Time of my Youth (Human Trafficking in my neighborhood)

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. Proverbs 31:8-9

not for sale

I sit here at the beginning of my young life, a mere teenager, stuck between my youth and adulthood. I ponder the fact, as I age, will I be the change? Can I make the difference for those around me, near and far? Given the chance, I will stand for what I believe in. I will be bold for those that do not have a voice.

Gone are the days of the youthful childhood where popsicles melt down your wrist on hot, humid days, and sidewalk chalk is the story of hopscotch and ABC’s. No longer can you take bicycle rides into the darkness of a hot, summer night without fear. I live in a time where we sell people, my friends, as if they are a mere package placed on a shelf. I live amongst the shadows of Human Trafficking. I have watched kids on the street taken by the pimps, sold into slavery and they will never come home.

I go to the grocery store, to buy ketchup and bread. As I walk down the aisle, I wonder what people would think if they saw children placed in small jars for sale. Would people be disgusted by what they see? Or would they walk by as they did, when my friend was taken in the night? My friend, my best friend was simply being a teenager in the moment. She wanted to grow old before her time. She delved into the dark side and never came home. I warned her that the internet was a bad place to go. I warned her that not knowing someone on the other side of the computer screen, made it impossible to be sure if they were safe. She didn’t listen. She poured her heart out over and over to a man she thought was a boy. One day, she poured out too much information and he came and took her away.

I miss my friend, I miss our talks. I know there are people searching for her, and they will bring her home. We used to go to church together. We were baptized together! We shared our faith like some girls share makeup! We have a faith which is so strong, we only know how to be bold in our faith for Jesus! It is what made us strong, it’s what kept us going. I hope she is speaking to God, for I know I cry out daily asking Him to bring my friend home.

I live in a time where I should be dreaming about college and which one I’ll choose. Now, I simply do not want to move forward in my life. I miss my friend, and I am doing my best to press on. My friend and I were going to study abroad together, but now when I look at my future I am too scared to move. The angrier I get, the more I want to share her story, so people will know who took her and where she went. I choose to raise awareness in my town, and I will not stop until Human Trafficking no longer exists!

I live in a new age. An age where people are sold into slavery. I know I can be one more voice that brings the taken home! I believe in my Lord and Savior, and I will stop at nothing to be the light that stomps out the pimps and the Johns to end the slavery of my time. I will not stop, until no one is at risk for being trafficked in this the time of my youth.

Fact: An estimated 30,000 victims of sex trafficking die each year from abuse, disease, torture, and neglect. Eighty percent of those sold into sexual slavery are under 24, and some are as young as six years old!

Fact: There are more human slaves in the world today than ever before in history.

Fact: Trafficking primarily involves exploitation which comes in many forms, including forcing victims into prostitution, subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude and compelling victims to commit sex acts for the purpose of creating pornography.

http://www.stophumantraffickingmo.com/

Sandie Heckman

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