Let’s take a little break from our typical programing.
I’ve got something I want to talk about.
Slavery. It’s for the history books right? Something that was eradicated 150 years ago?
The truth is not only does slavery exist today, it’s thriving.
Back on Superbowl Sunday I saw several people post on Facebook about how that day was the biggest day in America for human trafficking. It’s not a sad reality, it’s a horrible reality, but the reality stretches far beyond that one sunday. It stretches into day after day to sweatshops in India, brothels in China and even the streets of South Seattle.
Slavery is hitting home. Like really close to home. Young prostitutes walk the streets of my home town daily. A mere 2 miles from where I grew up young girls sell their bodies, brainwashed into thinking this is a life they want.
It makes me sick.
My beloved Thailand is widely known as the sex capital of the world. From Bangkok to Phuket, Chiang Mai and Pattaya the streets ooze bodies for hire. I lived in Thailand for two years and not once did I truly consider what was going on. I remember walking down Bangla Road on Phuket and just being grossed out by the scantily clad ladies (and ladyboys) that seemed to be everywhere I turned. My friends and I rushed through the crowds, cringing and longing to just get beyond it. At the time I was ignorant. I thought these woman had made a conscious decision to be there. I thought they were choosing to sell their bodies because they wanted to make wads of cash.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Three years later I returned to Thailand with a different perspective. This time my eyes were metaphorically opened. This time I got the opportunity to spend a month ministering to bar girls. The first night I headed out onto pub street nervous. This was an area I had always avoided before, how could I feel comfortable? Somehow I found myself at at bar near the boxing ring, Cloud Bar*, and there I met Nat*, a beautiful 40 something prostitute. Over the month I got to know this woman. I saw her passions and dreams, but she was stuck. I also saw her pain. The look that would come across her face when a young girl, no more than 14, was garnering the attention of men in the bar. This little girl had a long road ahead.
Ironically, I came to Thailand to volunteer in the sex trade side of human trafficking but I was inadvertently introduced to another side of the beast.
Because our bar ministry was at night I chose to teach english to kids in the local slum during the day. Sweet, vibrant kids so full of life. Our last day we had a big picnic with Somtam (spicy papaya salad) and as we chowed down some of the kids relayed a story that was horrifying. The day before a man in a van had appeared in the slum and had taken a young boy. In Thailand human traffickers often kidnap children from slums, remove their eyes and send them into tourist markets to beg, a story straight out of Slum Dog Millionaire.
When I got home that night I was royally pissed. How dare they? How dare he!
In America we often talk of human rights. Rights that are given to us simply by being born. Right now we need to take a day where we stop arguing about the right to bear arms or the right to marry who you love and we need to talk about the right to LIFE. The right to FREEDOM!
The President doesn’t talk about these things, the Supreme Court doesn’t vote.
These men, women and children have been given no voice. No Hope. No chance.
But right now it’s time. It’s time for us to rise up and shout THIS IS NOT OK! No matter how you word it, it will never be OK.
So today I join the End It Movement by marking my hand with a red X. We are a generation rising up for change.
So here is my challenge for you. Spread the word! Slavery is alive and thriving. Souls and dreams die everyday. People are suffering because not enough people care enough to make a difference. Today use youre resources, your outlets to raise awareness for human trafficking. Whether it’s a blog, twitter, Facebook, whatever. Spread the word, pay it forward. Be In It to End It!
To find out more about the End It Movement visit their website here.