It’s no secret. Everything missions has always been the main buzz during any November here at Mainstream Orlando. From funding for missionaries to rescue kids in the Ocala forest, to helping raise money for families impacted by natural disaster in Puerto Rico; we believe that as a church we can come together and impactfuly help others beyond our own knowing; and this year has been no different with “The Drive: Freedom.”.
Lately, Human trafficking is a highly talked about topic both in the church and throughout the world. The organization that we are working with this year, “F.R.E.E International”; works to end slavery both here in the U.S and globally. Rapids, Xstream, The Voice and the Rush has come alongside F.R.E.E International by raising money in order to purchase a Speed the Light vehicle to further their ministry.
So, you hear the stats, the missionary speak, as well as a burden for the women, children and men in modern- day slavery today. Where do you start with making a change?
Here are three things you should know about Human Trafficking, the signs, how it affects you and how YOU can help.
- Human Trafficking happens in your backyard
According to a recent report by the Human Trafficking Institute, our state of Florida ranked third in human trafficking cases prosecuted in federal court this year. That means that in the same place where you and I call home, people are being trafficked.
Because of places like Orlando or Miami being so popular for tourism, as well as Florida being a Peninsula and people traveling in and out frequently; traffickers find it easy to traffic and recruit victims in the midst of a busy state.
As said in the report, while many survivors are identified and receive services, very few are willing to testify in court due to fear of retaliation. Without testimony from survivors, it is not uncommon for human trafficking charges to be dropped.
2) There are different types of Human Trafficking
While movies like Taken, or maybe a “Lifetime” movie have exposed Human Trafficking to a wider audience, one common misperception about Trafficking is that it is only “sex trafficking”. One reason Human Trafficking is the “fastest growing global crime affecting every continent,” is because there are different types of it out there. The International Criminal Organization reports them as:
- Trafficking for Forced Labor (Often people seeking a job opportunity or a chance of better life in a different country get tricked into slavery. Men, women and children are often engaged in agricultural, fisheries and construction work, along with domestic servitude (Maids, etc.) and other labour-intensive jobs.
- Trafficking in Women for Sexual Exploitation (Victims are often provided with false travel documents and an organized network is used to transport them to the destination country, where they find themselves forced into sexual slavery.)
- Commercial Sexual exploitation of children in tourism
- Trafficking for tissue, cells and organs (Trafficking in humans for the purpose of using their organs, in particular kidneys,)
- People Smuggling
3) You can Help
Everyone, regardless of their education or social background, or the false belief that we are” too young” or too “anything” to serve, has the power to help those in need.
As believers, with opportunities like “The Drive: Freedom” missions and getting people out of slavery is a little different for us because along with our hearts breaking for what’s going on with these women, children, and men; our serving and compassion is with purpose. Along with fundling cupcakes, hosting a tournament or baking empanadas; we get to showcase an eternal hope that heals more wounds no other way can. As Luke 12:48 tells us “from everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
We can use whatever gifts we have received to help end slavery.
” Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”- 1 Peter 4:10
The Voice Writing Team