In about a month and a half I head to Southeast Asia.
It's hard for me to believe this is actually happening, which I think is why I'm just posting about it now. Back in October I wrote this post, having no idea what it would lead to. When I said it would only be a week of my life, I should have known better.
I'll be traveling with a few other people with an organization called Love146. Their vision is the abolition of child sex slavery and exploitation. You can read their story here. We will be meeting with prevention staff and partners, seeing firsthand the work they are doing to stop trafficking before it happens and how those that have been exploited are able to find healing and restoration. One of the things I've been most impressed about Love146 is how hard they work at implementing long term solutions that are not just knee-jerk responses to a very difficult issue. They work hard to ensure survivors are treated with dignity and respect and have a strong policy against using manipulative fundraising tactics. They also network with many other respected groups to fight for those who have been exploited.
When I started this whole process, I was expecting a hop over to Central America to love on some kids, which would have been a great experience, I'm sure. However, this runs so much deeper, as it's the beginning of a relationship with this organization that involves starting up a task force here at home. Our first meeting is next month. The purpose of this group is to connect people that are passionate about fighting this injustice so that we can act in tangible ways. Love146 provides many resources for building a team of people committed to staying informed about what is happening locally and abroad, and for raising money to support prevention programs and aftercare for those that are healing.
The trafficking of human beings is a 32 billion dollar industry. Two children are sold every minute. In the U.S. alone, over 100,000 kids are forced into prostitution or pornography every year.
This isn't about numbers though.
It's about people.
Created in the image of God, being exploited and dehumanized in unspeakable ways.
It's about hope.
That Jesus truly is Lord over this earth.
Not found in the forces and powers the world expects.
God allows us a part in what He is doing in our world.
I've said so many times before, Matt and I are learning what it means to be caught up in the extravagant love of God. It's a never-ending story. We don't want to just be consumers, but as we partake in the love and grace that he pours on us, we share in it with others. We're stumbling through what it means to live differently in our day to day lives. It's in these small steps that the life-changing decisions are cultivated and brought to fruition. I'm so very thankful for family and friends that have shown their love and support throughout this process. Matt and I have been so encouraged. Please pray for us as we start up this task force and as I travel. It's no secret that I struggle with fear. I'm thankful for a God that meets us in our issues and carries us through.