A LETTER from
LEE and LAURA DOMINGUE,
Founders of TRAFFICKING HOPE
“Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
--Psalm 82:3-4, NIV
People frequently ask us why we give so much of our time, energy, and resources to the war on human trafficking. Our response is simple. Once we saw the problem firsthand, it became impossible to stand by and idly do nothing. Human trafficking is best defined as simply the exploitation of vulnerability. The more we learned about human trafficking, the more our heart was broken and the greater our desire to provide hope for one life at a time.
It began in 2007 when we first learned about human trafficking. It stirred something in us, which later prompted us to travel with friends to Europe as part of a human trafficking reconnaissance trip. We served as part of a team starting a safe house for victims of the sex trade in a particular area. In many areas of the city where we ministered, the presence of evil was palpable. The atrocities we witnessed simply cannot be described but gave us a glimpse into the terrifying bondage experienced by children and young women caged in this modern day slavery.
When we returned to the States, our hearts remained burdened by what we had encountered. Then we began to discover the epidemic of human trafficking wasn’t something limited to Europe, Asia, and developing countries. The problem was already in our own backyard. Our growing concern inspired us to begin Trafficking Hope as a public awareness campaign, part of a public charity called Kingdom Builders U.S.
As we sensed God’s power and presence bolstering our efforts, we devoted more and more time, energy, and resources to Trafficking Hope. Once we had established procedures for educating and informing others, we then addressed one of the biggest problems for victims rescued out of sex trade trafficking—housing. So in 2012 we purchased land in our native Louisiana and opened a restorative care facility for victims rebuilding their lives.
By the end of 2013, not only had we began accepting residents at our first restoration facility, but Trafficking Hope launched an initiative to teach, equip, and empower local churches and non-profit organizations in five critical areas: Coalition, Awareness, Rescue, Education, and Services. These comprise what we call C.A.R.E.S., and this guide is largely based on resources from our C.A.R.E.S. Toolkit and our digital library. We want to eradicate sex trafficking around the world while helping local churches fight on the frontline of their city, community, and neighborhood.
Each of these nine sessions will look at human trafficking from a different angle, providing factual information as well as spiritual insight into the millions of lives touched in various forms by this insidious issue. Each session includes a short video clip, some key points to process, and discussion questions to facilitate your conversation. Additional ways you can apply what you’re learning is included in a section called “Who C.A.R.E.S.—YOU DO!” Tailored to that session’s focus, these five key tactics for winning the war on trafficking will give you ideas specific to your unique personality and resources.
If you long to grow in your faith and reach those in desperate need with the love of God, then this group is for you. If you’re willing to wage war against the enemy and fight spiritual battles alongside other dedicated believers, then you’re in the right place. You’ll not only gain information about human trafficking and its impact in your own backyard, but you’ll also see what God has been doing to turn the tide and win the war against one of the greatest evils of our time. Sharing this journey with others will enhance your understanding of the problem, empower you to apply your own gifts and abilities to the solution, and encourage you to practice what you’re learning together.
Thank you for your willingness to fight human trafficking and to shine God’s light into one of the darkest areas imaginable. Through the power of Jesus Christ, lives will continue to be changed and hearts will continue to find healing. God’s righteousness will prevail. We’re excited to partner with you—all for the glory of His kingdom!
Lee & Laura Domingue
Founders, TRAFFICKING HOPE