She’s here. The lady who eats in the Soup Kitchen. She looks nice today. Her hair is freshly done and her nails are well-manicured. She sat down next to another lady who has worn the same clothes for the past three days and smells like whisky and cigarette smoke.
What do we think of these two? What are the differences and do we even see any similarities? We pass judgment. We may consider their lifestyle outside of the Soup Kitchen. We may assume the lady who is well kept must work at least part time and the other lady must just sit at home collecting her welfare check.
But do we even know the reality of their situations? The underlying truth could be that they are trapped. They may be the face of what is permeating our society. It doesn’t have a description and it doesn’t even have a type. Its standards are vast and its hunger is never-ending.
The children are here for the after-school program. The quiet kid who never takes off his jacket ate seconds and almost completed a third plate during dinner time. The overly-energetic girl who seems to need a hug or human contact every couple of minutes is barely touching her food. Again, we pass judgement and wonder what the home life of these children may be like. Do we know for sure? Maybe some things but not all things.
This demon plaguing our society is odorless and invisible. Its reach is wide and consumes any gender, any age, any nationality—its consumption can effect anyone. Human-trafficking has a carbon-monoxide type of existence. We cannot completely see it and we cannot completely know. So how do we attack this gas? How do we stop it? What can we do as a Christian to seek it out and destroy it?
First and foremost get educated!
There are some cold, hardcore facts about this modern day slavery. The Government estimates that there are 27 million slaves being held worldwide—more than at any point in human history (U.S. State Department, March 2012). I urge you find out if there are any ministries working hard against human trafficking in your community. Be a part of that task force!
This sickness is real, alive, and spreading, so an essential way to help is through your prayers. Drop to your knees and fight this war through the power of never-ceasing prayer. Pray for the safety of the victims, the wisdom of the authorities, the captivity the hearts under this, and for the opportunities and resources for you to do something.
There you have it. Human trafficking is around us. It’s in our community and on our computer screens. We can’t see it always, but it does not mean it is not there. Take time to seek the Lord. Ask Him how you can be involved to demolish this money soaked sin industry.
Do not loose heart. It may seem like an impossible task and that your help is minor. But we serve a God who specializes in impossibilities and calls us to do something about the sin problem entrapping many lives.
Take a step of faith and go for it!
Lieutenant Kate Esker
Lt. Kate Esker has been involved in The Salvation Army since she was a kid. Her mother took her and her siblings to eat in the soup kitchen and to programs at the Philadelphia Pioneer Corps. Lt. Kate and her husband, Lt. John Esker, serve as the corps officers of the McKeesport, PA, Corps in the Western Pennsylvania Division. They have an energetic, spirit-filled 9 year old daughter, Cadence. In her free time, Lt. Kate enjoys running and lifting weights.