OK, you caught me! I am leading you in just a BIT with that title. The truth is, all children are at risk to some degree because we live in a fallen world.
BUT, some kids are at far greater risk. If you are the sort of mom who reads blogs while her kids are napping and you are sneaking some chocolate, you kid probably isn't one of them. You are probably engaged and involved in your child's life. That greatly diminishes your child's likelihood of being abducted.
Sadly, there is a whole group of kids out there whose parents are not engaged. How can we protect them?
My last post in this top ten thread was about the need for women to unite to use our unique gifts to increase the peace and love in our world. While this is fresh in our minds, I want to talk about something very serious in woman's and children's rights today.
"Human-trafficking is a form of modern slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others." (http://www.polarisproject.org/)
Many people work very hard promoting programs to get people involved in changing the lives of the less fortunate. But, do any of us really have room for another program in our over-scheduled lives? I have come to learn that programs are not the most effective method of reaching any person for an reason.
The most effective method for changing lives is to reach out to the people around you--let go of some of those things in our schedules so that we can make time for people. Or, better yet, a person. You can make a lasting impact if you focus on a select few. Jesus understood that. It is the reason he spent all of his time with those 12 men. Maybe 12 people is still too much for you. Instead, can you do just one?
I want to tell you about one person whose life was saved from sex-trafficking. I hope it will inspire you to get involved in someone's life today.
If you saw her in the store, you would think she was just another rebellious teenager--trying to hard to stand out wearing wannabe punk-rocker clothes. She often didn't smile and had an air of superiority about herself.
She is one you wouldn't be surprised to see on a missing person's poster. Probably a runaway. Or maybe too deeply involved with drugs. She should have made better choices.
What you didn't see was what happened in her home. As the only child to a single, mentally unstable woman, she took care of herself. She spent her days reading books and watching animal planet since her mother didn't send her to school. She often missed meals and was always sick because her mother didn't have any real income or the self discipline to clean.
Worse than that were the men. Her mother depended on men to provide for her. The type of men who take advantage of vulnerable women. The particular man they were living with at this time was very violent.
Out of fear, the girl started reaching out to anyone who would listen. The man's boss was nice. He always did nice things for her. Bought her things and offered to "get her out of there."
She wasn't a fool. She knew what that meant. It was so bad here that nothing could be worse in her mind. Of course, she had never even kissed a boy, let alone had sex. So, she couldn't even begin to understand.
Thankfully, this girl also reached out to the police. They did nothing at first. But, one day the neighbors finally called. The police took the girl away. She bounced around in foster care.
But, finally, she landed with an amazing family who loved her through her rebellion. They took her to their church. The people in that church loved her too. They even trusted her and gave her opportunities to learn and grow in character. She started helping out and searching for ways to meet the needs of others. She graduated high school and went on to college. She is now raising a family of her own.
What would have happened if just one of those people had not reached out? I would not be writing this blog today. I would have had a much different fate. I would have traded one hell for another.
So, before you decide that a child or teen is beyond your ability to impact, please just stop. Do SOMETHING. It doesn't have to be big. Maybe it is just a smile. Maybe it is letting a comment slide by. Maybe it is a call to the police.
Just please remember that you could be the one to turn a child's life around. You don't need an organization or the government to do it for you. Look around and see what you can do today.