By Derri Smith, Founder
Easter offers us all hope, new beginnings, new life and miracles. Who feels such needs more than human trafficking survivors? Perhaps that is why resurrection power is evident in so many ways at End Slavery Tennessee.
What better time of year for churches to begin addressing the injustice of human trafficking and engage in the restorative hope of our work? Recent studies, such as this one, show higher success rates in recovery from substance abuse and trauma when a program includes a spiritual component.
In my personal faith journey, I grew discontent with the distant and impersonal Jesus I learned about at church, abundant in judgment, stingy with compassion. My husband, Bill, and I went to church three times a week, but eventually I told Bill, “If this is all there is, I’m outa here.” Knowing my need, I launched into Bible study and prayer that led me to the real Jesus— the one whom prostitutes loved, the Jesus who did not condemn the woman caught in adultery. I was drawn to a God full of mercy, long suffering, yet fiercely angry at the exploitation of vulnerable people.
Human Trafficking is injustice of every kind. So, as his people, surely, we need to care about what—and who—God cares about.
At End Slavery Tennessee, we plan to develop materials to assist Tennessee’s faith communities in understanding the issue and to offer ways to make a difference. But first we will form a focus group of church leaders to guide us in determining how best to keep Easter alive, year-round, among survivors. Meanwhile, we are available to train faith communities and to meet with leadership. And we welcome your comments on what you would find helpful.
Here are a few great materials already available from other agencies.
Slaying the Dragon by Shared Hope International. You can download it free or get a hard copy for $2.00
A joyous Easter to you and yours.