If ever there comes a time when the women of the world come together purely and simply for the benefit of mankind, it will be a force such as the world has never known.
British poet, 1822-1888
Based on the TV ratings from Sunday night, most of us watched the Super Bowl. Our family certainly did, and while we didn't have a strong rooting interest either way, it was an enjoyable game to watch. And, while it's still enjoyable, watching the game isn't quite the same for me anymore for one reason: the Super Bowl is the largest sex trafficking event in America. Girls from all over the country, who are being held against their will, are brought in for the big weekend. So, while I sit in my family room and have a party, they are living in hell.
The US Department of Justice says that the average age of girls who are trafficked is 12-14 years old (Rescueher.org). Their life expectancy after they have been kidnapped and brought into the trafficking trade is approximately seven years. Last month was Anti-slavery Awareness Month and I highlighted a book, Rescuing Hope by Susan Norris. Susan Norris interviewed survivors of the sex trafficking business and combined their stories into one. As disgusting as the details are in the book, they are true and call us to action. In the book Susan lays out exactly how trafficking happens. These young girls are preyed upon, and they do not even realize what is happening to them until it is too late. These girls are then held against their will, they are beaten and abused, and they are fed lies, such as being told their family will be killed if they try to escape. They are held in apartments or other non-descript buildings. Obviously, a 12 year old out on the street would draw attention...so these girls are kept in these apartments and the men come to them. Not just once a night but 20-25 times a night. They never leave their prison except to make a special trip like to the Super Bowl. It is evil, it is sickening, and it is hard to believe that it happens, especially in this country of ours, but it does.
These girls are you and me, they are our daughters, nieces, granddaughters, friends. But what can we do? When I first starting reading about this problem...I felt overwhelmed. What can one person do to help?
We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
Well, I'm wrong for having ever believed that. This is where the white umbrellas come in. Wellspring Living has started the White Umbrella Campaign. The campaign is a way to bring awareness to the plight of girls who are caught in the sex-trafficking industry. Mary Frances Bowley has written a book entitled The White Umbrella. It is full of stories about survivors and the women who came along side them and offered what Frances-Bowley calls the white umbrella protection. We can be their umbrellas too...we may not be able to be phyiscally present to help these girls who have been rescued but we can cover them, like an umbrella, with prayer! We can also pray for the girls who are still waiting to be rescued.
Will you join me in their challenge? Please do not read this post and not do anything. I beg you. This is all we have to do...download the prayer guide here and spend the next 40 days praying the names and attributes of God over those who have been victimized. That's it!! But if you want to do more there are lots of ways to help.
Check out all that Wellspring Living is doing and check out the awesome work that is going on not only in our country but in India and Cambodia at RESCUEHER.
Each one of us needs to look after the good of people around us, asking, How Can I Help?
Please join me in praying for these sweet girls over the next 40 days!