How to See Human-Trafficking Victims, Even in Your Church

The Gospel Coalition | 5/22/2019 | Staff
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Hollywood movies like Taken infect our understanding of human trafficking with notions of kidnappings on distant shores and a rogue FBI agent saving the day. But is that an accurate picture? What if a human-trafficking victim was a member of your youth group? Is that even possible? Raleigh Sadler, founder and executive director of Let My People Go, says it is.

Sadler tells the story of Anna, a 17-year-old girl trafficked for sex by her boyfriend. Every Sunday, she sat in the back of a neighborhood church. When Sadler asked Anna how her congregation served her during her exploitation, she laughed. “No one noticed anything. Everyone thought I was happy.”

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How many Annas are sitting in your church pews?

In 2013, Sadler founded Let My People Go to equip churches to fight human trafficking in their communities. In his book, Vulnerable: Rethinking Human Trafficking, he offers an extensive discussion of human trafficking and how the church is uniquely qualified to address the problem.

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Sadler defines human trafficking as “the exploitation of vulnerability for commercial gain.” Human trafficking, he asserts, can happen anywhere, “because there are vulnerable people everywhere” (3).

Vulnerable people can be lonely teenagers, a homeless mother desperate for shelter, or an illegal immigrant brought here under false pretenses. They can be runaways—children fleeing physical and sexual abuse in their homes. Their vulnerability places them on a collision course to encounter human traffickers, who are actively looking for them.

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B&H (2019). 288 pp. $16.99.

There are more than 40 million enslaved people in the world today. This is overwhelming. A number so large leaves us asking, What could I even do to help? In his book Vulnerable: Rethinking Human Trafficking, Raleigh Sadler, president and founder of Let My People Go, makes the case that anyone can fight human trafficking by focusing on those who are most...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Gospel Coalition
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