Human Trafficking is a modern day form of slavery . . . it is the fastest growing source of revenue for organized crime and terrorist networks and it happens everywhere.
Think about how often you may have an international person wait on you in a restaurant or perhaps provide some form of service at your place of work or along your travels. It may never have occurred to you that they may not be there of their own free will. I have been making it a priority to be more aware of my surroundings, particularly when children are involved. I have received training in my part-time job, to become qualified as a mandated reporter of child abuse. I also see a lot of little children moving freely about Mexico, often unsupervised and uncared for. In Mexico it is common to see little children begging or being expected to earn some change for cleaning your windshield or whatever. They then bring the earnings to a parent or adult somewhere nearby – who is out of sight. I can’t help but wonder how many are being used in unspeakable ways through abuse and criminal activities.
“Victims are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor. Victims are young children, teens, men and women. Approximately 600,000 to 800,000 victims are trafficked across international borders annually, and between 14,500 and 17,500 of those victims are trafficked into the U.S. each year, according to U.S. government estimates. More than half of these victims worldwide are children, according to the U.S. dept. of State.”
In an effort to become more qualified and aware, VOB, has joined a coalition of professionals headed up by a group with offices in San Diego and Tijuana, called Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition The group meets each month to discuss collaboration on plans of action for creating awareness, as well as seeing that justice is served to those who attempt to take advantage of these victims. One of the tools we use is a crisis cell phone. This is a hot-line that is used by law enforcement, social services, vice units, and victims as well. It is designed to help with immediate placement and needs of victims of human trafficking. On occasion, these calls require our coming to the scene in order to best serve the victim and innocent parties involved. I soon will undergo training to help with this crisis hot-line, and would appreciate your prayers for wisdom and discernment. It is an amazing opportunity to be clergy in a desperate situation.
Highlights from the Christmas Give Away!
The winter hats give away was a big success and covered many heads that rainy night! Unfortunately we ran out with 85 wrapped and distributed. I guess next year we wrap 100!
Vicente slices up some sweets for the antiguas at another outreach.
The children loved the toys you donated!
We had over 50 wrapped toys to distribute.
I hope you and your children are blessed as they were.
The kids take a moment to inspect their new gifts.
What a fun photo. By the way it was raining and
muddy during this gift exchange Christmas day!
Thank you from