Prayers of Freedom for Girls Held as Slaves by Terrorist

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On October the 17th new reports came out that the government of Nigeria and the terrorist group Boko Haram have proclaimed a cease fire and will negotiate the release of the 217 girls that are still held captive. This week we want to stand in prayer that these girls will be released. #bringbackourgirls

These girls have been held in captive for six months by the group. We have continued to pray and not forget these girls and their families during this time and we will continue to believe in God to bring freedom to them and safe return. We will also believe that all the trauma they have received will be held, and their families will be able to move forward and look to their future’s. That each girl will know the healing power of Jesus. And what the devil intended to destroy in their lives will be restored a thousand fold and justice will be done.

Release:

  • The Nigerian school girls and the children in the Middle East would be freed from their captors. Isaiah 61:1
  • Children would be able to escape safely from militants who have abducted them.Psalm 68:20
  • Intervention would happen so children would be released from captivity. Psalm 124:7 Psalm 18:2

Freedom:

  • Rescue: People that are enslaved would be freed. 2 Timothy 4:18
  • Restoration: Victims would know complete restoration through Christ Jesus. Amos 9:11
  • Revival: Jesus change hearts around the world and bring revival that brings freedom to the enslaved. Luke 1:17Acts 15:9

Justice:

  • Militants would be brought to justice and not be able to terrorize any children.
  • Governments would stand up against the militants and not be afraid to take a stand for justice and boldness. Psalm 3:6 Joshua 1:9
  • Militants would be unable to obtain guns and weapons. Proverbs 21:15
  • Miracles of conversions, militants would get a revelation of Jesus and stop hurting children.

Thank you for standing with us in prayer as we pray with all our hearts that these 217 girls and the children throughout the Middle East will be freed from their captors.

 

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Inequality and Slavery

The feet of slaves

Right now there are 29 million slaves in the world and 80% of those are women and girls. Many from remote or poor areas of the world. Poverty, lack of education and unemployment are all factors in human trafficking and inequality.

When we look at the statistics we need to ask the question, Why so many women and girls? Eighty percent are female, that’s unprecedented. And it shows the imbalance in gender issues that happens in the world today.

October 14th marked six month anniversary of the kidnapping of 276 school-girls in Nigeria, out of those over 200 are still in captivity to the terrorist group Bako Haram. In the Middle East the tourist group ISIS had abducted girls and sold them as sex slaves for $10.00.

What needs to happen for real change and equality in the world?

I believe it’s the question of value. We have to value women, children and men. No one group should be left out. Regardless of where they are from, how they are educated, what size they are, small or big, short or tall, or regardless of skin color. None of these things should matter.

In Galatians 3:28 it says,

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

At the core the essence of this verse states that we are all equal in Jesus. We are all one and seen as equals to Jesus.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights says,

“”All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

If we truly believe these words then change and transformation could happen in the world.

For equality we must value all people and chose equality. Treating people with dignity regardless of circumstance or opinion. But this wont be enough to stand against inequality in the world. We must seek equality for those who are marginalized, or those who do not realize others are out there waiting to take advantage.

One day as I was driving home from teaching in our prevention program called “Not My Generation: Slavery” the thought came in my mind, “right now there are children around the world living as slave’s.” My heart was sickened; here in the 21st century we are still fighting the battle of injustice, inequality and slavery. Something that should have been in the past, yet there are more slaves today then at any other time in history.

What can you do?

You can do something to bring change. Start by seeing people as equals and stand up for those who don’t know or cannot stand up for themselves.

Right now you can sign a petition asking for the Nigerian Government to take action against the terrorist group to return the school girls. Click here to sign, Amnesty International

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Prayers for Justice in Court Systems Around the World

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The judicial system is crucial to end slavery and create an atmosphere of freedom. Right now in courts around the world victims are seen as criminals and many times they never see justice. This week we will pray in faith for change and transformation around the world for places that are in need of justice.

One of the common factors that obstructs justice is prejudice and social inequality. In India for example justice is denied many times to women, in the Middle East rape victims can be put in jail. Injustice, so what happens when a girl is trafficked and sold as a slave. She many times is the very one that is criminalized, although small changes are happening we still have a long way to go.

Join us this week to ask God to change court systems, laws and bring freedom to those that have been victim to injustice.

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

Freedom:

  • Victims freed: Any victims that are enslaved because of unjust laws would be found and freed. Luke 4:18
  • Strength: Survivors and victims would have the courage and strength to stand up for justice. They would be freed from the fear of facing their trafficker. Deuteronomy 31:6
  • Survivors: Would find peace and know Christ redemptive power. Ephesians 1:7

Thank you for joining us to pray for the end of slavery. We know that your prayers are changing the world.

 

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Connected: Child Slavery in America

IMG_3259Connected, I am not sure if their has ever been a time in history where people could be more connected? I mean Ebola in West Africa has made it’s way to the state where I live in America. It is said that a toddler was the first one to contract the virus after playing in the dirt. And fast forward a year later and thousands of miles away a person in died of the same virus. We are connected.

You might be asking what does that have to do with slavery or me? Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” It was like he looked into the future when he said that. We are so interconnected now that I can run to the store and buy fish that comes directly from Thailand. Where the fishing industry is known to use immigrants from neighboring countries and exploit them into slaves. Many children.

Where different locations around the world are known for child sex tourism. Places like Atalanta, New Orleans, or Central America.

We are connected, as thousands of people leaving countries where violence and exploitation is their future. They are seeking refuge in a place they believe is safe and will welcome them with open arms. But the reality is many have fallen victim to human traffickers. Because they were seeking refuge.

What is the solution? Well I believe prayer is essential, it’s also our heartbeat at Prayer For Freedom. It’s the one way we have seen the miraculous happen in a matter of hours. The other is putting feet to our words, when we say more awareness is necessary then we go out and raise awareness. When we hear that children need to be educated, then we go out and teach our children. Prayers and action are integral parts to ending slavery.

Here are a few things you can do right now to stop slavery.

  • Know the signs and call the hotline number National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888 in the US click here to find your countries.
  • Stop with the PORN. No joke research says that porn fuels slavery. #noporn
  • Pray to end slavery.
  • Talk to your kids about traffickers. If your child has been to a mall, amusement park, Starbucks, Elementary, Middle orHigh-School and/or on Facebook then they have been where pimps (aka Traffickers) hang out to find new slaves. Don’t want to freak any parents out but talk to your kids.
  • Report Child Abuse, statistics are anywhere from 60-98% of kids who were trafficked have previously been sexually abused as children. Intervention is key.

These are just a few ways that you can bring change to end child slavery. And I know that everyone can do something. If you have helped end child trafficking please let us know so we can share your ways of bringing change.

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Prayers to End Child Slavery

IMG_1171In 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. Please continue to pray for the girls in Nigeria for their freedom, hope and healing. #bringbackourgirls.

 

 

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A look into slavery around the World

The number of slaves estimated in the world.

The number of slaves estimated in the world.

Top 10 countries notorious for slavery, Mauritania, Haiti, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Gabon and Moldova. These countries have the highest prevalence of slavery. Although, other countries have higher number of slaves like Thailand, Burma (Myanmar) and several others nations. New research in 2013 revealed this and the fact there are 29 million people living in slavery.

These countries might be your own nation, or a distant land. It might be far away from you or right next door. Regardless, don’t think for one moment that slavery doesn’t touch your life no matter how far away it might be or how close. Chocolate is one example. I enjoy eating chocolate and I’m sure I am not alone in that. In 2013 billions of dollars were made through selling chocolate. Hershey’s alone sold over 5 billion. Out of the 20 plus countries that I have traveled too all sold tasty tidbits of chocolate. And few people dislike it. Where does a significant amount of cocoa come from? Africa, and 20% comes from the Cote d’ Ivoire. Which was named as having one of the highest levels of slavery.  The reasons this country was named is because of forced child labor in the cocoa fields. But as awareness about chocolate started to be raised in 2010, companies like Hershey’s said they would make sure by 2020 all cocoa beans they buy would be ethically harvested. Through a certification process. Nestle is also creating a sustainable plan to help farmers and illuminate child labor. They have built a number of schools to help ensure education to the children in many villages. All of this is wonderful and progress is good, but still their are an estimated 600,000 children still working in the cocoa fields of Cote d’ Ivoire. A system of slavery and generations of using child labor, hunger and poverty continue to be reasons that children are still enslaved. Solutions are not easy but we must face these issues with thoughtfulness and determined resolution to fight for freedom. To insure that the lives of children on the tip of the equator are just as important as our children. Would you let your own children harvest cocoa in dangerous conditions and not go to school? Many people believe boycotting a product is a solution that will bring change, and many times it does. But sadly it can also make those most vulnerable even more at risk and puts others at risk as well. Expressing to a company that you want to buy only what is ethically produced. Thanking companies that are committed to supply chain transparency, and development of long lasting plans that hopes to bring change for the future of their country. Holding companies like Hershey’s accountable to the promise they made and requesting to be informed on progress towards that goal. These are solutions that can affect lasting change. As you sit down today to enjoy your little taste of chocolate remember, from the bean to your mouth many people have been part of the process. Hopefully, none of the process involved children. Please continue to pray for the freedom of children in Cote d’ Ivoire and all of the people that might be living in slavery in that country. And remember to hold companies accountable to how their supply chain is monitored.

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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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