FREE THE INNOCENT – STOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING

slavery                 Psalm 10:1-18 NIVUK

Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?  In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises.  He boasts about the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord. In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. His ways are always prosperous; your laws are rejected by him; he sneers at all his enemies. He says to himself, nothing will ever shake me.” He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.” His mouth is full of lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue. He lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent. His eyes watch in secret for his victims; like a lion in cover he lies in wait. He lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.
His victims are crushed, they collapse; they fall under his strength. He says to himself, “God will never notice; he covers his face and never sees.” Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless. Why does the wicked man revile God? Why does he say to himself, “He won’t call me to account”? But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless. Break the arm of the wicked man; call the evildoer to account for his wickedness that would not otherwise be found out. The Lord is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land. You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror

For many of us Human Trafficking is an unspeakable act that we’d rather not talk about, read about, and quite possibly hope that it will go away. For some, it is something they’ve never heard of and think it only happens in third world countries. Well, today Human Trafficking is alive and well and living right in your own back yards. Today as you sit in your quiet solitude, one small child somewhere on this tiny speck of a planet is being taken. This child could be your daughter, your sister, your cousin, quite possibly your everything and in a heartbeat of a moment this child is gone. This child is sold into the slavery of human trafficking and there is something we can all do to make it, quite frankly go away. We can get involved. We can take a stand against the insanity of people on this planet that are taking our children, and doing the unthinkable with them at this very moment in time. Today is the day we can all take a stand for the innocent, join together to outwit and close all the agencies and people involved. It is time to shake it up, get involved and learn how to get these child robbing people off our streets in America and around the world.

RUBY: Ruby lived in a small town in rural Chicago. A town where the children played in the streets, and parents felt secure and safe and no one felt the need to watch over their children as they played. Ruby lived in a town that was going to be shaken to the core, where the truth of today’s society would touched the hearts of this small town that was once a small blip on the radar of time.

Ruby always walked to school each day. She had a bike, yet she preferred to walk the ten blocks to school each day so she could say “Hi” to Marble, a small black and white dog that greeted her each morning. On this particular morning while Ruby was walking to school, she didn’t notice the blue van driving slowly behind her. She was walking along trying to do as she was told, walk to school and get there by 8am. Today as Ruby “dilly dallied”, as her mother called it, the blue van followed her at a slow pace. No one in the neighborhood was watching Ruby, no one noticed that the man in the van was getting ready to take Ruby on the ride of her life. No one even looked twice when this man got out of his van and rushed over, scooped Ruby up and placed her in the back of the van. No one noticed the man duct taping Ruby’s mouth shut, nor did they notice the man taping up her wrists and ankles and pushing her hard into the back of the van. Ruby would be driven out of her neighborhood, her safe haven, unnoticed. Never to be seen again. The man driving the van was part of a child pornography ring that was paid $10,000 for each child he could snatch up. Today was his lucky day, today he snagged a $10,000 prize. Ruby was going to be sold into Child slavery, sold to be taken and done the unthinkable with. Ruby was 10 years old. Ruby had her whole life ahead of her. Ruby left behind a little brother, a mother and a father who were all busy, going about their day, ignorant to the fact that Ruby would not be coming home.

PSALM 13:2-3 How long must I lay up cares within me and have sorrow in my heart day after day? How long shall my enemy exalt himself over me?

SUMMER: Summer was born on a July morning in 2003. Summer’s parents divorced shortly after her little brother was born. She never had the family she longed for. Her mother worked from morning to night, 2 different jobs during the week 3 on the weekends. Summer took care of herself, her little brother and the 1 bedroom apartment that her mother worked so hard to keep. Summer never complained, although she longed to be out of the house and in the bright sunshine hanging out with her friends after school. She had to stay in the house because her mother feared that if she or her brother wandered off, DFS would come and take them away. Summer’s father never took her or her brother for a weekend, or even a week. Summer’s father was in jail, and he wouldn’t get out until Summer turned 20 years old.

Summer spent a lot of time on the computer after school while her little brother played video games on TV. She liked to talk to her friend Joey who lived a few miles away.

Day after day, Summer would talk to Joey and they would dream of far off places they would travel to when they were older. Joey, was actually a 35 year old man, who was plotting to take Summer away. He was the enemy and he was slowly getting to know Summer, getting to know her every move so when the day came to remove Summer from her blissful slumber, he could set off into the night unnoticed. Joey was plotting to take Summer and use her for prostitution. Summer would be traveling with Joey to Florida, 1500 miles from where she was born.  Summer would leave behind her Mom and little brother. Summer would also leave behind a classroom full of friends that would search for her for days, yet never find her.

AMANDA: Imagine for a moment you are an innocent child. You are being bullied at school day after day. The kids are making fun of your clothes, and your funny smelling hair. You live on a country road in a small 2 bedroom trailer where your parents drink themselves into oblivion on a daily basis. You have to wash your own clothes, and cook your own meals because your parents are too drunk to take care of you. Now imagine the bullying goes on for months and you no longer feel worthy of the love you receive from your grandmother who took you in when your own parents went to jail after they left you all alone. You are so beaten down by society that you literally want to move away and believe if you do so everyone around you will love you all the more and want you back in a heartbeat. So after one of the hardest days you’ve ever endured at school, you sit on a corner bench in town wishing you didn’t have to go home. Out of the corner of your eye you see the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen. For one brief moment in time you think it’s your mother who has just gotten out of jail and is coming to take you home. But this woman is not your mother, nor is she a woman you know, she’s a total stranger. She comes and sits beside you, and as you tell her your story, she begins to make you feel like you are worthy of everything you wish your family would believe. She promises to give you everything you’ve ever wanted and she promises to love you because your family cannot and you deserve it. “Everyone deserves to be loved” she says, and you believe every word she says. Suddenly without even thinking, you hop into her Mercedes Benz and she drives you away to what you think will be a life worth living. Only her promises are short lived, and you end up drugged and bound hands and feet daily. You are subjected to giving in to every whim that every man who walks into your room asks for. And for every day of your life, you long for the small 2 bedroom trailer where you used to live, and life as you once knew it will never be the same.

DO IT FOR YOUR DAUGHTER, DO IT FOR YOUR SON, DO IT FOR YOUR SISTER, YOUR AUNT YOUR MOTHER!

WILLOW: Willow found herself on the brink of death, and she decided to finally free herself from all the pain she had endured for the past 6 months. Having enough courage and strength to jump out the window, she ran to the window sill and without hesitation she forced herself up on the window ledge and took her first leap of faith jumping through the glass window free falling into the night. Willow was free. As she fell to the sidewalk below, she began to take her first breath of fresh air and it filled her lungs like a crisp, cold snowy night in winter. The cold air hit her lungs and she gulped as much into her lungs as she could. Her lungs were as thirsty for fresh air as a man who had been in the dessert for over 7 days without water. The air was breathtaking! Willow had not been outside for over 2 months. The last time she had seen the outside the “monster” had taken her to participate in a small party that was about 100 miles away. She hadn’t been out of the house since that night. Breathing in the fresh, cool air, Willow fell into God’s grace and began to heal the minute her tiny body was picked up by a stranger passing by. Her healing would take years to process, but she fell into the hands of a stranger on this particular evening and this stranger was a woman who had been in the right place at the right time. This stranger was Hope, a kind, soft spoken woman who had seen enough in her lifetime to know that getting involved meant, embracing this young woman who had fallen out of a window and getting her help. As she scooped Willow up in her arms, Hope could tell that Willow had not eaten in days. Willow had gone from a strong, gutsy young girl, to a scrawny, shallow 98 pound package of shear fear and frustration. Lucky for Willow, Hope met her on this particular evening and as Willow’s fear made her struggle in Hope’s grasp, Hope whispered in Willow’s ear….”Fear not for though Lord God is With You”, and Willow sank down into the crook of Hope’s shoulder allowing herself to be carried off into the night. Willow felt safe for the first time in 6 months. Hope knew that she had to get help for Willow right away, so she took her to the hospital with the intention of staying with her as long as it took for Willow to find the help she needed. After Hope and Willow were at the hospital for some time, Hope realized that the hospital did not have the means to decide where Willow should go next. Willow gave no clues as to where her family was, and for a young girl of 15 years old, everyone assumed that she was a runaway; a young girl who had become a street prostitute to help herself make ends meet. Little did they know, when Willow would finally find the courage to speak, she would tell them stories that would make even grown men cry. The hospital nurse had made a phone call and said that someone would be there to help shortly. That someone would be Willow’s ticket to helping her find a new life and help in finding her family as well.

There are no coincidences in life, Hope told the nurse, only God Moments. Hope knew this was a God moment.

After having sat with Willow for quite some time, Hope noticed a young man coming into the room. Willow began to become uncomfortable and coward in the corner of the bed, knowing that if this man was here for her to “service”, she was not going to do it tonight. He’d have to beat it out of her! The young man came over to talk to Hope, and Willow started to sob with fear! Hope asked the young man to leave the room, but he was adamant about staying. This young man, who later would be known to them as David, was the life saver Willow was waiting for. David was Willow’s God Moment!

David sat for what seemed like hours trying to gain Willow’s trust. He spoke softly to her, telling her stories of all the places he had visited in the past year. He shared stories of his God, and how God saves us when we are falling down. David was trying hard, trying hard to get Willow to speak. David spoke to Willow of a home where he said Willow could be safe from harm, and Willow would be allowed to roam around freely. Willow asked, “How long could I stay”? And with tears in his eyes, David told her she could stay as long as she liked. David told her she would be safe there, and through Christ she could live free again”. Willow never went back to Prostitution, it wasn’t her choice to be there in the first place. However, she did impact the lives of many to come by sharing her story and ensuring that those who were taken, would soon be found.

Human trafficking can take you by surprise when you least expect it. Like the families involved in these stories above, their innocence in what they believe, was stolen the moment their family member was gone. Although today, trafficking exists even beyond our comprehension of its magnitude, we must all take a stand to stop it now!  Modern day slavery, or trafficking of persons describes the act of recruiting, harboring or even transporting a person for commercial sex or labor without pay, these acts are through force or fraud. These women and young girls are not there by chance, or choice, they are there because deceitful people who want to make money, have lied to them and promised them a future that never will be.

SANDIE HECKMAN

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