As Christians, we have to answer this question. Whether we are called to serve God where we are now, or called to travel thousands of miles to share the good news with others, we should be ready and willing to give up everything for the cause of Christ. In Matthew 16:24-25, Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
I was pleasantly surprised to hear about people I know and have worked with giving it all for the cause of Christ. Rachel Goodrich, 19, of Hopkins was inspired by a video from the Call + Response company detailing the horrors of human trafficking to give up everything for the cause. Rachel and her mother, Nancy, have started “Free Them,” a 501c3 non-profit organization which exists for the reason of making the reality of human trafficking known by educating others. Rachel has already set off on a four-month trip, riding her horse, Starlight, to San Fransisco on what she calls the “Free Them Ride.” Nancy will accompany Rachel on this trip in a horse trailer and they will speak at youth events, host meet-ups and banquets, and invite folks for chats by the Trailer Side Café.
“We hope to raise awareness by passing out pamphlets, and updating viewers in a video blog on Youtube.com,” Rachel said. “The more people we interact with, the more connections we will make, and the more networking we do, the better chance we have of spreading the word.”
Trafficking involves the buying and selling of humans, usually women or children, for economic gain via means of force or deception. Some may think that human trafficking is only an issue outside the western world. Think again. It is impacting America. The U.S. State Department estimates that between eighteen and twenty thousand people are trafficked into the U.S. every year. Every year, the American government alone spends about fifty-five million dollars to combat this issue.
Please pray for Rachel and Nancy as they seeks to educate others about human trafficking, but more importantly, pray for all of the victims of human trafficking. Pray that help would come, and that they would know the healing power of Christ.
“I’m ready for this adventure. It is something that you just have to do,” said Rachel. “It is our calling.”
Learn More About Trafficking
Prevention: The most effective way to stop the trafficking of the innocent is by preventing it from happening in the first place. This is, of course, much more easily said than done. Such prevention would require change on many levels of society through educating families at the grassroots level, passing stricter laws to combat organized crime, and working with organizations to provide economic development in areas where trafficking is rampant.
Intervention: In many places in the world, certain groups focus exclusively on rescuing victims from slavery but do nothing to help those victims return to their life of slavery but do nothing to help those victims become productive members of society. For that reason, many times the victims return to their life of slavery, because that is all they know. Therefore, a follow-up plan for getting these victims into homes, ministries, and educational institutions is absolutely crucial. A more intentional intervention is needed to see that these people are placed in a healthy environment where they can be educated and loved.
Rehabilitation: In order to rehabilitate the children who fall victim to trafficking, many more orphanages and children’s homes are desperately needed. It was the apostle James who said, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (1:27).
–Dangerous Faith by Joel Vestal
Women At Risk International unites and educates women to create circles of protection and hope around women at risk through culturally sensitive, value-added intervention projects.
Call + Response: We believe the end of modern day slavery will come from individuals who gather together to push on businesses, media, and governments to support their existing values for human rights. We believe that this is a bottom-up movement that needs dynamic information, sustained inspiration, and most importantly, tactile activation.
HOPE Project: The Hope Project’s mission is to bring restoration and healing from the effects of sexual trafficking. The Hope Project provides residential and non-residential treatment programs. Our programs utilize a holistic approach to rehabilitation by providing comprehensive services to address the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of recovery.