I remember when I was involved in Social Justice Ministry, and my passion lied in raising awareness to the Genocide happening in Darfur (as it still does...). I directed a week similar to this Human Trafficking week, highlighting the tragedy of genocide, and it was amazing to me how many people DIDN'T want to be involved.
That next year, I was still passionate about Darfur, but there was this little group of activists, who were solely committed to the cause of Human Trafficking, that were taking over. Out of nowhere there were young people who started to sprout up and demand for the Christians at Biola to take notice of what was happening around them. Social Justice Ministry started out slowly... no one was really interested. Now, a wave of activism is beginning, and I hope it doesn't die out...
One day they had a mattress placed outside the cafeteria with girls on it who looked battered and bruised
Richard (left) was one of my old High School kiddos (so proud) and he directs the Human Trafficking movement at Biola, and Matt (right) is in charge of the overall movement of raising awareness towards social justice issues at Biola (he's great). I love coming back to Biola and talking to people like Richard and Matt because I feel like they are some of the only people who understand me... who understand the world...
Love this one of Richard :)
Now that you have seen, don't remain silent.
If you are interested in learning more, there is an awesome event happening on April 11th at Cal State Fullerton. The guest speaker at this event will be the young girl who was recently found in an IRVINE home who had been trafficked over here to America years ago. She lived as a family's slave, never going to school, or feeling in the least bit, loved. All this right here in our backyard!
Have you ever seen ads like these before... in your newspapers... magazines?Maybe you are naive (like I used to be), thinking that these women who work for these ad places actually want to be in this kind of business. Yes, I suppose some do, but for the most part, all of these women have been trafficked into Orange County.
At the lecture I went too on Monday night, the speaker was telling us how the trafficker's have been getting the women into the country. They basically go to countries like Thailand, and sign the young girls up for school - massage therapy school. The girls sign up like any other school, paying $35,000 to go. Usually they agree to take the loan out through the trafficker's. They come to the states on student visa's, so no one recognizes them as possible sex traffickers. Apparently they get here to the OC and they start working. The women are then told that there massages cost $60, but they are only able to keep their tips. Then at the end of the month, they are given a bill for all their housing, food, and loans (plus interest), realizing that their tip money will never be able to pay off their bills. Once they realize this, the trafficker's go to the women explaining that they will have to start doing other "things" to make money, because they are now in debt to them. And if they refuse, they are threatened with the lives of their families back at home. After all, the girls filled out applications, the trafficker's know where they live.
Disgusting. Heart wrenching. Horrible.
But day by day these women are being rescued, and many people are working hard so that this doesn't happen anymore. But we have a long way to go. Don't act like you don't know anymore...
You might think you have to travel thousands of miles to go on mission trips to help other people... open your eyes! It's time to realize that people need our help right here at home.
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