Guest Post: Elijah Rising: End Human Trafficking in Houston, Texas by Benjamin Fort

Today’s guest post is from my brother-in-law, Benjamin.  

A few months ago Ben learned about the modern day slavery that exists not only around the world but in our own back yard.  He recently learned of Elijah Rising, an organization in Houston with the mission of stopping slavery and educating the populace.   Did you know that Houston ranks in the top 2 cities in the nation for sex trafficking?

 Below is a short reflection of Benjamin’s experience.

In Christ,

Rev. Evan

Originally posted on Emerging Disciples

One moment you are in the seedy, shady den of the Human Trafficking underworld; the next moment, you find yourself surrounded by strip malls, restaurants and shopping centers. This is the reality of Human Trafficking in Houston, TX.

We met up with our tour leader Cat French, and the rest of our crew around 7 p.m. Elijah Rising started as a once-a-month prayer meeting. Now they do intervention, van tours, music and prayer. The headquarters was once a brothel until Elijah Rising intervened. Now, Elijah Rising is located in the hotbed of human trafficking in Houston.

Beautiful, Spirit-filled music echoed in the Elijah Rising building. I felt the Holy Spirit come over me very quickly and strongly as Cat gave us some introductory information.

The tour weaved in and out of the back alleys of Human Trafficking. We learned that many types of Human Trafficking fronts exist such as, Spas and Cantinas. The spas are what you would imagine. Showers, massages, and back rooms. The Cantinas are set up like bars, where, “Johns (normal consumers),” can purchase sex. They have outhouses where one takes the trafficked human.

The tour was extremely convicting about human trafficking. We learned that human traffickers pray to demons. One theory of why there is such a cluster of human trafficking is that where one person opens a dark, evil portal, others will follow. In other words, the hotbed of human trafficking is an open portal to evil. Call it crazy if you will, but when you experience it, you might agree.

At the end of the tour we saw a building that had been raided and shut down. We saw a painting of a woman in chains surrounded by flags of different countries where they traffic humans. There were white flags representing countries not yet trafficked.

America is not one of these. We have compromised and become a hotbed of human trafficking. America has sadly become a new Babylon. We need to make people aware.

Awareness is the first step.

Contact Elijah Rising at www.elijahrising.com


Benjamin Fort graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2012 with a Bachelors in Studio Art and Mass Communications. He serves on the Praise Band at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Longview, TX.
He is a Christian social activist to end human trafficking. Check out his website www.emergingdisciple.com

 

Guest Post: The Problem of Human Trafficking is Too Big-Why Bother Trying to Help?

Kimberly Rae is a best selling author, blogger and world traveler.  She blogs about a variety of topics but one that is close to her heart is human trafficking.  She was kind enough to blog about my letter to Victoria’s Secret and I am happy to have her as the first guest author on this blog.  If you would like to be a guest contributor, click here for more info.

Below is her guest post; be sure to check out her site- www.kimberlyrae.com


The Problem of Human Trafficking is Too Big-Why Bother Trying to Help?

A 15-year-old girl and her 14-year-old cousin got permission to walk down to a local Wendy’s late one night to get a couple of Frosties.  While they were walking, a car drove up, and by the end of that night, these two girls had become just a tiny, tiny addition to the thousands of minors trafficked in the United States of the America, the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Now those two girls have been rescued and are home again.  The older girl tells her story in a video on the website www.truckersagainsttrafficking.com, a video that will hopefully be part of required training for men joining the trucking industry in the future.

Why?  Because things will never change unless people care enough to act.  I think many of us look at the huge statistics and decide, why bother?  There are 20 million slaves in the world today. It’s a problem too big, one person can never make a dent in it.

That’s true to an extent.  Each of us on our own are pretty powerless to change the huge statistics.  None of us can expect to do the impossible.

However . . . we can make a difference in one life.  It may not seem much, but if that one person was your daughter, or your friend, or yourself, wouldn’t you want someone to “bother”–to put forth the effort to make a difference even if they couldn’t save everybody?

I would.  As I place myself in those young girls’ shoes, being forced to sell myself to strangers, staying because of threats against my family or my own life, I know I would desperately want to escape but likely not have the courage.  Or the resources.

But if someone came along, someone who didn’t just look through me but really saw me, if they cared enough to ask one or two important questions, then make just one phone call–a call that would deliver me and give me back a future, I would reach out for the freedom offered me.  I would grasp hold of the possibility of a future and a hope.

Isn’t that, after all, what Jesus gives us? (Jer. 29:11)

And wouldn’t He rejoice to see us doing that for others?

That’s what happened recently when those girls who’d been trapped for 10 years in a home in Cleveland were rescued. All across our country, girls (and some boys too) are being taken, trapped, and forced to sell themselves against their will. A major part of this happens within the trucking industry. Girls are taken to truck stops, where they are forced to go from truck to truck, offering their “company.” They even have a name. Lot lizards.

But things are changing. Thanks to Truckers Against Trafficking, men are finding out that many of the girls they see do not want to be there, no matter how they pretend. Truckers are making phone calls to the human trafficking hotline—1-888-373-7888—and girls are being rescued.

One man called in his suspicions and, without endangering himself, caused the rescue of 9 young girls and broke down a 13-state trafficking ring.  Just one person!  Just one phone call.

Helen Keller once said,
“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but I can do something.
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

If this can be said and lived by a woman who could not hear or see, shouldn’t we be inspired that we can do our part, too?

So let’s stop looking at the massive need, the big statistics, or our own limitations.  Instead, let’s become aware, and be ready to respond if God places someone before who is in need. Our actions and reactions may make all the difference in the world to someone who right now is trapped, and desperately wants to be free.

Go with God,
go for God,
go because God goes with you.

For of Him, and to Him, and through Him are all things, to whom be glory forever.  Amen.
Romans 11:36



Author Photo More Square

Kimberly Rae has lived in Bangladesh, Uganda, Kosovo and Indonesia. Her Christian suspense/romance novels on international human trafficking (Stolen Woman, Stolen Child, Stolen Future) are all Amazon bestsellers. Rae is currently working on a new series on trafficking for teens. Find out more at www.kimberlyrae.com or like Kimberly’s facebook page, Human Trafficking Stolen Woman, to get updates on the fight against human trafficking.