Monday, June 02, 2014

Freed People Free People

Dr. Tomi Grover, author of Compelled
Freed people free people,” said modern-day abolitionist, Dr. Tomi Grover speaking at Baptist Temple this past Sunday. Dr. Grover is the Executive Director of TraffickStop, which serves to educate, advocate, and engage people on the issue of human trafficking, and the 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.

  1. 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)

  1. 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)

  1. 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.

Grover cautions against taking direct action. Human traffickers are violent people and probably won't hesitate to harm a person who is interfering with their business. Suspicious activities should be brought to the attention of local law enforcement. Furthermore, you can call the national hotline: 888.373.7888.

Churches and individuals can become educated and raise awareness.

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