Not in a faraway land. Right here in America. Next door. “America’s children,” as FBI Director James Comey called them. On Monday, 168 of “America’s children” were rescued from sex trafficking during a nationwide FBI crackdown known as Operation Cross Country. In addition to the children rescued, 281 pimps were arrested, according to the Associated Press.
I know you and many will join Voices Against the Grain and our ministry partner pureHOPE, grateful that these 168 children were rescued from sexual exploitation. Justice is in progress and restoration can begin for these children and their families broken by injustice. In Joel 2:25, God promises to “restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.” We support pureHOPE in their mission of providing Christian solutions in a sexualized culture. We oppose sexual exploitation by teaching and modeling God’s design for sexual purity and relationships. To learn more about pureHOPE and their pursuit of justice in a sexualized society, read here.
In celebrating those rescued, the battle is not over. UNICEF reports more than 1.2 million children are trafficked yearly worldwide—a $32 billion commercial sex industry. Have we unknowingly walked by these children in our neighborhoods? In the streets? Are we too caught up in our daily routines to notice? Or does the quiet numb our awareness?
A few Saturdays ago, I was awoken around 5:30 a.m. by a woman’s blood-curdling screams in my urban DC neighborhood. Screams that were raw and hysterical. Through her screams she was crying and repeated the words, “Why would you do this to me?! Why would you do this to me?!” I got up, walked to the window to see who was screaming. It was becoming clear something terrible had happened to her.
It wasn’t the rising sun peeking through my windows that awoke me. Nor the usual bird chirping or pigeon cooing that stirred my peaceful sleep. Wasn’t even the usual traffic noise of the city. The evil that occupies our world was here and it rang in the painful, guttural cries from a woman who I could not see but only hear from my window. Shortly, I heard the sirens of police arriving on the scene. To help from my position, I went to my knees in prayer for her that God would help her heal from whatever had occurred.
An hour later, the neighborhood was once again quiet and the birds were chirping. The streets gave no evidence that evil had struck there. The quietness gives the illusion that all is well. But that is precisely what has enabled some of our complacency, giving rise to more evil, giving it permission to occupy our communities. Don’t let the quiet fool you.
At Voices Against the Grain and as the Body of Christ, we are called to be light in darkness and in a fallen world; to bring hope to the broken; to bring justice to injustices. God has anointed each of us to be the answer to a problem; to advance His Kingdom; to be His hands and feet where others dare not tread. If we’re silent on these and other matters, the darkness will surely prevail.
Are you being too quiet? Are you enjoying the quiet too much?