Thursday, February 27, 2014

Talking to Kids about Human Trafficking

"We are in it to End It."
{Source: End It}
The End It Movement campaign to raise awareness and end human trafficking has declared February 27 a day to "Shine a Light on Slavery". Depending on the circles you run in, you may notice some red X's on hands and plastered all over social media. These are people declaring to no longer be a light in the darkest of darkness.
Launched by Louie Giglio and Passion in 2012, End It has garnered attention from 
mainstream media to Carrie Underwood to the White House.

If you're reading this blog, you are likely aware of many of the facts: 
~More slaves in the world today than any other time in history. 27 million plus.
~Slavery is prevalent in 161 countries across the globe.
~Estimated 14,000-17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. each day.
~People are bought and sold for average of $90. 

No doubt this is a fantastic initiative and the fight for freedom is one I can not ignore. 
Nor do I want my girls to ignore it. 
How do we talk to our kids about slavery and 
darkness in the world without making them fearful? 
The key is hope. A solution. 

First, we define the issue in age appropriate terms. 
You know your child best, but you may say something like, 
"A person is a slave if another person thinks they own them like you own your toys. They think they are the boss over them and do not respect them." 
If your children are a little older, have them look up the definition of slave and slavery for themselves. Talk about how they would feel if they never got to make any choices on their own. 
Know what resonates with your child. If "good guy, bad guy" talk works well, do it. 
"There some bad guys in the world that think it's okay to make other 
people work for them and not pay them for it."
You don't need to specify the kind of work unless they ask, if they do, stick to labor if you are dealing with elementary or early middle school. 

Note: Understanding healthy sexual relationships is important before discussing unhealthy relationships.

Once you've made your child aware of slavery and that it still exists, that's not the end. 
This is the key to growing little crusaders in to grown-up crusaders!

Pray with all authority that has been given to you by the power of the Holy Spirit. Pray for justice and mercy and complete healing for the captives. Pray for "bad guys" to become "good guys". Pray for public officials, police, detectives, and for the many volunteer and non-profits, like Elijah Rising,  that are in the rescue business. Beyond this, when you see answered prayers in your daily life, from the tummy feeling better to the found blankie, give all glory to God and make sure your little one knows how sweet it is when God hears our prayers. When you hear of rescues, share them. 
Pray and thank God for freedom. Give them hope.

Recently, a place of known slavery (I don't like to use the brothel with my kids, although I know they know the word. It's just a thing.) was shut down about two miles from my house. So, I drove my girls by to show them this:
Don't you know when had a praise party!?
Do Something.
Praying is doing something. Absolutely.
Still, there are tangible ways to engage in the fight.
Let them get a put a red X on their hands. 
Write notes or Scripture cards to rescued victims, make cookies for them.
I was recently reminded how difficult a job the local vice cops have, and how they are in need of encouragement. They could use some notes of exhortation, too. Let your kids see you give financially to organizations fighting for freedom, locally and globally. Let them give, too. You never know how a child could be inspired to raise money. By empowering them to be a part of the solution, you are showing them they have a purpose in this world. Oh, the little world changers we have in our homes! 

Our children can certainly understand that whoever has been given much, much will be required. (Luke 12:48) We can be a part of freedom and healing and hope. All of us.

How do you talk to your kids about the hard stuff? The dark stuff? I'd love to hear it.

Love! Melissa

Thank you for reading and sharing on social media!

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