Call & Response Documentary and other Human Trafficking Information

"Never forget that justice is
what love looks like in public."
~Dr. Cornel West (quoted from Call + Response)

Human trafficking is an issue (for lack of better terminology right now) I have immersed myself in for about 5 years. God brought it to my attention and as He wanted, I have read, talked about it with many people and studied the issue as thoroughly as I possibly could.

I'll start with just a few facts:

1. There are an estimated 27 million people enslaved around the world.
2. An estimated 18 million of those are labor slaves.
3. It is estimated that 800,000 women & children are enslaved annually.
4. There are estimated to be between 14,500 to 17,500 slaves trafficked into the United States (Yes - they are here, too. In your city, I guarantee.) every year
- at least 1/2 of them are children.
5. It is estimated that 25% of the clients of the sex-slave trade are men from the United States.

I could go on for a LONG time about human trafficking and its victims. Each and every one haunts me in some way or another. Each one has a name I will probably never know, they have hopes, dreams, families... They are abruptly yanked from their lives, used in horrific ways I can't begin to describe with words and then tossed aside like garbage when they are no longer useful. Most of them are children.

People call it an "issue" or a "cause" but I have not found a word yet. Calling it an issue or a cause feels like a disservice to those who are its victims. They are people - flesh and blood who hurt in ways we cannot imagine. It is an evil perpetuated against people by people and people are amazing in their ability to be cruel - let alone cruel to those who are weak and vulnerable.

You can help fight this issue in several ways.

First, on October 9, 2008, a documentary called Call + Response will open in 20 major cities around the country. Seattle is one of them. It will open at the Metro and will run for one week only.

Please tell anyone and everyone you know.

Head to the official website, http://www.callandresponse.com/ and check out the trailer.
It's powerful.

Tickets are $10 per person and if you would like to be part of a group, I am going to shoot for attending the film on Wednesday, October 15th (probably the 7PM show). If you would like to attend on your own, tickets can be purchased through the website:

Attend the movie. There will (hopefully - this is the current plan) be tables set up outside the theater from various agencies combatting human trafficking. Talk to the people at those tables.

Another thing you can do is check out organizations combatting trafficking. Here is a short, by no means exhaustive, list of agencies (only in order of how they came to mind):

Find out how you can volunteer through those agencies. Host an event in your home, invite your friends and neighbors to watch a DVD and to talk about this issue, donate and/or raise money to donate to those agencies. It seems huge, almost insurmountable but with God, all things are possible and God speaks to protecting the innocent, helping the oppressed and freeing those trapped numerous times in the Bible.

My verse, my calling, my life verse is one of those and it is where my blog address comes from. Proverbs 31 verses 8 & 9 read: "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."

This is, in case you were wondering, something I am very passionate about. I could talk and write for hours but in the interest of actually getting this thing posted, I won't.

Another way you can help ~ please pray for our Coaltion and everyone working to combat human trafficking. Our Coalition, though, has numerous decisions to make, not least of which is the "business" of actually becoming a cohesive organization. We are all filled with good intentions but without prayer and discernment, we will not get very far. Please pray we listen to the voice of God and continue to look to Him for all answers. This is His work, we are merely hands and feet.

Please - ask me, talk to me about human trafficking. It will be, at times, hard to hear what I have to say (I do not pull punches with stories) but one thing I prayed for myself a long time ago - Please God, break my heart with those things that break Your heart. Oppression of His children breaks His heart. Let it touch yours. God can use us to fight this.

Blessings to you!

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