Alan Morris, our fearless leader went to India in 2011 for the first time; the impact this trip had on him would forever altar both his personal and his professional life. God used this trip to India to do a massive work in Alan’s heart. In a recent conversation with me he summed it up this way, “I wish I could convey the urgency and weight of what I can only define as a calling. A drive, a motivation, a passion so deep and spiritual that my only response could be, ‘YES!’ and then, ‘WHAT NOW?’. What Now…isn’t that what most of us who have been on a mission trip ask ourselves. We come home and try to process the sights and sounds from the previous week. We know that we will view life from a different lens for the first few weeks we are back, but then slowly our lives fall into the same pattern that we had prior to our life changing trip. Why is that? I am beginning to think it is because that is easy way out, see it is a lot easier to forget the poverty rather than taking action to raise awareness or do something about it. Alan went on to say “Although I didn’t realize it at the time, saying ‘yes’ was the easy part; it’s the ‘what now’ that’s proven to be a fluid & ever evolving experiment in personal resolve and determination.”
Hang with me as I am tell you a little bit about my story. My story began in 2011 when my husband and I went on a mission trip to Nicaragua. It is one those trips that you honestly never forget. Our team did some work in an orphanage. Now I had prepared my heart and mind that I would not fall in love with the precious kids I would come in contact with. Nicaragua did not allow international adoptions so my heart would be just fine…or so I thought. The first day we were there my eyes were drawn to the most beautiful and precious girl I’ve ever seen. Immediately my heart was taken, she walked over to me & as I bent down to pick her up she laid her head on my shoulder. As the week progressed we found out that she was available for adoption; it seemed as if God was opening up a door for us to have a little girl. We already have a son from Guatemala and adding sweet Lupita to our family just felt right. As the week wrapped up my heart was torn, how were we to leave our baby girl in another country while we came home to start paperwork. I wish I could tell you our story had a happy ending but it did not. The following year I traveled back down to Nicaragua with another team. I couldn’t wait to get back down there and see my baby Lupita. It was on this visit that I was introduced to the world of human trafficking. I went back to the orphanage to check on Lupita, I looked in rooms, then my pace became quicker and my heart began to panic. It was that punch to your gut feeling that something wasn’t right. Then it became real…she was in fact gone. An “uncle” had recently come back to claim her. An “uncle”, Lupita had been declared a legal orphan – that means no one in the country came forward to claim her; so why all of a sudden did someone come forward, there is no paper trail to follow, it’s like she vanished. My hunch, my gut honest feeling is that my baby girl had been put into sex trafficking. The rest of that week is a blur as my heart ached and my arms longed to have Lupita in them. Up until this point I had heard the term Human Trafficking but did not know much about it. It has taken me a few years to process and accept what happened. God has pricked my heart to raise awareness of Human Trafficking but what exactly is it…
Human trafficking is an issue that many people would rather ignore. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that trafficking only happens in other countries or to “those people” and to lull yourself into a false sense of security. Societal ignorance and denial are exactly what traffickers are counting on to continue their inhumane & repulsive work to abduct and exploit those who cannot protect themselves.
One of the greatest weapons in the war on Human Trafficking is education. To get the word out that it is everywhere (yes, even in your area) & empower everyone to stand against this crime against humanity one state, one city, one person at a time.
Over the next few posts we will present information with the hopes of making people aware of what Human Trafficking is, where it is, what it looks like and how it can be combatted.
I am going to end this post with a quote I came across recently reading The Invisible Woman by Nicole Johnson…
Amazing Grace was written by John Newton, a slave trader whose eyes were opened. He described that grace, saying that once he’d been blind, but now he was able to see. God saw him and then he could see everything around him. He finally saw the invisible slaves, & once he saw them, he could never not see them again.