Today, our church did our annual “U COUNT Campaign Spotlight,” an opportunity to focus on human trafficking. We heard a short sermon from our pastor, then we were told about all that U COUNT has accomplished in the past 13 years. This year’s theme was, “Let There Be Light.”
Today I learned much in church, and because of both its importance and its relevance, I would be remiss if I did not mention it on this blog!
Today, I learned that January is Human Trafficking Prevention and Awareness Month, and January 11th was National Human Trafficking Day (something I wish I would have known earlier!). Human trafficking is not only a tragedy and a horror; it is something that deeply grieves and angers the heart of God. Proverbs 22:22-23 says, “Don’t rob the poor just because you can, or exploit the needy in court. 23 For the Lord is their defender. He will ruin anyone who ruins them” (NIV).
If Jesus’ heart is so against oppressing people and exploiting the vulnerable, those who do such things– in “small” ways and in “big” ways– will be held accountable for their actions before Christ, saved or not (source). To fight this blight on humanity, a nonprofit named “The U COUNT Campaign,” started by a group of Christians in 2007, was started– to remove men, women and children from human trafficking, and to help them thrive as free people in their societies.
Now, eleven years later, “The U COUNT Campaign” (“U COUNT”) has worked as partners with many international and US Domestic projects and initiatives to bring Human Trafficking to an end.
Internationally, “U COUNT” has built safe houses and “reintegration apartments” to help men, women and children who have been sucked into Human Trafficking to leave Human Trafficking. As these men and women– both within the US and outside of it– reintegrate into society, “U COUNT” also gives victims a viable means to survive without turning back to Human Trafficking (you can learn more about their international partnerships here.)
Using the “Marketplace,” men, women and children are taught to sew and create jewelry. When they are done with different projects, “U COUNT” sells those products via a direct trade model, both online and in person through events in the form of pop-up shops. These products are also sold at Timberline Church’s bookstore in Fort
Most of all, the Gospel is preached in these many avenues of aid for trafficked people, to show them the Freedom found in knowing Jesus Christ personally! As for money, 100% of donations go to these various projects, because private donors pay for “U COUNT”‘s operational costs. Please consider buying from “U COUNT”‘s marketplace, or donating to this amazing campaign against human trafficking!
As said before, abuse of any kind, especially the kind of sexual degradation and trauma that occurs in most of human trafficking, is grievous to Christ’s heart. As a blog committed to praying for the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls, as well as all victims of Boko Haram, Please be praying for everyone involved in human trafficking– including and especially the Chibok girls, and those victims of captivity and bondage (find specific ways you can pray for human trafficking at “U COUNT”‘s prayer page.)
What people who propagate human trafficking do is insidious and evil, in every way; and I in no way want to lessen what SO many innocent people have been through.
Yet, Jesus desires to see all men come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9)– even people as evil as those oppressing others. As you pray for Justice to be served, please pray for their salvation, as well, if you can; and if these people become saved, please pray that they would completely repent of all of their actions. For, “‘…vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19).
Thank you for reading, supporting, and praying. You are all very loved and appreciated!
To learn more about “U COUNT,” watch this video: https://vimeo.com/196495293
Do you know Jesus?
Countless people all over the world are in bondage. But, every person, whether physically a slave or a free man, is a slave to sin (Romans 6). Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” But, the end of Romans 3:23 says, “…and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” No matter where you are, where you have been, or what you have done, God does not expect you to “get your act together” and then come to Him. Jesus wants you to come to Him, however you are.
You cannot earn your salvation, contrary to what the religions of the world say. Only Jesus Christ can save you from your sins. Stop relentlessly striving for something God offers you for free. Repent, and turn to God for forgiveness, today (Acts 3:19).
To learn more about Jesus, and His amazing gift of Salvation, Grace, Forgiveness, and Freedom, click here!