January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and I couldn’t let January end without writing about it. We must talk about injustice after the month is over – because injustice continues all year long. There are tiny children working as slaves, women in brothels, families that are torn apart every day. We can’t let needy people fall by the wayside just because January is over.
Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
James 1:27 CSB
God loves justice – and that’s why we as Christians should too. He weeps for injustice, and so should we. Oppression is rampant in our world, and even in the United States. North Carolina is one of the top ten states for trafficking in America. Human trafficking, slavery, systematic racism, sexism, assault, abuse, corruption are running the world behind closed doors.
Learn to do what is good. Pursue justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow’s cause.
Isaiah 1:17 CSB
In October, I traveled with 3 friends to Washington D.C. to attend International Justice Mission’s 2017 NorthStar conference. Hundreds of college students gathered to learn how to take on the fight to end slavery, what it’s like to work in the field, how to have vision and strategy in daily life and on campus, and why we should be generous with our money.
What I learned about advocacy:
- Sometimes we think that raising awareness is all that we can do. But we must raise awareness so that we can motivate action. Because awareness is just a small step, but it doesn’t put out the fire.
- There is no scarcity of resources in God’s kingdom.
- Ask yourself – where can you help? What God-given abilities do you have? What are you good at? Combine your passion + love + talent to find your unique gift for the kingdom.
- Boldly say to the Lord – “Here I am, send me.” Don’t ask timidly, ask with faith that he will hear and use you.
- We work with talents we did not earn. We walk through doors we did not open. It’s all God.
- Don’t run from the conversation, run to the fight.
- Prayer is the most powerful tool in the fight for justice.
So how can we make sure that people are aware of injustice outside of Human Trafficking Awareness Month?
- Be vocal – talk about trafficking with your friends, family, and coworkers. Speak out on social media. Use whatever platforms you have to make a difference.
- Get involved on a local level – with just a little bit of research, you can find specific places to volunteer in your state or on your university’s campus. I’m a part of IJM at NC State, and there are other great NC organizations like Project No Rest and Alamance for Freedom.
- Be generous – all of our money belongs to God anyway! And so we’re called to use those resources to help others. Since it’s all God’s – we have nothing to be anxious about.
- Pray – absolutely the most important thing we can do. I think we often underestimate the power of prayer in these real, tangible situations. We can’t all be the ones pulling girls out of brothels, but we can all advocate through prayer.
Justice isn’t easy, cheap, or safe. It’s dangerous, dark, and full of sacrifice. But Jesus is with us through it all.
Where to learn more:
- The New Activist podcast
- Project No Rest
- In Plain Sight podcast
- National Human Trafficking Hotline
- Dressember Foundation
- The Locust Effect by Gary Haugen