They could be your neighbor. They could be in your family. Girls of all ethnic groups and socio-economic categories get victimized by the sex trafficking industry. Sadly, they go to work in massage parlors, strip clubs, escort services, and “health spas.” Experts estimate that 293,000 children in the U.S. are in danger of being sexually trafficked. Sadly, traffickers sell minor girls for $400 an hour on American streets, and those same minors are sold an average of 10-15 times a day, 6 days a week, totaling between 9,360 and 14,040 sex acts a year.
Domestic sex trafficking (sex trafficking done in the United States) is a huge problem. While many people know that this issues exists in many 2nd and 3rd world countries, most are not aware that the problem persists, literally, in their own backyard.
The city of Charlotte (where I live) is fairly high on the list of cities rampant with sex trafficking. A number of factors play into this but mostly: the size of the city, location of airports and other public transportations and the accessibility to the city by interstates and major thoroughfares. Learning that the city I call home is infested with this problem spawned a movement in my church called “Home.”
Home is a sermon series, which, on the surface, appears to focus directly on home life and family relationships, but actually carries a dual focus. As our local church families learn how to renovate and restore our own "homes", we also help participate in the purchase and renovation of a local group home which will eventually house girls (aged 14-17) who have been rescued from the sex trafficking industry.
My church is literally renovating A home for rescued girls while we restore our OWN homes in the process. We are working with a group called On Eagles Wings Ministry to purchase and renovate the home. They will run the home and work on rehabilitating the girls that come to live there.
However, like all things, there is a cost. For this home, it’s about $125,000. That’s just the cost to purchase and most of the renovation and up-fitting. That doesn’t include any operating costs. So, we have an initial goal of $125,000.
And my church has a tendency to go big on projects. Two Christmases ago, we collected over $207,000 to give to the International Justice Mission, a company that rescues trafficked children and prosecutes traffickers overseas. So, knowing this, we set a goal of $125,000 and a miracle goal of $150,000. I believe the people of my church can do it. I believe that we can make a difference in the lives of these young girls rescued from unspeakable horrors.
The date we will be receiving the gifts is Sunday, January 27th. As a matter-of-fact, all money that is given to the church that Sunday will be donated towards this project and to On Eagles Wings Ministry. I know that my pastor has no qualms about asking people for money when he knows we are going to give every cent of it away.
So, would you pray for us? Would you pray for this ministry as they expand to another location? Would you pray for the young girls that will eventually come to live at the home?
For more information:
Good Shepherd United Methodist Church | On Eagles Wings Ministry | Pastor Talbot Davis’ Blog | Human Trafficking Fact Sheet
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