Three years ago had someone told me this is where I would be, speaking to you wonderful people about this subject, I would not have believed them. Human trafficking sounded like a scary fairy tale …something that happened over there, overseas in a foreign uncivilized country. It just wasn’t something that happened here to us. To Americans.
I was traveling through Houston three years ago with my husband when we were driving on the interstate and passed a sign, all I could read was ‘Elijah’ and I felt so compelled to go back and see what that sign said. What was the rest of it? So we made our way back around and the building was called Elijah’s Rising. This was my introduction to human trafficking in America. The gutted building had once been a brothel but was now in the process of becoming a prayer room/ museum that would be used to host van tours, be a place for prayer for the city throughout the week and eventually become a sex trafficking awareness museum.
I took their van tour. I would recommend it to anyone who wanted to learn what to look for, what signs to notice about certain buildings and areas of a city. But I walked away full of all this knowledge. What was I suppose to do now? How could I go back to being normal . Living a mundane life. I looked at the world different. I didn’t see people the same way. I didn’t categorize certain people and lump them all in one big pile and write them off.
The burden wouldn’t leave me. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had to DO SOMETHING. So I prayed. And isn’t that the best place to go to get answers, anyway? I ask God to give me a voice. Speak through me and give me the words to say. I would go anywhere. Do anything…just let me be able to tell the world, tell my world what I knew. Therefore, over the next three years I wrote this book. It is a Christian fiction based book, this is NOT my story. I did not come out of human trafficking. People have asked me if I was telling my story. No, I am not writing a memoir. This is a fiction story with truths interwoven all throughout it.
While researching for this book, I learned about runaways. Kids younger than 14 years old running away from home. Statistics show that within 48 hours of being on the streets, a runaway will be in contact with a pimp, within 48 hours from leaving home.
I learned that human trafficking umbrella-ed labor trafficking, domesticated trafficking and sex trafficking which is what I chose to write my book on. The term trafficking doesn’t necessary mean or include movement of an individual but rather it is the ‘holding’ of an individual. A person who can’t leave their job, they work for little or no money at all. They are paying off a debt of some sort to another and never have the ability to payoff that debt. Human servitude.
SO many people have wrote articles, spoke at conferences, did TedTalks and I have taken it all in and learned and researched and studied and wanted to bring some of that to you.
This has nothing to do with lousy jobs or a lousy marriage. This is the confinement and imprisonment of an individual. They can’t leave and go away. They are required to stay with their employer.
What do you feel when you think about the estimated 30 plus million people who are in some form of slavery in the world today? Think about that. Let it sink in.
It is an overwhelming feeling, huh? What can I do…one single person. One mom of three…wife…American… one person. But when I speak out—when I write a book—when someone organizes a fundraiser, one becomes three. And three becomes 300 and suddenly people are waking up and wanting to do things to change-and a snowball effect is created…the right people become involved.
Now what DO you do about that? How do you take the information you have learned and spread awareness and help contribute in some way?
— Make hygiene bags and keep them in your car- toiletries and things you can give to anyone you spot on the street.
–carry human trafficking hotline business cards in your wallet and hand them out to everyone you meet. You don’t even have to take the time to explain the whole dark world of human trafficking.
Take the time to go online and research organizations that you can get involved in SEPT 24th is a FREEDOM Sunday. Host a freedom Sunday at your church. All the information you need all the resources are online. Just download and print.
24 April – 7 May 2017
14 Days of Focus on Modern Slavery / Human Trafficking
Celebrate Progress. Overcome Overwhelmed. Connect with Others Who Care. Find Your Focus.
“It took some time for me to understand that what the movement really needed was more everyday people. Regular moms, dads, grandparents, teachers, nurses, dentists, accountants, professors, business owners, senior citizens, physical therapists, doctors, janitors, bartenders, artists – anyone without a fancy title or who thought they didn’t have any power. … What was missing in the new abolitionist movement was people like me.
“What was missing was people like you.”
– Kimberley McOwen Yim, Refuse to Do Nothing
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. – African Proverb
I don’t want to end this information without bringing up prayer. Going back to my book, I wouldn’t have been able to finish this book without going to God in prayer. He is an author. He loves authors and I ask him to breathe life into this book. I truly believe he gave me the words to write. Prayer opens doors and breaks chains that we can’t do on our own. Prayer will take you places that you can’t walk without God. If you truly want to get involved and do things for your community and your city then start with prayer. Prayer is not a last minute solution or some last resort. God can walk into captive’s hopeless situations and restore, heal and bring life and hope where there was none.
IF you want to be an activist. A world changer. A movement pusher—then first of all I ask you to become a prayer partner. Unite with those around you and become a prayer warrior.