Sunday, December 9, 2018

Sex Trafficking: A Dangerous Crime

This is a paper I wrote for school this semester that I thought it appropriate to share. I'm participating with Dressember, a foundation that works to raise money and awareness for anti-human-trafficking efforts. I have committed to wear a dress every day this month to help raise awareness of the atrocity that is human trafficking. In this paper, I focused on the sex trade, which is part (a large part) of modern slavery. Please note that this paper should not be read by children without parental approval first. Use discretion about letting your child read this blog post. Thanks. Also note that this paper really only addresses sex trafficking in the United States. This is a worldwide problem, but for the assignment, I focused on the United States. 

Sex trafficking is a major crime today enslaving thousands of children. The term is really just a politically correct way of saying "modern slavery." Children and teens are trapped in sex trafficking, usually without any hope of getting out. Unfortunately, the United States, the "Land of the Free," is not immune to the problem. In fact, sex trafficking is very prevalent in the United States because many don't realize it is happening all around them. Sex trafficking is a deceptive, dangerous, and dehumanizing form of slavery that runs rampant today.

Sex trafficking is deceptive to both the trafficked children and to those around them. No one knows for sure how many American children are lured into sex trafficking each year, but authorities estimate at least 150,000. They are promised love, money, and pleasure, but instead they get abuse and sometimes murder. Pimps (the traffickers) run the sex trade in such a way that it often goes under the radar. Parents, friends, and teachers don't know what is going on until it is too late. Thousands of children are lured into this trap of slavery only to find out that they have been fooled and betrayed.

Sex trafficking is dangerous because of the way Pimps treat their slaves in secret. Of the thousands of children caught in this trap, many never find a way to escape. They are abused, raped, beaten, and sometimes murdered. Sex trafficking is truly "exploitation of vulnerability" (Belles 30). Children are weak and vulnerable, making them easy targets for traffickers. When Pimps find that a slave is no longer useful to them, they get rid of them by selling or killing them. In addition, sex trafficking is largely a hidden crime. Many Americans are unaware of the problem and this makes it easy for the atrocity to spread under the radar. Sex trafficking is a serious crime because of its hidden and abusive nature.

Children who have been trafficked never leave the shame of their experiences behind. They are treated without dignity or care for the entire time they are held in slavery. These children no longer feel like humans because they have been treated like an old T-shirt. They have suffered tremendous trauma and live in fear, pain, and emotional distress. Sex trafficking is a dehumanizing crime.

Sex trafficking is a gut-wrenching, deceptive, and horrific form of modern slavery. Even American children are not free from the threat. Sex trafficking is largely ignored because so many people don't know how widespread the problem is. Children's lives are ruined by this dangerous, deceptive, and dehumanizing crime.

All of my facts stated in the above paper came from select chapters in "In Our Backyard" by Nita Belles (Published 2015 by Baker Books). 

Friday, December 7, 2018

What I Read- November 2018

Okay, so November, and apparently part of December, got away from me...here are the books I finished in November!

Tribulation Force (Tim LaHaye)
Fiction; 3 stars
picture from pintrest

This is the second book in "The Left Behind" series by LaHaye. He picks up right where he left off...following the story of four who had been left behind when Jesus raptured his saints. These four became devout believers when they realized what had happened and are devoted to sharing their faith and trying to live through the Tribulation, which is fast approaching, and see the Glorious appearing.

The is something sinister brewing with Nicolae Carpathia, and the only ones who know the truth are Buck, Bruce, Raymond, and Chloe. A Jewish Rabbi is about to announce to the world who he believes the Messiah is, Carpathia is planning a treaty signing between the UN and Israel, a treaty that Bruce and the others know signals the beginning of the 7-year tribulation. Carpathia, continuing to appear calm, peaceful, and good on the outside, has sinister underlying motives and will do anything to get his way....and the entire world is deceived.

Will the four be able to survive? Bruce is convinced that at least one of them will die with the first round of Tribulation troubles...who will it be?

My complaints...
1. I was reading Jay Adams' book "From Forgiven to Forgiving" at the same time. This book was correcting all my wrong views of Forgiveness that I didn't even realize I had. That being said, "Tribulation Force" showed me just how widespread these erroneous views are in the church. The characters were said to have "forgiven" each other...but it wasn't true biblical forgiveness. (More on that book next). It made me sad to see how the wrong views permeate even our Christian literature.
2. There was a sub-plot of a love story developing between Buck and Chloe. It came to a cheesy ending...I guess that's my complaint. :)
3. Sometimes it is hard to remember that this book is fiction, not fact. Good Bible-believing Christians would disagree with LaHaye on much of this book.

I would recommend this book for Upper Highschool and up. Maybe a mature lower highschooler, but I wouldn't recommend it for anyone younger than that.

True Devotion (Dee Henderson)
Fiction; 4 stars
picture from amazon.com

This book was advertised to me a Christian book with no romance.
Wrong.
Although the romance wasn't horrible (I'll come back to this part in a minute).

Kelly is the widow of a Navy SEAL. Joe is a Navy SEAL, the best friend of Kelly's deceased husband. Joe loves Kelly, but he can't ask her to risk loosing a second husband. But the man who is responsible for Kelly's husband's death is closer than anyone thinks and Kelly may be in danger. Will Joe be able to protect her in time? Will Kelly be willing to risk everything to marry another Navy Seal?

So, I guess if I had read the summary I probably would have know there would be romance involved. But it wasn't the mushy feeling romance of Melanie Dickerson, Jody Hedlund, or Janette Oke. Henderson had a much more realistic view of life and how romance plays a part in it. This book was aptly named. The characters exhibited true devotion to each other, to friends, to truth, justice, God, and country. There was kissing (I counted 7 times), but it didn't feel like a normal Christian romance. Romance was a sub-plot, not the driving plot line.

At least, that's what I thought. My ninth grade brother informed me that it "seems like a romance book to me." Take that how you will. ;)

Well, that was November. We are into December where cold weather and Christmas lights just beg for me to curl up on the couch and enjoy a good book....



Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Thanksgiving Challenge

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

This week I created a Thanksgiving challenge for myself. 

It has three parts.

1. Wake up Thankful
When I wake up, I have to think of at least one thing to be thankful for, right away. Before anything else, I'm determined to practice gratitude and get my heart in the right place for the day.

2. Count Your Blessings
I found this part in a Thanksgiving journal prompt. I've laid out several pages in my journal to list 10 things each day this week that I'm thankful for. These can be past or present, things, people, or events. Ten blessings each day for seven days...seventy blessings by the end of the week.

3. Go to Bed Thankful
Right before going to bed, I have to think of (and write down) one thing that I'm thankful for from that day. Then I take time to pray, thanking God for that thing and asking him to help me to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

Why do a Thanksgiving challenge?
Complaining is really easy. It is super easy to find things to complain about. But complaining is not a godly attitude. The Bible is clear that the opposite of complaining is Thanksgiving. So this challenge is helping me focus on the blessings the Lord has given me.

BUT, my goal is to keep going after thanksgiving. I want to have an attitude of gratitude every day for the entire year. So I'm on the lookout for a cute journal to be my gratitude journal for 2019. I plan to take the "Count Your Blessings" part of this challenge and do it every single day for 2019. (More on this next month when I post my 2019 Goals) 

Because gratitude shouldn't be saved for one month or one week of the year. Gratitude is a choice that I want to make each and every day. 

What about you? Will you take the challenge? It's not to late...join in for the rest of the week!