To see those caught in the web of sex trafficking experience physical, emotional, and spiritual freedom and restoration through Jesus Christ. To see believers equipped and engaged in serving the marginalized and exploited within sex trafficking's reach.  That is, to see believers "seek justice, defend the oppressed, take up the cause of the fatherless, and plead the case of the widow" (Isaiah 1:17) while living counter-culturally in an all things permissible culture.

Ministry Plan

Few societal issues highlight the presence of evil and brokenness in our world like that of human trafficking.  This “industry” is the second largest criminal industry in the world[1] with earnings of 150 billion dollars annually.[2]  Ninety-nine billion of this is being made specifically through sex trafficking.[3]  Women and children make up the greatest majority of sex trafficking victims, with almost two million children being trafficked for sexual exploitation annually.[4]

In the book of Isaiah, God says, “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed.” (Is. 1:17a).  Jesus came to proclaim freedom for prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind, and to set the oppressed free (Luke 4:18-19).  He is in the business of reconciliation and transformation through His finished work on the cross and the power of the Holy Spirit working in people’s lives.  The global church is His body, called to be His hands and feet in proclaiming His Good News, bringing His light and love into the dark places of this world.  He calls His followers to go out into all the world to proclaim the Good News and make disciples (Matt. 28:19), and this includes to those who are caught in the web of sex trafficking.

Five years ago, God began to open our eyes to the reality and scope of the sex trafficking issue.  The more we learned, the more we knew God was calling us to engage.  After serving in anti-trafficking ministries at our local church and with anti-trafficking groups in our own community over the last four years, we felt God calling us to move into full-time anti-trafficking ministry.  In late 2016, we were appointed to WorldVenture’s Global Anti-trafficking Team to serve as its European Liaisons.

WorldVenture is a traditional missions sending agency that has successfully engaged in evangelism, church planting, leadership development and education for over 70 years.  Its mission is to “see people of all nations transformed by Jesus Christ in partnership with his church.”[5]  Currently there are over 500 WorldVenture missionaries serving in over 63 countries across the globe.[6]

As WorldVenture's European anti-trafficking liaisons, our ministry will have three primary focus areas:

Awareness:  Because trafficking occurs in communities across the globe and is hidden in plain sight, building awareness of this issue is critical in all churches.  It is vital that Christians understand the nuances of the trafficking issue and all the ways that society may be contributing to the problem.

Equipping:  Once Christians become aware of the issue and God nudges them to engage, how can their individual passions, talents, and skills can best be used in this fight?  Is it prevention?  Is it advocacy?  Is it working with groups that work to end the demand for trafficking?  Is it mentoring survivors?  Part of our ministry will be help believers discover the possibilities.

Connecting:  We desire to help build bridges between churches and the local anti-trafficking groups in their respective communities throughout Europe.  In our conversations with anti-trafficking groups in both the United States and Europe, local anti-trafficking organization leaders have told us about the challenge of recruiting volunteers for their ministries from local churches.  Likewise, when we talk to believers from local churches, whether in the United States or in Europe, we commonly hear people say they are overwhelmed by the enormity of the sex trafficking issue and that they believe that they have nothing to offer in this fight.  Some people who have made efforts to get involved have expressed having difficulty discovering which organizations they can serve with or what their needs are.  Bridging this gap between local churches and anti-trafficking groups will be a major focus of our efforts. 

[1] UNICEF - https://www.unicefusa.org/sites/default/files/assets/pdf/End-Child-Trafficking-One-Pager.pdf (accessed 7/23/2017)

[2] International Labor Organization - http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_243201/lang--en/index.htm (accessed 7/23/2017)

[3] Ibid.

[4] International Labour Organization, ILO global estimate of forced labour: results and methodology (2012) p. 13.

[5] WorldVenture - https://www.worldventure.com/our-passion/vision-and-mission/ (accessed 7/23/2017)

[6] WorldVenture - https://www.worldventure.com/about/history/ (accessed 7/23/2017)