I hope this letter finds you well. I would like to share with you a trip that I am going to take this summer that will hopefully be a life changing experience for the people I come in contact with, as well as myself.
God has done some amazing things in my life over the past year and one of those areas has been igniting a passion in my heart for victims of the sex trafficking industry. Like many other people that I know, I was blind to the fact that each night on the streets of Atlanta and many cities across our nation, young girls are forced into the prostitution. In Atlanta, GA alone, over 300 children, many as young as 9 or 10, are forced to have sex with strangers for money. They are trapped in a form of modern day slavery right here in the United States of America, the land of freedom and opportunity. Many of these girls have run away from broken and abusive homes, only to be promised safety and love by a man who instead preys on their vulnerable emotional state. These girls are physically, verbally and emotionally abused, drugged, brainwashed and stripped of any hope of returning to a normal life.
It was hard for me to fathom that this type of injustice happened right in my own backyard, until I saw it for myself. Last June, a group of dedicated followers of Christ traveled to Fulton Industrial Blvd to minister to the women who engaged in prostitution nightly. On that night, I had the pleasure of meeting 19 year old young Sabrina, a young girl that had been forced to sell herself every night on the streets for the past 3 years. She was a run away from Ohio whose pimp picked her up from a bus stop just 2 hours after arriving in Georgia. He promised to love and care for her and before nights end, she was sleeping with strangers for money. She was not allowed to use a phone, go out alone, talk to anyone, pick out her own clothes or even think for herself ever again. The night I met her, she desperately wanted to escape the life that she was trapped in but feared for her life.
By the grace of God, Sabrina mustered up the nerve to make the desperate phone call to a group member that was out with us that night. We were able to rescue Sabrina from a life of sexual slavery and that experience forever changed my life. But that joy was short lived. Unfortunately, Sabrina went back to her pimp, the abuse and her life of sex for money. She desperately wanted a normal life but felt that her life was so worthless and beyond repair, that life on the street was the only place she belonged. Those were the words that had been engrained in her mind by her pimp everyday for 3 years and she eventually bought into the lie and settled for the life that she was trapped in.
My eyes were opened to a lifestyle that many could never imagine. My heart has been broken for Sabrina and for every Sabrina that is still stuck on the streets of Atlanta and even abroad. This is not the life that God intends for any of His children to live and He has called His believers to go out into the world and help rescue those who have lost their way. It was God’s plan for me to meet Sabrina, hear her story, see her struggle and to have my heart broken when she left. This experience has forever changed my life and ignited a desire to do my part to help other victims like Sabrina. Since meeting Sabrina, I have been active in advocating for the victims who have no voice. I have written about the plight of the sex trafficking issue in Atlanta with the non profit organization Sunday to Sunday, Inc . In December, I organized a donation supply drive with Wellspring Living, Inc., a non profit organization that provides vital short and long term aftercare for victims of sex trafficking. On February 2, 2011, I participated in Lobby Day sponsored by StreetGRACE and Wellspring Living to bring the issues of sex trafficking to the steps of Georgia’s capital and push for more legislature to ensure the safety of our children and harsher punishment for pimps and men who seek out these children for sex.
Recently, God placed on my heart the desire to reach further out to help those stuck in sexual slavery, even beyond our borders. There are so many places on this Earth who have never even heard the name of Jesus before and surely do not have any hope of a life better than the abuse and turmoil they currently live in. On June 2-12, 2011, I will be traveling to Lima, Peru with Victory World Church’s Fusion Young Adult Ministry. For several years now, Fusion Young Adult Ministry has sent a mission team to Peru to see first hand the plight of the children of Peru who call the streets home. Fusion has partnered with Lucy Borja’s Generacion organization who work tirelessly to help rescue children from the streets of Peru. Fusion also works with Veronica’s House, a home that serves as an emergency shelter for young girls rescued from forced prostitution in Lima, Peru. I sincerely believe that God’s plan for me on this trip is to truly see the world through His eyes and not just through my limited knowledge of what I see happening in my own city. The issue of sex trafficking is world wide and in order to make a difference in the world, I need to be able to see the world.
I would ask that you keep me and my team in your prayers so that we many have a safe and successful trip. Also, since we are responsible to raise our entire trip cost of $1,700, I would like to ask you to prayerfully consider if He would have you be a part of this wonderful opportunity to share the gospel with the children of Peru. Please consider making a financial contribution to help with the $1,700 cost of traveling to Peru. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about how to make a tax deductible donation.
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and please consider supporting my efforts to travel to Peru this June.