Last night I was reading the book, "God's Story Your Story: When His Becomes Yours" by Max Lucado. It had been a stressful day it seemed, with one bit of bad news after another....I thought it would never end! So I sat down to read to hopefully be inspired by something I came across.
In the chapter I was reading, Lucado begins to talk about when Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted by satan. He was making the point how the enemy always hits us at our weakest point, our weakest moment in life. Jesus had been fasting for 40 days, he was hungry, so satan tempts Jesus by preying on the physical hunger and tells Him to turn the rocks into bread. Of course Jesus defeats him by using the Word.
You may be asking, 'Yes Regina, we know the story, what's the point?' The point is this, what are we hungry for? What are our weaknesses? Whatever it is, satan will use that against us, making us think that we have to turn rocks to bread, that we have to come through the situation or circumstance on our own, that we have to fulfill the desires of our own heart....this proves to be impossible for us, then we feel anxious, not good enough, that we have failed. We then begin to pray to turn the rock to bread.....this uses up all of our energy and feeds into our distractions. We are so busy trying to do something that God has not asked of us, that we lose sight of what we are supposed to be doing in the first place.....we have to learn that we don't have to meet our own needs so to speak, that they are supplied by the Creator, that we can rest in that....then we experience peace in the face of difficulty, calmness in the presence of troubled waters....we have to learn to let go, God is not requiring anyone to turn rocks to bread, He is only asking that we rely fully on HIM
Walking with you on this journey,
Friday, February 1, 2013
Many of us are gearing up for a big weekend...Superbowl parties, hanging out with friends, great food...sounds amazing! There is something else that comes in on the heels of the Superbowl...Human Trafficking.
"The Super Bowl is a huge human trafficking event,” said State Sen. Randy Head, (R-Logansport). “They’re running sophisticated rings -- trading girls from city to city.”
" Organized criminals are known to exploit young women and children through gatherings such as the Super Bowl. In fact, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates 10,000 prostitutes were brought to the 2010 Super Bowl in Miami. In 2011, more than 100 people were arrested for prostitution in Dallas during Super Bowl weekend."This has to STOP! Human trafficking is modern day slavery. In fact there are more people in slavery now than there has ever been in history. It is estimated that there are 27 million people in slavery today. Here are some other statistics...
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The numbers may shock you.Source: http://www.catholic.org/hf/faith/story.php?id=45587
NUMBER OF VICTIMS AT ANY GIVEN TIME ....2.4 MILLION
PERCENTAGE OF VICTIMS EXPLOITED FOR SEXUAL SLAVERY ....80 PERCENT
NUMBER OF VICTIMS EXPLOITED AS FORCED LABOR (SLAVES) ....17 PERCENT
RATIO OF FEMALE TO MALE SLAVES (Including Children) .... TWO OF THREE
ANNUAL VALUE OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN DOLLARS ....$32 BILLION
AVERAGE COST OF ONE HUMAN SLAVE ....$90 USD
ODDS OF RESCUE ....ONE CHANCE IN ONE HUNDRED
Indiana earlier this month did pass legislation to make it tougher on the ones selling people into slavery and on the ones doing the buying.....but that all does no good if the rest of us bury our heads in the sand, someone has to be aware of these victims. When we see something that is not quite right, what do we do? look the other way??? We have to be more active, we can no longer sit back passively in our comfortable homes, with our comfortable lives....how can we rest at night knowing that there are young children, teens, and other adult men and women being forced into doing things that are inhumane???? Does it make you uncomfortable at all?? If it does not, you need to check your consciousness.
I will admit I do not have all the answers to this problem. I am at a loss, I feel inadequate. I want these people freed and returned to their homes! I cannot allow my feelings of inadequacy to make me take a passive seat. All of us can do SOMETHING! We can be a voice! We can get this issue in the face of the nation. We can bring attention to it through our social sites, we can write letters to rescued victims, we can organize our churches, our groups, our families, to gather supplies of personal hygiene items to be taken to the shelters set up for when we do rescue one. We can keep our eyes open to our surroundings...and yes we can pray, but WE are the hands and feet of Christ, here on earth...so we need actions behind our prayers. What is your congressmen, state, and local government doing to combat this problem? You don't know? Then it is time you found out, write them! They work for US!!!!!!!
What are the signs you ask if someone is being trafficked?
Common Work and Living Conditions: The Individual(s) in Question
- Is not free to leave or come and go as he/she wishes
- Is under 18 and is providing commercial sex acts
- Is in the commercial sex industry and has a pimp / manager
- Is unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips
- Works excessively long and/or unusual hours
- Is not allowed breaks or suffers under unusual restrictions at work
- Owes a large debt and is unable to pay it off
- Was recruited through false promises concerning the nature and conditions of his/her work
- High security measures exist in the work and/or living locations (e.g. opaque windows, boarded up windows, bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras, etc.)
Poor Mental Health or Abnormal Behavior
- Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid
- Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after bringing up law enforcement
- Avoids eye contact
Poor Physical Health
- Lacks health care
- Appears malnourished
- Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture
Lack of Control
- Has few or no personal possessions
- Is not in control of his/her own money, no financial records, or bank account
- Is not in control of his/her own identification documents (ID or passport)
- Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves (a third party may insist on being present and/or translating)
- Claims of just visiting and inability to clarify where he/she is staying/address
- Lack of knowledge of whereabouts and/or do not know what city he/she is in
- Loss of sense of time
- Has numerous inconsistencies in his/her storyIf you see these signs, please call National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-3737-888 to report the situation.
Another eye opener or a place to start is to know what products are being made by people that are in forced labor conditions. Go to www.slaveryfootprint.org/survey/ to find out just how many slaves had to work for you in order for you to have the things in your life. It will shock you! Another eye opener for me was the movie "Blood Diamonds" it will give you an eye into how this works, and how it affects the American population. You can also check out A21 Campaign to find links of how to help, resources, etc....
You may think that your efforts are not important....but what if all through history, our forefathers had believed that...where would we be? You CAN make a difference. We CAN beat this!