I’m not a trendy kind of person. I’m slow to jump on the latest bandwagon of fashion, entertainment, politics, or even mass movements within the Christian realm.
I’m also not usually excitable or dramatic by nature. It generally takes a lot to ruffle my feathers. Which can be a good thing…and a bad one.
So this post today isn’t my attempt to pull you into the latest trend with me. It’s also not about me trying to stir up drama.
It’s a plea for you and me to take on an aspect of the mind of Christ and the heart of God that we’ve been neglecting.
Some of us neglect it though ignorance, because we just don’t know. That was me until just a few months ago.
Some of us neglect it because acknowledging it is too painful. That’s where I want to be now. But for grace…
Did you know there are 27 million people enslaved in our world today?
It’s estimated that 600,000-800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year.
If we stick with the conservative 600,000 number, that’s 1,643 each day. Sixty-eight every hour.
Did you know that 80% of trafficking victims are women and girls? And up to 50% are minors.
Internationally, the average age of entry into prostitution is 12.
Teens. Tweens. Elementary-aged kids. Even preschoolers around the world are being sexually used and abused while others profit.
Did you know that in some countries, babies are bought for as little as $25, and their most primal needs of food and water are met, only so they can begin living as a sex slave at age 3 or 4?
It’s hideous and horrendous and heinous. But don’t gloss over it. I dare you to slow down and think about it for a while. Think about the desperate woman. And the 12-year-old girl. Think about the 3-year-old barely-not-a-baby.
Give them faces in your mind.
God-created faces with desperate eyes.
God-created hearts with desperate sighs.
And God-created souls with desperate cries.
February 27, 2014 was declared Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Many people across the nation wore red X’s on their hands to spread awareness of this insidious problem.
The red-nail-polish X on my hand lasted three days. That’s all. But the 27 million slaves in the world today? The marks on their bodies and the gouges on their souls won’t wear off so easily.
Thoughts of human trafficking are already consuming far less of my time than they did on February 27. After all, I’m free to not think about it. And so are you. I mean, I’ve never known a slave. I’m guessing you haven’t either. And we’ll likely never meet these people. So it’s easy to keep ourselves numb to their pain.
It’s also such an overwhelmingly huge problem. And one that I’m helpless to solve. There’s absolutely nothing I personally can do to intervene in the lives of these precious children, women, and men who are being trafficked against their will. Helpless is such an awful feeling, isn’t it? It would be much easier to turn my head the other way and pretend like I didn’t know what was happening.
But here’s the thing I just can’t get over…this thing matters to God. A lot. He says time and time again right in the numerous Bibles you and I have sitting in our homes that this matters to Him. He cares for the poor. He cares for the needy. He cares for the fatherless. He cares for the oppressed.
He defends them. And He wants His children to defend them, too.
“Give justice to the weak and to the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.” Psalm 82:3
You see, the fact that we care about people who are without value in the world’s eyes sets us apart as His.
Dear friend, will you join me in prayer? Will you join me and together let’s pull our heads out of the proverbial sand and let ourselves care? Might you even shed tears and weep before our God for these people you will never meet, but who are created by Him, in His image, and who are precious to Him and loved by Him? Will you pray for the four people who have been trafficked as you’re reading this post? And for the four who will be trafficked as you brew your morning coffee? And the 68 who will be trafficked today?
In an effort to make myself accountable for learning, loving, and lifting in prayer these 27 million souls, I plan to post about human trafficking on the 27th of each month indefinitely. I pray this focus is an encouragement to you every month, and that the things we share together will impact us on the other twenty-nine days of the month, as well.
Heavenly Father, we plead with you to break our hearts for what breaks Yours! Please awaken us from our comfortable, apathetic slumber and enable us to fight this battle through prayer, and in whatever other ways You lead. Not just one day of the year, or even twelve, but always! I beg You to keep this fresh on our minds, because I know it’s always, ALWAYS fresh on Yours.
Want some suggestions on how to pray about human trafficking and slavery? I offer some guidance in the second post in this series, available here.
Written by Jennifer Clarke