It’s just a far off social justice cause until you witness it happening right in front of you. They are just nameless faces and statistics until you meet them and hear their stories. Human Trafficking. It happens. Here in the US.
Her name was Wanda*, she called out to me as I walked past her at the Underground Mall in ATL, asking if I had any money I could give her for food. After buying her a meal in the food court I asked her if she would mind if I joined her while she ate. Her story it seems was a common one – in a fight with her boyfriend (who also sells her when he’s short on money) she hits the streets looking for a homeless shelter to take her in for the night. She has no money to spend on food, but only money given to her for specific beauty products – she faces a beating if she comes back without them. Homeless without him, Wanda stays with her boyfriend to scared to stay or to leave. But it could be worse, she’s not a prostitute really, he only sells her once in a while.
Scared but wondering how we could help her, Wanda came back with me to the Dream Center (where I was spending the week on a short term missions trip). Newly clothed and fed, we offered Wanda a chance to come off the street – she declined, she wasn’t ready yet. Faced with a controlling boyfriend she knew or the unknown of a new life and facing the confines of a recovery house, she choose the familiar even while it kept her enslaved to her identity of little value.
You are loved. Tonight I give you a rose whose beauty fades, but there is a Rose that never dies. (<— click to tweet )The Rose of Sharon (Sharon meaning a straight path, peace, leading to good things.) Jesus is the rose of Sharon. He loves you for who you are….. Princess Night hotline ##########
Finding these princesses of the King, who were kidnapped by the prince of darkness – on the street we told them they are beautiful, loved and of great value. If we got a chance before the pimps stopped us, we would pray with the girls and offer them a chance to come off the street. Katrina* saw our van coming and ran over – tonight was the night – she was ready for a change. Broken and excited all at once she entered the van to hushed prayers of thanksgiving and for protection as we maneuvered her to safety out of the neighborhood and into a new life.
In Atlanta (and in all major US cities) human trafficking and prostitution aren’t small problems – they are an epidemic as sexual perversion becomes apart of the norm in our culture. During my time at the Atlanta Dream Center I heard and saw many parts of these girls (and guys) stories. This coming Friday (August 24, 2012) is National Princess Night. Will you join me (and hundreds of others) in praying against the human trafficking in our county? Pray for Katrina as she faces the challenges of a whole new life and learning who she truly is in Christ? Pray for Wanda, that the Lord will protect her and free her, as He draws her to himself? Pray for the Dream Center staff who daily face danger because of what they stand for and for how the minister on the streets.
Do you have a ministry you work with, or a website with more information on human trafficking? Share in the comments.
*Names changed for protection.
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