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An amazing aspect of the world race is you get to know people doing full time missions around the world. I’ve learned so much from interacting with them and seeing the work they do for the Lord in every country. This month I’ve been blessed with the friendship of two men giving their lives to fight human trafficking. These two men have worked in South Korea and Thailand to prevent trafficking and care for the victims in the process. I first learned about human trafficking in college at a conference at CSU. I had no idea modern day slavery even existed and I was deeply disturbed by the stories I was hearing. The subject kept coming up in my life and I was starting to wonder if God was calling me to serve in that field. For those of you who do not know what human trafficking is, it is essentially this sale and exploitation of the most vulnerable people in society; usually for sex or labor.
I joined the race with hopeful expectation that we would be able to help women and children get out of this lifestyle, but was really disappointed by the fact that there didn’t seem to be any opportunity for men to serve. We got to do some trafficking ministry in Nepal at the dance bars and cabin restaurants, but it was only for a couple of days. I began to wonder, “God why do you keep showing me these these evils if there is no place for me to serve?” Meeting these guys gave me hope that maybe there is something guys can do. They have taken us under their wing in Thailand and are teaching us what they have learned.
One night my teammate Brandon and I went to their house to watch a documentary about trafficking called Nafarious: Merchant of Souls. The documentary focused on the regions of Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and the United States shedding light on why and how it happens. It also sheds light on the only hope these people have for truly being free – Jesus Christ. You may be thinking, “they can still get out without Jesus,” but often times these people will go back into prostitution because of the spiritual bonds of fear and unworthyness that hold them captive.
I encourage you to watch the documentary, warning: its deeply disturbing, for the full story but here is how I’ve learned it happens where I’m at in Thailand. In northern Thailand most of the people trafficked are “hilltribe people.” Hilltribe people come from villages in the mountains and they speak a different language than Thai. Traffickers will lure them into the cities by promising them work and education only to force them into prostitution once they get their. Other times, like in Cambodia, their own family members will sell their own children to traffickers. They also target orphanages and anyone who is vulnerable. The victims are usually children and teenagers- boys and girls. These kids are raped and abused repeatedly losing all sense of their dignity and value as human beings made in the image of God. After the movie they showed us where all of this goes down in Chiang Mai there are certain streets filled with massage bars, kareoke bars, mui tai fighting areas, ect. – all where prostitution and trafficking happen. We are planning on doing prayer walks there soon.
I read a book recently called Justice Awakening by Eddie Byun about God’s view of justice and the role the church plays in this fight. Providing a very biblical argument it emphasized how much God values the vulnerable. His view of justice is caring for the most vulnerable and setting the captives free. That is really what the cross was about. Jesus set us free from the sin that took us captive by taking the penalty for our sin on cross- making us forever clean through faith. The sins of lust and greed hold the pimps and johns (customers) captive. Fear, psychological/emotional/physical wounds, and a false sense of unworthyness holds the victims captive. This is a very spiritual issue Jesus came to set all the captives free. There is so much more in the book and I would encourage you to read it if your interested in getting involved.
Ways you can help:
1. Pray – that human trafficking would end. Pray for freedom for the victims and moral conviction/salvation for the pimps and the johns.
2. Guys stop watching porn- besides ruining relationships and marriages and the immorality of all of it all, it drives all of this to happen by increasing the demand.
3. Get educated- “Not for Sale” and “Justice Awakening” are the books I’ve read that are heartbreaking and enlightening. Also watch Nafarious.
4. Donate to anti-trafficking organizations- International Justice Mission (IJM) does amazing work around the world
5. Get involved and get your church involved- It happens in your own backyard and this is God’s will- caring for the vulnerable.
“Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry.” Exodus 22:22
Nefarious is one of the hardest watches I’ve ever seen, but totally worth it. I share your heart for the trafficked victims. I encourage you to keep stepping out with your hearts desires to serve in this area…Don’t let the ministry dictate control you. Honor them. Serve them. Respect them. But pursue what’s on your heart. If you know the areas where trafficking takes place…go not only prayer walk through but ask the Lord for “the one” and let Him lead you. Jesus stopped for the one and I believe there is one person you can impact that flip sex trafficking on its head. Here for you if you need anything…praying for you buddy.
Nic, I did not want to comment until I saw the documentary. I rented it and just finished it. It was so hard to believe how real this is. Not only that but it is on a rise is some places. It was so sad and very emotional documentary to watch. It was very informing. And of course the ending made me cry as some of the girls gave their testimony. I just thank God that their are people who heard the call and followed. I personally know of a few myself who work closely in helping the girls.I know wherever you go you will touch and impact peoples lives. And I also know they will impact your life as well. Love and bless you my friend. ALL your steps are ordered Nic…..
May God keep and protect you. Debby
Dearest Son, My heart feels yours. God bless you in your desire to help these young victims. We’ll watch this documentary too and pray with you for those people under attack by the enemy and by their own fellow man. Thank you for sharing ways we can all help. Staying in prayer with you on your journey! I Love You, Son!
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