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Human Sex Trafficking.  It has been called the most common form of modern day slavery.  The word may conjure images of young males and females held against their will, beaten and abused.  Once thought to be a faraway social problem, our eyes have been opened to the horrors that occur all too close to home.

We see collectively that these heinous acts are no respecter of gender, faith, worldview, social class or country.  Trafficking occurs across the globe, in our countries, states, and cities, and in our very own neighborhoods.

We are shocked.

Today the business of human sex trafficking is much more organized and violent.  We hear monstrous stories of our young being sold, locked up in rooms for weeks or months, drugged, terrorized and raped repeatedly.  They are psychologically tortured and often isolated until their will to escape vanishes.

We are outraged.

There is no doubt of the wicked nature of the acts committed against these young ones.

So we fight.  Indeed a good fight – for the freedom and well being of our young.  A cause most valiantly fought in community with protective legislation, time and prayers, empathy of heart and yes, even our pocket books.

We are passionate and burdened.

AND…

Evil has been around for a very long time seeking to devour the hearts of our young.  Little boys and girls held captive against their will, beaten and abused long before human sex trafficking became the social issue of our time.  And it has never been in some strange and distant land.  It has always been too close to home.

These young ones are in our families, in our schools, on our playgrounds, in the pews of our churches, and in the house next door.  And yes, even in our own homes.

We are horrified.

Monstrous stories are told of our young sold out to family members or friends.  Little ones forced to perform or receive sexually; they live in fear, and have been raped repeatedly.  Many live isolated and imprisoned within the family.  Psychologically tortured, they believe they are loved.  Escape rarely crosses their minds.

We are skeptical.

And we ask these young ones for proof.  We doubt their small voices and the wicked nature of their accounts.

Surely these children have misunderstood the actions of another human being.  Or maybe it’s just a little too personal or God forbid we might be asked to take a stand.  To fight for these children makes us uncomfortable. That’s why protective legislation was created.  After all, we might destroy a family, a career, a ministry or someone’s integrity.  And what of the child’s destruction?

We are busy and look away.

Or worse yet, we might come face to face with the wounds and shame of our own untold childhood stories.  Stories of harm we have sought to ignore and hide deeply away.

We are anxious.

It will cost us much to fight for these young ones. Yet, it is a price we simply can’t afford NOT to pay.  All our children deserve someone to fight for their freedom from the dungeons of chaos and harm.

Where does it start?  It begins as we are willing to look deeply into the scenes of harm in our own lives.  And yes, this battle will be valiantly fought in a safe community, with time and prayers, empathy of heart and yes, maybe even with our pocket books.  It will take a generation of people who are courageous, with no fear of the dark, a people willing to grieve what has been lost and who boldly seek the face of God.

And ALL of our young ones, even those who have grayed, require a courageous community who know their stories well.  It is then, and only then that we will care appropriately for each other and our wounds.

Indeed, we will be a passionate and burdened people.  For all the little ones….