How Your Church Can Combat Human Trafficking: Three Ways to Love the Vulnerable
There are 40 million modern day slaves in the world today – this fact can be incredibly overwhelming.
You may have heard this statistic years ago, or maybe last month when you read our previous blog post about how you can help human trafficking victims. Regardless of where we hear about human trafficking, we cannot unhear it, and it becomes a truth that changes our hearts, making them either harder or softer.
Because of the magnitude of the issue, there is a chance you might say to yourself, “I am one person. What on earth can I do about it?” The beautiful reality is that in a world where we are more connected than ever, the answer is, “One person can rescue many!”
Thanks to the media we are more aware of and connected to the issues going on in the world. But being aware is only half the battle. There is a great need for concerted response, because human trafficking is one of the largest, fastest-growing criminal enterprises the world has ever known. In some places in the world, while trafficking might be illegal, there are generations of precedent that are difficult to overturn. Additionally, political power and influence may override the law when it benefits certain parties. For these reasons, we urge a strategic focus on those most often trafficked – vulnerable girls and women – in the places where the practice is prevalent.
One of the greatest assets anyone has in the battle against human trafficking is connection. One’s sphere of influence – the circles they run in and the people they interact with on a regular basis – can be a catalyst for great change. There is no greater potential for tremendous impact in the world than people who are activated in the local church, and many churches who have partnered with She Is Safe have stepped into this life-saving opportunity. Some partner with us to support a specific country, contributing to significant widespread change. One such church has changed the lives of countless girls through their support of our income-generating alternative programs in Nepal, keeping girls safe in their community instead of trafficked into the brothels of India. Some support She Is Safe as a whole, impacting the big picture of trafficking in the hardest places where we work. And all of them unite with us in prayer for the world’s most vulnerable girls and women living under the darkness of abuse and exploitation.
While your church may not be doing anything related to anti-trafficking yet, there is a lot that you can do to help connect them to this work and get others involved in it as well. In fact, most churches are longing to support and empower their people who are drawn to combat the world’s injustice. If stepping into this type of work is on your heart, there are a few things you can do:
There is a good chance you are the common denominator in all of your circles. There may be a few who overlap with you, but when it comes to your neighborhood, school system, workplace, social clubs, or church, there might not be another person who is in all of those places. That is why you have the unique opportunity to bring this type of need to the attention of people you know. You can encourage your church to give its platform to these issues; you can host informational nights; you can share information with people you know and point them to organizations like She Is Safe; you can post articles on social media or simply reference stories in the news to bring them to people’s attention. The platforms are there! You are in a unique position to speak up and advocate for those in the world who are most vulnerable: women and girls in least-reached places. Raising awareness might not be the only thing to do, but it is a major one. We cannot address the needs of the world without people recognizing what is at stake. But once we do recognize it, there is something else we can do.
For the past nineteen years, She Is Safe has been working in countries where trafficking is commonplace. Women and girls are abused and sold with impunity, and yet every year we see more girls safe, free and equipped to become the women that God created them to be! To help accomplish this, it is shockingly affordable to be a part of transforming a life. On average, it costs less than $1 a day each month with She Is Safe to protect or restore one girl. Every dollar is leveraged – preventing girls and women from ever being trafficked and rescuing and restoring those who have been used. 80 percent of She Is Safe’s budget goes directly to helping the girls and women who need it most, and last year She Is Safe impacted more than 73,000 lives through our programs. Because the need is so great, inviting others into this mission creates the opportunity to multiply this impact like a chain of freedom, not only freeing and equipping women and girls, but nurturing in them the new life that lasts forever. When women and girls see their value to God, that identity helps them believe that everything can be made different for them by God who loves them. That is why people of faith are crucial in the freedom and healing of the whole person.
Since the stakes are of eternal proportions, the church is uniquely positioned to exercise faith and pray on behalf of those who are lost, marginalized and mistreated. At our core, we believe that we are to cry out to God to intervene, and that He answers our prayers. This is a way that churches can absolutely engage, inviting people to learn the realities of what these girls and women endure and to intercede on their behalf – that they would be protected and know the God who loves them.
There is so much need in this broken world, and God is moving people to respond. The cry is, “Please move me to take action. Break my heart for the things that break Yours.” If you find yourself longing to participate in making more women and girls safe, free and equipped to become the women that God created them to be, there are great opportunities for you and your church to help rescue and restore those who are most abused in the world today!
To learn more about connecting your church with She Is Safe, visit https://sheissafe.org/church-engagement/.