f**k human trafficking. there i said it.

source: amnesty international

Is it possible that we as Christians just aren’t angry enough about injustices like human trafficking and slavery?  Perhaps, we’ve grown too desensitized, domesticated, and docile. I’m not trying to say this for the sake of the ‘shock factor’ but I really believe there are times when the Church needs to have a deep[er] anger about the grave injustices of the world particularly when it involves the exploitation of children. Have we deduced our faith to convenient and self serving pleasantries?

Because we are informed and transformed by Christ, I wonder if we just need to say:

F**k [insert injustice here].  Enough is enough.

What else can you say when many sources cite as high as 27 million slaves around the world. In the sex trade industry, 80% are women and over half are minors – aka: children and teenagers – some younger than my three kids who are 10, 8, and even 6.

I guess Cornel West has a more eloquent way of saying the above:

Indifference to injustice is more insidious than the injustice itself.

Our church community is trying to do our small part. Compelled to do more but perhaps it begins with this ‘deep anger’ over the things that anger and grieve the heart  of God.  We hosted a film screening of Call+Response and gave the proceeds to Break the Chains/IJM. Found out today that this initiative through our denomination has already raised $332,000.  We then screened a Korean film called Crossing highlighting the situation in North Korea and raised more funds.  We had a great turnout for the film and KAC media came by for a quick report & interview:

Human trafficking and its numerous painful layers are also taking place in North Korea.  Check out this brutal article from Crosswalk entitled, North Korean Bride Trafficking: When Escape Becomes Bondage:

The translator could never capture the experience behind Young-Ae Kim’s emotional words, but he tried.

“She was raised with the idea that you have one lasting marriage – never did she imagine that she would be married three times by the age of 30, and treated like an animal.”

North Korean defector Young-Ae Kim told her story publicly on April 29, along with Mi-Sun Bang, another woman whose account bears tragic resemblance to hers. Both women told reporters at the National Press Club a story that is becoming all too common among North Korean women. Both women were victims of “Bride Trafficking” – being bought and sold as wives for single Chinese men along the border between North Korea and China.

Mark Lagon, former U.S. Ambassador at Large for Combating Trafficking and now executive director of the Polaris Project on Human Trafficking, says that these women are “thrice victimized” – starved in North Korea, sexually exploited once they escape to China and tortured if they are repatriated to their home country.

Brides for Sale

Human trafficking “the fastest growing criminal industry in the world,” according to the Polaris Project. In China, years of the one child policy combined with centuries of disregard for girl-children has led to a literal market for refugee women.

Back in the mid-nineties, Tom Hilditch’s article, “A Holocaust of Little Girls,” captured the essence of a country where girls don’t matter.

“The birth of a girl has never been a cause for celebration in China,” he wrote, “and stories of peasant farmers drowning new born girls in buckets of water have been commonplace for centuries. Now, however, as a direct result of the one-child policy, the number of baby girls being abandoned, aborted, or dumped on orphanage steps is unprecedented.”

It’s not hard to connect the dots to where all of this has ended. The shortage of women in China is nothing less than a national disaster – in some rural areas Chinese men outnumber women by a 14 to 1 ratio, according to the U.S. Committee on Human Rights in North Korea. It is into these rural border areas that North Korean women, desperate to escape the starvation in their homeland, are arriving. For human traffickers, the situation could not be more ideal.

Translating Tears

Mi-Sun Bang cries as she tells of the day that she and her son and daughter attempted an escape from North Korea. The Tumen River ends the lives of many refugees – numerous bodies have been found along the shore. But for Mi-Sun Bang, there was no choice. Her husband had starved to death in 2002, and making the river escape to China was her only hope for survival. “We entered holding hands,” she recalls, “but we were all separated.” Miraculously, they survived the crossing.

But her troubles were far from over. Upon entry into China, Mi-Sun Bang fell prey to human traffickers operating on the border. She was sold for $585 to an older, disabled Chinese man, the first of several “husbands” that she would be sold to. The string of abuses and heartache that followed would be enough to crush anyone’s spirit. Her final husband, fourteen years her junior, demanded that she bear him a son. Soon afterwards, Mi-Sun Bang was turned into the authorities and arrested. She was sent back to North Korea, to the horrors of a labor camp.

Mi-Sun pauses at this point in her story, reflecting, trying to restrain her emotions. “There, people gave up on being human,” she says finally. She was beaten severely. She asks through her translator, “Would anyone like to see my wounds?” Small person that she is, Mi-Sun stands on a chair in the front of the room. She pulls up her skirt, revealing where literal chunks of flesh have been ripped from her leg. She walks with a limp today.

Driven by Desperation

A new report released by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea captures the firsthand accounts of over 70 trafficking victims. “The women who cross the border, more often than male refugees, tend to do so in the company of others,” the Lives for Sale report states, “Eighteen percent of those interviewed crossed the border with people whom they later came to realize were traffickers.”

But what about the women who made their escape without the “aid” of a trafficker? The Committee’s report emphasizes the likelihood that these women will be solicited immediately. “Almost from the moment they cross the border – and sometimes beginning in North Korea – refugee women are targeted by marriage brokers and pimps.”

The report concludes with a host of recommendations for China, North Korea, the United States and the international community. While calling on China to cease the repatriation of North Korean refugees, and North Korea to “undertake economic and agricultural reforms” and “decriminalize movement across the border,” the report urges the United States to “launch new initiatives to provide protection and assistance to North Korean women” along the border.

The plight of North Korean women sheds light on the larger issue of trafficking around the world. According to the U.S. Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, over 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year. Trafficking occurs in 170 countries, all of which are profiled and ranked in the Office’s annual report. And in many cases, the victims themselves have recommendations. Mi-Sun Bang pleads for President Obama to ensure that no more North Korean women are sold like she was, “sold like livestock in China.”

With trafficking – modern day slavery – claiming nearly a million victims a year, each woman, man, and child has a story to tell. And the plight of North Korean brides-for-sale is no different. Each one has a unique and tragic tale of enslavement.

“They would not allow me to leave the house,” recounts one North Korean woman, “then someone from Yanji came to take me to Heilongjiange Province by train. Only when we arrived in a village in Heilongjiang did I hear I was going to be married.”


Check out some of these orgs that are engaging the work to combat human trafficking:

  • Break the Chains – an initiative of the Evangelical Covenant Church [denomination I am part of].
  • The Sold Project – Focused on fighting and stopping child prostitution. They visited Quest this past February.
  • Free the Slaves (Free the Slaves liberates slaves around the world, helps them rebuild their lives and researches real world solutions to eradicate slavery forever.)
  • International Justice Mission (Legal Advocates for Justice Around the World)
  • JustOne (Foundation for Relief & Development on Issues of Poverty, Orphans, and Human Trafficking)
  • Stop the Traffik (Abolitionists Coalition of Over 900 Organizations)
  • Not For Sale – Campaign to End Slavery
  • Love 146 – Love146 works toward the abolition of child sex trafficking and exploitation through aftercare, prevention and advocacy.
  • Call and Response: Film and Action. Show this film at your church!

75 Replies to “f**k human trafficking. there i said it.”

  1. This post reminds me of Tony Campolo’s sermon:

    “I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition.
    Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you are more upset with the fact that I said ’shit’ than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.”

  2. Eugene – I think the main problem is that in our westernized Christianity human trafficking doesn’t rate as something we must deal with. Oh sure, it’s not very nice, and yes, we are obviously “against” it. But then again, there are lots of not very nice things going on in the world. At best this leaves us to choose human trafficking (or something else) as “our cause.”

    “F**k human trafficking?”
    I say, “F**k causes.”

    The last thing the world needs is another Christian with a cause. What the world is crying out for however are Christians who see with the eyes of Christ, who hear with the ears of Christ, who have Christ’s heart beating in their chests, and who respond with the hands and feet of Christ.

    Until then, it’s a beauty contest of causes, even among ‘believers.’

  3. amen, Eugene.

    Mike- I think I get what you mean, but not all outreach programs are insincere. I’d say many if not most Christian “causes” are the direct result of seeing and hearing as Christ would have us. You seem to be begging for continual, organic action but dismissing it when it’s coordinated? Who cares how it gets accomplished, let right be done!

  4. mike, interesting argument. my question: what does “seeing with the eyes of christ” mean? is there an actual example of this happening, and what sets that example apart from being “another christian with a cause?”

  5. @mike – as usual, appreciate the push back. i hear what you’re saying.

    but in pursuing causes, i think we grow deeper for Christ.

    but the last thing we want is a beauty contest of just Christians, right?

  6. well said. “Seeing w/ the eyes of Christ”… Jesus’ heart bled & BLEEDS for movements against injustice. Call it a cause or whatever Mike. If it’s with a holy anger we get pissed and do our part to bring change, then DO WORK SON!


  7. Thank you! I think you communicated that very clearly. I have been trying to state what you did for years and you worded just right!
    Blessings! may we take a STAND in Christ!
    John 17
    Isaiah 1

  8. In general, I think as Christians we don’t get pissed off enough about things. I went downstairs to get a glass of water before responding to your blog and it occurred to me that we might all be trying to live by the verse that says something along the lines of “as far as it concerns you, live in peace with one another” or something. In a lot of areas, Christians (myself included) tend to not make waves.. there are enough Christians doing that already, right?

    But the thing is that Jesus himself experienced holy anger. There are some Scriptures in the psalms that move me because they talk about God’s wrath and those who are opposed to his children.

    I hate that Satan has so much territory on the earth, and I especially hate that satan has so much territory within the lives of the Lord’s loved ones (which would be all of us, regardless of our religious beliefs).

    It would be dishonest of me to pretend like I have never turned a blind eye or read facts and hoped someone else was doing something about it.. but the closer I get to Christ, the more I am literally unable to do that. My heart burns with anger for those who are the victims of severe injustice.

    There is a song we sing in The Salvation Army that I always relate to human trafficking. Here are the words:

    Soldiers of our God, arise!
    The day is drawing nearer.
    Shake the slumber from your eyes;
    The light is growing clearer.
    Sit no longer idly by
    While the heedless millions die
    Lift the bloodstained banner high and
    take the field for Jesus

    See the brazen hosts of hell,
    their art and power employing
    more than human tongue can tell
    the blood bought souls destroying
    Hark! From ruins ghastly road
    victims groan beneath their load
    Forward, o ye sons of God and
    dare or die for Jesus

    Soldiers of the Risen King;
    great army of salvation
    Spread his fame, his praises sing
    and conquer every nation
    Lift the glorious standard higher
    work for victory, never tire
    Forward march with blood and fire and
    win the world for Jesus

    Storm the forts of darkness, bring them down
    Storm the forts of darkness, bring them down
    Pull down the devil’s kingdom where’er he holds dominion
    Storm the forts of darkness

    Glory, honor to the Lamb
    Praise and power to the Lamb
    Glory, honor, praise and power
    be forever to the Lamb

  9. Eugene, I wish there was a ‘hell ya’ button on facebook. I am so thankful for this post and I have often wondered what would happen if I said something like that. I am glad you stepped out and did it. I co-found an anti-abortion organization and I get flak from all kinds of people. And something about abortion in the Christian community, I don’t know what it is but most often in justice topics, it is conveniently left out for some reason. We talk of poverty, slavery, clean water and those are great things and I am glad that there are Christians doing things in those areas. But we are losing 4000 babies A DAY to abortion. That is just in the United States. We lost about 3000 Americans at 9/11 due to terrorist attacks. Losing 4000 a day due to trained, legal, homegrown terrorists everyday should do something in us. Anyway, don’t want to totally vent on here, but keep up the good work. Praying for you bro.

  10. thank you eugene for your thoughtfulness, reflection and also candor. the prevalence of injustice is a direct measure of our spiritual state as a church and yet, I am wary of causes too. i value relationships because it is about people and in that there is a deeper engagement than just giving as a way of appeasement. that is where some of the most seismic shifts in our work towards the gospel. there is a reconciliation of our past indifference towards a current penetration of our hearts to those inflicted. in my work in new york, i have connected with so many stories of those who are refugees and to want to seek justice or equity. I have learned it is not about poverty and injustice. it is about people. the church needs to encounter that and to really beholden to the warning of our gospel call to them. not simply to give but to also live among them.

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  12. Just turn to MSNBC ever so often and you will find a marathon of human sex trafficking specials. I recently watched one on Cambodia called Children For Sale. The youngest girls were 8 years old. They weren’t even developed. It’s a lucrative, billion dollar industry that isn’t going to end any time soon. Why? Because the demand is so high.

    THE DEMAND IS SO HIGH. Especially amongst American and European men.

    Unfortunately, pedophilia is pathological and something you don’t normally get “cured” of.

    Unfortunately, a lot of Christian don’t want to get involved in anything outside of their financial gain and emotional comfort.

    Unfortunately, American Christians are so removed from human suffering they tsk tsk at the tv and change channels.

    Unfortunately, Christians want to safe-proof their lives so they will never suffer and forget that suffering makes them more like Christ.

  13. The ministry that I am part of has within the last year taken a stand on human trafficking – over seas and in our own back yard. From working in Thailand to rescue women and children from the sex tourism industry and getting them into environments where they can heal to the beginnings of group homes on our property for children who are undocumented in this country and working as prostitutes. Families and single moms are receiving specialized foster training to care for and eventually adopt sexually exploited children rescued from lives of prostitution here in the US.

    It is one thing to be against something, its another thing to do something as a community.

    A common phrase around here goes something along the lines of “we can be against things like abortion and human trafficking, but are we ready to take these children in tomorrow?”

  14. thank you for bringing this up. just to let you know, the presbytery of north puget sound might be teaming up with the free methodists, free the slaves, and hopefully every church in seattle to host “freedom sunday” next february.

  15. I don’t think everyone knows about this issue Eugene, and I do not believe that anger is an appropriate response. Human trafficking and modern day slavery are horrific and we need to take this information and teach people about basic human rights for everyone – everywhere. It will take a huge effort on several key issues – reducing poverty – increasing foreign aid – food aid and living more sustainably.

  16. The majority of victims in US human trafficking cases are woman and young girls from Central American and Asian countries primarily forced into the commercial sex industry and domestic servitude. Males are victimized in the migrant farming, restaurant, and other service-related industries. However, there are an increasing number of young males being forced in the commercial sex industry. (Source http://www.fbi.gov)

    According to the U.S. State Department, up to 800,000 people are trafficked around the world annually, and of these an estimated 17,000 victims are trafficked into the United States each year. There are up to 27 million active slaves in the world today, more than at the height of the Transatlantic slave trade.

  17. This is a difficult issue for many people because I think it take us face to face with a kind of evil that we can only imagine. The more I learn about human trafficking and much of the sexual degradation that is done to people all over the world, the more I realize that the people who dedicate their lives to this cause must have a mental and spiritual strength that is unimaginable to me. I either want to vomit and/or weep sometimes when I study this issue.

  18. Eugene –

    At “Call and Response” I saw that some people are sold for as little as $50. Earlier this month, I met several women in Thailand, though, who were each sold into forced prostitution for more than $20,000 USD to “snack bar” owners in Japan. They had to earn back the amount of money the brothel owners spent on them. It took between six months and three years to make that amount of money and get out. This is an industry that is waged with big dollar signs and business deals.

  19. I’m with Mike in thinking that causes are lame. The big problem with sex trafficking is that the logical movement of your cause would be to push other people (governments, police, politicians) to do something about the problem. The more Christ-like approach, as seen with Jesus himself dealing with prostitutes and thieves, is to go right to the source. Signing petitions and joining facebook groups is a pathetic way to fight sex slavery. Go to a brothel, go to a strip club, get your hands dirty and try to redeem somebody. It’s really not that radical of a concept when you see how open the sex trade is in other parts of the world. Sure one person freeing one women from prostitution isn’t going to end the problem, but aren’t there enough Christians who support this cause that if everyone took it upon themselves to get involved with one person affected by the sex trade industry, this problem would start to diminish.

    The real question/problem is, how actually upset are you? Enough to drop an F-bomb, or enough to step into a brothel.

  20. @chris waluk: good thoughts.

    “enough to drop an F-bomb or enough to step into a brothel.”

    actually, i’ll share more in the future if they let me.

    but i would push back that it has to be one or other other. there are orgs and people that are better equipped to do this so i don’t think we should diminish the value of partnership and collaboration.

  21. Chris, there’s a lot of truth to what you’re saying. But I agree with Pastor Eugene that discipleship takes many different forms – yes, you should get involved and get your hands dirty, and yes you should care beyond dropping an f-bomb; but you shouldn’t force yourself to do something that ends up hurting people because you don’t know enough about their situation or because you don’t have the resources to be effective. Jesus built a community of disciples around him: disciples who, though frail and human, still had many different talents and means of ministering to the people through collective action – we should be using all means at our disposal (whether it’s donations or political action or direct action) to further the cause of human dignity against these outrages.

    All the best,

  22. I don’t think everyone knows about this issue Eugene that is why we must keep using social networking to create awareness and educate. In addition, I do not believe that anger is an appropriate response. Human trafficking and modern day slavery are horrific and we need to take this information and teach people about basic human rights for everyone – everywhere. It will take a huge effort by many people on several key issues – reducing poverty – increasing foreign aid – food aid and living more sustainably to put an end to modern day slavery.

  23. Hey PE, hope you’re well!

    While I agree that human slavery is horrible, I’ve got a question about trafficking. What is the difference between a refugee who wants to come to a country for a better life and is therefore sanctioned by the receiving government to do so, and someone who pays another person to get them from one country to another illegally? Is the middleman the wrongdoer in this situation? Are you talking specifically about selling humans into bondage, or illegal immigration as well? It seems that here they’re lumped together and I think there’s a difference in motives.

  24. Thanks for saying it Eugene! I just heard this week that the government in Guatemala is bringing food into the slums and giving it out to people in exchange for their commitment to attend rallies in support of the president who is under investigation for corruption right now.

    And that is what I wanted to say… F**k that!!!

  25. Sorry Eugene… left you hanging.

    To be clear, I LOVE “non-Christians” (if I can use the term) with causes. There’s a point of intersection for us. But Christians, no. Our “cause” is the Kingdom. Sure, we can’t do everything, and we may need to choose where we will expend out energies in the pursuit of the Kingdom, but I maintain that is different than a cause. If it’s just a cause, then I can dismiss human trafficking, because after all, that’s Eugene’s cause, not mine.

    I know that sounds a little convoluted, but hopefully it makes sense. What I think I’m saying is that followers of Jesus should have somewhat different reasons for doing good.

    PS. And you’re right Eugene. An f-bomb on occasion is absolutely called for.

  26. I didn’t realize that Eugene was a pastor. I’m not sure if this is relovent, but my first impression of the post was, “I’m sick of hearing how people care about something, just go out and do something about it with the people the people who are effected by the problem.” Then when I found out Eugene was a pastor I thought, “Yeah, pastors really do need to encourage their congregations to get fired up about injustice like this.”

    Hmmm, not sure if this makes me some kind of hypocrite, but I just thought I’d throw that out there. I still think that people underestimate their ability to care for individuals effected by social injustice. There’s a woman in Guatemala who says, “Love is the greatest medicine, but it costs more than anything.” I think she’s right, and I think our culture is too quick to use money and awareness as solutions and too reluctant to get personally involved. How many families are willing to give $30 a month to “adopt” an orphan, but how many families actually do adopt orphans? There are enough charitable people in this world to give $30/month; Christians should be more inclined to give up their lives to their cause.

    Having said all that, the only nightmares I’ve had in the last 4 years came after seeing an infant who had been sexually abused. Unfortunately, I actually had to see that shit before it really pissed me off. It’s the disconnect from the abused that causes the apathy we often see in America.

  27. I think I get what mike is saying now. i don’t think i agree entirely, but i hear it. we probably all have different thought structures for what a cause-like-thing is to us–likely different experiences with causes and such.

    i don’t know how to look at human trafficking or hunger or extreme poverty or oppressions and forgotten people and the voiceless sufferers and not be totally destroyed. totally and utterly destroyed to the smallest fiber of my being for the dehumanization and exploitation of my fellow humans.

    how do we choose words for these things? i like to say i have no problem with so-called swear words because we need them- they have context. and we must reserve them for situations like these. things like this? they deserve these words.

    cornel rocks.
    nice campolo quote from the commenter above. tony bleeds for people with the love of jesus.
    i think when we bleed like that, we can’t help but throw our lives and love for jesus at the injustices of the world, and i consider it entirely natural that we use strong, harsh, unique language– appropriate language–when we speak of such things.

    grace and peace to you-
    thanks for your post.

  28. PS. Eugene, my wife is just back from two weeks of hanging out in sex bars in Bangkok and talking with the women working there, so I’m a little worked up about this…

  29. @mike: agreed, we should be about the Kingdom. But what is the Kingdom? What does it look like?

    Even the Kingdom needs flesh.

    This is why the Gospel is so compelling to me. It is not merely propositional truth but personal truth – ultimately personified in Jesus – life, cross, and resurrection.

    Causes – for me – is a medium by which we can see the a deeper glimpse of the Kingdom. Clearly, the dangers – some you listed – are clearly there.

    But when you went and came back from Ethiopia and Rwanda (if my memory serves me correctly), you not only wrote about the Kingdom but you mentioned people and orgs that were doing work. You encouraged people to consider giving…to what?

    To Kingdom? Well, yes…but via people, orgs, churches, and causes because the Kingdom encompasses all those things.

    I agree with you…but just see it from another angle. I think.

  30. I agree…f**k human trafficking and the sex trade.

    This monstrosity needs to be addressed here in the US as well as abroad. One of the ways that we can do this is by hitting the companies who are feeding into human trafficking in their pocketbooks. Like the coffee and chocolate companies that use slaves to harvest the coffee bean and the cacao. Like buying socially responsible clothes not sewn together by woman and children in sweat shops.

    There are a bunch of organizations that train people to spot human trafficking and the sex trade right in your own neighborhood. Why not get trained to see what is going on and learn how to report it to the authorities?

    I agree that we have to be willing to get our hands dirty…to go into a brothel and love the women who believe they have become unlovable. I also believe that raising awareness is important. I am shocked daily at how few people actually consider human trafficking an issue.

  31. We don’t care and we need to care more. We don’t care… why?

    1. Lack of focus

    Honestly, there are a TON of causes to support. Genocide in Rwanda and Darfur, the AIDS epidemic, orphans in China, famine in Sudan, female genital mutilation, not to mention the myriad of issue at home as well as the evangelistic/missions causes like bible smuggling and translation, educating native missionaries and tons more that I can’t think of right now.

    We need to have more of an emotional response to all of these issues but as finite beings, we have limited emotional capability. We have limited emotional resources.

    My recommendation is to focus our limited resources (emotions, money, time) on one cause, and not to feel guilty about “not caring” about other causes. Ask God to give us more of his heart, but don’t feel guilty about being a limited being. Is that wrong?

    2. Lack of personal connection.

    It’s not that people are not educated. I think a LOT of people know about sex trafficking that do not emotionally care about it. We don’t care because we don’t have a personal connection to the issue. I know that all of the organizations I donate to are organizations that personally know and that I have personally come into contact with both the cause and the people who run the organizations.

    We can’t expect people to respond emotionally to something they’ve only read about and have never seen first hand. Reading about something on a blog can be a start, but that’s all it is.

    Can we expect people to pour their financial resources into organizations that they know nothing about? Many organizations have the best of intentions but do not use their finances correctly. They are not efficient. They are run by someone who is passionate about a cause but know nothing about running an organization, managing people, and communicating vision. Is it wrong not to want to invest in organizations that are not well run?

  32. I have thought about the idea of why the church does not care more lately. The main idea I keep coming back to is that we view these as problems the government should be/is dealing with. I totally understand the craziness of that but somehow we believe that some issues are church issues (feeding the homeless, repairing peoples homes) and some are government issues (aids, slavery, trafficking) I don’t know why this sub-thought is there but no doubt to me it is. I could go on and on with more thoughts on this but it’s your blog!

  33. Definately and Defiantly agree!
    If you want to do something you can see what a community (led by the church interestingly) is doing in a south London borough. We’ve collapsed the sex industry locally from over 100 operating brothels to less than 30. We’re training other boroughs to do likewise to ensure no displacement only! NOw we’ve gone global with the support of stopthetraffik.org who has written up our jounrey of community action to stop trafficking (focus on sex trafficking as that how it manifests locally – not anti prostitution per se) – check out their ACT programme to learn how to do it at http://www.stopthetraffik.org

  34. The focus of human trafficking often tends to be international, however, it is a significant issue in our own country as well. The average age of a girl entering prostitution in our country is 13. There is not nearly enough attention being brought to this issue nor are there enough programs to address it.

    A film I recommend is Very Young Girls, which is produced by the GEMS program in New York City, which acts as an alternative to incarceration for young girls who are arrested for prostitution. That’s right, not only are girls being exploited and forced into prostitution from the age of 13, but they are being arrested and oftentimes convicted for it while their pimps and the men who utilize their services go free.

    The GEMS program model is an example of a way to address the issue, but it is on a very small scale and requires others to support them and also to create similar programs to address the issue in other areas of the country.

  35. yeah, so i write a blog suggesting that Walmart witholding Green Day is an inconsistent message, and that Green Day has something to say and you know what?

    I get blasted for suggesting that Christians ever use or listen to bad language.

    Oh, and I got accused of not thinking like a Christian.

    Good thing I hadn’t yet written up the controversy over at your blog, as I had planned on doing. Because, well, sometimes language actually gets to carry the meaning it is supposed to have in the first place.

    Insane. We really care about the right stuff these days, don’t we? ugh.

  36. Well, I don’t know what to make of this…My wife and I live in Cebu, Philippines and have for 20 years now. We have a home for sexually abused girls and about five years ago began working with IJM and Love 146 and others to provide a safe house for traffic victims. actually after cleaning them up (taking off the gross make-up, etc. to make them look older) they are little girls. Last week or so, we rescued 57 from one “casa” in the inner city, eight were all very young. We will take those little ones, the others will be put in a book and wait until someone comes along to invite them into their home or life.

    This Monday we interviewed three little girls, 8, 11 and 12 all victims of incests. We don’t have money, but we have to say come and become a part of our family, what else can you say? You see love doesn’t just get mad, it acts. Righteous anger overturns those keeping people from the Father’s house.

    One last thing, Nancy and I turn sixty this year, we will never leave the Philippines. We have six grand children in America and miss them and our family. But the incarnation of Jesus insists we make a sacrifice. Where are the young people that will sell all they have and come follow Christ? Talk is cheap and so is blogging, love demands enlisting in the Army of God (thanks to the Salvation Army blog).

    Just a few thoughts,


  37. Glen,

    I really appreciated your note. But I would disagree with your general statement about talk being cheap and so is blogging. Words are extremely powerful. You don’t know Eugene, many of the commenters, and others who use words as one of their ways to honor Christ.

    I say this because I want to make sure people know that they don’t have to be in the Philippines to live out their faith.

    You wrote:

    “Where are the young people that will sell all they have and come follow Christ?”

    Have your kids and grandkids sold all they have? Again, thanks for your beautiful comment but think that we have to be careful with general statements.

  38. Yes as a general statement ‘talk is cheap and so is blogging’!
    I am sitting in a warm room (blogging) with an apple laptop and wireless internet, NOT living in the Philippines, NOT in my 60’s and NOT away from my family – the type of comfort I’m enjoying is practically royalty.

    I think what Glenn Garrison is saying is not to belittle blogging and communicating this subject, but I do have to say I see a lot of people doing just that, communicating – but with very little foot to ass so to speak, in actually acting out on this subject.

    While there needs to be education in this area of injustice, it would be good to see more action/outlets for opportunity.

    Who knows, if people like myself spent more of their energy in a proactive approach rather than finding petty statements to pick holes in that justifies their lack of doing anything…

    …maybe we would see our world changed.

  39. i just want to second or third or wherever we are that this blog is not a cheap blog- but a very valuable one at that. I think I understood what glenn was saying, but wanted to affirm that there are some blogs likely making a powerful difference and i’d wager this is one of them.

    thanks for the hard work you put in on these blogs, Eugene. it is meaningful work.


  40. I’ve really enjoyed reading some of your blog posts. I live in Seattle and will be leaving the area soon to attend graduate school at the American University in Cairo. It’s a dual MA in International Human Rights Law and Conflict and Forced Migration Studies.

    If you haven’t already come across it we have a group here in Seattle that works on human trafficking issues.
    I volunteered with them and their ‘parent’ org, the International Rescue Committee. The group is called WARN (Washington Anti-trafficking Response Network) and it combines people and resources from federal prosecutors, non-profits, local police, and immigration. It’s a really terrific organization and one i encourage you to take a look at!

    Human trafficking is in the top 3 ways in which organized crime syndicates generate money along with guns and drugs… and sadly, it’s rapidly moving up to replace them because it can be so hard to identify.

    Anyway, loved the blog! Thanks for putting it out there…

  41. Eugene, I am glad you re-posted your article. I still believe that what is truly required of each of us is that we do whatever it is that our hand finds to do. For instance, International Justice Mission partners with us here in the Philippines to rescue and prosecute recruiters, bar owners, etc. that are involved in this nasty trade. To date we have over 100+ girls that are waiting for placement in some aftercare facility. Currently there are only four facilities available and only ours provides long term care and training needed to change the future for the girls. Anyone interested in coming on board and learning what they can do? This is a serious call.

    Contact us and we will give you something you can do to make a real difference.

    God bless,


  42. I reposted this today on my twitter and got this response

    Toby KnoblauchI “am with you in the cause, but I am sad about your language, Phil. we won’t change anything unless we do things God’s way, and that surely includes (and starts at!) our tongue (see James 3:5-9).
    2 hours ago · Delete”

    Hey, Im getting crap for your language Eugene, haha.

    The more that I think about this the sadder I am though as my friend card more about the word F**K than about the issue. Sad.

  43. There will always be some twits who can’t ignore their own small religious mindsets.

    It’s interesting to see who gets offended by the fact that Humans are still being sold into slavery in 2009, or who would rather take offense at a statement despite the title being a ploy to arouse more interest and attention to this subject.

    Yes, lets get convicted from God through James 3:5-9 but lets not forget or diminish Mark 12:31. (and sometimes to do just that, us christians need a reminder slap – in the face!)

    I sure hope the people that find the ‘F-word’ offensive, hold that type of conviction for the lost and hurting in our world too… whats that quote about the measure you use will be used for you?

    Mate, I’m tempted to conclude this with a series of colourful words! haha.

  44. TokyoCityBlues mentioned the WARN, a great effort led by a tireless abolitionist. I’d also encourage people to join SeattleAgainstSlavery.org at one of our meetings as the org is fast becoming the hub for the 20+ other local anti-slavery organizations in Seattle. Yes, there really are that many orgs working locally–it’s worth getting to know about them!

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