It has been identified in various ways: modern slavery, modern day slavery, forced labor, sex trafficking, sex trades, trafficking in persons. The U.S. Department of State says, “The United States government considers trafficking in persons to include all of the criminal conduct involved in forced labor and sex trafficking, essentially the conduct involved in reducing or holding someone in compelled service” (retrieved from http://www.state.gov/j/tip/what/).
Since the winter of 2013, God has been growing in the hearts of the FCS community a deep compassion for those held captive by various forms of modern slavery—especially women and children who are being held captive for purposes of sexual exploitation. This compassion is born out of the calling to fulfill Jesus’ mission “to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…” (Isaiah 61:1b). This compassion is increased by a growing awareness of the suffering of those held captive. This compassion is fueled by a heartfelt desire to do something about that suffering.
FCS is doing something by committing to a vision of releasing and restoring the lives of those who need to be rescued from modern slavery. This commitment has inspired us to invest our prayers, our time, our current and developing spiritual and clinical knowledge, our ongoing clinical training, and our resources for the sake of those previously held captive. This commitment has also inspired FCS to develop ministry partnerships with three different organizations whose missions are to restore the lives of those affected by modern slavery—two in New Mexico and one in Georgia.
“Freedom House is a group of homes in New Mexico dedicated to restoring the lives of prostituted, sexually exploited, sexually abused or sexually trafficked women. A three phase program beginning with a decision to leave the past behind and stepping into a new future. Through detoxing, counseling, therapy, commitment and Jesus, we will see these women transition into a new, hopeful and exciting life” (retrieved from http://www.freedomhousenm.org/about/).
“The mission of Out of Darkness, the anti-trafficking ministry of Atlanta Dream Center, is to reach, rescue, and restore all victims of commercial sexual exploitation, that the glory of God may be known. Commercial exploitation may take the form of stripping, pornography, prostitution, or sex trafficking” (http://outofdarkness.org/).
“Spoken For is an Albuquerque based organization that exists to confront sex trafficking in New Mexico. We are actively involved in the aftercare and advocacy of formerly trafficked individual in our state, educating our community through awareness campaigns, creating compelling dialog about human trafficking, modern slavery, and how to be a part of solutions that move our community closer to ending sex trafficking” (http://www.copperpointechurch.com/ministries/about/spoken_for).
Among other inspired visions that stem from our mission, the hearts of the FCS staff and Board of Directors are aflame with a vision to release and restore the lives of those who are in the chains of modern slavery. We are devoted to employing our resources and to partnering with other ministries to fulfill this vision, by God’s grace alone.