Posted by: JennyRain | April 10, 2007

Setting the Captives Free: Sex Trafficking Hits Home

I have been empowered to share good news with the economically and spiritually poor. It is the good news of holistic salvation. For those with a broken heart, I have come to bind up your wounds and redeem your suffering and make you whole again. I have come to set the captives free, those who are downtrodden and oppressed, those who are distressed in spirit, who are mourning, I am here to comfort, deliver, and redeem you. Those who are struggling with poverty of soul, Spirit, and can not fill the empty place inside, though they have tried everything, I have come to give you life again. (Isaiah 61:1-3 rephrase)

I have come that they might have Life.

This last week has been a dichotomy of opposites. First we endure the sorrow of “Good” Friday and the death of Christ. Then we enjoy the celebration of new life with His resurrection at Easter. Death and Life all in one week. An observation of these opposites in the textual gospel makes them appear static until we realize that death and life are occurring all around us, sometimes simultaneously.

Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. (John 12:24 MSG)

Sometimes in order to see the potential for new life one must first stare into the abyss of death. Staring into death is not an easy process and most of us want to avoid it – fearful that it might be “catchy” or “rub off.”

Two weeks ago I was exposed to an area of death that is spreading across our globe and this creeping blackness has since invaded my being. It was a tragedy that I am ashamed to say has been knocking at the back door of Atlanta for decades and I have been completely unaware of its existence.

When you do not know that death is standing before you, you can not see the face and possibilities of life behind it.

This area of death? Sex trafficking of young people. Georgia has an extremely high rate of sex trafficking. Partially because we have a very large, international transportation vehicle (Hartsfield-Jackson international airport) and partially because many of us have allowed ourselves to stay ignorant to this issue. So here’s some new light on the subject:

Trafficked: People, often young children, who have been sold into sexual slavery/prostitution.


Human Trafficking:


Did you know that right in our own back yard,

  • Last year alone, Atlanta police arrested 35 pimps and 294 people suspected of trafficking, including 24 juveniles.
  • The average age of children being exploited locally is 14-16, with one found as young as 10. See: www.womensagenda.com/hiddeninplainview.pdf
  • The city’s vice unit tracks more than 300 Web sites for escort services, and many of them offer girls for sex.
  • Georgia is a source and a transit country for trafficking in both men and women. Georgians are mostly trafficked to Turkey, Greece, Israel, and Western Europe for work in bars, domestic service, and prostitution. Russian and Ukrainian women are trafficked through Georgia to Turkey. (US Dept. of State, Trafficking in Persons Report, July 12, 2001)
  • US Statistics: www.humantrafficking.org/countries/united_states_of_america
  • Links to World-wide statistics and studies: www.ncsconline.org/wc/CourTopics/ResourceGuide.asp?topic=FamVio&guide=6

Links to Help (There are thousands of sites, these are simply a few)

A LOCAL OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK OUT: Please mark your calendars for the Saturday after Easter, Saturday April 14, and join the people of North Avenue Presbyterian and the interfaith group dealing with how people of faith can respond to the exploitation of children in our city at North Avenue Presbyterian Church, 607 Peachtree Street. See this link for more details:

http://rccatl.wji.com/tiki-read_article.php?articleId=128

I have chosen to write about this issue because blogging is one way that I can begin to educate myself and others in finding ways to bring Life to those who are currently stuck in cycles of Death. Christ has come not only to give me new Life, but to share His Life-giving social justice with others.

If there are ways that we can collectively or individually help to “set the captives free” and help deliver them from death to life, should we not become a voice for those who do not have one?

Habakkuk 2:2: Then the LORD answered me and said, “Record the vision and make it plain, that the one who reads it may run.”


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