Friday, April 22, 2011

The most destructive disease.

[With the semester wrapping up and my freshman year coming to a close (AH. WHAT?), blogging has not been a real possibility in my world. I'll be home on May 4th and back in action though, and I have a few things I've written down that I've felt compelled to write about once I have a free second that isn't taken up by exams and papers and endless math formulas. That being said, I just wanted to share this brief but very serious point.]

I'm currently in the middle of Panarctica (The Panera close to my house which is always freezing) working on my American Lit final essay. For my topic, I've chosen to compare the point of view in John Woolman's "Some Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes" and comparing it with the issue of modern day slavery. Human Trafficking is not an issue I take lightly, so you can take it without any surprise that I am currently looking like a fuming hot mess in the frozen corner booth, slurping down unending amounts of Dr. Pepper and lemon while furiously highlighting away articles upon articles with statistics on human trafficking in the United Stated.
The United States. America. Ah-mur-i-CAH. The country known for freedom and prosperity and greasy McDonalds sold in elephant sized portions; not exactly the place that comes to mind when one hears the term "human trafficking". But it should.  See, the seedy back alleys and red light districts of Asia and Europe are not the only places that women and children are used and exploited for sex.
Want to know some scary facts about human trafficking in America?* 

- 75%-80% of human trafficking is for sex, and 50% of all people trafficked are children.
- There are currently more people enslaved than there ever have been in history, and the cost of a slave is lower than it ever has been.
- The United States is listed among the top destinations for clients of human trafficking, with the most popular locations being California, New York, and Florida.
- Human trafficking has been reported in all 50 states and Washington D.C. 
- There is a large number of children and teenagers being trafficked in America between the ages of 9-19, with the average being 11 years old.
and the one I personally found the most disturbing:
- There are currently an estimated 13 million children enslaved around the world.

Take a second and let that sink in. Until I began to research this topic not only for my paper but for my trip this summer, the numbers didn't seem real. It's easy to look at "13 million" and think "Oh, that's a big number," and move on with your life without letting the reality of how completely huge it is set in. 13 million children is a freaking ton of them. 13 million is larger than the population of many countries in Europe, and not just the tiny ones only nerdy little home schoolers like myself know about and memorized the capitals of in middle school.

The population of Finland is 5,357,537. The number of children currently enslaved is 13,000,000.
The population of Austria is 8,470,929. The number of children currently enslaved is 13,000,000.
Iceland has a population of 304,261 . There number of children currently enslaved is roughly 43 times larger than that number. 

Wrap your mind around how huge that number is. If that doesn’t deeply disturb us, we have a problem. 
Children are supposed to be innocent and carefree and obnoxious and snot nosed, playing with unrealistically proportioned dolls and racing bikes around a neighborhood street, not being forced into having sex with men old enough to be their fathers countless times a day.
This is a serious issue. It’s a disease plaguing the entire world, not just America. It’s disgusting. It’s destructive. It’s just flat out evil. 

These are the things my team and I will be facing and fighting in Thailand this summer. This is the evil we are up against. It’s real and spreading and constantly growing, and it will not be an easy force to contend with. We have to arm ourselves with prayer and incredible spiritual strength, trusting entirely in the strength and power of Christ to get us through it, with Him fighting along side us. 
Keep my team in prayer as we prepare for this journey, for strength (not only spiritually, but mentally and physically as well), for unity and love among us and pouring from us, and for all of us to be used as we are needed during our two months in Thailand. 

[As the trip gets closer and closer, I’m slowly put surely reaching the fully funded point. I’m currently at 75% exactly and still need $1250 before my deadline next month. Praise God for the money that has come in so far and thank you all for the support, both financially and prayerfully, that you have given me so far!]

* information from