Human Trafficking.  What comes to mind when you hear that term?  Most think it is something that happens “over there.”  The reality is sexual exploitation is happening everywhere, including Kosciusko County.  It is estimated over 27 million people are held in “modern slavery” across the World. Over 180 children were reported in Indiana last year as being sold in some way to others.  Generally, this evil practice includes trafficking for sex, labor or organs, forced labor, bonded labor, descent-based labor, domestic servitude, child labor and early (child) and forced marriage.  This list is not exhaustive and other forms include the taking of babies and children for sale for adoption, the entrapment of people in religious ritual roles, as well as those taken for religious rites that involve forms of human sacrifice.  When Jesus first began his public ministry he read from Isaiah in the synagogue.  

“He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners...to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”  (Luke 4:1-19)  Jesus calls us to stand up for those who are beaten down by the world. As followers of Christ we oppose any practices that robs life, human dignity and freedom of a person created in God’s image. As the darkness of perversion grows around us, may we grow brighter in praying and then acting against these despicable acts of abuse while ministering to those who are and have been oppressed.    

Ken Locke is community ministries director of The Salvation Army in Warsaw and director of the Greater Warsaw Ministerial Association. Have ideas for this column? Go to www.gwma.info.