"The longer you stay, the less hope you have."
These words were spoken by a woman who was rescued from human trafficking after being forced into it at age 16; words no one should ever have to say.
According to Not for Sale, a non-profit that works to end the trafficking of women, men, and children, the trafficking industry generates over $150 billion annually from over 30 million enslaved victims. As a post grad, $150 billion dollars is unfathomable to me. That could pay for my college education (without scholarship) 938,000 times. And when we break it down even further $99 billion of that is generated illegally through the sexual exploitation of women and children. Traffickers make roughly $21,800 per victim. Years ago, I used to think slavery wasn’t a problem anymore, until I realized it was not only a problem, but an enormous one. We tend to believe that this doesn't happen in the United States, but the truth is, it happens everywhere. It happens in the city less than 30 minutes away from my home town! As soon as I learned that, I knew I had to do something.
Because of this, I have prayerfully decided to take the next step toward fighting the statistics. In less than three weeks, I will be attending a six month Discipleship Training School (DTS) with YWAM Los Angeles, focusing on bringing justice to the victims of human trafficking. YWAM, or Youth With A Mission, is an incredible ministry, entirely dedicated to serving Jesus across all borders, learning about God, and making Him known to all nations. In a world so devastated by division, war, and hatred, YWAM works to spread love, light, and grace to those who have never received such a gift. This six month Discipleship Training School is broken into two parts. The first three months we will be attending classes to learn about God's father heart for the world, how best to serve in ministry, and how to further develop our relationship with Christ. We will be working with a nonprofit located in Los Angeles that works to fight human trafficking in the heart of the city, where we will start putting our new knowledge to use for the men, women, and children caught up in the sex trade. The second three months we will be doing international outreach in a country where human trafficking is severely prominent. We will be partnering with a long-term ministry located there, trying to engage in preventing those who are vulnerable to being exploited. We will also be reaching out to victims and assisting in aftercare for those who have been exploited. The location is still to be determined, but we could go anywhere from Cambodia to Thailand or even Brazil!
God has me on this crazy adventure, but reminds me that I am not alone. Which is why I hope you will partner with me and my YWAM LA Justice DTS team as we take a stand against human trafficking and fight this injustice, one person at a time.