Written by: John Wood in Freedom (Human Trafficking) on August 20, 2012
“Slavery can only be abolished by raising the character of the people who compose the nation; and that can be done only by showing them a higher one.” – Maria W. Chapman
I have come to a startling revelation recently that I am … a slave. No, I am not a slave physically as it pertains to human trafficking, but I am a slave to whatever binds me. I can be enslaved to my sin or I can be enslaved to Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul often uses this kind of intense terminology to describe his relationship with Jesus. Paul recognized that we will all be enslaved to something, but there is One in whom slavery actually leads to freedom. Our God has so fearfully and wonderfully designed us for worship that our entire being longs for it and so we will worship and be slaves no matter what. The only question is this: Whom will we worship? Whom are we enslaved to?
The theme of slavery is woven through the very fabric of our being. Honestly, that can be a bit scary, and it is healthy to have a reverent fear of the consequences of that reality. In the same way that slavery exists on a spiritual level, it also exists on a physical level. If you are reading this, you have been called! You may not fully believe it, but you are being called to set captives free. You have the power to set captives free, because you yourself are free! You are God’s answer to slavery!
Here, I continue my conversation with Pastor Gus on how we as the Church can respond. You will also see below some very practical ways that you can empower yourself and others to respond to this vital cause.
What Can You Do?
Pray — This battle is not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12).
Get connected — Contact the Human Trafficking Hotline from the National Resource Center to report a tip, connect with anti-trafficking services in your area or to request training and technical assistance, general information or specific anti-trafficking resources: 1-888-3737, ext. 888 http://www.polarisproject.org/what-we-do/national-human-trafficking-hotline/the-nhtrc/overview
Educate yourself — Do you have a smartphone? Download the “Trafficking In Persons” (TIP) General Awareness Training app. You can also take the training online: http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/training/dhs_awareness_training_fy12/launchPage.htm
Tell others — Look at your community and relationships. Recruit others to work with you on social justice issues. Through awareness, we can recognize and respond.
Be mindful of what you’re buying — Are the things that you’re buying being made by actual slaves? Find out at: http://slaveryfootprint.org/.
More ways to join the fight — Read the U.S. Department of State's 20 Ways You Can Fight Human Trafficking: http://www.state.gov/j/tip/id/help/index.htm
Come to Northland at Longwood on Thursday, September 6, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., room 4213, for the Human Trafficking and Immigration Learning Group and together, let's move forward in this movement to end slavery. I hope you'll continue to follow this blog for updates, informational videos, stories and practical steps that you can take to make a difference right where you are!