The survivor’s story really impacted me a couple years ago when I heard it. She, a teenager from Ohio at the time she was victimized, said about trafficking in America, “I was crying and praying many times for someone to come and get me out, and no one came.” It stirred a place in my heart as “a sent one”. Why was someone praying this, and not seeing anyone come? I needed to understand more about something that was going on in our world, in our country, that I knew very little about, what I knew was for the most part inaccurate, and at the time, I felt little calling to move toward bold action.
Things changed quickly in me with education. As I have learned more on trafficking in the US, one thing, among many, I have learned, is that most of the girls involved are”trapped” in this dark world, and for several reasons. I have also learned that believer’s can make a difference here, first with our prayers, and then our action.
The current average age of “entry”, and that unwilling, is 12-14 years old,…mere children who need someone to speak for them and fight for them, work for them to be able to get out. Do 12 year olds choose this? No. They may be vulnerable but, usually are tricked and trapped into this hideous crime. “Some of the victims were kidnapped and forced into sexual violence, while others were promised a better life and then held hostage by people who kept them financially dependent or threatened to harm or shame them or their families,” an officer shared. Many are given drugs to which they become dependent. I also learned that it can be happening close by, in our neighborhoods…malls, schools, etc.
I have heard the sad and difficult stories from survivors (Champions) and seen the miracle power of God in their lives. It’s amazing, beautiful and touching. I am thankful they feel safe enough to share. Seeing the Lord in it and in them, their transformations, and their work, fear and misconception goes away. The Holy Spirit may compel to then be involved with prayer,or support, both financial and physical, or working to see the laws on this issue changed in our country, from state to state, or in whatever way.
More and more raids are happening, and arrests as a result of prayer. There are dark forces behind this stronghold. Prayers are being answered, slowly, but surely. God is shining the light on this and the Holy Spirit is working in this arena. I am convinced we will see changes for the better across the country in the next years.
Believer’s, local churches, ministries, businesses, can make an impact. Our organization.. missionaries, staff, volunteers, board, all of us, have felt led by the Lord to use our gifts, talents, anointing, and prayers, together, and joining forces with others, to do what we can do concerning this topic, for now focusing on trafficking in the US.
People, churches, organizations have different parts to play. We do short term mission outreaches, and teaching well, so we created one that includes learning from survivors, outreach, prayer and education. It’s our unique part in making a difference in this arena. We still do everything else we do, but this, and seeing it changed, is in our hearts, and part of our work.
My staff and I are developing three COI “Cause For Compassion: Rethinking Trafficking in America” educational/awareness outreach weekends for next year. Spring 2016, Florida outreach dates coming soon. Maybe it is something for you to experience with us. The October weekend was life changing for all involved.
Let’s make a difference, better yet, be the difference in our communities. Let’s be the church and not go to church. Lives are depending on it, and in God, we can do it, for His Glory
MaryAlice Isleib, COI Executive Director