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Tag Archives: Proverbs 31:8-9

My Words as Weapons: Giving Hope to the Hopeless

Sometimes I have felt that though there was a lot to learn initially when I became interested in fighting human trafficking, other than individual horror stories, I’ve seen or heard all the statistics and there seems to be no new news.  In fact, the latest news tends to be that numbers are constantly trending higher and it sometimes feels like a hopeless fight.  But that’s the problem right there:  I have to stop looking at the big picture and think about those individual stories, because helping everyone begins with helping someone. This is another reason I like presenting my readers (and those they share with) information on individual organizations out there dedicated to justice.  They may mostly share the same information, but their different approaches are what is interesting.

This week I am highlighting an organization based in Louisiana, Trafficking Hope.

And I did learn something new from their website.  It isn’t good news, but to me anyway, it is new news, and I was impressed with their page as it dedicated a list of some common myths of human trafficking.  There is much about this atrocity that people do not know or understand, so knowing the uncommon information is important in how we approach it.

MYTH: Females are the only victims of sex trafficking Estimates show that as many as 20% of sex trafficking victims are males. (United Nations Office on Drug & Crimes)

Another resource Trafficking Hope offers that I think is great is being able to sign up for their Trafficking Report in order to “Be prepared, Stay informed, and Get Involved!” This seems to be a gathering of various news articles and such on recent events, happenings, and trends.  I just signed up myself.

This organization seems to offer help both locally and nationally, as they have Hope House, a refuge and place of renewal for those escaping sex trafficking as well as advertise the number for the human trafficking hotline- yes, there is a hotline!

Trafficking Hope’s tagline appears to be “Giving hope to the hopeless,” which I absolutely love.

 

trafficking hotline

Proverbs 31:8-9

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
    ensure justice for those being crushed.

Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless,
    and see that they get justice.

My Words as Weapons: The Unnerving Rising Number

As I mentioned last week, my Wednesday blog is about human trafficking.  If I can keep you informed, perhaps you’ll pass the knowledge along, and enough people will be enraged to actually do something to make a change.

Today’s post will be short because I know people are busy this week with Thanksgiving preparations.  Happy Thanksgiving, by the way.

When I first was drawn into the fight against human trafficking a few years back, the estimated number of people enslaved around the world was 27 million.  Today as I research, many of the organizations are changing the number to an estimated 30 million!  We need more people fighting and sharing awareness so this number will stop increasing and will instead begin declining.

3 million more people enslaved.  Heartbreaking.

Of course, these are all estimated numbers anyway, and what does that mean exactly?  The word trafficking implies movement, right? Selling, trading, importing, exporting people.  Any time money exchanges hands for a person. It’s not like there is legal paperwork tracing the whereabouts of these unfortunate people, so numbers must be estimated by the compiling of many variables.  I guess, technically, the number could be lower, but most say even this updated number is most likely a conservative estimate, meaning, there’s a good chance the victim count is higher.

This Thanksgiving, give thanks if you know where all your loved ones are and that they are safe.  Pray for those who are not.

Proverbs 31:8-9

Brandishing, No, Wielding My Sword

Yeah, I like the connotation of wield better than that of brandish.  One is just waving a weapon in a menacing fashion, like a threat.  But the other implies the action of actually using a weapon.

I don’t want to just threaten like a child playing a game.  I want to actually kick some butt!  In this case, human trafficking.  I will draw my sword, advance, and fight, wielding said sword, and draw blood.

Warrior Woman Silhouette

I’m not a girlie girl.  I’ve said that before.  Don’t get me wrong; I’ll watch a chick flick, but I’m not going to spend the extra money to see one in a theater.  Only the most epic tales of courage and awesome special effects warrant taking out the small loan needed to pay for a trip to a movie theater these days. These have always been my favorite stories, where a lone hero, or a small band of friends or warriors takes on something much bigger than themselves, even when it seems impossible.

I’ve said before that we should never stop fighting just because human trafficking is such a daunting and formidable foe, yet that’s what I have done.  Not on purpose.  I didn’t realize I had given up the fight, but looking over my actions over the last few months, I see I have done very little to advance the cause, and

I am ashamed.

I intended to use some of my new found time in researching, promoting, and finding ways I can help. Instead, I read a book, started following some organizations on Twitter, and nothing else.

I am declaring it now.  I am recommitting to the cause, to the helpless victims who are suffering, to the vulnerable who need awareness and prevention.  I am recommitting to JUSTICE.

I’m a quiet person, locked inside myself most often, until I see injustice.  It stirs and moves me, igniting a passionate flame in my heart that burns so deeply I know I cannot contain it.

This is what I’m meant to do.  This is what my warrior’s heart is meant to battle, and it doesn’t matter that I’m smaller than human trafficking, because I plan to spread this fire in my back yard and worldwide.  This is a foe worth fighting.

Proverbs 31:8-9

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.

Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.

A New Hope

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… or in present time, right here in our own world… injustice seemed to have the upper hand in the lives of women all over the world- held in captivity, worked in sweatshops, and abused in just about every way imaginable.  And all they wanted was a chance to live in health and to provide for their loved ones.  Trades of Hope is a company that seeks to give these women just this chance at dignity, and I’m excited that I will now be part of their efforts as a Compassion Entrepreneur!

I consider myself to be an abolitionist and an activist for justice, and I have found that empowering women is a passion of mine (especially in the area of redemption from human trafficking).  Women are by nature the nurturers in any society; therefore, it is said in many parts of Africa, “If you educate a man, you simply educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.”

Please understand that I am not bashing men.  I’m just sharing the shocking knowledge I have learned…the knowledge that made me realize one of my heart’s deepest passions.  Two interesting facts I found while reading The Hole in Our Gospel, written by Richard Stearns, President of World Vision:

*Women own less than 1% of the world’s property

*Women work 2/3 of all the world’s labor hours, but earn only 10% of the world’s wages

Stearns believes, “the single most significant thing that can be done to cure extreme poverty is this: protect, educate, and nurture girls and women and provide them with equal rights and opportunities- educationally, economically, and socially.”  I agree.

What I really love about Trades of Hope is that it is not a provider of charity, but it gives women the ability to work in fair conditions and for fair wages in order to support themselves, their children, and their communities.

I once sold Mary Kay, but not successfully.  I lacked a passion for it.  Sure, I enjoyed the products, but cosmetics are cosmetics.  There was no deeper cause.  Now I have a deeper sense of purpose because I am not just raising money for myself, but I’m helping women around the world live a better quality of life… and for the first few months I will be using whatever I earn towards my Guatemala mission trip this summer!

I am so excited to see where this leads and I hope it opens more doors where I am able to minister towards and in defense of  women needing justice.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
ensure justice for those being crushed.
Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless,
and see that they get justice.”

Proverbs 31:8-9

If you are interested in ensuring justice for those being crushed, please support me in my endeavors with this blessing of a company, Trades of Hope.

Let Freedom Ring!

It’s been some time since I have felt compelled to contribute my “voice” to cyberspace, but I’ve been ruminating on much: my future, human trafficking, serving people and God.  How can all of these ideas coexist?  A better question may be, how can these ideas not exist together for me? Many of the thoughts I have been pondering will remain deep in the caverns of my mind for a bit longer, though I will expound on my recent thoughts on the atrocity of human trafficking: the imprisonment of human beings against their will for the purposes of trade and profit.

Last Sunday was Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, and this Monday many of us get to enjoy a day off from work to celebrate President’s Day. President Lincoln remains one of the favorite presidents among many, even to this day.  Talk about being a president up against hard times!  Yet he was able to reunite our nation (which is a good thing since other countries were waiting and hoping our young republic would fail even then) and end slavery in the United States, neither of which was a small or easy task. Yeah, he’s one of my heroes. The cool hat is just a bonus.  However… I cannot help but imagine Lincoln would feel heartbroken to learn that slavery still exists, not just in other areas of the world, but IN OUR OWN COUNTRY as well.

Then I also think of William Wilberforce, who spent his life working to abolish the African-British slave trade. Just three days before he died, he was informed of the passing of the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, and he was able to die with the peace that his life’s work had not been in vain.  Though I cannot help but imagine Wilberforce would feel demoralized if he learned that worldwide slavery still exists.  In fact, there are an estimated  27 million people enslaved today, which is more than double the number of Africans enslaved during the entire Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

People unwittingly believe that slavery no longer exists, or they feel it is happening in remote areas of the world, and so they care little about the matter.  If people are ignorant to this activity it is because those of us who do know need to keep spreading the word and make people aware.  Creating the awareness is the first step to take in order to make a difference.  But for those who do know yet choose to ignore it or to believe whatever is happening in remote parts of the world is of no concern to them, they are just as guilty as those who actually shackle other human beings.

In my efforts to educate people on the matter of human trafficking and modern day slavery, I actually have had people ask me not to tell them about it because it’s awful and they didn’t want to know something that bad exists.  Why not?  Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away! Should we behave like ostriches and stick out heads in the sand?  Facing it head on, spreading the word, and working to abolish slavery in all its evil facets is the ONLY way it will end.  Otherwise we’re just big stupid birds with our butts in the air.  If this makes you angry, good.  Get angry.  Get downright furious… and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”  Albert Einstein

My husband and I watched Taken starring Liam Neeson last night.  I know as a Christian that I am not really supposed to promote violence, but I have to confess that I enjoyed the idea of these evil people involved in forcing unsuspecting young women into prostitution “getting what they deserved.” Sure, the movie is fictional, but there is truth in it too.  This sort of thing truly does exist and it makes me angry.  Most often it is in a similar form to that of what takes place in the movie, but young children are also sold, kidnapped, and forced into it as well.  In fact, up the 1.2 million of these victims are children, some of them as young as six years old!  At this point, angry seems a weak word, but whatever it is, it is a righteous anger.  God wants us to be angry at injustices because we should not accept them; we need to find ways to stop them.  This doesn’t mean we become vigilantes, but we can certainly start by informing others of these injustices and contributing in whatever ways we feel we can to prevent, to rescue, and to rehabilitate.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get JUSTICE.” Proverbs 31:8-9

Here are some of the groups I know of that are fighting against human trafficking. There are more of them out there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-VC8AUE3Bc   Nefarious: Merchant of Souls trailer

Love 146

FIGHT (Fight Injustice and Global Human Trafficking)

Somaly Mam Foundation

Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking

Team This is STILL my AWESOME back