Growing up in the Bible Belt, I was taught to love God and to love His people. And I did. And I do. I loved my friends, I loved my teachers, I loved my brothers, I loved strangers, even when they said or did something mean. Even when I didn’t like someone, I loved them anyway. Because God loved them first. That is what I taught. And that is what I did. And that is what I do today.
So in high school, when I learned about human trafficking and its great presence in today’s world, my ignorance shocked me. Because to me, slavery was a thing of the past. Slavery involved people in chains serving in fields or in homes or in workshops. Slavery involved these people getting physically abused by whips or lynchings, getting verbally abused by belittling their self confidence, getting emotionally abused by the splitting of families. That was slavery to me, and we solved it years ago.
But that is nothing further from the truth. Slavery is still here today. And it is everywhere.
The End It Movement desires for people of my generation — and yours — to stand for freedom. The movement wants people to know slavery is still a problem all around the world. With 27 million women, men, and children still undergoing abused of all kinds, whether that is physical, verbal, emotional, sexual. They are in brothels and factories, they are in mines and in fields. They are voiceless and they are helpless. Slaves need you to know slavery is not over, slavery is still happening, and slavery must come to an end.
There don’t have to be literal chains to make slavery slavery. There are also metaphorical chains that tie a slave to his or her owner. These chains can be monetary debts, friends’ or family members’ lives threatened or held hostage, empty promises made from the owner to the slave. Most of the time, they are not the literal chains, but the metaphorical ones that keep a slave trapped in a never ending cycle of abuse and oppression. Slaves are left empty, wounded and hopeless.
According to Jesus Said Love, a ministry reaching out to women in the sex industry, 25% of all human trafficking victims are in Texas. My home state. And probably yours, if you are a close friend of mine reading this.
Let’s put an end to this hurt, this oppression, this undeniable wrong. Let’s make our generation, the generations above and below us, the unknowing and unsuspecting students, moms, dads, kids, blue collar and white collar workers know that slavery is still here today. And it’s time to end it.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Proverbs 31:8