Sometimes it takes God a while to get my attention. Sometimes God can just tap me on the shoulder. Sometimes he has to use a sledgehammer. But after a month where God kept dropping stories about human and sexual trafficking in front of my nose, I finally clued in.
Oh, that prayer I prayed about finding a way to engage doing justice? That’s the one you’re answering. Okay. I’m with you now.
But here’s my problem: I’m a homeschooling mom of three living in small-town West Texas. What am I going to do about combating sexual trafficking?
As it turned out, I was able to do more than I thought. I started searching non-profits and advocacy groups trying to learn more about human trafficking and how I could help. I stumbled across FAAST international and noticed a nifty little volunteer button. Lo and behold, they were looking for writers. I dashed off an e-mail, and one thing led to another. I wound up writing a youth education curriculum about human and sexual trafficking that they’re going to be publishing in the next few months.
It’s not always about doing something big. It’s about being faithful to do what you can.
Here are five things you can do to help combat human and sexual trafficking:
I know–sometimes we want to get our hands dirty. But prayer is not second-rate service. Praying both binds and unleashes heavenly forces. It engages us in the spiritual battle. Yes–there are human hands that take the money and profit from the trade in human flesh. But behind the abuse and the exploitation are Satan and his forces of evil sent to steal, kill, and destroy. Trafficking must be a favorite tool of Satan’s. It does all three. Remember that he is already defeated and pray–pray for the rescue and healing of victims; pray for the downfall of the world systems that hold people captive and sell them for profit. Pray for God to raise up a generation of modern John Newton’s who will work to destroy the slave networks they once profited from. Prayer makes a difference.
2. Buy fair trade and sustainably produced products.
One of the push factors for trafficking in child labor and forced labor is a demand for cheap products. In our complex global supply chain, what often happens is that consumers purchase a product, producers are paid pennies to make it, and middlemen keep most of the profit. It is difficult to trace all the steps of a supply line and ensure that products are being ethically produced. Fair Trade organizations try to cut out the middleman and help workers keep a fair profit for their labor. Fair Trade organizations also work to provide education, training and community investment–all of which help make people less vulnerable to traffickers. Good News Goods is a good source of fair trade products, and they also offer a subscription box that delivers a fresh selection of free trade items to your door.
3. Support organizations that combat trafficking.
The organizations and non-profits that combat trafficking need your support. Trafficking victims suffer from physical, spiritual, and emotional wounds. Recovery centers and safe houses are an essential step in helping people break free from trafficking. You can help by supporting organizations that do this vital work. For example, Love 146 has a safe home in the Phillippines for children who are rescued from trafficking and exploitation. The A21 Campaign also operates a network of safe houses. The Freedom Registry maintains a list of organizations who combat human trafficking and exploitation.
4. Have a party.
Last year I had a holiday open house supporting Eternal Threads. I invited church members and friends to come eat, talk, and check out the selection of gifts, jewelry, and accessories all made by women and children around the world at risk of extreme poverty and human trafficking. With only a couple hours of work I helped raise over $1000 for this important project. It was wonderful. The holiday season is coming soon, so this is a great time to host a fair trade gathering. The Starfish Project is a similar organization that helps support exploited women in Asia. I recently ordered a beautiful necklace from them. (I’m also eyeing this pearl necklace. Just in case anyone’s interested. Like my husband. Hint, hint). The Starfish Project also offers opportunities to support them by hosting a jewelry party or by becoming an Advocate of Hope. Starfish Advocates support their work by selling products and also receive a 25% commission on their sales.
5. Reduce your slavery footprint.
There are 27 million slaves in the world. 86 of them work for me. Slavery Footprint is a short online questionnaire that can help you identify how many slaves work for you. They also link you to resources that help you learn about the slaves in industries that impact you and help you identify ways you can reduce your slavery footprint. Check it out.
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