|Dr. Tomi Grover, author of Compelled|
More than 27 million people are enslaved around the world; half are children. According to Polaris Project, there are 100,000 to 300,000 children prostituted in America.
At an estimated $32 billion a year, human trafficking is the world's second largest criminal enterprise (drug trafficking is #1). People are lured with false promises of employment and, then, held against their will to work in the sex industry or provide free labor. In San Antonio, 22% of the contemporary slaves are forced into prostitution. Seventy-eight percent are forced to work as domestic servants or labor at farms and factories.
Baptist Temple's campus sits on Interstate 10; declared by the Texas Department of Justice to be a human trafficking superhighway. It connects four of the 10 largest cities in America (#2 Los Angeles, #3 Houston, #5 Pheonix, #7 San Antonio) and is the closest east-west corridor to the Mexican border. More than 20% of identified trafficking victims in the US are found in Texas.
Using the story of Moses at the burning bush, Grover outlined a plan for a Christian response to human trafficking.
- God is aware and cares about human trafficking.
“I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.” (Exodus 3:7)
- God responds.
“So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey...”(Exodus 3:8)
- God sends his people.
“So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:10)
Jesus is concerned about human trafficking. Quoting Isaiah, he proclaimed, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19) As people freed from the slavery of sin, we are compelled to free those who are enslaved today.
Churches and individuals can become educated and raise awareness.