Generation Cedar

We’re sheltered. All of us. And maybe you’re like me–we know bad things happen and occasionally we reach out in some small way to try to help. But mostly, we just try to shut the worst of it out, try to imagine that there aren’t really so many humans as evil and depraved as we hear about from time to time.

But then we read something, or hear about it, and this one time, God will not let go. That’s what has happened to me.

“…an estimated 27 million people worldwide are forced to work in slave labor camps with little or no pay or are trapped in brothels in sexual slavery.”

To be honest, I wasn’t very familiar with human sex trafficking. I mean I knew it existed but I really thought it was only something that happened sporadically, and not very often, in some remote, foreign country somewhere. I didn’t have any idea of the magnitude and I didn’t know how prevalent it was in the US until recently.

I read Eden: a sex slave story and it gripped me. It made me sick and furious all at once. And it won’t let go. And I can’t not do something. (Warning: the article contains graphic and violent descriptions and is not suited for a young audience.)

All I can hear is Isaiah 58:6:

“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?”

My family is discussing different ways to get involved in helping. We have found a local shelter with all sorts of opportunities and we’re talking to them about those.

There is also an incredible ministry that performs actual rescue operations around the world. The Exodus Road specifically focuses on connecting funds from the West with undercover surveillance and rescue operations in the East (where the largest percentage of sex trafficking occurs).

Facts about human trafficking:

  • There are more modern day slaves right now than at any other point in human history.
  • Currently, an estimated 27 million people worldwide are forced to work in slave labor camps with little or no pay or are trapped in brothels in sexual slavery (This figure is highly debated and estimates range from 10 million to 30 million).
  • Human trafficking is the 3rd most lucrative illegal crime globally, behind the sale of guns and drugs.
  • It is estimated that every sixty seconds, two children are sold for sex worldwide.
  • The average cost of a slave is $90.
  • Human trafficking involves exploitation which can take many forms including: Misleading victims into debt bondage, subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude, fear and intimidation, physical and sexual abuse, forcing victims to participate in sex acts for the sake of pornography, withholding victim’s passports/papers as a means of control.
  • A victim of modern day slavery can be in any of the following categories, according to the US State Department:  Forced labor, sex trafficking, bonded labor, debt bondage for migrant workers, involuntary domestic servitude, forced child labor, child soldiers, and child sex trafficking.
  • Modern day slavery occurs in 161 countries (of the 195 total countries), including the United States.
  • Human trafficking, according to the U.N. Trafficking Protocol is “the recruitment, transport, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a person by such means as threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of adbuction, or fraud or deception for the purpse of exploitation.”
  • Around 70% are female and and an estimated half are under the age of 18.

And I keep thinking how big it is and how impossible it feels. But I also keep thinking of this: never in history have we had the power of social media like we do now. I read that gripping story through social media. The Exodus Road can reach the whole world through the same platform.

And this blog, which I consider a gift for which I am responsible to steward, can reach people and bring awareness that might turn anger to action.

So I’m asking you to consider helping however the Lord leads you. As our family prayerfully considers how to help, I will keep you up to date with specific opportunities that arise. Or, you can go straight to an organization like The Exodus Road and help there.

Or perhaps there is a local shelter near you where you could help. We can all do something.

At the very least, sharing this post will help reach one more person with the stories.


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15 Responses

  1. Hi Kelly~ This issue has been heavy on my heart also. There has been a pressing call to do something…so far I have been praying and praying. Thanks for the post. So encouraged that God works in and through the whole body. It takes every limb, organ and sense to get a big job done…working together, of one mind and in one accord, imagine what we can accomplish! Fighting the GOOD fight!

  2. Thank you so much Kelly, I will discuss this with my family! I was just relating that story to my mom.

  3. We have a wonderful organization in our area called WAR. It stands for Women at Risk. They are involved in this fight. They rescue women (and girls) and while they are recovering they are taught a skill and given legitimate work making jewelry which is then sold here and the money reinvested in their efforts to rescue more women.

    Thanks for bringing up this important topic!

  4. I’m from Seattle where this is a huge problem. Yes, there are many resources and shelters. Be sure to know what “signs” to look for to identify the victims, as well, so you can identify who to reach out to. If you live near a major port, this is definitely an issue in your region.

  5. I have been researching this and praying about how to get involved for some months now. How did you go about finding a local shelter? As an aside, I don’t know if you’re aware, but the Super Bowl is one of the largest sex trade events in the world every year.

    1. I just did a search for it in my state and it turns out, it’s really close to us. We’re praying about our oldest daughter taking a part time job there as a mentor who also teaches life skills.

      Yes, I was aware of that. Reason #58 I hate the Super Bowl.

      1. Sorry, I guess the whole article doesn’t show up at the link unless you’re a member. (There is a way to get a free trial membership, though, for anyone interested in reading that article or others at the site.)

  6. The Eden story was horrifying; just reading it made me feel physically ill. I can’t imagine the horror of actually enduring the experience.

    You have motivated me to dig deeper into this issue, to not turn a blind eye or deaf ear anymore to something I knew was “out there” but that I didn’t bother to look into with anything more than a superficial glance.

    I did not know until today, after further research, that human trafficking is a huge problem in my area. Every county in my largely rural state has had documented sex trafficking cases. I had thought it was primarily an urban problem, or something that was a problem in coastal areas, and not so much in the interior, in Small Town USA. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

    Thank you for writing about this, Kelly. A much-needed eye opener.


    Destiny Rescue rescues girls in Thailand, girls who have been sold into prostitution. I personally know a lady involved with them.
    I also know pple involved locally, in our city, in a similar thing. Yes, there are ways to help. This should really be over! and prayer, of course, lots of prayer.

    1. It is horrible! A few years ago we learnt of this and we knew the signs of business’ that might be using slave labor etc. I was eating at a Chinese restaurant when i realized this bussiness was doing just that… One of the signs is if none of the waitress can speak good English and if the head people watch them closely not letting them spend to much time with the customers. And also if there are new girls every couple weeks. This one very kind waitress was trying to talk with us she told us she had a son back in china and she was working to take care of him. That is another sign they prosumer these women if they work they can take better care of their families. But it will be many many years if at all the see their families.. I gave her my number and a man from fla called me Sammy wanted him to call and thank us for our tip…he was America and then started telling me that they move the girls around so much they don’t know what state their in most of the time. I knew right there something was wrong… So I called the trafficking number we had been given when we learnt about it and reported the business.. I kid you not that business closed down 2 weeks after!!! Those girls come in by the bus load… The main state they come to is New York then they bus them all over the country. I remember wearing a orange bracelet for awareness. Modern day slaves I think is what it was called. There is also something else awful watch Its a girl… That’s about India and china and what they do to the baby girls over there. That’s why my daughter wants to good to India…..

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