June 19, 2013
Feb 28 - Alisa Jordheim
“I’ve been picking all day; can I just rest 10 minutes?”
“No, you lazy dog. You’ve only been working 10 hours; your day isn’t over for until the sun sets.”
Fact: Victims, both men and women, have been forced to work 10-12 hour days, 6-7 days per week, with little or no break time.1
“No, no, please don’t let him touch me!”
“Shut up, kid! You belong to him for the next hour.”
Fact: There are 2.5 million child sex slaves in the world today, some as young as 4 and 5.2
“But you said we could work to pay off our travel costs and then leave! Where are we? Where are our passports?”
“Stupid whores, you’re not going anywhere! You will make us more money in one day than you could earn in a year in Moldova.”
Fact: Traffickers often confiscate the victim’s passport once she is in the destination country, while telling her that if she escapes, the police will imprison her for being an illegal immigrant.3
Do the words you just read make you think of a foreign land, an uncultured people group or a few naive souls who didn’t know any better than to get themselves into their situations? Or maybe, you were reminded of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and plantation owners of the southern United States - of a time long past and a history best forgotten. Well, think again.
These are the voices of today.
These are the voices of the modern day slave trade, the cries of human trafficking.
Did you know?
As these voices cry out, unheard and sometimes ignored, we should be asking ourselves “Is human slavery a thing of the past or the wave of the future?” Statistics tell us it is both.
Records show us that human trafficking was alive and well in biblical times. In Ezekiel 27:13 we read, “Javan, Tubal and Meshech, they were your traders; with the lives of men and vessels of bronze they paid for your merchandise.” In Genesis 12:5 we also see that Abraham took with him “the persons which they had acquired” indicating he also had purchased or traded for slaves. Human trafficking or the trading in the “souls of mankind”, as it translates in the Hebrew, was common place and even accepted throughout history.
Even in the Bible, slavery was a thing of the past, but what data supports that human trafficking may be the wave of the future?
The data is both clear and easy to track, the data that follows the money.
Human trafficking is a 32 billion dollar a year industry4, which is more than Google, Nike and Starbucks combined make in a year. In fact, because of the huge profits and relative ease with which a person can be trafficked, human trafficking is the fastest growing, second largest criminal activity in the world.5 The traffickers consider their product (person) as a reusable commodity; after all, you can only sell a drug once and it is used up, but you can sell a person over and over and over.
As we look at the considerable gains to be made through this unrighteous trade, it should help us to understand why there are an estimated 27 million people in bondage today.6 This is more than at any point in history and twice the number during the entire 271 years of the trans-Atlantic trade.7
While these horrific statistics of lives taken and sold are hard to bear, the most difficult truth is that 50% of these victims are children8, and 99% of them are never rescued.9 The average age of entry into sex trafficking in the United States is 12-1310, and the average life expectancy for these young ones is just 7 short years.11 The horrific truth is that a child is sold every 2 minutes!12
You might be asking, “How can human slavery be growing so quickly? Wouldn’t these men, women and children be reported missing?” The answer is often “no”; sadly they are seldom reported missing. In fact, in many countries a child’s tragic journey into the sex trade often begins in a family struggling for survival. I have worked with a number of women who were sold into trafficking by their own family members.
This disregard for human life and the sanctity of family have brought horrific curses into family bloodlines and even over nations. Through these curses, it is now becoming common-place to see fathers from Eastern Europe bringing their young daughters to Western European cities to work as prostitutes. Often these children are brutalized by the clients and are forced to seek medical help, as one doctor in the New York Times reported:
“One father came with his 12-year-old daughter. She was terrorized and in terrible pain. I asked him why he did it. ‘First of all we are very poor… she is still too young to get pregnant… she is very young… she will forget.‘“13
Does this story bring you to ask some tough questions, “How did we ever get here? Is there any hope to see human trafficking ended?” These are the questions of our day, and the answer is age old. But God…
Trading in the Souls of Mankind
While slavery was and is accepted in many nations, let us not lose sight that the LORD would not allow the Israelites to remain in slavery. The very mission of Moses in Exodus 3:10 was to “bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt”. Since, God alone is the giver and maintainer of all freedom, we can be assured that He will not be silent on the issue of human trafficking. In my work as an advocate for trafficking victims, I have seen the Lord perform signs in the heavens with tornadoes and winds and wonders on earth by changing the hearts of hardened men to bring just one out of slavery.
We are battling for the souls of one. From Thomas Jefferson, we hear truth about an all knowing, all powerful God who commands justice:
“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation is among possible events: that it may become probable by supernatural interference!”
While man’s unrighteousness against man is rampant in the earth, we can hold fast to God’s promise in Job 36, “He does not keep the wicked alive, but gives justice to the afflicted”. If he will do all this for just one, imagine what supernatural interference He is carrying out behind the scenes for all those who are crying out for freedom.
A voice for the Voiceless
This cry for freedom runs deep within mankind with the words of Patrick Henry still ringing true, “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
Do not let the voices of today’s slaves go unheard when you can be a part of their liberty! Do not bow out because you find the issue of human trafficking too dirty, too overwhelming or out of your area of expertise. No problem has ever been solved because we were able; it is always because God is able.
Nothing is impossible with God, including the eradication of human slavery!
You don’t have to go into the jungle to rescue victims. You don’t even have to make huge financial contributions. You just have to be willing to take a step and let their voice be heard.
All it takes is one simple question: “Did you know that human trafficking is a real problem today?”
Ask your children, the doctor at your next physical, the lady behind you in the check-out line, “Did you know…?”
Be ready to ask the question, ready to respond with accurate information and ready to do whatever else the Lord is asking of you.
He is still asking, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” I pray your response will be, “Here am I. Send me!”
Father, we ask that You give us Your heart for the enslaved, those who are in shackles both physically and emotionally. We ask for a revelation for each one that You have a good plan for them. We pray for strength and faith to believe in a good future and not give up.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
We bless those who curse us. We bless every trafficker and buyer alike with the knowledge of Jesus as their Savior. We say that their eyes will be opened to see the horror and unrighteousness of their acts. We agree for the FEAR of the LORD to fall upon each one now. We declare that their eyes will be open to see the forgiveness in Jesus and the reality that they can become a new creation.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
We declare today that You are releasing the captives, setting many free.
We call forth boldness for those to flee their captors. We call for unholy soul ties to be supernaturally broken and the light of truth to shine on perversion, bondage and fear. We call forth open doors and gates to be lifted up, and the hosts of heaven to be released to bring the prisoners out of their jails.
“Lift up your heads , O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in! Who is the King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O gates, and lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in! Who is this King of Glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory.” Psalm 24: 7-10
Lord, we repent for every blood sacrifice that empowers the occult spirits and keeps these traffickers hidden. We repent for every sacrifice made to Santa Muerte, Wiccan deities and to Satan himself to bring them prosperity, power and protection. In the name of Jesus, we command every occult spirit that is veiling and hiding these trafficking rings and traffickers to be removed. We declare it is a time for the light of Jesus to shine into the darkest places, that cartels will be found, brothels raided and unrighteous government leaders exposed! We declare this to be a holy hour, an hour for righteousness and justice to prevail.
“But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.” Ephesians 5:13
“I will also turn my hand against you, and will smelt away you dross as with lye, and will remove all your alloy. Then I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning; after that you will be called the city of righteousness, a faithful city.”
“He will bring justice to the poor of the people; He will save the children of the needy, and will break in pieces the oppressor.” Psalm 72:4
1. Polaris Project, http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/labor-trafficking-in-the-us/factories
4. Stanford (http://peds.stanford.edu/Tools/documents/human_traficking.pdf)
5. US. Department of Health and Human Services
6. National Geographic (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0309/feature1/online_extra.html)
8. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (http://www.ncadv.org/files/HumanTrafficking.pdf)
9. United Nations (http://www.un.org/News/briefings/docs/2009/090513_UNODC.doc.htm)
10. Shared Hope International (http://www.sharedhope.org)
11. Dallas Police Department Source: Teen Identity
12. Harvard (http://hir.harvard.edu/index.php?page=article&id=1255)