Human traffickers prey on the weak, vulnerable, and innocent to advance their greed, lust, and pursuit of power. As advanced and far-reaching as trafficking has become, it can be stopped. The collaborative efforts of all churches, ministries, businesses, organizations, and non-profits committed to the fight will make a difference. But the problem requires us as individual followers of Christ to take responsibility for our part in this battle. We must transform our awareness into action and our shattered heart into service for those caught in the snares of trafficking.
By this point, you know only too well that human trafficking is an insidious problem and won’t go away overnight. But when God’s people work together, we know that we can do all things through the power of Christ—especially overcoming evil and rescuing those caught in its snares. When we all work as a team, drawing on models for collaboration like those found in Trafficking Hope’s C.A.R.E.S. Toolkit, we can prevent trafficking, end its powerful hold on millions of lives, and protect those most vulnerable.
View the video you made as a group during Session 5’s day in the field. What do you notice about the way people responded to your group? What might you do differently the next time you try to help others become more aware about the problem of human trafficking?
Department stores and large retail stores usually employ “loss protection” specialists who work to prevent shoplifters from stealing merchandise. These individuals often work undercover and dress like a regular shopper or store employee. However, they take their mission very seriously, and with the aid of various cameras and tech support, they partner with local law enforcement to arrest thieves and to keep non-purchased merchandise in their stores.
In our battle against human traffickers, our role is similar. We must use the context of our lives and our network of relationships to get the word out. It’s not okay to turn the other way once you know the reality of trafficking victims. “You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again you did not know” (William Wilberforce). When precious lives are stolen from our midst, we must do everything in our power to see thieves brought to justice and the broken lives of victims restored.
While counselors, doctors, educators, law enforcement agents, and judges are key figures in the war on trafficking, ultimately the responsibility comes down to all of us—the choices we make, the attitudes we change, the deliberate actions taken. Fueled by the power of God and the prayers of His people, our endeavors will never be in vain as we attempt to illuminate the darkness of trafficking with the light of Christ’s love.
“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes;
And with your right hand you save me. The Lord will vindicate me; your love, Lord, endures forever—
do not abandon the works of your hands” (Ps. 138-7-8, NIV).
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Cor. 4:8-9, NIV).
How has your view of human trafficking changed over the course of this group study? Has your definition and understanding of trafficking changed from the time you entered the group? How so?
What have you gained by going through these nine sessions together? Which session was especially significant or meaningful for you? Why?
How have you seen individuals in your group use their unique gifts and abilities to fight human trafficking? Who in the group has impressed you with their passion for the fight?
As this group study comes to an end, how can you continue to work together to take that next step, both within your group as well as within your church, to fight trafficking? Consider leading or participating in a Gentleman’s Club men’s group or a ladies’ outreach to trafficking victims (details for both available at Trafficking Hope website).
WHO C.A.R.E.S.—YOU DO!
As your final C.A.R.E.S. exercise, plan an event to raise awareness as well as dollars to support the fight against human trafficking. Group members should focus on one of the five areas that appeals to their gifts, interests, and pursuit of growth. Working together, decide the kind of event you want to host (a dinner, a speaker, a 5-K run, a car wash, etc.), who you want to invite and target as participants, and the necessary logistics (when, where, how long, etc.). It doesn’t need to be a large event; it could be a dinner in someone’s home or a cookout on the church grounds. The goal is to celebrate the hard work your group has invested in the fight against trafficking and to reflect on what you’ve learned individually during this group experience.
Coalition Captains can cross-promote your group’s event by letting other key individuals and organizations know about it.
Awareness Warriors can be in charge of written materials to publicize the event as well as flyers, brochures, or handouts to distribute to attendees at the event.
Rescue Rebels can contact local law enforcement and see if it would be possible for an officer or agent to attend your event and speak briefly about what is being done to fight trafficking and rescue victims in your community. If you have difficult finding law enforcement agents with training in the area of trafficking, have them contact Trafficking Hope, which often trains professional law enforcement agents, through the C.A.R.E.S. Toolkit Rescue site.
Education Eagles can take suggestions from other group members and come up with the actual program for the event. It might be a speaker, either from within the group or your church or recommended by Trafficking Hope, but it could also be a panel discussion, a dramatic skit or short play, a musical concert, or vocal performance. Once the group has decided on its program for the event, Education Eagles can oversee specific details required for their selection (mic or other tech support, stage or podium, etc.).
While Service Stars can work with the other four areas, they will be responsible for following up after the event to ensure that trafficking victims benefit from the group’s efforts. Service leaders can deliver any funds raised to a local resource serving victims and can also contact event attendees afterward and ask for volunteers to help serve the needs of victims in your area.
Let each group member share a specific request related to their contribution to the fight against trafficking. Ask God to use what you have learned in your group, both individually and collectively, to further the causes of justice and compassion. Thank Him for all that you’ve learned and how you’ve grown over the course of these sessions with this group. Praise Him for the ways He is delivering victims into a new life of healing and wholeness through the power of His Son. Claim this same power as you conclude the group’s time together and continue the fight, better equipped and educated, against human trafficking.