In Our Own Backyard

Well, here we are on the eve of another 21st of the month. It’s time once again to remind us of the global effort to stop human trafficking forever. As I look across the ocean, via CNN, and see that Greece is on the verge of a total economic collapse, I have to shrug my shoulders and say, “Hey, if you weren’t the European hub for human sex trafficking, this might not be happening to you.” Now I know there are lots of great folks in Greece who have nothing to do with this horrendous issue, but really, let the good folks of Greece stand up and say, “No more! Not here!”

But the truth is, I don’t really have to look across the globe to find a hub for human sex trafficking. I can look just two hours east to Atlanta, Georgia to what is quickly becoming the North American hub for trafficking. Stats show that two to three hundred children every month are forced into this nasty business. Wow. That’s as many fifth graders as there are at my son’s school. No longer do sicko consumers of this shameful business have to fly out of the country to Thailand, they can hop a plane to Atlanta where they will be picked up and escorted, “entertained”, and taken right back to the airport. They can be eating dinner with their families that same night. Now that is disturbing.

It’s uncomfortable for us to think about. I am squirming in my chair just writing about this. I’d much rather be writing about the latest funny thing that happened to me, or the last crazy stunt one of my kids pulled, but it’s nearly the 21st of the month, and frankly, we might not think about this issue if I wrote about something else. It’s very uncomfortable to do the research for a post like this. I want to shield myself from the information I read. But then, there are literally millions of women and children who need to be shielded from this travesty. They need a rescue.

So what is Alabama doing to end this injustice here at home?
Well last year, the Alabama lawmakers passed a law that made human sex trafficking a Class A felony… the only thing worse than that in this state is murder. Now there’s a great reason to say, “Go Bama!” The sad thing about that is, it took until 2010 to pass that law.

And what about here in Birmingham? Do we have a problem here in our own backyard? Well, I am happy to say we are no Atlanta, but even one victim of this horrible crime is one too many. Thanks to some wonderful people, there is a place for victims who are rescued to go and seek help. It’s called The Wellhouse. You can check them out on Facebook. They are a local, faith-based outreach making a difference on the front lines of this issue right here in our own backyard.

Church of the Highlands is sponsoring a 5K Run called –Race to the Heights- on December 3rd at 8am at the Grants Mill Campus. Registration for the event is $25 with the deadline to register on November 25th. All the proceeds will go to the A21Campaign to end human trafficking. My fourteen-year-old daughter is running… She is running in support of all those fourteen-year-old girls who have had their childhood taken away in a most brutal fashion. (I’m paying her $25 registration, and I will be there to cheer her on.) How about the rest of you runners out there? Care to join her? Or if you’d like to support her as she runs with a financial donation, that’d be great, as well. She would be proud to run on behalf you, too! You can email me at stacey.benson@me.com for details on registration or financial support.

So for this 21st day of November, let’s remember to pray for the global efforts going on to end human trafficking. Pray against the efforts of the evil one as he orchestrates each transaction. Pray for protection and deliverance of those who are innocently caught up in this horrible industry. Pray for those on the front line who fight to rescue these modern day slaves.

One woman, girl, and child at a time.

So what do you think?

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