About three years ago, I read an article in Today’s Christian Woman magazine about their “Cause of the Year,” Combat Sex Trafficking. I was horrified to read one girl’s story. Rosa was 13 when she was trafficked to the U.S. from Mexico. She had been promised a waitressing job so she could help support her family and instead was forced into prostitution. This was the first time I had heard about the issue of sex trafficking and it disturbed me.
After awhile, I got busy with life and forgot about the article. Over the course of this past year, I had been praying off and on that God wouldn’t let me “miss my purpose.” I felt I needed to be serving Him in a specific area, but wasn’t quite sure what it was. About six months ago, I saw a story on TV about a multiple-city bust in the U.S. on a child sex trafficking ring. I remember my heart breaking when I heard the details.
Then two months ago, God began to make it abundantly clear to me that He was answering my prayer about finding my purpose. Over the course of about a week, I saw various stories on TV, learned about a local organization dedicated to eradicating child sex slavery and re-read the Today’s Christian Woman magazine I had saved. To my disbelief, I learned more about just how prevalent this issue is not only around the world, but in our own backyard. It is happening everywhere and Phoenix is a magnet city for it. Even more disheartening is the fact that human trafficking is now considered the 2nd largest (next to drugs) and fastest growing illegal trafficking activity in the world. It is a $32+ billion industry.
All of this happened the week before VCNP hosted the National Leadership Conference. The first night of the conference, I saw a booth labeled “Vineyard Anti-Slavery Team.” To make a long story short, I met one of the Vineyard pastors involved in this group who used to work for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and whose portfolio included human trafficking. At that moment, I knew God was confirming what I already suspected. He was showing me that combating child sex trafficking is where He wants me to serve Him. God has been so overwhelmingly graceful and merciful to me through this process. Initially when I felt the calling, I didn’t have a clue as to where I should start.
Currently, I am putting into practice what I learned at the VAST workshops during the conference, connecting with others at VCNP interested in this same issue, and in the process of becoming a volunteer for Streetlight Phx. This organization works to eradicate child sex slavery and is a safe house for girls ages 11-17 who have been rescued.
If you are trying to find your purpose, I hope sharing my journey has encouraged you. If you spend time in prayer asking God what it is, He will not only answer you, but He will lead you every step of the way.
For more information on human trafficking and what you can do to make a difference, please visit the VAST website at http://www.vineyardusa.org/site/task-forces/justice-response . For more information about Streetlight Phx (which is located in Glendale), please visit http://www.streetlightphx.com.