By Dave Baylor
According to the Polaris Project, there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking worldwide. Of these, four to five million are trafficked for sexual exploitation. Most people agree that these numbers are appalling and that something should be done, but sex trafficking is often viewed as an international problem. We think it is something that occurs in foreign lands, far from our cities and neighborhoods. Yet, the truth is something quite different. Sex trafficking is happening in right here, in the United States, in places like Baltimore, Nashville, Little Rock, Dallas, and Sacramento.
Like many of the congregations across the Church of God, First Church of God in Sacramento, California, has been trying get a grasp of the problem facing our nation and the world. As a part of this effort, fifteen people from our congregation gathered with more than nine hundred others at the West Coast premiere of a new documentary focused on raising awareness on the issue of sex trafficking in the United States.
In Plain Sight: Stories of Hope and Freedom, a powerful new film narrated and produced by Natalie Grant and released by Word Films, tells the story of six modern-day abolitionists fighting sex trafficking here at home. Not only does it chronicle the faith journey of those leading the fight, it also includes testimonies from victims who have been rescued from the sex trade. It tells the stories of precious women caught up in the sex trade, in some cases having been sold for the first time at just eight years old.
In Plain Sight is a tremendous tool for educating people about the problem of sex trafficking, as well as providing a vision of hope for dealing with the problem. The film is currently screening around the nation in various venues (For screening locations, dates, and information, visit www.inplainsightfilm.com). The DVD goes on sale on December 23, 2014.
If your congregation is trying figure out how to get involved in the sex trafficking fight, I recommend In Plain Sight as a good place to start.
Dave Baylor, former Church of God missionary, currently serves as the senior pastor of First Church of God in Sacramento, California. Learn more about CHOG TraffickLight, the Church of God fight against human trafficking, at www.CHOGTraffickLight.org.