Human Slavery, how do we end it? Here’s how…

Slavery. How do we end it?

This question jumbled in my mind as I drove my red Zip car over the bridge to attend the Bay Area Freedom Summit, where I was an exhibitor for my art ministry Gifts of His Glory and She is Safe.  It was my first summit on human trafficking and I was not sure of what to expect.  I hoped to sell some art, as I give 50% of each sale to She Is Safe, to rescue orphans in China who have lost their parents from AIDS and are in danger of being trafficked and sold in child marriage. I also hoped to have some divine appointments. (meetings arranged by the Lord’s hand).

my booth

As I set up my booth, other friendly exhibitors came and introduced themselves.  I was surprised and happy to see that many safe houses for victims of human trafficking were being established in the Bay Area, such as Freedom House, and in other parts of the state.

The Expo soon opened and people came up to my booth interested in the art and large banner of a chubby-cheeked Chinese girl advertising the China Aids Orphans project. I shared with those stopping by how I had come to be an advocate by reading the book Forgotten Girls by President of She Is Safe, Michele Rickett and my author friend Kay Marshall Strom.  The book shares the stories of girls and women around the world who are rebuilding their lives after abuse and exploitation.

Book Forgotten Girls

The book has sections on steps you can take to stop exploitation, one being to dedicate your craft to benefit an organization involved in stopping trafficking.  After reading the horrors of what happens to these girls and women especially in sexual slavery, I prayed and felt the Lord’s direction to dedicate my art to this cause.  Another suggestion from the book was to hold a booth at a conference such as the Freedom Summit, and here I was now doing that very thing!

Soon it was time for the general conference. I was struck by the stories how ordinary people became heroes as they took steps of faith to start organizations to help stop trafficking.  I listened with compassion to women who shared their survivor stories of how they had been miraculously rescued from sexual slavery and how God was using their witness to help save others.  I gasped in horror as I heard how little seven year old girls in India are strapped to a table and gang raped until they die.  I cheered as the Department of Defense is now making it a punishable offense for any US soldier to frequent a prostitute or sexual slave.

The Scripture verse for the conference was from Psalm 10:8-9 depicting slavery:

He lies in wait near the villages;
    from ambush he murders the innocent.
His eyes watch in secret for his victims;
     like a lion in cover he lies in wait.
He lies in wait to catch the helpless;
    he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net  His victims are crushed, they collapse;
they fall under his strength.

The theme of the conference was what you can do in 10 minutes,10 days and 10 months to stop trafficking. You might now be asking, Miriam, what can I do in these time frames?  Well, here’s what you CAN do…

10 minutes:

Put the national hotline for human trafficking on you cell phone 1-888-3737-888 right now as you read this blog!  You can report any tip of suspicious activity or pass the hotline number along to someone you suspect might be a slave and help them get rescued.  Who could be a slave?  A nanny or domestic in your neighborhood, a restaurant worker at your favorite restaurant, that young girl visiting truckers at a truck stop, a carnival worker, or the women standing on a street corner as you drive by. They are all over. Over 3000 people trapped in slavery have called this hotline to ask for help alone. You can also call to connect with anti-trafficking services in your area or to request resources or training.

Purchase the book Forgotten Girls at SheIsSafe.org and while there sign up to their blog to stay informed on the global cause of human trafficking.

10 days:

Purchase a biblical Scripture painting from my website giftsofhisglory.com.

Forget Me Not Tulips Philippians 4:13 Scripture painting www.giftsofhisglory.com

(or by clicking on ‘my art’ above). 50% of each sale goes to the China AIDS orphan project. Bless yourself or gift others in your life with an original piece of art embossed with Scripture.  It’s easy and safe to shop online and I ship worldwide!

Join a She Is Safe advocacy group to participate in fundraising and prayer to rescue and restore girls and women in the hardest places like China and India.  Contact info@SheIsSafe.org to find one  in your local area.  If you live in the Bay Area, I am hosting one in my home in San Carlos on a monthly basis where we will also be studying the books Forgotten Girls and Daughters of Hope.  Contact me at miraim@giftsofhisglory.com.

Purchase and consume only Fair Trade Products that are made with no enslaved labor.  To my dismay I discovered chocolate was.  And coffee.  And clothing.  Find ratings on products and brands you buy at free2work.org.  Discover how many slaves work for you and what you can do about it at slaveryfootprint.org.

10 Months:

Visit or Invite The SOLD Project, an interactive exhibit on human trafficking run by the International Justice Mission, to your church, organization or event. This exhibit was held at the Freedom Summit and had a powerful, heart breaking effect on me as I spent 40 minutes walking through each room and listening by audio to the testimonies of slaves around the globe, particularly children. I recommend this for every person and parent to see. It is currently traveling around the country. Visit www.thesoldproject.com

Free one girl and help her to build a new life at $365 through SheIsSafe.org.

Attend a conference in your area on human trafficking and become educated. Get involved in one project in one part of the world.  Just start somewhere.

 

Once back in my booth, I was blessed to do my first radio interview with KLOVE, the local Christian radio station.  What fun I had sharing my story and getting a plug in for my prepublished bookas well!  A videographer approached my booth and filmed me for a documentary on how high school and college students could use their gifts and talents to help stop trafficking. WOW! My art work was admired, many people took my business card and I sold some paintings, all in all, an educational yet saddening experience.

What the Lord most impressed on my heart during this conference was that I, too, was a survivor of sexual abuse and while I didn’t have a voice back then as a child, I now was able to be a voice for those trapped in sexual slavery today.  A voice for the voiceless. What a gift.  I have come full circle in my healing.

But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless.

Psalm 10:12-14

If you are a victim of any kind of slavery, please leave me a confidential reply and I will help you find freedom.

Please LIKE or TWEET below and share this post with your friends to get them involved.


Forgotten Girls…

Forgotten girls…

Commit you way unto the Lord...Psalm 37:5

One of the most wonderful things that came out of my attending Mt. Hermon’s Christian Writer’s Conference last March was a friendship with Kay Marshall Strom and her husband Dan Kline.  Both are celebrated authors and Kay has a heart for helping exploited girls and women around the world who are sexually trafficked. I met Kay and Dan as she taught the “Writing with Sizzle” class during the conference which I attended.  Kay took me under her wing, helping me to take my book in a new direction, turning it from a memoir into a personal experience with self help genre.  They have been kind enough to critique my new outline and book proposal as a gift to me.  (a little bit on getting my book published as I promised you!)

One day during the conference, I was browsing the authors bookstore and came across a book called ‘Forgotten Girls” by Kay.  I quickly picked up the book and read the book jacket.  Kay had traveled with a group all around the world telling the plight of young orphaned girls and women with no hope who were being trafficked across borders and sold into sexual slavery.

The Lord had been tugging on my own heart regarding working with children who had been trafficked.  I had a vivid dream two years ago of children being trafficked right in my own backyard of San Francisco.  In the dream, i heard the pleas of three little five year old girls, asking why men were hurting them, as their mother sold them into slavery.  As I read Kay’s Forgotten Girls, and the work being done by She is Safe, an international ministry whom Kay had collaborated with in writing the book,

I knew in my heart and spirit this was the work the Lord was calling me to. I now had a focus for my artwork and ministry Gifts of His Glory.  My Biblical Scripture paintings would be dedicated to helping young orphaned girls and women in places like India and Indonesia find rescue and hope of aftercare through the sales of my paintings.  I decided to donate 50% of all sales to the work of She is Safe, targeting the places and stories that had touched my heart

The Lord also prompted me to donate paintings to Christian ministries such as Freedom House in San Francisco and Zoe Children Homes in Los Angeles, as a gift to help them raise money through auctions and galas for their work..  In my own small way, I was now able to help stop this horrible crime against children.  The most amazing thing is how it has brought healing to my own heart from my own abuse as a child by giving me a voice for others who have no voice.

I include here my latest painting entitled “Purple Daises”, taken from a garden in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, where beauty resides in the midst of hidden and dark suffering of children.  I chose Psalm 37:5 to include in the collage “Commit your way unto the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass”. Amen.

(Purple Daisies sells for $100 and can be purchased at www.giftsofhisglory.com – Won’t you take a peek at the artwork for sale and help rescue a child? Thank you!