I am excited to say that we have a guest blogger for this week’s post. His name is Matthew Snyder, and I had the pleasure of meeting him just over a year ago at The World Race training camp. He is a man of honor, conviction, and integrity, and has a tremendous voice in the social media realm through his blog. Here are some of his thoughts on abolition.
Six months ago I found myself in the heart of one of Bangkok’s largest red light districts: the Nana Entertainment Plaza. Tourists seeking sex were littering the streets while Thai women who were enslaved to an oppressive cultural standard tried to hide from their gaze. As an abolitionist, I felt helpless yet I also felt empowered to affect change. But what was I to do?
Kicking in the doors of the massage parlors, injuring the pimps, and running out with an armful of rescued children wasn’t an option. I’m not Bryan Mills from Taken.
So the team of men I was with took an even more aggressive approach than what Mills ever did: we prayed.
As a man in the Church, praying oftentimes feels like the most passive-aggressive thing one could do. But as a man fully aware of his identity in Christ, I know that prayers can beckon angel armies to action and move the mountains into the sea.
We saw the fruit of our prayers a week later when the girls teams went on outreach – they had instant breakthrough in conversation with the Thai women in the bars; something that wasn’t always easy to do. As men, we had breakthrough in our conversations with the Western men in the bars; also something that wasn’t easy to do… ever.
So when I returned home to Atlanta two months later, I knew that I couldn’t be silent. I wanted to keep instigating change on the issue of human trafficking. I was praying more intentionally for victims of human trafficking, but I also found myself wanting to be more intentional about giving my time and energy towards abolition.
I wanted to affect positive change in the world on this issue.
Maybe you can relate. Are you left wondering how you can make an impact in the anti-trafficking movement outside of prayer?
Here are some ideas:
It’s one thing to go to an all-night prayer vigil for victims of human trafficking, but how much do you really know about the issue? I mean, is human trafficking even an issue or is it a symptom?
There are tons of online resources that you can visit to educate yourself on human trafficking. Go to the library and check out books related to the topic and attend conferences and training sessions to further your understanding of the injustice.
Identify your voice.
Are you a writer? A photographer? A teacher? A musician? What is your voice? Identify it and develop your gifting. For me, I’m a writer and have a decent blog platform. I’ve intentionally dedicated myself to writing on the topic of human trafficking at least once a week. How can you use your talents and your unique abilities to be a voice for the voiceless?
Leverage your influence.
Who listens to you? Where do you have a large impact? For some, it might stretch no farther than your immediate family; but for others, you may have an influence over thousands.
No matter the size, be a faithful steward of the position you’re in and communicate with your audience on the topic of human trafficking; the more people who know about it, the better.
Volunteer your time.
Do you have a few extra hours to give every week? There are so many human trafficking-related groups with great needs and who are in desperate need of volunteers. Sometimes it’s as simple as folding clothes and other times it could mean speaking to a group of middle school students on the dangers of sex trafficking.
Wellspring Living has a variety of opportunities for you to volunteer your time. You can be a mentor, teacher, advocate, a cashier in their thrift store, or more. Wellspring Living also has a speaker’s bureau that you can become a part of. For more information on that, email firstname.lastname@example.org
At the end of the day, the more people who are making a concerted effort towards eradicating human trafficking and establishing justice, the better off the world will be.
What are you doing to affect positive change in the world?
Leave a note below in the comments.
Matthew Snyder has been a missionary with Adventures In Missions (AIM) since 2008. He most recently traveled with the World Race for four months fighting human trafficking in Southeast Asia and Atlanta, GA. You can read his blog and connect with him on Facebook or Twitter @matthewlasnyder.