I hardly know how to respond to this. This is what paralyzed me. This is what had my heart so broken that I hardly knew how to pray because I was angry at God in allowing this to continue. There is a lot of tragedy in the world and I had come to accept that I live in a fallen world that although bad things continue to happen to good people, He is faithful and ever present even in the darkest of hours. I had experienced joy and peace in very unlikely times that I could only attribute to God’s faithfulness and presence in my life. But then I learn about this. The selling of young children – 6, 7, 8 years of age in order for some sick person to rape them for their own gratification. All of my understanding, compassion, love that I had experienced was in question as I thought what I was to do with this information. I didn’t know what to do. I immediately thought jail time is not enough. Perpetrator of young kids must be casstratrated and their eyes cuts out. This was the only thing I could imagine that came close to any sense of justice. This was my immediate reaction and because I couldn’t see a way of making this change, I was simply depressed. Not too long ago, this is where I was at.
The topic of child sex slavery is not only disturbing, it is horrifying. I have struggled with how to even write about this as I thought I needed to find the right way to address it in order to give people hope and concrete things to do to help. I thought that I would be inspired with the “right” words that would flow from my fingers to the keyboard easily and with passion. This hasn’t happen. Each word in this blog has been a struggle as I don’t even know where to begin. I finally gave up on finding the right way and decided to jump on in and face it directly. There is no right way to respond to the horrors of child sex slavery, but this doesn’t excuse a response. We all must respond. We all must do something. It is horrible and now we must get over ourselves and how utterly depressing it is and how bad we feel. We must respond. We must act. We must engage. We must care more about the children who are victimized than how bad it is to hear about.
What encourages me as I write this is how the next event that my fellow abolitionist mamas are hosting takes people immediately from the despair of the situation of child sex trafficking into action where hope is experienced. I won’t take the time to explain the backstory behind our next event, just only to tell you that it rolled out right in front of us and we have been running to catch up with it. But first let me introduce you to the organization that our next event will be supporting – Love 146.
On Monday, June 6th at 7:00PM we will be launching Love146’s Tread on Trafficking Campaign. Those attending will learn more about Love 146, their Tread on Trafficking Campaign, and will meet 6 incredible San Clemente Abolitionist team leaders that will be leading nine different athletic events that anyone can participate in. Come and meet Emmy Merrill, high school senior, who will be leading a 12 hour surf session at a local favorite surf spot; or meet Rob Rojas, top stand up paddler in the world who is asking anyone to join him for some or all of the 24 hours he has committed to paddle for this campaign; or meet a local mother, Jennifer Smith, who has organized a mini-triatholon in her neighborhood. In addition to these opportunities to participate, there will be sign ups for a beach walk, swim session, yoga class, as well as a bicycling race all organized by local people in our community who want to do something to fight this horrific crime against children.
It is tough to hear the statistics that trafficking in humans is the 2nd most lucrative crime in the world; Or approximately 80% of the people trafficked are female and of those, half are girls; or that about 100,000 U.S. children are forcefully engaged in prostitution or pornography each year; or that at any given time, 50,000 predators are prowling for children on the internet; Or that 2 children are trafficked every minute. The statistics make it almost overwhelming, but the Tread on Trafficking campaign makes it possible to engage on behalf of children with just a step. With as little as one foot in front of the another, everyone who has a heartbeat can begin to move their bodies as a way of actively fighting the horrors of child sex slavery. Every person can make a difference right from their own homes. On June 6th come see what regular folks can do with a little organizing, a little effort and the willingness to show up and exercise on behalf of the many nameless children who are forced into sex slavery. If you can’t make the event, become our “friend” on Facebook at San Clemente Abolitionist and sign up to join our team (San Clemente Abolitionist) at Love 146’s Tread on Trafficking Campaign site (http://love146.org/tot#award). And if you can’t join our team, consider making a contribution to Love 146.
“Slavery is still one of the darkest stories on our planet. But for us, the hope of abolition is a reality. Love Protects. Love Defends. Love Restores. Love Empowers.” God is faithful and just and I am able to see Him move through Love 146.