Yesterday I went to my church, Passion City, for the normal Sunday service. On the highway, we passed the Freedom Hand sculpture and casually remarked how it is visible from I-85 North. We parked and watched thousands of people filter in and around the sculpture that represents Freedom in our city. We worshiped, took notes from Louie’s sermon, and casually strolled out with a new dose of encouragement.

On the way to my car, my friend and I ran into Kevin Austin, who is the Director of the Abolitionist Faith Community for Not For Sale, and a panelist for the recent Men’s event at the Wellspring League. He was in town for the Backyard Academy, a two-day event, teaching people about sex trafficking and how to become an abolitionist in your own community.

I recognized him from the Wellspring League event, so I went over and introduced myself. He started telling me how much he’s enjoyed being in Atlanta, because of its uniqueness. He was so encouraged by the city! This is what he shared:

“You know, I travel all over the world telling people about this issue, and there are so many people who just have no idea it’s going on. Then I come to Atlanta, and I’m so encouraged by what you are doing! You have such power here.”

-Kevin Austin

Somehow, in the hustle and bustle of advocating, I’d forgotten that. I’d forgotten that Atlanta is one of the few cities that is actually standing up for what it believes in, and doing something about this issue. Human trafficking is a community issue, and you are all a part of that community by saying no to letting it stick around.

So Atlanta, hats of to you. You recognize the statistic, but you are not willing to accept it. You are trend setters and culture shapers. Keep up the good work, because you are one of the few!