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Published Date: April 2, 2014

Published Date: April 2, 2014

Featured Articles

Featured Articles

The Selling and Buying of Souls (Part 1)

Have you ever had an experience in which you started to read a book, confident that you knew the subject matter well, only to realize how completely illiterate you were about the subject? This is what happened to me about three years ago when I read In Our Backyard: A Christian Perspective on Human Trafficking in the United States, written by my long-time friend, Nita Belles. I knew Nita was writing about human trafficking, which I assumed only took place in under-developed countries. Reading further, the shock of my naïveté was quickly replaced by sadness and disgust as I learned about the horrific things that are happening to human beings not only around the world, but in every area of the United States. Human souls are bought and sold as if they were garments, shoes, or food. These egregious acts of entrapment are slavery, pure and simple. The victims lose their dignity, their freedom, and in some cases, their lives.

I realized that if I was ignorant about human trafficking in the U.S., then so were others. I started sending Nita emails with ideas about how to make greater numbers of people aware of human trafficking. Nita asked me if I would be willing to help her with her efforts. I told her I would have to pray about her request, because if God was not in it, my work would not bear fruit. After about a week of heartfelt prayer, I sensed the Lord opened the door.

I had a certain amount of trepidation about moving into a world that I knew nothing about. Even so, I stepped out in faith and trusted God to show me what to do.

Since then, as we raise awareness for this cause, I have been able to help Nita:

  • Inform people about the elaborate schemes traffickers use to lure their victims.
  • Help law enforcement officials understand that the majority of those who are called “prostitutes” are actually victims of human trafficking and should not be further victimized by the judicial system.
  • Educate school-aged children, their parents, faculty, and staff about how traffickers can work within our schools to lure students.
  • Help medical personnel spot the signs of human trafficking.
  • Help other organizations and individuals in any way by sharing knowledge and experience.

Some of the things I have learned over these past three years include:

  • God has raised up women and men equally to be leaders in this fight.
  • Traffickers are not respecters of persons. They prey on the weak and strong, the poor and rich. Human life has no value to them. No socio-economic stratum is immune from being targeted. Even children from good Christian homes have ended up in sex-trafficking.
  • The average age of entry in to sex trafficking is 11-14, so middle school aged children are prime targets.
  • One in three runaways is approached within 48 hours of leaving home to be trafficked. They are lured with kind words, a sweet smile, and a promise that they will be provided a better life. The “better life” quickly turns into the worst hell on earth.
  • Women who are trafficked stay because of fear, loss of self-worth, drug addiction, or a sense of hopelessness.
  • Our laws in America are ineffective against many sex traffickers.

Knowledge is power, and we become empowered to be part of the solution when we become educated on the situation. I am a firm believer that every one of us can help end modern slavery in our lifetime.

Read Part 2 of this article here.