Life Interrupted: The Call to Fight Human Trafficking
January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, so we're sharing this guest post from Christine Caine, who with her husband, Nick, founded The A21 Campaign, an anti-human trafficking organization with the goal of abolishing slavery in the 21st century.
You might think of the movie "Taken," in which a dad goes to extraordinary lengths to rescue his daughter from a group of sex traffickers. This isn't just the plot of an action movie. Sex trafficking is real, and it happens every day.
- According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year.
- More than 70 percent are female and half are children.
Here's what Christine wrote about it:
Isn’t it easy to go through life without allowing our plans to be interrupted? We as Christians and leaders can so easily be consumed with our everyday routine and responsibilities that we sometimes fail to see the very people we have been called to help. We can become so “busy” doing things for God, that we fail to miss the God opportunities right in front of our face.
A few years ago I was confronted with this very situation myself when I was busily rushing from one ministry event to another, hopping planes and countries to try to make my speaking engagements. Little did I know then that allowing myself to be interrupted would actually lead to what has become The A21 Campaign today.
"What Can I Possibly Do?"
It all began as I was walking through an airport in Greece. That is when I first saw the posters of missing women and children—alleged trafficked victims. I remember asking God, “What can I possibly do?” and then rattling off a dozen excuses about why He had chosen the wrong person and that I was already too busy doing ministry work for Him. (I could not possibly imagine running an international anti-trafficking organization in addition to our ministry work.) But the more I read the Bible and learned about human trafficking, the more convinced I was that I had to do something; returning to life and ministry as usual was simply not an option. My life had been seriously interrupted.
The more I read the Bible and learned about human trafficking, the more convinced I was that I had to do something.
One of the stories in the Bible that profoundly impacted me, and further pushed me to take action, was the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). I had always assumed that I was the Good Samaritan who cared for others and reached out to those in need. But the more I analyzed the story, the more I realized that I was actually a lot more like the Levite, who simply continued on his path instead of stopping to help the man in the ditch.
One of the reasons Nick and I launched The A21 Campaign was because we recognized that if we can help rescue and restore the life of one girl, then our efforts are having an eternal impact. I think so many times we can become distracted with what the next “cool” trend is, or what will provide the best return, without taking into consideration those people God has brought into our world to reach. We must ensure that we are attentive to His voice and led by His Spirit, and that we step out in obedience to do all that He is calling us to do.
Through The A21 Campaign, we are actively helping rescued trafficked victims find healing and restoration, as well as prosecuting traffickers, working with local authorities to uphold justice, and educating those in danger of being trafficked. I am so thankful that in my own journey, I chose to stop, notice, and take action when exposed to injustice. But it did require me to change my thinking and redefine what ministry looked like in my life.
Loving Your Neighbor Is Not Complicated
On your particular journey, who has God happened to bring across your path and uniquely asked you to extend a hand of compassion? I want to encourage you to examine your thoughts towards these people, and the way in which you interact with them. If we do not think new thoughts, then we will never be able to step into the new things God is calling us to do, or reach new people with His love.
As we choose to take notice of those God has placed around us, and decide to simply be obedient to Him, loving our neighbor is actually not complicated. It is a decision we must make to open our eyes, take notice, elevate our thinking, and reach out to meet the needs of those around us.
If human trafficking is one of the issues that God has placed on your heart to help address, we have a list of 21 ways that you can start making a difference today. Visit www.A21.org for more details.