Sunday, June 28, 2009

A few streets away

Yesterday Kristian and I, and friends who are part of the Love146 Task Force that Kristian has been working to form, joined a group of folks from various churches who are all working to end human trafficking for a prayer walk.
The focus of the day was local trafficking here in NYC.
The location of our pre-prayer meeting was right in between Korea Town (32nds St.) and Port Authority. These two locations are very high-risk areas for trafficking so we targeted them for our prayers.There are brothels in Queens and Brooklyn holding captive girls from other countries who are promised work and money in the USA. Once they arrive at JFK Airport, they are stripped of their papers and passports and taken away to one of these brothels where they are basically help as sex slaves "until they can pay off their debt" for the plane ticket, which is slapped with a high interest rate, making it a pretty much impossible feat.

So- the connection to Korea Town... cabs will drive through this area and covertly approach those who look like they might be interested and offer rides to one of these locations where the girls are housed.

Port Authority is an extremely busy train, bus, and boat terminal. It's also a place where lots of runaways and homeless youth end up. These kids are at high risk for being approached by traffickers. Alone in the world, with often very few choices and no money, they will accept "work" from these people, usually ignorant to what it really entails.

So we split off in pairs and covered those two areas in prayer. There are groups from all different organizations doing this almost weekly. We were just a few who joined in the great cry against the evil in these locations, and for clarity from the Lord as to how we should move forward as we work towards abolition. May we never attempt to effect change without His guidance! He knows how His people should respond.All US cities are plagued with this. I was researching online about this domestic problem and found some information about organizations specifically in Dallas, our home town, working to end this. There appears to be a home for girls brought out of the trade where they can work towards rehabilitation and recovery (The Letot Center), and a handful of other similar organizations. Awesome! But this also means there is a big problem there, as there is in cities from L.A to NYC.

I just read an article about a seemingly friendly author in Westchester (suburbs of NYC) recently charged with first-degree sex abuse and second-degree labor trafficking. Two "sex slaves" were being held captive in his home who had been brought to our country under false pretenses.

Just an example that this is happening EVERYWHERE, and it won't end easily.
But THERE IS HOPE! There is always hope in Christ Jesus! We must not grow weary and throw in the towel, saying it's insurmountable. NYC now has some of the toughest trafficking laws and penalties in the country, which is in large part due to groups of caring individuals fighting for them.

This song is another that has been playing in my head for several months now. The words are applicable to every areas of life, but I am reminded of them now when I think of this issue.

We will hopefully have more updates soon on the activity of the Love146 Task Force.