Union Ridge Church

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

by Reverend Dan on May 4, 2022
Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”

Last week our church hosted a seminar for local pastors and church leaders on the topic of Human Trafficking. At the onset there was concern that in a room full of pastors, there would be no one to listen because chances were good that all of us would be talking. From the very first word of the seminar, however, most of us sat with our mouths gaped in horror. We watched with increasing uncomfortableness as Kelly, our speaker, walked us through the reality of an issue far more significant and closer to home than any of us imagined.

By the third slide, I was in shock. By the fifth slide, I felt a wave of nausea. If you believe, as I did, that you understand human trafficking based a two-minute report on the evening news or an article in the newspaper or a magazine, then you’re playing into the hands of the traffickers. People choosing to remain blissfully ignorant because it’s an uncomfortable topic is what the traffickers rely on. Here is just a small bit of the information presented that day.

1. It’s rarely just a one-person operation – there are trained teams, each with a different role, that take up to six months to manipulate and groom a person into servitude.
2. MYTH - Youth get into this because they want to and would leave if they wanted to. As Kelly pointed out, how many children have you ever talked to that said they want to grow up to be a prostitute or a slave laborer?
3. Traffickers are now purposely having and raising their own children solely for the purpose of selling them when they are old enough.
4. There has already been a person convicted of sex trafficking in Alamance County, 260 statewide in 2020, and that only identifies the ones caught. Worldwide there are over 25 million victims trapped in human trafficking, which is nothing more than modern-day slavery.

If we are called to seek justice and defend the oppressed, no longer can the church sit idly by bemoaning the evil of human trafficking while doing nothing about it. Only awareness and knowledge of the problem can lead to action and significant change, and therefore it’s time to become more than just people who pity those involved. It’s time to be the hands and heart of Christ as we reach out to the victims.

On Sunday, May 22, at 6:30 PM in our Activity Center, Union Ridge Church will sponsor the seminar again, this time for the open public. It is critical for parents of children and youth (and the youth themselves) to learn of the danger and evil which exists regarding this topic. Because it “takes a village to raise a child”, however, we encourage EVERYONE to come and share in the awareness and magnitude of this problem. If you cannot be there, I encourage you to contact Kelly at Connect4Life (Kelly@Connect4Faith.org) and schedule a time for her to come and speak to your group.​​​​​​​