Thursday, September 22, 2011
The following was contributed by Lisa Thompson, National Liaison for the Abolition of Sexual Trafficking at The Salvation Army National Headquarters.
In the opening passage of the book of Nehemiah, the Jewish cupbearer to the Persian King Artaxerxes, explains how he was so greatly moved by the plight of his people in Jerusalem that, “For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 1:4). When confronted with the prospect of ethnic annihilation because of a national edict calling for the destruction of the Jews, among the Jews in every province of the Persian Empire “there was great mourning . . . with fasting, weeping and wailing” (Esther 4:3). Before launching his earthly ministry of teaching and healing Jesus himself fasted for forty days and nights (Matthew 4:2).
From examples such as these, we learn that believers should seek the Lord with prayer and fasting — before taking action in our personal ministries, when facing incredible hardships and doom, when confronted with the pain and suffering of others.
Surely then, it is appropriate for us to fast and pray on behalf of the victims of sexual trafficking. May our hearts cry out on their behalf and may our stomachs growl in remembrance of their suffering, as we take part in this weekend’s observance of the International Weekend of Prayer and Fasting for the Victims of Sexual Trafficking. ‘
Such humility before God and partaking in the suffering of others will unleash God’s heavenly forces for take earthly action!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
The Salvation Army has once again partnered with the Initiative Against Sexual Trafficking (IAST) and the Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking (FAAST) to sponsor the annual International Weekend of Prayer and Fasting for Victims of Sexual Trafficking. The event is being held this weekend, September 23-25.
Globally, approximately one million children enter the sex trade every year. Shockingly enough, the United States is one of the 10 highest ranked destination countries of trafficked persons in the world. According to the United Nations, the trafficking business – which includes labor, slavery and sexual servitude – nets $31.6 billion in profit from 12.3 million trafficked persons.
We are a part of a growing initiative to combat human sex trafficking and other types of sexual exploitation worldwide. This increasing movement is directly motivated by an understanding of mankind’s God-given freedom, dignity and purpose.
The impacts of this massive, often disregarded industry are literally deadly. The most common causes of death among those trafficked is homicide, suicide and drugs.
Our efforts began in the mid-19th century. Salvation Army founders Catherine and William Booth sought to help the most desperate in London’s east side, reaching out to women and children victimized by the sex trafficking industry. Upon realizing the magnitude of trade, The Salvation Army began opening homes for women and girls to seek shelter and counseling.
Today, we continue to fight this plague by working towards legislative and policy initiatives, raising awareness, developing prevention efforts and providing survivor services.
Help us combat sexual trafficking by joining us in prayer this weekend. Join us as we pray for the victims involved and as we ask for rescue, restoration, and life and liberty through Christ. We also pray for the church’s strength in addressing this issue.
To register for this year’s event, Click Here.
Click Here to learn more about The Salvation Army’s efforts to combat human trafficking.