Season of Joy?
The holiday season is often referred to a “season of joy”...and for many it is. It’s a season of celebrating the greatest event in human history, where the God of the universe humbled Himself into human form so that He could live a sinless life, be crucified, buried and rise again for the salvation of the world. That alone is a reason to celebrate! In addition to what we celebrate, God has given us this season as a time of great food and drink, time with family, reminiscing memories, and so many other things. For others, it’s a season of sadness, a season of depression, a season of wishing for a better life.
For some, it’s a season of indescribable sadness…
The team at Rescue America recently had the opportunity to lead a survivor to freedom from sexual exploitation. Cierra was forced to watch as her pimp set someone on fire and made her watch…it wrecked me to read her story…
I wish that this type of story was an exception…but after spending almost a year in this industry, after hearing story after story, I have come to realize that this is the norm…not the exception.
As somebody who isn’t much of a crier, I was a complete mess for the first month I worked at Rescue America. My wife can attest...
I looked at the stats, for example, 62% of victims of sexual exploitation have PTSD rates at the same level as combat veterans, and I read so many heart wrenching stories. I didn’t realize that 1) the problem of sex trafficking was so prevalent in the US and 2) that it happens EVERYWHERE, including in very affluent neighborhoods. Including yours.
This became very clear to me recently, when I saw sex trafficking happening during a simple run to a drug store just down the street from my house. It was a wake up call for me. I didn’t think that it was this close, but it is.
Rescue America was formed in 2014, and in the nearly seven years that we’ve been in existence we’ve come to realize that it is VERY close. It is everywhere. Our research shows that there are more sex trafficking points of sale then there are Starbucks in the US. Think about that for a second. How many Starbucks do you see driving around your local community? For every one that you see, there are more points of sale for sex trafficking. It’s horrifying. To my point above, it messes you up as you realize how bad it is.
About a year ago, I accepted a new role to move into the role of VP of Development at Rescue America. It was a very clear call from God. As someone who can get very comfortable, and also as someone who can be very stubborn, God made it VERY CLEAR that I was supposed to join this fight.
I am definitely not an expert. I learn every day more and more about the problem of sex trafficking in America. But I can tell you that there is definitely an upside to being in this fight. You see, our God is a God of redemptive solutions. I have witnessed time and time again, especially in this season of COVID-19, how our God does provide redemptive solutions. I’ve come to realize that He uses people like you and me to solve this problem. I’ve had the opportunity to meet 100s of like-minded people since joining this fight! Everyone from the incredibly busy parents struggling with educating their kids from home, to the retired couple who has worked so hard to get to the point of retirement, but is feeling empty.
The truth is that God can use ANYONE to provide the redemptive solution. All it takes is an open heart to His will for your life. I’ve seen many people share or comment or share a social media post. And we need this! However, as we continue to fight this fight against this atrocity in our society, we need people who take the NEXT step…a step beyond just liking or commenting on a post. We need fighters. We need an army to fight for the hundreds of thousands of victims trapped in the life of sexual exploitation!
As we enter this season, I invite you to ask God how He would use you to join this fight.
If you are interested in learning more, please click here and sign up to learn more. You’ll receive an introductory series which unpacks more about who we are, and how we fit into the anti-trafficking landscape.