“I will help with the event, but I won’t go on the tour. I can’t handle that,” the woman told me after we had finished a short presentation about human trafficking in Houston. We are preparing with South Main Baptist Church in Houston, Texas to host an awareness event regarding trafficking. A key portion of the day will be spent on a van looking at where and how trafficking is taking place in our city. Well I won’t lie, it is not easy to take. My question is, “Do we have the luxury of looking the other way?” It is not a question of going to out of the way places to search it out. You don’t have to go far to see trafficking. You just have to open your eyes. That massage parlor might not be just a massage parlor. That worker in the Chinese restaurant may be under coercion to be there. That XXX store is possibly selling more than magazines and videos and even if that is all that is there the contents of that media is made of exploited women and children. That bar where you never see any girl leaving without a man, may mean he has paid for her time. Those men waiting under a tree to hopefully get a bit of work, may not keep the money they make. That young man hanging out with those girls at the mall, may turn into more than a friend as he begins to sell one or more of them. Trafficking is so much closer than you think! We see it all the time; we just tend to look the other way.
A friend’s grandson’s truck was stolen. It had been taken by traffickers who were transporting laborers in South Texas. A sleepy little town in East Texas was shocked to learn that the massage parlor on the square was a front for sex trafficking. The block in the residential section of town was shocked when over 100 people came pouring out of the domicile being held in various states of undress, in deplorable conditions with little food and water. The minister and his wife told her to just hang in there after the young woman told them how her aunt and uncle were forcing her to work and threatening her. Surely she is exaggerating? These are all true situations. You don’t have to take a van tour to see trafficking. You don’t even have to come to Houston. But you do have to be willing to open your eyes. And then you can’t look the other way. If you do, someone’s suffering will continue. If you are able, come and join us for our Faith and Freedom Event on September 20th at South Main Baptist Church. But I do understand… maybe you just can handle the thought of that sort of horror happening in our world today. I become overwhelmed with it myself. Let me invite you then to intercede for these who are crying out for freedom. We have a video prepared to guide you. Meanwhile, I hope you will join us on the 20th and I hope you will take the van tour.