Thursday, May 29, 2014

Stealing children

Guest blog by Dan Trevino

Seeking an education, a boy falls into a trap and becomes a victim of human trafficking.

I will call him Mark in order to protect his privacy and his life. I met Mark during a worship service in one of the camps at which I have been privileged to preach during the last 2 months.

Just before the service, I asked if there was anyone who would like to volunteer to read the scripture for me in Spanish during during worship. Mark volunteered.

We visited as the other young men filed into the cafeteria that was large enough to accommodate all of the young men and boys for worship. I asked Mark how he was. He said he was so thankful to God for the protection he has had and that he was praying that someone would help him through this ordeal.

Mark shared that when he was younger, he felt the call to be a minister of some sort but that he didn’t know exactly what God wanted him to do. He was hoping to get into a good school but was taken away from his family and forced to do imaginable things. Things that made him begin to doubt that God had chosen him for anything but bad.

He asked me, “If God really loves me, why is this happening to me?”

Mark was forced from his family and led into a life of drug dealing and stealing. Mark believed that he was no longer one of God’s children but that he belonged to another family; a family that educated him to live and hide in the streets.

When I asked Mark if he would elaborate on this. He told me that he was too ashamed and embarrassed to tell a pastor what he has done but that much of what he did was with someone watching him closely and many times at gunpoint.

In a daring move, Mark ran away from his keepers and became one of the thousands of young people who are seeking a better life in the United States. Some, unfortunately, fall into the hands of human traffickers painting false images to young people seeking a better life. Mark is one of the fortunate to escape. He shared with me that many of the young men and girls he knew died trying to find a better life and running from their captors.

Mark re-dedicated his life to Christ during that day and wants to obey God’s calling in his life. I shared with him about Baptist University of the Americas, his face lit up but, then, saddened because he did not know what his fate was going to be. I pray for Mark every day. I gave him one of my cards and I pray that he will one day contact me that he is ready to prepare for the ministry.

Mark is one of thousands who need our prayers and protection from human trafficking predators.

Dan Trevino is Associate Pastor of Baptist Temple Church in San Antonio. In the past month and a half, he has led 14 worship services for victims of human trafficking. The result has been 821 professions of faith, 577 re-dedications. Additionally, 58 staff members have, also, made professions of faith.

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