The Oasis prayer meeting today was led by a bunch of guys involved in Stop the Traffik, the campaign coalition started by Oasis (but which now features many more partner organisations, including 24-7 Prayer), with the aim to bring an end to human trafficking. They told stories: stories of 10 year old girls sold into prostitution in India; of young boys forced to work for free on cocoa plantations in Africa; of eastern European women who come to the UK to work, only to be sold, beaten, raped and forced to work in the sex industry.
I listened. I prayed, along with my colleagues. We broke bread together, and remembered that Jesus died for just such as these. And then I came back down to my desk…
My heart is heavy. I feel upset, depressed, and I can’t bring myself to think of work. Or much else for that matter. I’ve put my name to Stop the Traffik’s declaration, but that doesn’t seem like much. I’ve considered signing the “I won’t buy non-Fair Trade chocolate” petition, but that is quite hard to do with a chocoholic fiancé… What, of consequence, can I do; other than sit here, heart aching, before my God?
STT’s campaign is noble, newsworthy and necessary. But I can’t help thinking of Jubilee 2000, of Make Poverty History, of the many other campaigns that have hit the media in recent years. Campaigns that may have some limited success, but don’t really change the way we live. How do we bring an end to things such as prostitution? How do we change the nature of the human heart?
Lord God, please help, please move. Show us how to end this. Hear the voices of those who cry out for Justice. The 1.2m children trafficked each year. The 10m women in prostitution in India. The 12.3m victims of forced labour worldwide each year. Lord, hear their prayers.