatal for the HIV infected population over there.
So forgive me for only recently seeing the correlation between human trafficking and fair trade. In a perfect world, I would be able to supply you with some great list of companies who engage in fair trade and such, but I’m not gonna fake like I’ve researched it a lot. Perhaps you can help me with a list and I’ll create a page on my blog that has an ever-growing list of places to support because they support fair trade.
In Emily’s message, she wrote that through all of her research and stuff, she’s learned that awareness is the key. Spread the word; become educated on the reality of human trafficking and inform people. Get other people involved in the fight and in shedding light on this situation that is going on in our backyard. There are tons of sites that can give you a lot of helpful information/tools/resources. Here are a few:
I don’t feel I need to write much about the benefits of prayer, but I would encourage you to pray not only for the victims of human trafficking, but submit to the Lord your feelings of anger towards those who keep this business alive. Pray for their souls, whole-heartedly. Pray that God not just free slaves, but also liberate those enslaving them. Let’s pray that God heal the symptoms and cure the sickness. Be very deliberate in praying for these things, and gather your friends to pray as well. This is our greatest tool against the enemy.