Monday, September 24, 2012

The Girl Next Door

Kanthi saw the sunrise every day for more than two years. That's because her employer forced her to rise at 4:00 a.m. and work until 11:00 p.m. or sometimes even longer--until the following afternoon. Seven days a week with no days off. And, no pay. Kanthi was a victim of human trafficking.

For the thousands of slaves, like Kanthi, brought into the U.S. each year from around the globe for forced labor and sexual exploitation, a sunrise should bring the hope of a new day--the day when we live in a world where the slavery of a human being is unthinkable. Even more, it should bring the hope of Jesus Christ. 

American young people need that hope too. Desperate for love, they don't often experience biblical principles being lived out in the lives of those around them. They are a field ripe for harvest--will that harvest be for traffickers eager to exploit them for monetary gain with no regard for life? Or will the Church rise up and offer the love and relationships that add value to life and give it meaning and purpose?

Only changed hearts and minds can abolish slavery. Slaves and their traffickers are a mission field. Many individuals care enough to be involved. These people come from every sphere of society--education, government, entertainment, nonprofits, churches, healthcare, and more. But only the Christians among them can offer the freedom found in Christ alone. Every slave and every trafficker, as well as every abolitionist needs that type of freedom most of all. The eradication of the travesty of human trafficking brings down the walls and provides common ground. It's a place where the light of Christ can shine the brightest--regardless of one's position, denomination, age, or ethnicity.

Recently abolitionists gathered at the 2012 Slavery No More Global Conference. To learn more about who's doing what to make a difference in a modern-day slave's life, check out "The South Asian Girl Next Door: Slavery in Southern California," a journal article posted on Transform LA's web site. There you'll learn more about Kanthi's story  and see how some Christians are making a powerful difference.

For more ideas on what you or your organization might do to make a difference, subscribe to this blog. About once a week, we'll highlight best practices and offer resources. And, we'll tell about events and volunteer opportunities. Best of all, we'll tell the stories and celebrate the victories of Christians living out the love of Jesus, and that should inspire us all to keep going.

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