Jessica Clark is CCC’s communications intern. She recently reported on Micah’s Promise, our anti-sex trafficking ministry (read story here), and below she shares her own thoughts on the importance of awareness and activism related to human trafficking.
It’s heartbreaking to think about the thousands of young women in the world who are in bondage to sex trafficking.
I know it’s something many of them didn’t choose, but it’s astounding to me how many of them remain in bondage due to fear or lack of self-confidence, not knowing that they are worth more and can do so much with their life.
I, in no way, have the slightest knowledge of what these women go through or what their stories bear, but I do know that something needs to be done – and that I can help.
The fight against sex trafficking is something I have been passionate about since my freshman year of high school. I was sitting in chapel and the speaker was a representative of an organization that aided women who were victims of sex trafficking in the area.
It was one of the most convicting and heartrending moments of my life. It broke me to learn that the city I spent my childhood in was one of the largest areas for sex trafficking – and I had been completely unaware of it. Hearing that victims were women my age or younger was heartbreaking as well, and I couldn’t help thinking that it could have been me.
I share that back-story because the fact that such evil and despair can go on for so long without people being aware is not only disheartening, it’s also wrong. How and why is it that people are oblivious of this growing evil? Even for many who areaware, it doesn’t seem relevant to them, so they don’t do anything.
Discovering this tragedy for the first time was enough for me to want to do something. I attended many seminars and events addressing the fight against sex trafficking over the years.
I have become increasingly burdened by the information I have gathered on the issue, but also hopeful that change is taking place. What I have learned is this: Always do something. Even if you don’t think that what you’re doing carries any weight, it’s still something. Every step you take toward bringing this evil to light is a step closer to redemption for these young women.
I have found that educating yourself about the practical ways to help bring this issue to an end is one of the best tools. It is important to understand the sources from which human trafficking originates. Slavery, in its many forms, is everywhere: in our kitchens, in our cupboards, in our closets. We just need to become aware of it and learn what we can do to stop it.
People who are trafficked harvest our food, pick cotton for our clothes, and provide labor to the supply chain for our chocolate, our cars, even our smart phones. Maybe we need to examine our everyday lifestyles and choices related to consumerism, and materialism? Maybe it means we stop purchasing items from supply chain stores that perpetuate slave labor and switch to fair-trade items that are ethically made? These are just some things to think about as you go about the routines of everyday life.
I’m not writing this to discourage or make people feel guilty for not actively participating in anti-trafficking decisions, purchases or events. Rather, I’m writing to encourage people that small actions make a huge difference. I think people often get overwhelmed by topics such as this that carry so much sadness, heartbreak and evil, so it’s just easier to not do anything, or worse, become numb to it.
But think of it this way: With every small act, whether it’s purchasing a fair-trade item from the store, informing a neighbor about the issue, or attending a seminar to increase your education and awareness of the problem, all are steps toward freedom. In that case, small actions do indeed carry magnificent weight and domake a difference! Be empowered to act and be an ambassador of change, because it is Christ’s heart is to set the captives free.
By Allen Allnoch
Last week a team of seven from CCC traveled to Jackson, Kentucky to serve at Oakdale Christian Academy. This Free Methodist-affiliated institution was named by TheBestSchools.org as one of the 30 best Christian boarding schools in America. It’s easy to see why.
Oakdale is a Christ-centered community where faculty and staff live on campus and create a nurturing environment that positively impacts students from a variety of backgrounds and locations.
For these educators and administrators, Oakdale is more than a job – it’s a full-time ministry, and they are playing a key role in “training up a child in the way he should go.”
Just as God’s work is evident in these leaders, the campus environment is a testament to his handiwork as well. Nestled along a two-lane highway in eastern Kentucky, Oakdale is bordered by lush hillsides and a burbling creek, forming an idyllic natural setting in which students can enjoy His presence.
The CCC team helped with several campus maintenance and beautification projects, including cleaning and painting the administration building, painting and staining a water-damaged residence, and spreading mulch around the grounds. The team also took turns throughout each day in the “Prayer Chair,” a quiet place to intercede for students, staff and fellow team members.
There was ample opportunity to interact with students during meals. The concept of “community” is apparent at this unique institution of learning. It’s also one of the pillars upon which CCC itself is built, and this mission team thoroughly enjoyed being a part of it in rural Kentucky for a week.
Oakdale Christian Academy is one of more than 40 ministries that CCC supports around the world. If would like to help support Oakdale individually, or simply learn more about its work, visit oakdalechristian.org.
The CCC Blog is a collection of writings and images from staff members and guest contributors, all pointing to the extraordinary life made possible by a relationship with Jesus.