Child Sex Trafficking in America

October 20, 2010 1 comment

Child Sex Trafficking in America

As Americans when we hear the words “sex trafficking” we usually think of places overseas in third-world countries or nations with corrupt governments. We don’t usually think closer to home – Americans trafficked by Americans. Many of the children sold into sex slavery come from broken families or the foster care system. Some of these are the young girls you may have even seen late at night when you come home from work or a social event. You may have seen them in short dresses or spiked heels and turn your head to look away, trying not to think the worst. Sometimes it’s easier to think that they want to be doing this or they wouldn’t be out there. Others are trapped and hidden away and you don’t see them at all.

Often times they are looking for an escape or for the one thing they say they didn’t find at home, love.

Mary was 12 years old when she first fell in love. It was his “swagger” that attracted her, she recalled, laughing.

The pre-teen, who lost her mother at a very young age and only saw her father on holidays, said she desperately craved a father figure. All she ever wanted was to be loved, she said, and she thought she found that in the man who patrolled up and down her street wooing her.

“I just fell into his arms,” said Mary. One day, the man invited Mary to go on a drive with him. She did, and she never returned home.

For four years, Mary was forced into child prostitution with four different pimps. She was taken from city to city, forced to have sex with random men against her will. She rarely got to keep any of the $1,500 she made every day. Instead, she was abused mentally and physically by both her pimps and other girls who he housed.

Read Mary’s whole story here.

There are an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 children in forced prostitution in the U.S.
In addition, 293,000 American youth are currently at risk of becoming victims of forced prostitution. The majority of American victims of forced prostitution tend to be runaway or thrown away children who live on the streets. These children generally come from homes where they have been abused or from families that have abandoned them.

The average age of a child entering forced prostitution is 12 years old although there have been cases of girls as young as 9 years old. Other children are recruited through forced abduction, pressure from parents, or through deceptive agreements between parents and traffickers. Once these children become involved in forced prostitution they are often forced to travel far from their homes and as a result are isolated from their friends and family. The lifestyle of these kids revolve around violence, forced drug use and constant threats.

Child sex trafficking is on the rise and the traffickers know what they are doing. With the release of the 170-page “Manual on How to Molest Children”, traffickers are becoming pros at saying the right things and finding the children at their most vulnerable times. The manual goes into disgusting detail about where and how to find potential victims and even goes into a topic on how to convince a victimized child not to tell his or her parents.

We cannot continue to rely only on law enforcement to take care of these atrocities. Nor can we push off the crisis of neglected, abused or abandoned children to the government. We must get involved. We must begin to pray consistently and persistently for God to bring justice on behalf of these children. We must begin to sound the alarm and raise awareness and get involved in helping children in whatever ways we can. These children are trapped and if we do not do something who will?

How Do I Identify a Victim of Human Trafficking?

A victim:

  • Has unexplained absences from school for a period of time, and is therefore a truant
  • Demonstrates an inability to attend school on a regular basis
  • Chronically runs away from home
  • Makes references to frequent travel to other cities
  • Exhibits bruises or other physical trauma, withdrawn behavior, depression, or fear
  • Lacks control over her or his schedule or identification documents
  • Is hungry-malnourished or inappropriately dressed (based on weather conditions or surroundings)
  • Shows signs of drug addiction

Additional signs that may indicate sex-related trafficking include:

  • Demonstrates a sudden change in attire, behavior, or material possessions (e.g., has expensive items)
  • Makes references to sexual situations that are beyond age-specific norms
  • Has a “boyfriend” who is noticeably older (10+ years)
  • Makes references to terminology of the commercial sex industry that are beyond age specific norms; engages in promiscuous behavior and may be labeled “fast” by peers

Here are several ways you can help end child trafficking:

1. Start/Join a Prayer Meeting

Find or start a prayer meeting in your area. If you are in Kansas City join in with Orphan Justice Center on Friday’s at 6am at IHOP-KC Prayer Room or with Exodus Cry on Mondays at 8pm. You can also join with us on the webstream by clicking here.

2. Raise Awareness through twitter, facebook, blogs, videos…

You may use social media to connect with friends or check out the latest news from the people you like. However, predators are using these tools as a means to recruit broken and lonely children into the sex industry. Use your influence to write a blog that shifts the mindsets of a generation. Create a video that tells a story that goes viral and sheds light on this issue like no one else can. Get involved in a Stop Child Trafficking Now Walk in your city

3. Get Training and Start Helping Children

Your city probably has a way to begin helping children. Do some research and find out who in your area is focused on this issue and join with them. If you are in Kansas City you can apply for our Justice Fellowship training program.

4. Get Involved in Foster Care / Adoption

Married couples and singles can get involved with foster care or adoption. The children in foster care are the most vulnerable to traffickers. They need loving families that are aware of this issue and willing to step in and say I’ll do what it takes to care for a child. Connect with the department of children and families in your city and find out when the next training is. If you are in Kansas City you can join with us at our next Foster Care training.

Advertisements

Someone Is Waiting On The Other Side of Obedience

October 1, 2010 5 comments

C-HOPRusty and Jen Geverdt are great friends and are leaders of C-HOP, the Cincinnati House of Prayer. This is a piece of their story…

Yesterday it happened: the social worker called with a 10-month-old girl in need of immediate foster care. “Are you willing to take her?” she asked Jen. With hand held over the phone she asked me, “Are we willing? My first response was, “Yep, bring her on.” And with hardly a thought we committed ourselves to the glorious impossible. There’s a difference between being “willing” and being “ready” to respond when God comes calling. It really wasn’t a spur of the moment decision for us. We’d felt a prompting and spent a year taking classes, getting a homestudy, doing what it took to be able to answer such a call. We’re a family who may never have great amounts of resource, so we decided to spend what we did have…love! We’re tapped into a limitless supply, rich in love, because He who IS love lives in us.

However, as we sat through that first 3-hour class, listening to heart-wrenching stories, and glancing at the people around us, I really wondered if we had heard rightly in this whole thing. It seemed so hard, so broken, so much more than we could handle. Checking my phone messages at the break, I found, to my amazement, that a friend had felt impressed to call me right then recommending a book entitled: Who Cares for Orphans, Widows, the Poor and Oppressed? God Does… Do We? By Derek Prince.  I couldn’t believe how timely that message was. It was a confirmation that we were aimed correctly. We drove home encouraged. We had committed to get prepared to answer God should He call, and it appeared that He was acknowledging our effort. And then we waited….

After many months the “God call” finally came. Our daughter, Abbey, was beaming at the news. She had had a dream a few nights before, where we had received a phone call and a little girl was placed with us. At that very moment, the social worker was on her way to our house with a baby with virtually the same name. I couldn’t believe it when she told me!!! The Father was arranging something for us, for her, if only for a time, that would be eternally meaningful. I’ve heard it said that, “Someone is always waiting on the other side of obedience.” Well maybe, just maybe, this precious one was waiting on our obedience to the tug of the Lord. I don’t understand it all, but I want to.

I wonder who or what is awaiting any one of our acts of obedience? It’s a question looking back at me right now. I don’t have an answer but I’ve got a suspicion that there are countless prayers waiting to be answered. We think we’re waiting on God; perhaps He’s waiting on us. !

You can contact Rusty & Jen at chop.contact@gmail.com.

Visit CHOP’s website at http://www.cincinnatihouseofprayer.com

Enslaved

September 27, 2010 1 comment

“WHO ARE THESE MEN? WHERE DID THEY COME FROM? HOW DID THEY BECOME WHO THEY ARE?”

My heart was gripped again this morning with why a ministry such as OJC is needed as I began to read again the post you are about to read. Tiffany Larson is a person of many talents, singer, musician, photographer, leader, communicator but what I admire most about her is how her love for Jesus is walked out in compassion for the orphan. She is an intercessory missionary at IHOP-KC and apart of OJC’s Justice Fellowship and can be found many times during the week working with adoptive kids or crying out for Justice for orphans and the victims of human trafficking.

Her latest post called “Enslaved” will open your eyes and move your heart to action. You can read more of Tiffany’s posts at http://onevoicefor163million.wordpress.com/.

Enslaved
by Tiffany Larson

Enslaved BoyAs I continue on this journey of asking the Lord for His heart for the fatherless, and as I hear stories of the horrific things that take place in our world today, I’ve been hit hard with reality! I’ve been confronted with a truth that feels so desperately hopeless that the only thing I can do is hold on to surpassing greatness of the mercy of my GOD!

As I hear the horrible stories of little girls being sexually abused by their fathers and seeing the empty shell that it leaves them, and of  families who adopted and only to find out that their adoptive child was sexually abusing their biological daughter.  Then Monday night comes, the night that my team leads the set in the Prayer Room to pray against human trafficking.  Most Monday nights we focus on the women that are enslaved by the wickedness of men but this night we prayed  for the spirit of lust to be broken and the traffickers to be set free!  Then it hit me….

WHO ARE THESE MEN? WHERE DID THEY COME FROM? HOW DID THEY BECOME WHO THEY ARE?

One by one I saw in my mind’s eye little boys who were RAPED and BEATEN by their fathers and mothers. Who were abandoned to the streets before they knew how to walk. Who were abused by the world in all of it’s evil forms. Little boys who are in desperate need of affection, of someone to be proud of them, of the strength of a father’s embrace so that it’s safe to be weak.

Enslaved Man

Now I am grown, and I do what I know.

Taking lives with the same violence that was shown.

Broken inside yet no one would ever know.

I rape, I beat, I kill,

Will this torture inside ever be still?

Does anyone hear, Does anyone see,

The bondage of sin which has created a killer in me?

As I write this, I’m confronted with my own sin.

How we have ALL fallen short of the the glory of God.  Our righteousness is like filthy rags before Him. It’s ONLY by His great grace and mercy that we can be free of the wages of sin that so easily entangle us. We are ALL in need of a savior and the great revelation of our heavenly Father who LONGS TO GIVE US THE KINGDOM!

Jesus, I plead your blood over my sins and the sins of my nation! And I ask that You would pour out the spirit of Elijah like never before!  Jesus, would you break the bonds of wickedness and release Your Holy Spirit into the hearts of men that are being held captive by the evil one!

“He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.” Malachi 4:6

Justice Is So Spiritual!

September 24, 2010 5 comments

“Nice smiles, fluffy sofas, and a weekly church service will not remove years of pain, rejection, shame, depression, self-hate, anxiety and the orphan spirit that plagues each one.”

I’d like to introduce you to Ariel Williams. She is an intercessory missionary with IHOP-KC and in the Justice Fellowship here at OJC and has given herself to seeing true justice on behalf of the orphan. Her leadership in communicating God’s heart for justice is apparent in her writing as well as in her willing heart as she serves and equips foster and adopted children each week.

I could go on, but I’ll let her writing speak for itself. You can read Ariel’s other posts at http://breathoflife44.wordpress.com/.

Justice Is So Spiritual!
by Ariel Williams

Here is a drawing called “Ai Aika” from Jasmine (Age 17, from Richmond, VA) who writes

“I feel like an angel chained down with ribbons of regret. Regret about losing my house, finding happiness in my life, blaming myself for my mom’s drug problem. Dealing with Depression, Suicide, Isolation, Cutting, and Loneliness. I am crying because I want to be free from these things.“

Justice is so spiritual!

In researching VA Foster Care, I discovered a book of artwork created by children in the foster care system. The artwork reveals how much the battle for these children’s lives is not “against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places” (Eph 6:12). These children need Jesus!

Whether or not they have a roof over their heads and even a caring family is not what will change their status from “orphan” to “adopted.” Even if multitudes of willing, caring Christians could rush in and adopt them, they would remain locked away in prisons of spiritual darkness. Nice smiles, fluffy sofas, and a weekly church service will not remove years of pain, rejection, shame, depression, self-hate, anxiety and the orphan spirit that plagues each one. Unless they receive an intimate, dynamic encounter of relationship and adoption with their Father in Heaven, they will not experience true adoption, justice, and freedom.

This is why radical justice must be combined with radical prayer and fasting.

This is why there is a need for the people who are bringing these ones into their home, to be a people who will cry out on their behalf day and night, for God to come and do what only He can do.

This is why justice cannot happen apart from Jesus.

Father’s Adventures

September 23, 2010 2 comments

Fathers Adventures

We would like to introduce you to our leaders in the OJC Father’s Adventures. Brian Johnson and Adam Parker lead a group of our Family Integration Advocates and Justice Fellows in taking foster and adoptive kids on amazing adventures across the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Johnson FamilyBrian and his wife Wendy have a family of six children, Keary (11), Kaelan (10), Kiliegh (8), Kiah (7), Colin (4), and Keagan (7 months).

They are preparing to adopt many more children with a strong desire to reach out to the fatherless. Brian is believing for a mighty move of adoption and fatherhood to rise up and manifest God’s heart on the earth.

 
 

Parker FamilyAdam and his wife Stephanie have a family of 5 children, David (8), Manuel (6), Gerardo (4), Noah (3), and Dana (3) three of whom they are adopting through the foster care system. Adam has a vision to see God’s justice for orphans and for Malachi 4:6 come to pass seeing the Father’s heart operating in believers all across America. “America has been creating fatherless generations for far too long. The Lord is releasing the Spirit of Elijah and is calling out to men to step up and throw off the chains of comfort and laziness and begin to love children with the heart of the Father.”

Jesus taught that earthly fatherhood points to the perfect fatherhood of God and that is just what we are setting out to do on these Father’s Adventures. We are purposing to paint a picture of the joy and the happy heart of our heavenly Father by taking these kids on amazing adventures through the Kansas City area.

If you would like more information about our Father’s Adventures please email us at joinus@orphanjusticecenter.com. You can also give toward our Father’s Adventures by clicking here.

Learning To Love

September 20, 2010 9 comments

“Could I lay a loving embrace on a kid who reeked of urine, had poop smeared all over himself – and on top of that he hated me.”

Hey world – meet Jake Boehne, a student in the Justice Fellowship.  Jake is one of those people who doesn’t talk a lot but he walks the walk.  His heart is huge and he has so much mercy and compassion for hurting children.  Jake has been serving OJC families for over a year and he has made a huge difference!  He has so much insight into God’s heart for children, as you will see in his blog below.

I find all of Jake’s blog posts so good.  You can read the others at http://jacobboehne.wordpress.com

Learning to love as the Father loves…

Jacob BoehneIn recent days I’ve sat back and asked myself, could I lay a loving embrace on a kid who reeked of urine, had poop smeared all over himself – and on top of that he hated me. These questions stemmed out of a foster care class I attended on how to heal the heart of high-risk children. As outrageous as it sounds, for a young child to pee on himself and spread his own feces across his body, is a testimony of many children. This act is a primitive cry for protection. It’s like a skunk – if you smell nasty no one will desire you.  Many children who act out in this way, are victims of ritual sexual and physical abuse. That young, broken, confused child figures out if they cause their self to be so rancid that the abuser, and all other people unworthy of their trust, (which happens to be everyone) will not come anywhere near them.

As I meditated on this reality, a few things came to me.

One: God give me grace to see people as you see them. Teach me to hug that kid covered in urine. Look into their eyes with love. Tell them how precious they are. All it takes is the love of Jesus and one person to gain the trust of that child. Lunging them back into a healthy view of who they were made to be and how they were made to live.

Two: I am covered in crap. The stench of sin and death smeared from head to toe, mind and spirit. Well at least before the Lord drew near, cleansing me in His blood. He embraced me in love and washed me white as snow. I no longer carry that rank as hell smell of sin. I am clothed in the righteousness of Christ. I am a sweet smelling incense to my God. The Lord in all His glory and humility comes down to hug and set free all us angry ol’ kids covered in far worse than feces.

Three: Jesus died for us while we were still sinners. He made the steps to reconcile us to Him. He drew near to us, so that we could draw near to him.

He invites us to be seated with Him in heavenly places.

He invites us, all of us, to be the temple of Himself – the living God.

The Playfulness of God

September 12, 2010 3 comments

God invites us to twirl with Him when no ones looking, and when everyone is looking.

Hello OJC Friends.

As you may know, the Justice Fellowship started a week ago.  It has been an intense week. We have been pressing into God’s heart for Justice and if you do that for an extended time – it really leaves you undone.  I am feeling that now – gazing into His big heart of compassion and then seeing it echoed in the beautiful spirits of each Justice Fellow.  In my prayer time for them, I cry before the Lord, because He has allowed us this gift of being a small part of such magnificent destinies.

You will see what I mean when you read this post by Whitney Hand.  You can read her other posts at http://itsarevolution.wordpress.com.

The Playfulness of GodI was apart of a Prayer Room Restore event today. We were to teach the children how to behold Jesus. When I first went on the journey of beholding Jesus, I gained reference from the beloved scripture King David wrote in Psalm 27:4, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold to beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.”

What does beholding really mean anyways? Well I am 28 and it took me years to even practically try and understand what that meant, and I’m still just at the beginning. And so when I was assigned to my beautiful 3 yr old girl, my first thought was how am I supposed to show this precious gift of God how to behold her Maker.

So we talked about what worship was. When I was three I don’t remember understanding what worship was but these children amazed me by their answers. We came to the conclusion that singing, twirling, and praying were all apart of worshiping Jesus. So we decided to go into the prayer room and practice these very things.

(Let me just put in right here, that I am not a dancer! I don’t mind jumping up and down with hundreds around me are doing the same thing but not alone!) So we take these precious gifts of God into the dance box and I watched my little girl twirl and twirl and twirl. And then she reached out her hands inviting me to dance with her.  She was so excited to dance. I ask her who she was dancing for and she said, “Jesus!” In that little statement, I was getting a glimpse of the Father’s invitation to children revealing His playful spirit. Playfulness is the Gateway into Intimacy. Dancing, twirling, singing, jumping up and down, were opening up the hearts of these little ones into the playfulness and delight of God’s Heart.

God is a happy God with a happy heart, who is completely and utterly for us! He invites us into His presence through enjoying us and allowing us to enjoy Him. He invites us to twirl with Him when no ones looking, and everyone’s looking. He invites us to believe Him and find joy in Him.

Because of these children, I was able to behold a piece of the Father’s heart I had yet had the freedom to go.  I was able to delight in the Father, as he was delighting in the worship of His children. I was able to find freedom into the playfulness of His heart in the place of worship. He is inviting each and every one of us (all His children) to behold every facet of his heart, even his playfulness when no one is looking, and when everyone is looking. Let’s behold Jesus together, as we show those who have no voice to behold their Maker!