“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19
In the U.S., there are an estimated 300,000-plus modern-day slaves. This is a staggering statistic!
I first heard about sex trafficking when I was speaking in Thailand at a pastors’ wives conference. At the end of the day, the team gave us a tour of Bangkok. They brought us into the red-light district to introduce us to a ministry that cares for women in the brothels and strip clubs. I was overwhelmed with what I saw and broken in my heart to see the women and young girls so sad and empty. Since then, I have visited many ministries that work in some of the largest red-light districts in the world.
In his book , N.T. Wright begins his chapter titled "Putting the World to Rights" with the following personal story:
I had a dream the other night, a powerful and interesting dream. And the really frustrating thing is that I can't remember what it was about. I had a flash of it as I woke up, enough to make me think how extraordinary and meaningful it was; and then it was gone. … Our passion for justice often seems like that. We dream the dream of justice. We glimpse, for a moment, a world at one, a world put to rights, a world where things work out, where societies function fairly and efficiently … and then we wake up and come back to reality.
I love that phrase, “We dream the dream of justice.” It is very hard to pray for justice and continue to see girls being sold and exploited for sex every day in our modern world. After that trip to Thailand, I remember I had a tremendous pain in my heart to find a way to rescue every woman and girl that I encountered along the way. It was a dream for justice!
I realized that I couldn’t do it myself, but I have a Savior who came to “set at liberty those who are oppressed.” He can set them free. Alongside many faithful workers of anti-trafficking organizations that collaborate with TWR Women of Hope via our audio program Hidden Treasures, I have had the privilege of helping several girls find freedom. Today, I share a heart-shaped tattoo on one of my fingers with a sweet young woman whom I walked alongside as she made her way to freedom more than seven years ago.
Sex trafficking is not something that happens only in foreign countries. Young girls and boys are targeted here in our own backyards, schools, churches and communities.
Let’s pray for God to provide workers who can help rescue and bring hope to the thousands of young girls and boys exploited today. Let’s pray for precious children to find hope and safety so they can have a normal life filled with joy and freedom from pain and abuse.