Prayers of Justice and Awareness to End Slavery

This week I was training new volunteers to work in our prevention program with children. In each training we ask questions about trafficking cases to find out where our audience stands on knowledge and understanding of human trafficking. And to find out if they blame the victim for being trafficked.

Our questions are:

  1. What happened to make the victim vulnerable?
  2. What could have happened to prevent the victim from being trafficked?
  3. Do you think the victim is at fault?

Sometimes the responses are shocking. Like “Why didn’t they just escape?” As if I trafficker made it easy for someone to escape. One of the most common answers to question #2 is to raise awareness. Now I know that awareness is still necessary, but I live in the United States and many people know about human trafficking and slavery. They have seen a movie, watched a crime show or read a novel that depicted slavery.

The problem with awareness is no one seems to be connecting the dots. And I am not positive that the “Hollywood” version of trafficked victim hasn’t done more harm than good. The dots have to be connected if we want to see real change. This week our prayers are going to focus on these three questions by praying for the opposite.

Protected:

  • Father, help people who are in vulnerable situations to be protected. Keep them safe and away from those who would seek to exploit them. Psalm 27:5
  • Provide for their basic needs. Jobs, food, and medical care. Philippians 4:19 
  • God please help children who are in dangerous situations to be found before they are exploited. Let intervention happen quickly. Psalm 12:7

Justice:

  • God bring justice to victims of human trafficking. Amos 5:24
  • Expose any corruption that is stopping justice. Court systems, law enforcement and Government officials. Leviticus 19:15
  • Help victims of trafficking to be seen as victims and not criminalized. Genesis 16:13

Freedom:

  • Reveal anyone who are trapped in slavery. Ephesians 5:11
  • Help victims find freedom that are trapped by threats and coercion. Luke 4:18
  • Jesus, help them to find healing physically, spiritually and mentally. John 8:32 Galatians 5:1

Please remember to continue to pray for the girls still enslaved in Nigeria. #bringbackourgirls. Thank you for standing with us in prayer we know your prayers are changing the world.

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Literacy

Lack of Education

Poverty

Fatherless homes

Abuse

Homelessness

Unemployment

These are factors that make children and teens vulnerable to trafficking. I have worked to stop human trafficking and help victims for years now. And the one common factor that seems the same in ever story is an area of vulnerability. Ever circumstance was different and never story is exactly the same.

But ever person was vulnerable; many times with the minor victims in the U.S. they were looking for someone to fill the need for love. A male figure who provided a physical need as well as an emotional one.

When I have worked with victims from other countries unemployment was one of the factors. They were promised a job and believed traffickers who are very good at deceiving people. Only to find out they will not be paid and are forced to work 12-16 hours a day under complete control.

The worst to me is child trafficking. I have met and seen children that are forced into sex trafficking and labor trafficking. As a child the adults around you should protect and keep you safe but when there is no one to protect you, you are lost. In Asia, mothers sell their children into brothels or allow their children to do the same work they have done their whole life.

When I child gets rescued from trafficking it is just there first moment of freedom. But to have true and lasting freedom they must walk the long journey of healing. It is difficult. When you hear that an 8 or 9-year-old has been freed from trafficking. You are happy but you also have a pit in your stomach. Because you know that child was not protected, she or he was sold into a life of slavery for the pleasure of someone else. You know the dignity of that child was ripped away, gratefully we have Jesus who paid a price for freedom, physically, spiritually and mentally.

Ways we can prevent human trafficking are to address these issues of literacy, education, poverty, abuse, homeless teens and employment. And to teach people that God is a Father to the fatherless. That God always wanted them and they were never a mistake.

 A Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.God sets the lonely in families,he leads out the prisonerswith singing;
 but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

Psalm 68:5

 

 

 

 

 

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Prayers of Justice for the Enslaved

A girl in our outreach showing her mask off.

Countries around the world have laws that mandate slavery as illegal yet slavery still exist and generates a lot of money. Some statistics say as high as 32 billion dollars a year. And every country in the world has made slavery illegal. This clearly means there are major gaps in the laws that exist and the enforcement of the laws.

In the last 4 years of working in counter trafficking I can say that prejudicial treatment against victims, women, children, race, caste, education level can all result in the victim being blamed and the trafficker never brought to justice. So this week we are going to pray and ask God for change for the victims and for those that need justice.

Courts:

  • Justice: That court cases around the world would not show partiality to anyone because of funding, social stasis, race or religion but be objective and reflect justice. Exodus 23:2
  • Judges and juries: The judges and juries who are assigned to trafficking cases would be informed about slavery and the complexities with trafficking victims. They would have God’s wisdom in each case. Exodus 23:6
  • Lawyers: God would provide lawyers to fight for freedom. They would be anointed to try each human trafficking case they are given. Ezra 7:10

Laws:

  • New laws: Any gaps in laws that deal with human trafficking would be addressed and changed. Psalm 119:7
  • Current laws: Laws that exist would be enforced and judicial systems would pursue cases of human trafficking. Leviticus 18:5Leviticus 25:18
  • Change laws: Any laws that criminalize the victim would be exposed and changed. Laws around the world would reflect Christ justice and heart for people. Psalm 119:108

Enforcement

  • Victims: Any victims that are enslaved because of unjust laws or lack of enforcement of those laws would be found and freed. Luke 4:18
  • Justice: Victims of trafficking would have justice. Traffickers would be prosecuted for there crimes. Sentences would be a deterrent for others.
  • Police and Judicial Systems: They would pursue cases and enforce current laws and not blame the victim for the criminal.

Thank you for praying for justice and freedom. We would also ask you to continue to pray for the 250 girls still missing in Nigeria to be found and the trafficker brought to justice.

 

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Effects of Forced Labor on Society

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The effects of forced labor on society can be found in various forms in economy, social development and within a cultures belief systems. For example a prevention program where we work with at-risk children ages 5-18 for girls and boys which runs for the entire year is less than a third of the budget for one victim. Our budget to reach thirty children is roughly $1000 which includes meals during the program. But to provide for one victim in the United States cost over $40,000. One of the effects of forced labor on society is the simple economics of the problem. When someone is enslaved they are unable to participate in the economy leaving a gap.

“21 million victims in forced labour and the more than US $150 billion in illegal profits generated by their work exceeds the population and GDP of many countries or territories around the world.”

International Labor Union “Profits and Poverty: The economics of Forced Labor”

The ethical and moral issues concerning human trafficking on our society are devastating.    Nothing good comes from the exploitation of another human being. When cultures become accustom to human rights abuses then a break down happens within that society, and injustice and corruption become an acceptable occurrence. If we look into countries where the acceptance of slavery assist’s we see the effects on that society. Haiti is a example of the devastating effects of human trafficking. The culture norm within Haiti to have a “Restaveks” (a child forced into domestic servitude) is an acceptable part of their society. They are also one of the poorest nations in the world. {Please note this year Haiti has made an effort to change by enacting new laws to stop human trafficking.}

“Authorities have also reported regularly seeing trucks full of children heading for the border, as well as “mobile brothel” trucks containing people in prostitution, driving from town to town and across the Haitian-Dominican Republic border.”

UNHCR

I believe one of the worst and most devastating effects that forced labor has on society is the loss of dignity. When a person losses their dignity that enables them to treat and react to themselves and others in ways in which strips society of dignity. Many of the women that I have worked with who are survivors of sex trafficking returned to “the life” even after they found freedom. The reason they gave was that was what they knew, and who was going to hire them. They had lost their sense of dignity and until they started to regain that dignity, they continued with what they knew. Prostitution.

In a society if we are able to respect and treat others with dignity and ask other countries to do the same then human trafficking and slavery would decrease instead of increase in the coming years. To stand up and say that slavery anywhere is not tolerated and to react to victims of human trafficking with honor and give them back the dignity they deserve.

As a Christian I believe that our dignity is within knowing who we are in Christ. And not who we were in the past. The dictionary meaning of the word dignity means, the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect and a sense of pride in oneself; self-respect. Who else could show us we are worthy than Christ. He paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and to return our dignity, if He did that then we should never take away another persons dignity.

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Prayers to End Forced Labor

Forced Labor
Many times people talk about sex trafficking and never mention domestic servitude when they are raising awareness about human trafficking. But the reality is both are slavery and both are forced labor. This week our prayers will be for freedom for those enslaved around the world in forced or bonded slavery.

Children around the world are caught in forced labor from fishing boats in Asia to cocoa fields in Africa, to young girls in America and India that are trapped in domestic servitude. The International Labor Union says that 12.5 million people are trapped in forced labor around the world.

This week we will be focusing on freedom for those that seem invisible, action for those who can bring freedom and healing for survivors.

Freedom: God bring a bring light to shine in the darkness and let those living in forced labor to be found and freed. Galatians 5:1, Psalm 146:7

Action: Move in a powerful way for individuals to report any trafficking they are seeing. Let law enforcement and the judicial system to take action to bring freedom and justice for people enslaved. Jeremiah 7:3, Romans 12:9, Galatians 6:3-5

Healing: Jesus bring physical, emotional and spiritual healing to people that have been freed from slavery. Let them come to know you as their Savor and transform their minds. Isaiah 58:8, Jeremiah 33:3, Matthew 4:23.

Thank you for joining us in prayer we know that your prayers are changing the world.

 

 

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Five things you can do to stop the sexualization of society

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The “White Ribbon Campaign Against Pornography” has raised awareness about the link between pornography and sex trafficking. At Prayer For Freedom through-out this week our prayers have been focused on freedom for victims that are trapped in the underworld of porn.

In the short three and a half years of listening to heart broken girls looking for a way to restore their lives after horrific stories of abuse, I can honestly say that porn has played a role in almost ever story. As I have met, talked and prayed with victims of sex trafficking and survivors of sexual abuse the most common threads has been the link between pornography and their abuser. Many pimps have used pornographic images to control victims, this is very common way to control younger victims of sex slavery. Some have forced girls into making porn, and others have desensitized victims by showing them porn.

But how does this effect us and our daily lives?

How does it effect you?

I remember hearing a survivor in California talk about looking for clothes for her four-year-old daughter. She said it takes her double the amount of time to find something that isn’t sexualized for her little girl then the short time it takes to shop for appropriate cloths for her boys. The shorts are too short, the sweat pants have something written across the rear like “juicy.” Currently, clothing companies are marketing sexy underwear to Tweens (kids ages 10-13.) This is one way the industry has effected normal society.

It doesn’t seem real that we would allow children to be thrown into a world they are not able to comprehend. By letting kids be exposed to adult thinking and mentality. But I believe change can happen, we have seen it happen in the few years that we have been combating human trafficking. Laws have gotten tougher against traffickers, people are more aware of the problem and churches are pursuing justice more than ever before. So here are five action steps you can take to bring change.

Five things you can do to bring change.

  1. Teach kids self esteem in who they are and not how they look.
  2. Teach boys and girls the value of purity.
  3. Stop buying into porn.
  4. Raise your voice to stop culture from sexualizing kids and women.
  5. Pray for change.

I think almost everyone can take these few steps to bring change and I think the next generation can be one that will stand up for purity.

 

 

 

 

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Prayers to End Slavery

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In Joshua 1:9 the Bible says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

As we stand in prayer to end slavery there are two things we have to be, strong and courageous. Strong in our fight to continue no matter what statistics we read or when we look into the eyes of children that are or have being trafficked. And courageous to know, God is fighting the battle before us for those enslaved.

These two words have been the theme for this year and I can honestly say this year I have seen more injustice than I ever knew existed. I have met and prayed with girls that have been raped by fathers, forced into sex slavery and other girls that have no tangible hope for a future. Through all of it I have known more hope and faith in God, I have seen God speak to children longing for hope. I’ve seen angry boys choose Jesus and start to find joy; I have seen girls 8 and 9 years old forgive the people who raped them. Miracles of God, and signs that God will be with us wherever we go. Join us this week to pray for more miracles.

Abolitionist:

▪   God give all the people that are fighting for freedom strength and courage to continue. Joshua 1:9

▪   Provide financial security for there work. Isaiah 58:11

▪   God protect everyone that is standing up for victims. Psalm 42:3

Freedom For Children

▪   God bring freedom to children that are trapped in slavery. Romans 8:21

▪   Give them courage and strength to never give up hope. Joshua 1:9

▪   Any death or curses that might have been spoken over them replace with life and truth through Jesus. Psalm 56:13

Change in Society

▪   Empathy and compassion would be shown towards victims of slavery. Psalm 102:13

▪   Children would be valued by Society.

▪   Revival would begin in places renown for human trafficking. John 4:43-45

Remember as you face the challenges and problems of this week that God says, “be strong and courageous” He is fighting for you wherever you go. Thank you for taking time to pray for freedom for those enslaved your prayers are changing the world.

 

 

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The invisible world of slavery and it’s visible face

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1

Daily, I sit and pray that God would change a World that I generally never see, the invisible World of forced child labor. It was almost four years ago now that I heard slavery still existed, and almost every part of my life had been touched by slavery. My cheap coffee picked by slaves, the cotton in my summer pants harvested by elementary school children in Uzbekistan. My weekly chocolate treats from children in the Ivory Coast, the parts in my laptop or smart phone fueling funds for child soldiers. This is the invisible world I have never seen, yet my life is joined to theirs.

What if this invisible world I cannot see is a part of a very real and spiritual world that is created by my decisions to look only at what I can see?

I can see my coffee, chocolate, smart phone and laptop. I cannot see the way or means in which they were harvested or built.  But I must ethically ask the question. Do my decisions bring others a life of slavery? And if so what are the consequences of my sins on myself and the world around me?

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Ephesians 6:12

Now I know that slavery has a face and a name. Many times it is the visible face of a child, as I write this on my laptop I pray that if any child was forced into slavery because of my purchase they would find freedom. That God would bring the invisible freedom they long for a reality. Slavery does not have to be invisible or visible anymore in today’s world. If we are praying for God’s will on the earth then we have to fight for freedom. In the kingdom of heaven there are no slaves. Now I buy what I know to be fair trade, and I pray and ask God for intervention on the part of children trapped in slavery. What I buy and what I pray can change the World.

How have you identified slavery in your life?

Here is a way you can find out how many slaves are estimated to be working for you at Slavery Foot Print.

Please continue to stand in prayer with us for the school girls in Nigeria. #bringbackourgirls We must never forget these girls and continue to fight for justice and there freedom.

 

 

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Prayers to End Slavery

A girl in our outreach showing her mask off.

 

Thank you all for standing with us in prayer to end slavery, we know your prayers are changing the world. As we stand in prayer this week to fight against this horrific human right abuse our prayers will be focused upon prevention.

One of the main problems of human trafficking that we have currently seen is the prejudice that people have against the victims. Maybe a victim of human trafficking made a unwise decision that still cannot justify the actions of the trafficker. An example, a 14-year-old girl was at the mall it was closing time and it was raining outside. No one showed up to pick her up; she was in and out of Child Protective Services. I man in his late 20’s drove up and persuaded her to get in the car. She was raped given drugs and sold for two weeks.

When the case came to court the man was given probation. I believe the prejudice against the girl and the decision she made to get in the car were factors in court case. We can’t justify evil by one person’s bad decision. We cannot justify wrong. When I read this story I was infuriated, it makes no sense that a child could be seen as the one at fault. I started to read comments about the story, and many people felt that she should have known better than to get in the car. This is a dangerous way of justifying wrong. It is also one of the reasons that children are being criminalized when they should be seen as the victim.

This week we will share more stories about this injustice that is happening in the court system and around the world. As we learn about injustice we have to remember that our hope is always in Jesus and when we pray change happens.

Prevention:

  • God help children and vulnerable populations know the dangers of human trafficking and the ways traffickers deceive. Psalm 5:11Psalm 111:10
  • Wisdom & Decisions: Help children and families to make wise decisions about their children’s future. Deuteronomy 4:6
  • Let awareness be raised in high-risk communities. Nehemiah 4:15

Justice:

  • Decriminalization of Victims: Help victims to be seen without prejudice, regardless of race, gender, economic background, caste or village they are from. Proverbs 18:5
  • Expose Corruption: Bring to light corruption happening that causes victims to be criminalized. 2 Peter 1:4John 8:12
  • Convictions: Let traffickers be caught and brought to justice. Psalm 5:4, Proverbs 21:15

Healing:

  • Mentally: God heal victims that have suffered mentally by isolation, exclusion and criminalization. Reveal your love to each one of them. Isaiah 58:8
  • Physically: Heal victims of human trafficking of all physical pain they have received through being enslaved. Heal them of HIV, or any diseases they have contracted. Matthew 4:23Luke 9:6
  • Spiritually: Let them know the love of Jesus and His resurrection power to heal all of their suffering. Heal any broken heart they have suffered from the abuse. Jeremiah 33:6

Thank you for praying with us at Prayer for Freedom, we are so grateful for you and your prayers. We are also praying that you will know God’s love in a deeper way. Join us this week as we continue to address the issue of criminalization of victims and how we can bring change.

 

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Things to Remember When Praying for Freedom

When you look at statistics and numbers in the fight against human trafficking and slavery they are tragic and daunting. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime states that only one out of every one hundred victims are freed from slavery, 99 will die enslaved. Out of that number 80% are women and children sold for sex slavery. In the short three years that I have fought to bring awareness, advocate and help survivors of human trafficking the one thing I know that has worked the best is prayer. Only God knows each persons name, He knows how many hairs are on every head. This week in prayer for the end of slavery I was reading the story of Habakkuk, how no matter what the circumstances looked like he prayed from a place of knowing God. Our prayers have to come from that same place, an understanding that God can do all things.

Habakkuk’s Prayer is so encouraging that no matter what circumstances may be, what they look like. God will always be God. Three things the prayer of Habakkuk taught me:

  1. Rejoice in God
  2. Remember to have joy
  3. Realize God is my strength

Rejoice, Remember and Realize that God can end slavery all I need to do is ask in faith and for the other 99 to freed. I cannot do it myself, nor can one person or organization but God can do anything. And His love for the victims is greater than mine.

I know this because the Bible says, nothing can separate us from His love. “Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39.

We are praying for you to know the love of God daily. To rejoice, remember and realize that nothing can separate you from His love. Thank you for praying with us to end slavery your prayers are changing the World.

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