Throughout this edition of The Good News, you’ve read statistics, met individuals and organizations committed to abolition and glimpsed the faces and stories behind the headlines. You’ve had a chance to determine where you are regarding this issue and where you want to be. If the desire to do something has been building within you, here are some steps to assist you in moving forward.
1. Read This Entire Article
As Christians, we are often inundated with social, political and spiritual causes. Evangelism, foster care, poverty, homelessness, malnutrition, clean water, broken families and addictions. Each has the capacity to overwhelm us with statistics while summoning us to the very core of Christ’s message of looking beyond the cause to the individual. Andy Stanley, pastor of North Point in Atlanta, recently preached a sermon proposing that we do for one what we want to do for everyone. Perhaps a useful addendum is to do one thing when you wish you could do everything. If you are tempted to glance at the topic and to turn the page, your next step could be as simple as reading completely through this article.
2. Reduce Demand
Ashley Judd, actress and author of All That Is Bitter & Sweet stated in a recent interview on CBN, “I really think that Christians in particular have an extraordinary moral responsibility to place the focus on demand and abolish demand, and say it is not okay to buy sex off anyone.” It is unnerving to apply supply and demand economics to human lives but without demand, there is no longer a financial or political impetus to provide a supply. Work to inspire an atmosphere of “no tolerance” when it comes to pornography and prostitution. Neither is truly a victimless crime, with the ultimate victim being our very humanity. Establish or support a group which provides accountability and restoration for those addicted to pornography.
3. Check Your Purchases
According to Raise Hope for Congo, they are the three Ts- tin, tantalum and tungsten. Each mineral is found in abundance throughout the Democratic Republic of the Congo and used extensively in the manufacture of electronics such as laptops, mobile phones and MP3 players. Recent attention to the role that armed militia is playing in the destruction of villages and the abuse of Congolese women has raised the issue of the need for a reliable international certification for the source of our minerals. Just as recognition of the conditions and the atrocities associated with diamond mining in Western Africa opened the world’s eyes to the source of many of the world’s diamonds and the use of the term “blood diamond,” many are calling on Western consumers to demand technology companies certify that purchases are not fueling the violence in the Congo.
In our results oriented society, prayer is often seen as ineffectual and something to be completed quickly before the real action takes place. God takes quite another view as the Bible records that our battle is not waged against flesh and blood but against spiritual elements not easily measured or vanquished.
5. Sponsor a Child with Compassion
You may be familiar with the child sponsorship organization Compassion International. Their tag line is releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name and for almost fifty years and in twenty-six countries they have done just that. What you might not have realized is that they are often tangibly preventing children from being vulnerable to trafficking. With the earthquake in Haiti, it became clear that many times it was the child’s registration in a child development center program that allowed them to be identified and tracked even in the middle of devastation. With food, medical care and education provided for their children through your sponsorship, the pressure for parents to release their children to those who claim to be willing to provide them “work” is lessened.
6. Remember 146
Many of us became aware of Love 146 when it was the charity chosen by Stephen Baldwin on the reality show, I’m a Celebrity…Get me Out Of Here! In 2002, the co-founders traveled to Southeast Asia on an undercover investigative trip to glimpse the stories behind the statistics first-hand. Posing as customers, they visited a brothel where young children, identified only by numbers, watched cartoons while men looked through the glass. They cite one of the most disturbing sights as the lack of expression in the children’s eyes. But among the flattened expressions, one girl gazed out through the glass. One girl was not defeated, one little girl still held on. Because of the undercover nature of their visit, the visitors were unable to rescue her. By the time the brothel was raided, the little girl, known only as #146, was gone. Although her name remains unknown, this little girl has inspired an international response and has begun a love story.
7. Contribute Yourself
Sure there are a number of organizations which will welcome your donation and that’s a great place to start as you support the fight for abolition with your money and your prayers, but there is a second level of involvement that is unique to you. What can you do? How has God gifted you? Do you have a political or social platform? Are there ways you can reasonably and authentically communicate the information you now have? Are you a gifted public speaker? Can you be a voice for those who have no voice? For just a glimpse of how talented people (in this case actors and actresses appearing in London) used their gifts, search “Official Love 146 London Flash Mob”. Can you see me? Can you write content for a website or a blog? As varied as our talents are, so also are the ways that God can use us..
8. Mount A Rescue
Work with the local churches and agencies identified throughout this issue to provide for the children and women once they are removed from their bondage. Support local and global efforts to provide an environment conducive to the redemption and healing they will need.
9. Let History Inspire
How often have we sung the words to Amazing Grace without giving thought to the incredible story of redemption it represents a hardened slave trader, John Newton’s, realization that God could indeed forgive even a wretch like he? Newton’s impact on William Wilberforce and the abolition movement is astonishing. Who will be the leaders of this new abolition movement and what will be your role?
10. Celebrate that this is the year of the Lord’s favor spoken about in Luke 4.
He has come to set the captives free and bring sight to the blind. Find out where God is working and join Him there. If you have gotten this far in the article, you’ve already taken the first step. At the risk of overstating the analogy or trivializing the immensity of the problem, people handle traffic differently. Some are interested in a Sunday drive while others hunger for the adrenaline of the race track. Whether this is your first exposure to the plight of human trafficking or you are already an aggressive abolition advocate, your response and your drive is your own but now is
the perfect time to take a step
to stop traffic.
Anitra can be reached at [email protected]