End Slavery in Houston {…yes, Houston}

I’m asking you to read this. Read every word. All I’m asking is for the next 3 minutes of your day.

Our lives can become so routine. So dependent on entertainment. We are over-stimulated and under-stimulated all at the same time {the definition of motherhood}. We are overwhelmed and bored. We are void of purpose outside of the daily grind. So much so that we miss opportunities for how we can change the world.

Today, I want to share an opportunity that will allow you to change the world…with your kids in tow!

I learned a little over a year ago that there are STILL slaves. I was shocked. From the little I paid attention to history in my school days, I had thought we had taken care of that issue.

But I learned that there aren’t just some slaves still today, but 27 million slaves. Real life people – men, women, and children – stuck in slavery.

27 million.

Let’s just look at how many zeroes that is :: 27,000,000

Just over 2 million people live in Houston. So imagine every single person in our city times more than 13, and that is how many slaves there are worldwide. As you sit in traffic on 610, that sea of cars represents just a sliver of those trapped in slavery. As you look at the packed out Minute Maid Park…oh wait, no that analogy doesn’t work. {Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.}

Men, women, and children all around the word are stuck. Stuck on street corners. Stuck in brothels. Stuck in factories. Stuck in homes. Stuck in mines. Stuck in Houston.

Yes, Houston. Of those 27 million people, it is reported that 1/3 of slaves are in Houston or come through Houston. Our city is a major hub for slavery. How could we not know this? How is this allowed?

Slavery is so hidden that it goes unnoticed. So many forms of slavery are even accepted, so we won’t notice.

I had never once really considered that those involved in prostitution had ever been coerced into it. I had judged. Judged that they did it for money or drugs or attention. Never once had I considered that they didn’t have a choice. Or that the deception of the industry was so intoxicating. I was wrong. They are slaves too.

And instead of helping, I sat back and judged.

A year ago, I watched a documentary introducing me to modern day slavery. I saw their faces and heard their stories. I was no longer ignorant. Yet I did little about it.

Every so often I’d ask myself, “Why? Why are you still doing nothing?”

One of the answers was that I was intimidated by all those zeroes.

How could I {a stay at home mom} make a dent in a number like 27 million slaves worldwide? I can hardly meal plan, keep the toilets clean, or finish a cup of coffee. So I kept right on with my life. I continued ignoring the 27 million that are too silenced by their oppressors to be able to ask for help.  

Until last year when my pastor challenged us at our church to do something. To make a dent. And together it would be measurable. So this year, I decided to say yes where I could. To do what I could.

End Slavery in Houston

So if you are interested in making a dent with me, here are some ideas for you {and your family} to help end slavery…

Educate Yourself.

Enditmovement.com is a great resource to educate yourself! They have lots of info about slavery. You can also follow them on social media to help keep yourself aware of this issue – ‘like’ them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, follow on Instagram, and be informed on YouTube.

Share what you are learning!

Share things you read on social media {this post, for instance} and use the hashtag #enditmovement. When you talk to friends and family, inform them. For most of us, we simply don’t know. So let’s spread the word!

See where slavery occurs in Houston by taking a van tour.

Houstonians can contact Elijah Rising for details. They will drive you around Houston and show you where slavery is active in our city.

Discover how many slaves you employ at Slavery Footprint.

I was disgusted to see my results…

My Slavery Footprint

Write your elected officials.

To contact your senator, click here.

To contact your representative, click here.

This is easy and can be as simple and short as, “Dear ____, there are 27 million slaves in the world. I just want you to know that I care about this issue and thought you should too. Please use your vote and voice to end slavery.” Feel free to add more. But we need them to know this issue is important and we need their help to end slavery.

Buy fair trade goods and ask your local stores to sell fair trade options.

Sometimes we like to boycott places that don’t fall into line with our personal beliefs. But how about trying a different approach – one that’s full of love and education. How about you ask the places you go to regularly to provide some fair trade goods as well! Again, ignorance could be the issue for them as well. Go to Fair Trade USA and Fair Trade Resource for more information on what goods are fair trade.

Check out the amazing organizations fighting this every single day.

Polaris Project, The A21 Campaign, ECPAT, Free the Slaves, International Justice Mission, Made in a Free World, Not for Sale, World Relief, World Vision: Childhood Lost, and As Our Own.

Do YOUR thing!

We are all so very different. We each bring something different to the table. Find your voice and way of speaking and do that. Fight this fight with your unique punch.

 

Before I close this post out, I have to say that doing some of these things has been so sweet for me. And it’s been sweeter to get to share this movement with my girls. I’ve been so filled with tears  because of a few more facts ::

Of the 27 million stuck in slavery, 50% are children. 
Of the 27 million stuck in slavery, 80% are female. 
Of the 27 million stuck in slavery, 1/3 come through Houston, TX.

So when I look into those sparkly blue eyes of my girls, I can’t help but to want to sob and hold them as close as I can. Because it could be them. And there are girls JUST LIKE THEM that don’t have me and Chris fighting for their protection and pouring love all over them daily.

End It Movement

They need us. They need us to do whatever we can. It may not seem like much at the beginning. But slowly, we can and will make a difference. They need our voice. They need our help. Even if it seems like nothing. Something is better than nothing.

,

4 Responses to End Slavery in Houston {…yes, Houston}

  1. Avatar
    Melissa February 20, 2014 at 7:34 am #

    So good, Becky!

    I would add another plan of action for a busy mom is to write Mayor Parker to let her know that her deal with the Strip Clubs is doing nothing but perpetuate trafficking.
    More info and a pdf of the letter is on the Elijah Rising blog posted on December 4 (in case this link doesn’t work). 🙂

    http://elijahrising.org/2013/12/04/houston-partners-with-strip-club-for-economic-gain-raise-the-outcry/

  2. Avatar
    Danielle motruk February 20, 2014 at 8:41 am #

    Love 146 is also a great organization working to end human trafficking. They are trying to build a wellness center for rescued girls in Houston as we speak.

  3. Avatar
    Laura February 20, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for using this platform to share this! Four of my brothers are victims of human trafficking, and my family deals with the effects each and every day. You can learn more here: http://www.theozingaoutlook.blogspot.com/p/slavery-my-story.html

  4. Avatar
    Leah February 20, 2014 at 9:50 pm #

    Yes, please check out LOVE 146. They are looking to END human trafficking with focus on children. We all just need to make some noise about this.

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