Did you know that:
1. Trafficking in persons is modern-day slavery, involving victims who are forced, defrauded, or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation.
2. It is estimated that 2 children are sold every minute.
3. As of 2006, it was believed by UNICEF that the number of children trafficked annually was around 1.2 million.
4. The UN and other experts estimate the total market value of illicit human trafficking at roughly $32 BILLION. This makes trafficking in persons the second most lucrative crime in the world.
5. It is estimated that at least 27 million people are currently enslaved around the world. This is more than double the number of Africans enslaved during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Read those statistics slowly. Let them really sink in.
I was first really introduced to what is really going on in the world in regards to human trafficking a couple of years ago when my friend posted on her blog about Love146. (I also got those stats above from their website) I was heartbroken and sickened as I heard and read stories on that site and elsewhere since that time, esp. when it comes to the children who are forced into this darkness.
One of our dear friends is in Cambodia right now. He is on staff at 121 Community Church in the Dallas area (Grapevine to be exact). Awesome church if you are ever around that area. They have a real heart for ministering to this specific need...helping stop human trafficking and helping to heal those who have been victims of this horror. Right now they are partnering with International Justice Mission and hope to find another opportunity for partnership in the future in helping to end human trafficking.
His blog posts about his time there have been fascinating. So horrible and sickening and sad, but fascinating. We can't turn a blind eye to this...we have to find out all we can and help in whatever way feasible. Please visit Matt's blog (scroll down to Day 1), read all you can about it, ask God what He wants you to do to help in this cause, and always PRAY!
Watch this video from Love146 (describes an experience so similar to our friend's...and how their organization came to be). Open your heart and mind while you watch and let God speak to you about what you can do. You can go here to watch all of the Love146 videos.
One of the things you can do is just make sure you are informed. This is not just an overseas issue. Most of the time when there are victims of trafficking within the United States, they have been brought from different countries with the promise of the 'American dream.' But, not always...it can happen to Americans too. I saw the interview below recently and found it to be completely interesting and informative. Please take the time to be aware and informed. The organization mentioned in the interview can be found here. It's a really awesome site that explains how we can all get involved, from sports teams to college students to artists to businessmen to churches (just scroll over the 'action' tab at the top). And all of their videos can be seen here (including an ad for a conference being held next weekend in CA...let's be praying).
Don't forget to go see Matt's blog. Pray for him as he and his church make contacts and networks in only the way God can orchestrate to help others for good.
When I just told Joel of Matt's experience in the past 24 hours, he said, "Our reality in this world is just heaven compared to the reality of so much of the rest of the world." It's so true...and we forget it so easily.
I want to remember.