It’s safe to say that watching Nefarious: Merchant of Souls last week has had a powerful and a significant impact on my wife and I. Just last night, Michelle came to me in tears asking if we could pray as the plight of the child prostitutes in Cambodia (amongst other places) continued to weigh on her mind and break her heart. We wept and cried out to God together for mercy, justice and the light of the gospel to shine out in these dark, deviant places. I’m sure the film has affected many in a similar way.
Those who follow me on Twitter could not have missed the stream of devastating facts that I tweeted last week about the scale and the scandal of sex trafficking in the world right now. In case you missed them, here they are again:
- 10% of the population of Moldova have been trafficked! 400,000 trafficked in the last 20yrs. Traffickers wait at the gates of orphanages.
- There are currently 2.8million prostitutes in Thailand – equivalent to the entire population of Wales. 800,000 of them are children.
- In the brothels of Cambodia receipts are printed with the following breakdown:
Beer: $4; Grapes: $5; Girl: $3.
- In Cambodia 80-90% of families sell their daughters for sex.
- Prostitutes have a mortality rate that is 40 times higher than national average.
- 95% of prostitutes were abused as children.
- The average age that children enter into prostitution in the US is 13.
After tweeting those gut-wrenching, devastating facts, many got in touch with me to ask what we can do to confront this evil and bring about hope and justice. I have to confess that this whole issue is very new to me and if I’m coming across like a guy with all the answers, forgive me because I’m not. I’m simply an increasingly passionate advocate with a very loud voice and faith in a big God. That said, I do know of some ways that we can all be involved in taking action. I’ve shamelessly swiped these 3 action points from the Nefarious. But here’s what YOU can do:
You can get on your knees and cry out to God. James 5:16 says “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” If you don’t know what to pray for, check out Exodus Cry for help and inspiration. Also connect with the A21 Campaign and Hookers for Jesus.
You can arm yourself with facts and statistics (like the ones above) and use whatever means are at your disposal to spread the word. There really is no greater use of social media than using it to raise awareness of social tragedies such as the global sex trade. This vile criminal industry thrives in the shadows and sadly many would rather remain ignorant of the facts because ignorance is bliss. However, it’s not bliss for the 27 million slaves who are in the world today. By confronting people with raw, uncomfortable truths we shine light into the darkness and as we do, people will start to demand action. I love what revolutionary abolitionist MP William Wilberforce said on this: “You may choose to look the other way but you can never again say you did not know.”
Nothing reveals what’s truly going on in our hearts like our wallets! Yes, this issue needs our prayer and it needs our voice, but it also demands our cash! There are several ministries who you could support financially and who you can be guaranteed will put your money to good use. However, rather than give you a ridiculous list, I’ll narrow it down to just 2: Exodus Cry and the A21 Campaign. Click on either of those links and it’ll take you to their donation pages. Why not considering sacrificially supporting these guys financially and play your part in ending sex slavery?
So those are 3 simple ways to get involved. However, there remains the challenge of what we do about the issue of sex trafficking locally here in Wales. We are really excited to be hooking up with the young lady who organised the Cardiff screening of Nefarious in the next week or so. Hopefully after that we’ll have a better understanding of what’s already happening locally and what opportunities there are for getting involved. So stay tuned and watch this space for more on that.
In the meantime, get praying, get vocal and get giving.