After 3000 miles and ten states, I haven’t seen a single one. I’ve been in restaurants, rest stops, hotels, restrooms, truck stops, parks, and visitor centers, and I’ve looked for any sign of one. But I haven’t seen a single message of awareness about human trafficking. No visual display of the National Hotline or a state hotline. No billboard, no poster, no card, no sticker. Have we really decided to buy into the idea that the sale of human beings by other human beings is an evil that only happens in other countries?
The truth is, people are sold in the United States. Shared Hope reports that 100,000 children are exploited every year in the US. The same highways and infrastructure that made my cross-country journey possible also makes the United States of America an easy place to do the business of selling people. When you’re eyes become open to human trafficking, exits filled with hotels, resorts, truck stops and entertainment venues look different.
The lowest summer gas princes in a decade mean more people will be traveling. In an interview with the Leaf Chronicle, Theresa Harrington, executive director of the Clarksville-Montgomery County Convention & Visitors Bureau, said, “News of lower gas prices is always welcome to those who work on tourism efforts. Not only does that mean that more people will be traveling, but it also frees up money for people to spend when they are at their destination.”
What if we traveled with our eyes wide open? What if we traveled and prayed?
Street Hope wants to help travelers become aware of the realities of the trafficking of people in the rural and urban parts of our Nation. We want people on vacation to think beyond giving their own family and children great memories. We want people to open their eyes to the commercial sexual exploitation of “our” kids.
Street Hope’s vision begins with raising awareness, because, as I was reminded in my 3000+ miles, there is so little awareness out there. We invite you to download our June prayer tool, a printable list of 10 Ways to Pray About Trafficking When You Travel. Take a copy with you as you travel this summer, and may we all count the miles with our eyes wide open.
Download the JUNE Prayer Tool: 10 Ways to Pray About Trafficking When You Travel
[bctt tweet=”Printable 10 Ways to Pray About #Trafficking When You Travel “]