A few years ago I ended up at a nice country club for a luncheon listening to a very normal woman describe her teenage years that were full of bondage by her “boyfriend”. I literally had my mouth dropping the entire time and several times thought to myself that surely she was making this stuff up. I knew that there was this thing called sex trafficking, but not here in America, and certainly not with your typical suburban girl and her “boyfriend”. That was blowing my mind. To this day I can't remember who invited me, her name, or anything else about the event, except that I left there thinking how awful this whole thing was.
Then that same year we had an Austin Police Department officer come speak to our moms at Reagan High School, where I was volunteering, and I was blown away by some of the facts that he listed for our girls. My neighborhood has girls missing that they think are being trafficked. MY NEIGHBORHOOD. Again, jaw dropping in disbelief, and yet still the situation seemed so far away and not real.
Lately I've had many conversations about this subject and it seems to keep coming back for me. I can't get away from it, and it can't leave my mind. I probably cry once a day when thinking about this. I'm broken for them all. The girls. The pimps. The world. The need for healing. The need for a Savior. The industry. ALL of it messes me up and breaks me. I am losing sleep over this epidemic.
I truly believe that there are three different people groups that you will fall into when dealing with sex/human trafficking. Which one do you think you are in?
1. Have no clue. If asked about trafficking, or slavery, or bondage, or any of that mess you would probably agree that this happens in really dirty alley ways in India or Thailand, but not in your town. Not with American girls. Not with 14 year old girls that go missing from your town. This is not a bad group to be in. Please hear me say this. This is where we all start. All of us. I was here my whole first 34 years of life. We all have to start somewhere.
2. Know about it, but it's not truly effecting you. You have been made aware. Maybe that same luncheon I went to, you have been to one just like it. Maybe you are like me and that luncheon effected you, but life went on and you forgot. This tragedy is not one that we see everyday and so it's very easy to know about it and care about it, but not speak up or do anything because it doesn't effect us, and it's not talked about much. Again, this is not a bad group. I was in this group for years. It's okay to be in this group, it's just good to know where you land.
3. This group knows about it and cares about it, but they also act on it. I want to be in this group. I have been in group #2 for years and this is the group I want to move into. I want to speak up for these women. I want to voice the outrage that this industry is for the whole human race. I want to lose sleep over the injustice that this is to women and to men. I want to cry out to God to save them and rescue them from their bondage, both physical and spiritual.
I remember how Aaron and I sat through too many Compassion presentations to count before we ever committed to sponsor a child. We saw the need, we were broken for them, but it took time after time for our selfish hearts to move on sponsoring a child. My point is that sometimes exposure over and over again is what God uses to move your heart. I'm praying that for our generation. That God would break our heart for what breaks his. That our eyes would be open to the injustice that surrounds our world. I'm praying this for my home church. That we would be a church that says NO MORE. Not in our city. Not in our neighborhoods. That we would be a church that prays for the rescue of everyone involved in this. The pimps. The girls. The men that buy porn. Everyone is worthy and needs a savior.
This weekend is the Super Bowl and what you might not know is that the Super Bowl is becoming known for one of the largest venues for human trafficking in the world. Yes, friends, that's this Sunday in our country, the land of the free. This should outrage us. There are many avenues that are kicking in high gear to prevent trafficking and prostitution this weekend, but there's something that we can do from our living rooms this weekend.
We can pray.
Here's what I'm praying for, and I would urge that you join me this weekend in praying for these things:
1. Pray that God would set captives free because HE CAN.
2. Pray that Pimps and Buyers would feel guilt for treating people this way. Pray that someone in their life would know TRUTH and share with them.
3. Pray for NY & NJ police force. That they would be able to STOP potential trafficking in their cities this weekend.
4. Pray for awareness as people learn more about this, and give them courage to report what they think might be potential trafficking.
Psalm 103: 1-4 “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.”
God has done this for me. He has removed me from the pit. I'm begging him to remove traffickers from the pit that entangles them. He can do it. Let's ask him.