Editor’s note: In our efforts to recognize National Human Trafficking Awareness Day (January 11th), we’re featuring a guest blog post from one of our HELP One Now Blogger Advocates, Elora Ramirez. Elora blogs at eloranicole.com and her book (a novel) about human sex trafficking is due out later this year. If you would like to learn more about what we are doing to stop human trafficking, particularly in Haiti, then check out our We Have Not Forgotten page.
It took me twenty-seven years to redefine the term orphan.
In one fell swoop, a sweet and feisty teenage girl maneuvered her way into my heart and hunkered down in all the uncomfortable places until I had no where else to look but up. She’s been there ever since – a constant reminder of the internal shift that happened to me when she first grabbed my hand on that makeshift path to her school.
And here’s my confession: I don’t like to think about it. Right now, I’m sitting under no less than five blankets in a comfortable apartment. I just ate my fill of rice and chicken and although the neighbors can get kinda loud, I have no worries of men taking me when then sun falls beneath the horizon and I’m still fetching water.
So here I sit, the night before a day set aside to raise awareness for human trafficking, and I’m forced to reckon with the reality of girls (and boys) across the world deal with on a daily basis. Even more – these are children who have names. Faces. Voices. I see their smiles and I hear their laughter. I know them.
And more than anything in the world I want to protect them.
I’ve written a lot about trafficking over the past few years. It’s a muddy situation at best. But what I’ve come to realize is how imperative it is for the church to come together and fight against insidious battle over our children. It’s spiritual in nature – targeting the very temple of God. And we can talk about it and shake our heads and knit our brows and exclaim I just can’t believe that happens…
But eventually our actions need to back up our words.
Recently, God in a Brothel author Daniel Walker traveled to multiple cities on a mini-book tour. His focus was simple: tell the story – the whole story – and then offer those present a way to tangibly help fight the battle with human trafficking. How?
Through sponsorship, you take away so much of the middle man. Families don’t become desperate for funds. Children are educated. Communities are changed. Slowly, the repercussions are life-altering – changing the course of generational sin and corruption through a gospel-based approach of humanitarian work.
This is why I agreed to guest post today. Not because of how trafficking keeps me up at night, not because of things I’ve written…but because of my belief in getting our hands deep in the lives of these children. I think of Rose – how in a few years, she’ll take a test at the end of 8th grade. Based on her scores, she’ll attend high school – maybe college – and become who she believes she can become: a teacher, a doctor, a lawyer…the possibilities will be endless.
And she’ll do this through sponsorship.
You have the opportunity.
Will you be their one? We may not end trafficking overnight. But one by one, we’ll lessen the demand. And for those ones? It will mean all the change in the world.