A couple of months ago I listened to the FBI and Sheriff's dept. do a presentation on human trafficking and underaged prostitution. I was at the regular Attny Gen. Sexual Assault Task Force meeting where we had been discussing "sex industries" and prostitution. Interesting conversation that most ministers don't have on a regular basis. I would have to say that the team I work with (about 15) have opened my eyes to a world of evil that I never learned about.
The FBI presentation blew me away.
As stated in an earlier post, "I live in America for cryin out loud. How can we have one of the highest human trafficking problems in the world?" We rank up there with many other countries.
During the presentation I emailed the presenters and asked what the faith community can do. I got a response that afternoon.
I met Keith the next week. Keith is a deputy sheriff and head of the Human Trafficking Task Force for the county. I listened as he shared how this problem had become so big. Even worse, the schools have pimps preying on teen boys and girls. An underaged prostitute can bring over $200,000 per year to a pimp. One teen boy or girl can make a guy live better than 60% of people in our country (tax free). Even worse he shared how other major cities report to him that Portland has become a feeder town for many other cities. The I-5 corridor is not only a major route for drugs, it is also for girls, boys, and women from many countries.
Keith shared that he has to take sedatives to sleep sometimes because of what he sees.
He shared some of the dark stories worldwide that he sees and reads about.
He mapped out a plan that a church could do to help.
He has a lot of government money for awareness and training but little for actual aid for those fleeing a pimp. He wants to train people to share with faith communities.
He shared with me that some stores sold "Pimp and Ho" Halloween costumes for 11-14 yr old kids. This evil is glammorized.
He asked me to accompany him to one of the high schools to talk about this. I did and the school has developed a committee to do a one day workshop with the students. My son goes to this school. I walked away realizing that God works in the public schools.
I prayed for him as we left the meeting. He is a man of great courage.
He said something else that stuck. "I entered this thinking it was an easy place to retire. I had my eyes opened. I hope that when I die I help as many as possible to be free. That's what is important to me." Sounds like something Jesus, Paul, and Peter would have said.
I never heard him talk about church. He never mentioned his faith tradition. He didn't talk about the church being a big help in this issue. He just asked for our help.
Once again I saw God working in a world of evil. I see that God will work and I have seen some of Jesus's soldiers forming for battle.
Two women have been watching movies and documentaries about this issue. They have been writing about it on their My Space and Face Book. I found this out when I came home and told Lori about our meeting. These are ready to act. One attends Agape. The other is a college student who will join us in the summer to intern with Lori. Keith needs people to liason, be trained, and speak to local organizations/churches about working on the task force. I shared this with them. They are ready.
God is working in the strangest of places-. I shouldn't be surprised--it is My Father's World.