Sometimes things capture you at your core, and your immediate response is totally out of your control.
Sometimes a situation attaches itself to something so deep inside you that you feel absolutely dizzy and nauseated by the upheaval in your spirit.
Sometimes you hear about something and you wish – oh, how you wish – that you could forget…..but you cannot.
That is how it was for me recently at the Allume conference, as I watched covert footage from a brothel raid.
“We’re coming for you. Hold on.”
The words came from my mouth so suddenly and so completely outside of my consciousness that for a moment I thought it was someone else who had said them. But it was my own voice I heard, speaking words of encouragement and hope to just one of the estimated 27 million people currently enslaved in the world today.
Yeah. 27 million people.
That’s the equivalent of the entire population of Afghanistan…and then some. (And in case you’re wondering, the entire transAtlantic slave trade of the 19th century? It enslaved only 12 million people. So this modern-day slavery issue is pretty serious.)
But maybe you’re like me. I heard about modern-day slavery for the first time a couple of years ago when a girl from my church spoke about it following a mission trip. I heard her stories….saw her pictures….listened to her passionate pleas for us to jump on board and do something….but I didn’t quite buy it. You see…..I’d never seen it. I’d never been affected by it. It seemed so far from my little world, even though she insisted it happens right here in our own back yards.
The hardness of my own heart wouldn’t let me believe it. My skeptical American nature couldn’t grasp it, and I let it go without doing anything whatsoever.
So maybe that’s where you are as I spout off these statistics. Maybe because you know me, you realize that this must be a big deal….but you’re still unconvinced. It still isn’t real to you.
I don’t fault you for that. How can I? Just a month ago, I was where you are. I knew it was happening, but the switch in my heart remained stubbornly unmoved. And then……then I saw this.
As I watched the officers run toward evil, I understood what was happening. They were running to find her. There was a girl who needed help – a girl without a voice – a girl desperate for someone to save her. And those people…..they were running into an unthinkable situation to set her free. It was then that the words came without warning from somewhere deep in my spirit: “We’re coming for you. Hold on.”
That girl was sold for a price, sent into darkness to experience what no one ever should against her will and against God’s plan. But because someone knew she was there….because someone realized the injustice of it…..because someone felt the urgency of it in their heart, today she is free.
And now I get it. I understand. This issue is real, and each and every one of those 27 million people has a story.
Since watching this video (and a few others like it), I have met Laura Parker, one of the founders of The Exodus Road. The Exodus Road is a network of committed agencies and individuals working with law enforcement agencies in Southeast Asia to empower the rescue of victims of human trafficking and sexual slavery. They are real people – people like you and me – who have seen injustice and realized that someone had to do something. Rather than waiting for someone else to take action, though, they are doing it themselves.
Will you take a few minutes today to check out their website? Will you pray for them – for their administrators and covert operatives who are, quite literally, a beacon of hope in a dark world? Will you consider participating in some other way, whether through advocacy or financial contributions? This issue is real. It affects real people, and yes – someone should do something. That someone could be you.