End It: Shine a Light On Slavery

#EndItMovement

Love is the light by which all are brought forward out of darkness. -LeeAnn Taylor

Today is Shine A Light On Slavery Day. It’s a day to join other Freedom Fighters from around the world to shine a light on modern-day slavery.

END IT is a Coalition of the leading organizations in the world in the fight for Freedom. With Coalition Partners engaged in work on the ground, together they bring AWARENESS, PREVENTION, RESCUE, and RESTORATION.

Learn More about Human Trafficking, Modern-Day Slavery, the Red “X” and the #EndItMovement. Share your #EndIt selfie on social media to join the collective voice and continue to raise awareness. Here’s your chance to get creative while linking arms with others to stand up for justice and freedom for the millions still oppressed and enslaved today.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

 

 

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10 Organizations Fighting Human Trafficking & How You Can Get Involved

When evil presides in a society and we as the individuals who make up that society choose to look away and do nothing, we become part of the problem.  

As with any of life’s insurmountable issues, we cannot possibly solve them as individuals. But by choosing to say “yes” and to get involved, our collective efforts take on power. Every set of hands and every set of feet strengthen a cause. Every heart (life) set on rescue, restoration, and the promotion of healing and hope for those who have been devalued and oppressed, has great value. 

Today, January 11th, is Human Trafficking Awareness Day, and this month has been flagged for us to remember, seek out, and serve those hidden in darkness.

“This month, we rededicate ourselves to stopping one of the greatest human rights abuses of our time. Around the world, millions of men, women, and children are bought, sold, beaten, and abused, locked in compelled service and hidden in darkness.” –President Barack Obama Read the full Presidential Proclamation on National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, 2013 

I’ve listed 10 organizations below that are committed to fight Human Slavery and Sex Trafficking.  Take time to read the personal stories of survivors and inspirational rescues on their websites, but don’t stop with the stories. Choose to become part of the bigger story by getting involved.

Remember, it’s not just about fighting against “the bad guys,” but being for those who desperately need rescue. It’s literally about setting captives free, rescuing women and children from lives of torment, abuse, and shame.  It’s about helping people out of slavery and into their freedom.  It’s about giving a woman or child her dreams, destiny… her life back. Choose just one thing you will do to personally combat human trafficking this year.

International Justice Mission – A human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. Get Involved

Polaris Project – An organization committed to combating human trafficking and modern-day slavery, and to strengthening the anti-trafficking movement through a comprehensive approach. Get Involved

Not For Sale Campaign – Creates tools that engage business, government and grassroots in order to incubate and grow social enterprises to benefit enslaved and vulnerable communities. Get Involved

GEMS Girls – Girls Educational & Mentoring Services serves girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking. Get Involved

Somaly Mam Foundation – Mission is to give victims and survivors a voice in their lives, liberate victims, end slavery, and empower survivors as they create and sustain lives of dignity. Get Involved

ECPAT – Mission is to End Child Prostitution And Trafficking of children for sexual purposes. (U.S.) Get Involved or (Int’l) Get Involved

A21 Campaign – is comprised of individuals, organizations, and government officials committed to one goal: to abolish slavery in the 21st century. Get Involved

Love146 – Committed to he abolition of child trafficking and exploitation. Nothing less. Get Involved

Hagar International – Dedicated to recovery of extreme human rights abuses, particularly human trafficking, gender-based violence, and sexual exploitation. Get Involved

Innocents at Risk – Dedicated to protecting children from all forms of abuse, and work to end child exploitation and child trafficking everywhere. Get Involved

If I can encourage you in any way, it is to say, don’t imagine your small efforts as not enough to make an impact. Imagine your small efforts linked with millions of others who are combining their small efforts with yours, and because of that collaboration, changing the course of countless lives across this planet together.  Think about it this way, because you choose not to look away, someone will find their freedom.

Let us know how you are making a difference in the fight against Human Trafficking… Abolition!

Photo Credit: pixi_bebe/Flickr

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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THE FREEDOM SERIES by Kathi Macias–Free Book Giveaway!

The Freedom Series is a collection of fiction novels about Human Trafficking, written by multi-award winning author Kathi Macias, and published by New Hope publishers.

I want to remind my readers of two opportunities to win FREE books from The Freedom Series!

  1. To enter to win a complete set of The Freedom Series  (Deliver Me From Evil, Special Delivery, & The Deliverer) on September 24, simply post a comment on the following blog site to enter: http://christianspeakerservices1.wordpress.com/.
  2. To enter to win the most recent book in the series, The Deliverer, simply post a comment below. The winner will be announced by Sept 30, 2012.  View the Book Trailer Now

If you missed earlier posts about the books in The Freedom Series, you can catch up here:

THE DELIVERER: An Interview with Abolitionist & Author Kathi Macias

SPECIAL DELIVERY: Interview with Abolitionist & Author Kathi Macias

DELIVER ME FROM EVIL: A Freedom Series Novel on Sexual Slavery & Human Trafficking

Follow me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women

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THE DELIVERER: An Interview with Abolitionist & Author Kathi Macias

 

Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning author who writes from the heart about some of the most important issues of our time: human trafficking, sex slavery, homelessness, border issues, freedom of religion, and historically courageous women. She is also an abolitionist, fighting and rallying others to fight, against modern-day slavery with her Freedom Series, a collection of fiction novels published by New Hope publishers. The third book in the Freedom series, The Deliverer follows her second book, Special Delivery, and her inaugural title, Deliver Me From Evil.

“I was horrified. I was also convinced that I had to do everything possible to help educate others about this widespread horror and to call them to join the fight.”

View the Book Trailer Now

Join me as we discuss the human trafficking novel, The Deliverer, and learn more about Kathi’s work and heart to see people set free:

While this is the third and final book in the Freedom Series, I’m sure there are people who are just learning about it. Would you please share what prompted you to write these books on such topic as relevant and difficult as human trafficking?

I was finishing up my previous fiction series for New Hope Publishers (the Extreme Devotion Series, dealing with the persecuted Church around the world) when Andrea Mullins (the publisher at New Hope) asked me what topic I wanted to tackle next. We discussed a few possibilities, and then she suggested human trafficking. I was aware of it and thought it was terrible but had no idea how widespread it was. I agreed to do some preliminary research and get back to her. When I discovered there are more than 27 million people held in various forms of human trafficking (sexual slavery, forced labor or military conscription, involuntary donation of body parts/organs) and that many of them are children (including an estimated 100,000—300,000 MINORS held in sexual slavery in the US today!), I was horrified. I was also convinced that I had to do everything possible to help educate others about this widespread horror and to call them to join the fight. Not only have I now written/released the Freedom Series on human trafficking, but I’m speaking on it everywhere/every chance I get.

What was your original objective in writing these books, Deliver Me From Evil, Special Delivery, and The Deliverer? And, what are you hearing back from people who have read the books? How are they taking action?

Originally my plan was to see the books alert readers to this horrific crime and, hopefully, challenge them to get involved in fighting it some way. That seems to be happening, but on such a larger scope than I had imagined. The response from readers is overwhelming! Pastors have written to say they are challenging their entire church to get involved on some level, and I’m being invited to speak all over the country on this topic. I am thrilled to see the Light being shined in this terrible darkness at last! As for specific actions, pastors and civic leaders are inviting me (or others in this ministry) to come and speak to their congregations/groups to help educate them on this massive tragedy. Readers tell me they are posting about my books all over the net to help snag people’s attention. I’m getting invitations to speak on radio and TV as well. I’ve also been contacted by readers who are getting involved in setting up safe houses for rescued victims, which is a huge need. I was even contacted by the Department of Homeland Security and invited to participate in group conference calls on the topic. Overall, I’m thrilled at the way God is using these books to help sound the alarm and to “rescue the perishing.”

It seems there is always someone in your books who is an intercessor. Why is that important for you to include?

This is vital to me, and as you said, I almost always include an intercessor in my novels. I know there were intercessors in my own life who prayed me through some incredibly dangerous and difficult times, and I appreciate those heroes of the faith more than I can express. Highlighting their importance in my books accomplishes two things: it enables me to honor those faithful intercessors who often get no recognition in this world, and it also calls others to get involved in intercession as well.

You write books as you often call them, parables with a purpose, on topics such as human trafficking, the persecuted church, illegal immigration, and your Christmas 2012 book is about homelessness. Some might call you an advocate. Why is it important for Christians, and the church as a whole, to discuss these issues?

You’re right that I call my novels “parables with purpose,” because I believe Jesus is our example and that’s what He told to His followers—parables with purpose. He didn’t just tell them “nice stories” to entertain them. He told stories that would grab them right where they lived, and then challenge them to change their hearts, their minds, and their lives. The Church has always been at the forefront of serious social change, leading the charge to abolish slavery for instance, and leading the charge on these other issues is right where the Church needs to be now. The first step is to discuss the issues, to make people aware of them, and then to call them to action. I believe gripping fiction is one of the most effective ways to do that.

Will you give us a glimpse, a taste of things to come — without getting too far ahead — of what’s in store for your next series and books on the horizon?

In addition to the 2012 Christmas novel, Unexpected Christmas Hero, dealing with homelessness in America, I will be releasing a new series starting in January. The first of the three novels is called The Moses Quilt, and it deals with a contemporary interracial romance, set against the background of a quilt that tells the story of the courageous, faith-filled woman known as Harriet Tubman. A contemporary novel dealing with the issue of abortion will follow, with the first woman doctor in America, Elizabeth Blackwell, as our backdrop heroine. The final book will be built around the much beloved Fanny Crosby, as we deal with the issue of people with disabilities. That series is from New Hope Publishers, but I also have a book releasing in the Spring of 2013 from B&H Publishers called Last Chance for Justice. It’s part of the multi-author Bloomfield Series, and I’m very excited about it.

You also write a devotional blog. Can you tell us what the focus is and where we can find it?

I started writing a weekly devotional several years ago, in response to a request from the then newly formed group CAN (Christian Authors Network). I sent it out as a group email and had about 40 recipients then. The devotional mailing quickly grew and expanded beyond the CAN group, with countless readers signing up to receive it. I also started posting it each week on my devotional blog (http://kathimacias.com/category/devotional-2/), which is part of my primary website (www.kathimacias.com), where you will also find my “Easy Writer” blog, which is more writing-related. (You can also sign up there to receive the weekly devotional in your inbox.) Over the years the devotional has been picked up by Crosswalk, Black Christian News, Latino Christian News (I offer it in Spanish as well as English), Believe.com, Christians in Recovery, etc., so the readership has mushroomed beyond anything I ever imagined. God is amazing, isn’t He?

Finally, we know you as an award-winning author, but you also enjoy speaking for women’s events, and other groups, as well. On what areas or topics do you focus your speaking presentations? How can a church or group find out more about having you speak for their event?

I speak on various topics, including the issues I address in my books, but on other topics too. One of my most requested topics is “When Passion and Purpose Collide.” That, along with several other popular topics, can be found in the speaking section of my website (http://kathimacias.com/speaking/).  To see my current speaking schedule and/or to explore the possibility of having me come and speak, just go to http://kathimacias.com/speaking/speaking-schedule/ and click on the Christian Speakers Services button to make contact. You can also see some of my speaking endorsements at http://kathimacias.com/speaking/endorsements/.

FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY! To Enter to win a free copy of The Deliverer by Kathi Macias, simply post a comment below. You can also help spread the truth about human trafficking by re-posting this interview on Facebook and sharing it with your friends. The winner will be announced by Sept 30, 2012!

Follow me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

For more opportunities for free copies of The Deliverer by Kathi Macias, please visit Facebook.com/CSSVBT.KathiMacias.

Note: I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speakers Services (http://ChristianSpeakersServices.com). 

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Half the Sky Hosts Twitter Chat with Somaly Mam on Modern-Day Slavery

 

Half the Sky is hosting a Twitter chat with Somaly Mam, and… You’re Invited! 

Somaly Mam was sold into sexual slavery at a very young age. She was raped and tortured on a daily basis, and even forced to watch her best friend being brutally murdered. Today, she is one of the world’s leading activists against sex trafficking and advocates for the victims and survivors of modern-day slavery. She has teamed up with Half the Sky for a Twitter chat. “It’s time for a 21st-century abolitionist movement,” says Nicholas Kristof, Half the Sky Co-Founder. 

What: Twitter Chat with ex-trafficking victim and survivor Somaly Mam, hosted by Half the Sky.

Why: Because 30 million people are trapped in human slavery today, more than any other time in history (via sex trafficking, forced labor and debt bondage… and that’s completely unacceptable!)

When: Wednesday, July 18th at 2:30PT / 5:30ET

Where: Twitter!

Tweet your Questions to: @SomalyMam and @Half using #endslavery

The Half the Sky Movement is about igniting the change needed to put an end to the oppression of women and girls around the globe. It was inspired by journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book of the same name, “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide”.

The Somaly Mam Foundation is a nonprofit charity committed to ending modern day slavery and empowering its survivors as part of the solution.“She vowed never to forget those left behind and has since dedicated her life to saving victims and empowering survivors.” Read her book, The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine. 

“He Who Allows Oppression Shares the Crime” -Desiderius Erasmus

Join me on Twitter: @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”
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Somaly Mam: From the Jungles of Cambodia Rises A Voice for the Voiceless

From the deep forests of Cambodia to street brothels–Somaly Mam’s “grandfather” sold her into sexual slavery at age 12 where she suffered unspeakable acts of brutality and witnessed horrors that would haunt her for the rest of her life.

Unable to forget the girls left behind after her escape, she became a tenacious and brave leader in the fight against human trafficking, rescuing sex workers–some as young as five and six–offering them shelter, rehabilitation, healing, love and leading them into a new life.  

The Somaly Mam Foundation is a non-profit charity Foundation committed to ending modern day slavery in North America and around the world.

Vision: A world where women and children are safe from slavery.
Mission: To give victims and survivors a voice in their lives, liberate victims, end slavery, and empower survivors as they create and sustain lives of dignity.

Somaly has written about her own human trafficking story in the heartbreaking and hopefully heart awakening book titled, “The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine.”

Did you know that human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry and the fastest growing criminial enterprise in the world?  If so, share how you are helping to raise awareness about human trafficking or working in some way to eradicate modern-day slavery.

Learn more on the Somaly Mam Foundation website and/or follow Somaly Mam on Twitter: @SomalyMam.

Buy the Book: The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine 

Join me on Twitter: @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”
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NOT FOR SALE: Moving From Awareness To Action Against Modern-Day Slavery

“No longer can we stand by while 30 million people are enslaved”. Thinking about positive change is a beginning—like the planting of a seed. Talking about positive change is taking that idea to the next step, like watering it. But it is not enough to make a lasting difference.  Good ideas, like knowledge and awareness, will never affect true transformation. Like the seed that is planted and watered, without the light of truth and effective nurturing, it cannot thrive and gain the momentum of progressive evolution toward a solution. Not For Sale believes it’s time to shift gears by marrying movement with intelligent action.

So what is Not For Sale’s commitment to breaking the cycle of vulnerability and creating change at the root level of human trafficking and slavery? It is to provide a platform and issue a collective challenge for modern-day abolitionists to rise up and stand with those who are enslaved. To educate, inspire and invite people to move from the awareness phase to the action phase. They join forces to equip abolitionists in their quest to empower those who are enslaved to realize their freedom. That is success—remarkable, measurable success.

“We cannot act solo if we want to make an impact” -David Batstone

What does that collective challenge look like on the ground? Not for Sale combines technology, intellectual capital, abolitionist groups and a growing network of individuals working together for one purpose: to bring an end to human trafficking and modern-day slavery. To creatively, intelligently and strategically work together to literally set captives free.

We are living in a moment in time where the world’s interest and conscience are piqued by the topics of human rights and modern-day slavery. That’s why we cannot allow the sheer breadth and depth of its ugly and enormous reality cause us to become paralyzed to the point of inaction. It will take many moving parts working toward the same goal.

As Not For Sale rightly points out, “We live in a time and place where people are restless to do something”. Their approach promotes a holistic response that will best serve that collective goal. That’s why NFS presents us with opportunities that will bring students/universities, athletes, musicians, artists, communities of faith, justice, technology and business minds together. In order to bridge knowledge to action, they understand that, “The greatest of challenges demand the boldest and most creative initiatives.”

“Ending slavery in our lifetime depends on open-source activism” –David Batstone

Do you consider yourself a modern-day abolitionist? Do you and/or your peers want to learn more about human trafficking or find creative ways to “activate your activism”? Check out the Free2Work, Free2Play, and Free2Walk initiatives. Download the app to find out if the food you eat and the goods you buy are produced by slaves.  If you’re not sure how to apply your interests and skills in the movement, NFS has created an easy online tool to help point you in the right direction.  Consider taking an educational and life changing Immersion Trip, or sign up for The Academy, an abolitionist think-tank where NFS “incubates ideas to create solutions”.   

Hear the heart and journey of David Batstone, banking investor, educator, journalist and President/Co-Founder of Not For Sale in his own words.  

We cannot live in our present time and space and not be aware that human trafficking and modern-day slavery exists to some degree. Neither can we afford to live with our own conscience now awakened, yet stuck in the place of awareness… and do nothing.

How are you moving from awareness to action as an individual, organization or community?

Related Article: The Top Ten Rules for the Lifelong Effort to Become a Smart Activist

Buy the Book: “Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade–and How We Can Fight It” by David Batstone

Connect with Not For Sale on Facebook, online, by email, or follow @NFS on Twitter

Join me on Twitter: @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”
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SPECIAL DELIVERY: Interview with Abolitionist & Author Kathi Macias

Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning author who writes from the heart about some of the most important issues of our time: human trafficking, sex slavery, homelessness, border issues, freedom of religion, and historically courageous women. She is also an abolitionist, fighting and rallying others to fight, against modern-day slavery with her Freedom Series, a collection of fiction novels published by New Hope publishers. The second book in her series, Special Delivery, follows the inaugural title, Deliver Me From Evil.

In book two of the “Freedom” series, readers find Mara fighting against her attraction to Bible college student Jonathan Flannery even while wrestling with risking her own precarious safety to become involved in the rescue of another girl who is pregnant and desperately wants to escape her captors and save her own life, as well as her child’s. Halfway around the world in a brothel in Thailand, a young girl is rescued with the promise of being reunited with her younger sister who was adopted by an interracial couple in the States, friends of Jonathan’s family. Meanwhile, Jefe—Mara’s uncle, who held her as a sex slave in his brothel in San Diego for years—seeks revenge for Mara’s testimony that put him behind bars for life. Will his underworld connections be successful in kidnapping and killing the girl who believes she has finally won her freedom?
 
“I’m not writing about a dark topic; I’m writing about the Light that shines in that darkness” – Kathi Macias
 
 
 
Special Delivery is book two in the Freedom (human trafficking) series. For anyone who may not have read book one, Deliver Me From Evil, can you fill us in on the focus of the series in general, and Special Delivery in particular?
 
The Freedom series is a three-book fiction series built around the horrifying topic of human trafficking. People often ask me why I decided to write about such a dark topic. First, I explain that I’m not writing about a dark topic; I’m writing about the Light that shines in that darkness. And second, I believe the Church should be at the forefront of the modern-day abolition movement to set the captives (modern-day slaves) free. The three books in this series specifically follows the life of a young woman named Mara, who was sold into sexual slavery by her own parents in Mexico, and then smuggled across the border into San Diego by her uncle who then served as her pimp. A strong sub-plot throughout the series tells of two sisters in the Golden Triangle of Thailand, Chanthra and Lawan, who are also trapped in a brothel. Finally, a teenage girl named Francesca, kidnapped in Juarez, Mexico, and forced into prostitution, is introduced in book two. Special Delivery picks up two years after book one, Deliver Me From Evil, ends, and continues with the stories of Mara and Lawan, as well as others carried over from book one. Mara hopes she is finally free to pursue her own life because she was rescued from the brothel and her testimony helped lock up her uncle for life. But the man has underground connections and is driven by revenge to reach out from behind bars and deliver the ultimate punishment to his niece.
 
This isn’t the first fiction series you’ve written on nationwide and even worldwide social issues, the one previous to this being the persecuted Church. What draws you to these difficult topics?
 
As a Christian, I believe I am compelled to use my God-given gifts to honor God in all I do—and that includes exposing the deeds of darkness, calling sinners to repentance, and taking a stand for righteousness by doing all I can to help rescue those who are suffering. I dare not turn my back on “the least of these.” I also believe that God placed this sort of burden on my heart even before I became a Christian at the age of 26. I’ve always been a champion of the underdog, a “soap-box” preacher, if you will. When I met Jesus, I simply redirected that passion toward His people, realizing I couldn’t effect real change in my own strength anyway.

With your obvious passion to right social and moral wrongs through the power of the Gospel, how did writing and speaking enter into that?

I’ve known I wanted to be a writer since I was a child—never wanted to do anything else. When I was a teenager I told my then boyfriend (now husband) that I was going to be a writer one day. What a blessing that God allowed me to fulfill that dream! After becoming a believer and growing in my faith, it was natural to take my passion to fight for others and incorporate it into my writing. Speaking, on the other hand, was an entirely different story. I was terrified of public speaking when I was young, and the day I received Christ I made a “bargain” with God, promising to do anything He asked of me—so long as it didn’t include public speaking. (Does God have a sense of humor or what???) Now, when I stand in front of audiences where I believe God has called me to speak (and actually find myself enjoying it!), I tell my listeners that if God has called them to do something and they feel it’s impossible, they can consider me their “visual aid” that NOTHING is impossible with God IF we will simply take that first step of obedience and let Him fulfill His purpose in and through us.

With the topics of the worldwide persecuted Church and human trafficking under your belt, what other issues are you dealing with in your writing?

My Christmas 2011 book, A Christmas Journey Home, dealt with the immigration/border problem, and my Christmas 2012 novel, Unexpected Christmas Hero, will be about homelessness in America. The next issues-related fiction series I have on tap—which I am just starting to write, by the way—is called the “Patches of Courage” series and will begin releasing in late January 2013. Book one is The Moses Quilt, based on the life of Harriet Tubman, and will be followed by The Christmas Quilt and The Impossible Quilt. This series of books will highlight historical American women whose Christian faith enabled them to walk in great courage and make a difference in the lives of countless people.

Where can people find out about you and your books/speaking/appearances?

They can go directly to my website (www.kathimacias.com or www.boldfiction.com) or my Easy Writer blog: http://kathieasywritermacias.blogspot.com. I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, and various other social sites. Would love to hear from all of you!

FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY!  To be considered for the SPECIAL DELIVERY free book giveaway, simply post a comment below. Help spread the truth about human trafficking by re-posting this interview on Facebook and sharing it with your friends. The winner will be announced at the end of this month!
 
Where can people find out about other free book giveaways on this blog tour?

The blog tour host is giving away a set of two books from the Freedom Series –  Book 1 (Deliver Me From Evil) and Book 2 (Special Delivery). Also, readers can follow @ChristianSpkrs on Twitter or follow on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CSSVBT.TheFreedomSeries for more book giveaway locations on the tour.

Note: I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speakers Services (http://ChristianSpeakersServices.com). 

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”
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FOREVER FOUND: Artists Create Change for Sexually Exploited Children

 

It’s hard to imagine, but did you know that young girls are being sold to sex traffickers for less than twenty dollars? Worse yet, in some cases, by their own mothers or family members. These girls (and boys) are then forced into prostitution by the traffickers. Forced to have their little bodies used and abused as sex slaves. And not only are they physically and sexually abused, but their minds and emotions become enslaved and ravaged by unthinkable pain, fear and shame.

Forever Found is a non-profit organization born out of that reality and supports safehomes for sexually exploited and trafficked children. While on a heartwrenching trip to Thailand, founders Shannon and Taylor Sergey saw the devastation child prostitution and trafficking caused up close, put a stake in the ground, and chose to make it personal.

Forever Found exists to support the rescue and restoration of victims of child trafficking and prostitution through:

  • Locally based awareness efforts and events
  • Child sponsorship programs
  • Recruitment, development and promotion of artists willing to donate part or all of their proceeds to help rescue a child

Forever Found partners with artists to raise awareness and support for rescue organizations, aftercare and safehomes in the U.S. and abroad including Streetlight PHXF.A.C.E.S.S., International Crisis Aid, and Life Impact International. 

As an artist and advocate, I’m a true believer in creative advocacy. I love that Forever Found bands together with artists who are catalysts in creating change. Forever Found collaborates with musicians, writers, painters, photographers, designers, actors, and other artists to bring justice, freedom and restoration for sexually exploited children.

Art and music bring people together in a unique way that crosses man-made barriers and touching all of humanity. On top of that, 100% of money received from artist partners goes directly to the rescue homes they support!

"Immeasurably More" Album by Shannon Sergey

Shannon Sergey’s album Immeasurably More is described as an eclectic album full of passion and beautiful instrumentation fueled by talented musicians who donated their time to support victims of child trafficking. The track “Daddy” is about a child she met who was rescued from child prostitution.  Shannon has also written an autobiographical book called, Something Beautiful: The Story of Us–a book about directing love, heartbreak and passion. Other artists share their creative advocacy and proceeds through music, leather wrist bands and even hand crocheted baby blankets!

Aftercare homes provide safe and sane environments for rescued children as young as 4 years old. They provide shelter, food, medical care, education, skill and vocational training, along with emotional and spiritual counseling. Above all, safehomes provide the opportunity for a fear and abuse-free life, providing child victims a chance to heal and to find a path to living the lives they were destined for. 

Maybe you’re an artist, or know someone who would love to share their talent in exchange for giving a sexually exploited child the gift of life more abundantly. Learn how you can get involved. Connect with Forever Found online at foreverfound.org, or join them on Facebook, Twitter or on their blog.

How can you partner to become an advocate for freedom?

Related Article: Simi Native Rescues Sex-Trafficked Kids

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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8.4 Million

Did you know that Human Trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world today?

8.4 million children are trapped in slavery, trafficking, debt bondage, prostitution, pornography, and other illicit activities. (2003 International Labor Organization Report report, Facts on Child Labor)

“The danger is, that we can look at the enormity of this issue and we can fall into this tragic rationale that says if you can’t do everything, you can’t do anything, and as Mark Labberton writes, we become paralyzed and inert.  The truth is, you can’t do everything, but you can do something. You can do something to make a difference. You can do something to take these children who’ve been enslaved and help them to become forever found.” –Pat McCalla, Co-Founder, StreetLight

We want to turn away, but we can’t because it’s not a story… it’s real.

Do Justice.  Love Mercy.  Get Involved.

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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