Monday, July 29, 2013

Fighting Sex Trafficking in a Small Way

A news headline released today reads “FBI rescues more than 100 children, arrests 150 pimps in sex-trafficking raid

And another:
Fresno girl rescued in national child-sex trafficking sweep

That’s right. Today's headlines: Human & sex trafficking literally in our backyard.

Heart breaking and gut wrenching. But can I be honest? I am paralyzed with what I’m supposed to do about it. Or at least I was . . .

Last year I read that majority of sex trafficking victims are between the ages of 12-16. 80% are from foster care homes. SO my response to my husband was “let’s buy a huge house and foster as many young girls as we can”. Because that will solve the problem, right?

I realized that there are many non-profits out there fighting to help victims of modern day slavery. But what about me? What am I supposed to do? And I literally asked the LORD “What If I never start a non-profit, will I still be able to help? What if I help in a quiet, small way, will you be pleased? Will that be good enough?” It sounds ridiculous, but it’s true!

Because in today’s Christian Culture if you’re not doing something big and loud, your challenged with the feeling of not doing enough.

And that’s when the LORD opened my eyes to the need right before me, right where I already was.

I teach in South Central Fresno. I was working with a lot of 6th graders toward the end of this past school year. I was standing before a class of over thirty 11-13 year olds when I realized, THIS IS IT. THEY ARE THE STATISTIC. I’m looking at a group of kids who are entering the age when most children become victims of sex trafficking. I’m looking at children who already know school is hard, failure is an option, and the opportunity to take the bait is just around the corner.

Or quite frankly, already in their neighborhood. Young men starting to groom young girls. Girls craving the attention. And no one to watch out for them. And I’m watching it all happen.

I realized I may never start a non-profit or foster every single girl between the ages of 12-16 in Fresno County, but I can do something. It’s no accident that I work where I work, with whom I work, and I know I was put in these kids lives for a reason.

So here’s my little part I’m doing to help fight sex trafficking in my city, prevent teen pregnancy, high school drop out, etc.

I’m spending time with six 12 year old girls about to go into 7th grade.
That’s it.

One day a week, I hangout with 7th graders. All my former students. I pick them up on Fridays and we get lunch, or grab Jamba Juice, or go to movies, and talk about life. Nothing fancy, nothing expensive, nothing big. Just 6 small relationships that take up part of a Friday afternoon.

I may never start a non-profit organization, but I will be intentional right where the LORD has placed me. I will be a friend and a mentor, I will show them a different way of life, and be a listening ear. And I will PRAY FOR THEM, A LOT. They’re going into 7th grade, with more freedom and less supervision. And I want them to know God wants more for their life than what the world (or the hood) has to offer.

Some of these girls don’t have father figures, some have parents who work long hours in the fields, some are being raised by older siblings. I don’t know who influences their life, but I DO know I want to be one of them. I want them to have a different kind of life. And I certainly don’t want to read about these girls becoming a statistic in a newspaper article.

I write that as tears well up in my eyes, because it could happen. It is happening. And I want to be faithful to do my little part to stop it.

Have you ever considered your part? Are there things around that you can get involved in today? Are there burdens on your heart and injustices that you want to fight? Do you get overwhelmed, feeling like you can’t do enough? Whether it’s big or small, have you considered doing something?


  1. You were on my mind today and I'll tell you why later, but God bless you for realizing and seizing this opportunity. My small part is getting together with co-workers and praying for needs we know about, whether it's family, work, relationships, illnesses, whatever. Just taking the time to care and pray over the lives of those we work with, even if (in some cases) they have no idea that they're on our prayer list. It feels small sometimes, but we know that no prayer goes unheard.

  2. i LOVE this! Melissa Danisi you inspire me! Thank you for your intentionality with the next generation. To you, the gesture might seem "small", but to those girls, it will mean everything! :) xoxo

  3. Love this. You are doing good things friend. Love you