Today, January 11th, is National Global Human Trafficking Awareness Day (NGHTAD), as set forth by a resolution passed by the US Senate on June 22, 2007, to mark January 11th as a day of awareness and vigilance for the countless victims of Human Trafficking across the globe.
As I write this, and as you read it, we are mostly free. Mostly free to do whatever we want. I say “mostly,” because we are limited in part by our circumstances, and our natures. Many others are not free at all, being oppressed by those stronger than them.
While we might think real freedom is being able to do whatever we want, true freedom is wanting to do what God wants. God wants to set the world right again, and in Jesus this is coming true. He somehow has chosen His people to be part of it. So we join with the Creator in breaking down the walls of injustice and embodying the life of Jesus as He sets the captives free. Though all will be made right on the last day, we do not have to wait for heaven to see justice breaking in.
Many in this area are shocked to learn that Portland is a hub of human trafficking, young kids being sold as sex slaves, particularly teen and pre-teen girls. Door to Grace is an active ministry in Portland, providing “restorative care services and safe shelter for children who are survivors of commercial sexual exploitation.” They are endeavoring to create a sustainable community of support in Portland for those who escape the oppressive system of exploitation.
Remember these numbers:
Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888
National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-422-4453
Missing & Exploited Children Hotline: 1-800-843-5678
Rape & Incest National Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE
A National Cause
Excerpt from President Obama’s speech proclaiming January 2011 to be Human Trafficking Prevention Month:
“We cannot strengthen global efforts to end modern slavery without first accepting the responsibility to prevent, identify, and aggressively combat this crime at home. No country can claim immunity from the scourge of human rights abuses, or from the responsibility to confront them. As evidence of our dedication to a universal struggle against this heinous practice, the Department of State’s “Trafficking in Persons Report 2010″ included America in its rankings for the first time, measuring our efforts by the same standards to which we hold other nations. Looking ahead, we must continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases within our own borders.”
- 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report from the U.S. Department of State
- P*rnland Oregon: Child Prostitution in Portland video and article by Dan Rather from the Huffington Post
- Portland at Crossroads of Human Trafficking Portland Alliance story
Why do we help?
Justice is about reconciliation, which is rooted in love. We who have been reconciled with God, get to see His reconciling work spread to every area of our lives and all of creation. What began as a personal relationship with God adds a public dimension that becomes a transformational relationship with the world. One day the universe will be set right (final justice), though we don’t have to wait until then to meet the needs that are within our control today. Why do we help? The love of Christ compels us.
Why does today matter? Because we have the freedom to be able to set others free from slavery.