Is Human Trafficking in America?

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human trafficking, mywarminghouse.com, social justice, compassion

Welcome! Here we are at the final installment of our 6-week human trafficking study. Woo hoo! It’s been agonizing, overwhelming, and hard to stomach at times. But this I know for sure . . .

If we’re going to make the world a better place, we first have to see the world with open eyes.

We have to make ourselves aware of the places of injustice and suffering. 

We must be willing to enter into places of pain.

Compassion is “your pain in my heart.” 

So for those of you who have taken part in this study, know that I am so proud of you – and grateful for your bravery and selflessness. Learning about human trafficking is tough!

This week we’re concluding with chapter six of David Batstone’s book, Not For SaleBuilding a New Underground Railroad: The United States.

Throughout this study, I’ve heard numerous comments from people who are completely oblivious to the fact that slavery exists on the planet today. Others honestly don’t care about the issue because they wrongly assume it only happens overseas.

The truth is:

Whether human trafficking happens in your own country or not is irrelevant.

God does not delineate between here and there – or between us and them. 

A crime against any child, any woman, and any part of humanity is a crime against us all.

Human trafficking in America

In 1998, Free the Slaves conducted a study and found:

  • Foreigners are trafficked into the U.S. from at least 35 countries.
  • California, Florida, Texas, and New York have the highest incidences of slavery.
  • Mexican, eastern European, and Asian crime syndicates run extensive trafficking rings in the U.S.
  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents import thousands of domestic servants into this country as slaves.
  • 75% of New York apparel manufacturers often use forced labor or pay workers below minimum wage.
  • Forced labor is most prevalent in prostitution and sex services; domestic services; agriculture; sweatshop/factory work; and restaurant and hotel work.

Everyday Heroes in America

None of the heroes in chapter six woke up in the morning deciding, “Today’s the day I’m going to be a hero.” Rather – they’re ordinary people who were faced with injustice in the mundaneness of daily life.

Instead of responding with apathy, they chose to do something. 

Here are a few of the heroes mentioned in chapter six:

Louis Etongwe: 

  • From Cameroon, Africa.
  • Louis is an ordinary guy living an ordinary life who happened to stumble across slavery in America.
  • Acting out of principle, he liberates slaves from the homes of wealthy families in Maryland, Virginia, and New Jersey.
  • In seven incidents since 1999, he has rescued teenage African girls from domestic servitude and sexual bondage right here in the USA.
  • Louis receives no support or pay for his work, and encountered many challenges as he worked to bring slaveholders to justice and help rescued slaves build new lives.
  •  (P. 211-213; 219-222; 236-238)

Derek Ellerman and Katherine Chon:

  • College students at Brown University.
  • Katherine first heard about human trafficking during a dinner conversation.
  • She researched the issue and discovered that very few people knew much of anything about it.
  • Katherine decided to become an active abolitionist.
  • She and Derek struggled to find meaningful ways to be involved.

Recognizing the need to increase awareness and promote an understanding of the mechanisms of the modern slave trade, they:

  • Convinced two professors to change their standard curriculum and require students to conduct original research on human trafficking.
  • They wrote up a business plan for an antislavery agency and entered a competition for entrepreneurs. They received a $12,500 cash prize for winning 2nd place, and used the funds to launch The Polaris Project.

Tina Frundt:

  • Polaris Project Outreach Coordinator
  • She’s frustrated by the number of people who still think sex trafficking only happens to women and children overseas. When Americans run into an American girl on the street, they immediately assume she’s made the choice to be there and can walk away anytime she wants to. Is that your perspective?
  • Tina shares that pimps today are cocky and unafraid of police and the judicial system. They believe they’re untouchable. She states: 

“We as Americans, have made them untouchable by not recognizing the problem and solving it.”   

(P. 217-219; 238-241)

Kay Buck:

  • Lived in Asia in the 1990′s supporting efforts of abolitionists in Thailand and Japan.
  • Designed strategies to reduce trafficking in rural communities – a trafficker’s favorite playground for new recruits.

In her work, Kay recognized something:

  • Societies tolerate violence against women.
  • 4 out of 5 trafficking victims are female.
  • In most cases traffickers utilize sexual violence to dominate their “recruits”/victims – regardless of her form of slavery.  

In 2003, Kay became Executive Director at CAST (Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking).

CAST was established after federal agents rescued 72 garment workers in El Monte, California who had been held captive for seven years. Victims were treated like illegal aliens, and put in jail. Human rights and Asian community groups came together to help the women – and CAST was born.

In light of the El Monte case, lawmakers passed the TVPA (Trafficking Victims Protection Act) in late 2000 to ensure just and effective punishment of traffickers, and protection for their victims.

Kay believes:

 “A tidal wave could sweep over trafficking networks worldwide when women organize internationally to help other women.”

(P. 245-247)

Anna Rodriguez:

  • From Puerto Rico.
  • Worked for the sheriff’s office in Collier County, Florida, where she helped bring domestic violence and human trafficking cases to trial.
  • Eventually quit her job to establish the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking.

As Executive Director of the Florida Coalition, she:

  • Links law enforcement and social service agencies with trafficking victims.
  • Trains people to recognize the signs of human trafficking.

Anna states: 

“Human trafficking can work only if the victims remain invisible to the public eye. We have to remove the veil of ignorance.”

 (P. 233-235; 248-253)

Men, women, and children are crying out for help in brothels, factories, and warehouses around the world. What will you do? What can you do? 

Here’s are PDF with a little empowerment – ways you can take action:

Pursuing a Lifestyle of Justice PDF

Click here for a Human Trafficking Printable to keep in your wallet. . . 

Signs of human trafficking, mywarminghouse.com

Links to previous weeks in this study:

Human Trafficking in Thailand

Pursuing Justice for Slaves in India

The Horrific History of Child Soldiers in Uganda

European Human Trafficking Syndicates. A Wicked Web

 What Would You Do To Help Victims of Child Trafficking in Peru?

What’s the most significant thing you’re taking away from this study as a whole. How might God be calling you to be involved? How can your church address this issue?

Do Something Now!

Lisa~ 

Share, share, share the information in this study! The overwhelming majority of people are oblivious to the travesty and reality of human trafficking. Raising awareness is key. So SHARE!

Stop Here If You Need Some Inspiration Today

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Welcome! Last week in my post, 18 Tips to Live Life to the Fullest, I told you about an awesome new website that’s bringing inspiration to a lot of people: InspireMore.

In case you missed it, the people over at InspireMore are passionate about inspiring you to live a more vibrant, fulfilled life than ever before.

This past week I was invited to begin writing with InspireMore as a guest author. I completely believe in their mission, appreciate the opportunity, and am excited to be a part of what they’re doing.

Here’s an excerpt from my first piece with them:

“When Keegan Schulte heard that children in Africa couldn’t go to school because they didn’t have shoes to wear, he did something about it . . .”

Click here for the rest of the story – including the results of Keegan’s year without shoes: Would You Go Barefoot for an Entire Year? This 16-Year-Old Did and Impacted Three Countries

Click this link for another really inspiring story that proves how much a little encouragement and kindness can affect someone: Here’s a Fantastic April Fools’ Prank That Makes People Stop, Laugh, and Feel Beautiful

Thanks for stopping by today! See you again soon.

Go to my Facebook page or leave a comment here about something or someone who’s inspired you this week.

Lisa~

If you’re new here, I would love for you to stick around and make yourself at home. You can subscribe by email so you don’t miss a thing! (See sidebar to the right.) Click one of the share buttons below to inspire someone you love.

What Would You Do To Help Victims of Child Trafficking in Peru? One Hero’s Story.

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human trafficking, mywarminghouse.com, social justice, compassion

Welcome! If you’re here for the first time, you’ll probably be wondering what’s going on as you read through this post. Just so you know, we’re in week five of my human trafficking study. We’ve been educating ourselves about human trafficking by going through a book by David Batstone. 

In chapter five of David Batstone’s book, Not for Sale, he reveals the huge s*x trade in children that stretches across the entire country of Peru. Traffickers target 12-17 year olds because clients prefer adolescents.

Ten or more men rape these innocent children every night.

A Twisted Viewpoint

Clients in Peru do not view children and adolescents as victims of sexual exploitation. They do not believe they violate the child’s human rights because they don’t use violence, or force the minor to have sex.

This astounds me. What kind of person would convince themselves that a child willingly chooses to be raped repeatedly night after night?

The truth behind these victims

Batstone’s research reveals a common strategy of enslavement used by traffickers on all five continents he investigated (See page 190):  

  • Once kidnapped from the streets or extracted from their home (parents relinquish their children for money or for promises of a better life), “recruits” are moved to a distant location where they have no advocates or help of any kind.
  • All traffickers establish complete control over every aspect of a victim’s life. Escape becomes impossible and unthinkable.
  • Victims endure an extreme act of violence within the first 48 hours of captivity as the trafficker Imprints their dominance through rape and brutal beatings. This keeps victims in a constant state of terror. Terror forces victims to acquiesce to a client’s every demand.

Deliver me from my enemies, O God;
    be my fortress against those who are attacking me.
Deliver me from evildoers
    and save me from those who are after my blood.

See how they lie in wait for me!

    Fierce men conspire against me
    for no offense or sin of mine, Lord.
I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me.
    Arise to help me; look on my plight!

  Psalm 59:1-4

Profiting from Child Trafficking in Peru

Traffickers in Peru exploit children with little to no regard for the physical or emotional health of the child. Their only focus is financial gain.

This has resulted in an underground economy (p. 206-207) benefiting hotel owners, food vendors, bar owners, and shop owners.

The only ones not reaping financial benefits from the s*x industry are the ones upon whom the whole network depends: the child slaves.

No One to Defend Them

S*x trafficking masks itself as prostitution. As a result, the general public does not feel outraged.

Victims of child trafficking in Peru are perceived as:

  • Criminals or s*xual deviants
  • Victims of their environment who in desperation choose to sell their bodies for income

Street Children

The large subculture of street kids in Peru are especially vulnerable to traffickers.

These children are displaced by poverty and traumatic family incidents. Police consider them outlaws while others view them as less than human.

Chapter five tells the story of Sandra – a former street kid turned trafficker. Sandra’s mother and grandmother kicked her out of their home when she was 8-years-old. She was told not to return until she had money to contribute to the household income.

When Sandra was 15, she became a recruiter for traffickers. She organized a very detailed and abhorrent system to abduct kids walking the streets and force them into s*x trafficking. 

Street children aren’t the only ones targeted.

Traffickers also target children in poor neighborhoods and destitute conditions. 

Alberto Fujimori (Peru’s former president) said his government would cleanse the city of street kids. Dead bodies of several kids showed up in local parks. Many more went missing. (P. 184)

At that time, very few assisted pr*stituted children and adolescents. There was no effective support from the state to help these children get jobs.

An Unsuspecting Hero

When Lucy Borja met two young street boys who were too afraid to spend another night on the streets, she invited them to sleep at her office – and to invite any other child they knew who might be afraid.

Lucy stopped by her office after a party that night to check on her guests. Watch this video to see what she discovered:

Generacion’s mission is to:

  1. Rescue children in crisis & provide them with a safe living environment
  2. Equip them with education and work skills
  3. Give them meaningful jobs as they get older. 

According to chapter five, Lucy was ostracized and persecuted in her community for helping the street children. Many profited or “enjoyed” the trade of children for s*x, including government officials and police officers.

Lucy connected with a famous Peruvian TV personality who created a documentary about the street children in Lima, Peru. He was given an award by UNESCO for his work.

Tragically, this man used his documentary as a front to rape and exploit children. Initiating a systematic practice for child trafficking in Peru, the industry expanded dramatically. 

Who’s Helping

In 1994, Save the Children bought a home for Lucy to house her street children in. 

Not for Sale built Veronica’s House and a vocational center. They have created opportunities for Lucy’s kids to pursue surfing, music lessons, paid work, or an education.

“To say that the poor have rights means to accept that street children hold the exact same value as our own children. Our society is not yet ready to affirm this truth.” Lucy Borja

He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Psalm 46:9-11

Your final assignment:

Week Six Human Trafficking Assignment PDF  

Links to previous weeks in this study:

Human Trafficking in Thailand

Pursuing Justice for Slaves in India

The Horrific History of Child Soldiers in Uganda

European Human Trafficking Syndicates. A Wicked Web

How would you summarize child trafficking in Peru? How do you feel about the belief clients have that they are not violating a child’s human rights? Does that make you as angry as it does me?

What will you do to help victims of child trafficking around the world?

Lisa~

Share, share, share the information in this study! The overwhelming majority of people are oblivious to the travesty and reality of human trafficking. Raising awareness is key. So SHARE!

18 Tips to LIve Life to the Fullest

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This is quite possibly the best video I have ever seen. 

Absolutely stunning . . . stole my breath . . . beauty so extraordinary it actually made me feel a little emotional.

I came across this on our good  friend’s new website: InspireMore.com

InspireMore’s passion and purpose is “to inspire people to live a more vibrant, fulfilled life than ever before.”

Through videos, articles, images, and news, they’re inspiring more adventure, innovation, love, wisdom, triumphs, and pure awesomeness in our everyday lives. Cool huh? 

At the end of each article, there’s a box called “The More” that offers a “takeaway” to inspire you to live out your inspiration.

In other words, they want to move us beyond consuming videos and articles on the web – to living out our inspiration in daily life.

Ultimately, they want people to experience the reality of what it means to be fully alive.

Click this link to see the rest of the article at InspireMore where this video is posted. Time Lapse of Yosemite Will Leave You Speechless

Bonus: There’s another video in the article similar to this one.

“Every man dies, but not every man really lives.” Braveheart

My husband and I believe in living fully, embracing adventure, and making the most of every precious moment – no matter how old we get. What about you?

living life.png

Tips to Live Life to the Fullest:

  1. Take risks. Do something that scares you even a little.
  2. Dare to dream big. Take at least one step toward that dream each day.
  3. Engage with the world outside your home and beyond your computer screen.
  4. Invest in relationships.
  5. Learn something new. (On my birthday – a reminder of how old I’m getting – I learned to paddleboard. Made me feel more alive.)
  6. Create.
  7. Live beyond yourself. Make sacrifices. Help others.
  8. Love deeply.
  9. Practice gratitude.
  10. Forgive someone who’s hurt you.
  11. Bring balance to your life: spiritual, physical, intellectual, and relational. Is one area of your life all-consuming?
  12. Allow yourself to be awe-struck.
  13. Be silly. 
  14. Be still.
  15. Travel the world – or your region.
  16. Get outside. Enjoy nature.
  17. Be physically active.
  18. Know God.

For us, “living fully” ultimately comes through a completely surrendered relationship with Christ. For some of you the word “surrender” is terrifying, but it’s really the key to being fully alive.

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

When we gave up control of our lives and abandoned ourselves to God, everything changed. God has taken us on an adventure beyond anything we could ever have imagined.

Not all perfect, but full of complexities, extremes of the human condition, meaning, significance, fun, rich relationships, accomplishments, experiences, and purpose. 

Get out of your rut. Start living your life to the fullest!

What would you add to my list “To Live Life to the Fullest.”

Lisa~

If you’re new here, I would love for you to stick around and make yourself at home. You can subscribe by email so you don’t miss a thing! (See sidebar to the right.) Click one of the share buttons below to inspire someone you love.

 

Supporting a Grieving Parent. 6 Things to Know.

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When someone you know is going through a crisis, do you sometimes have trouble knowing what to do to help? Does comforting someone sometimes feel awkward? Are you afraid you’ll say or do something wrong?

It’s always easier to comfort someone when we have walked through the same trials; however, not experiencing the same pain does not give us an “out.”

Authentic faith compels us to bravely follow the lead of Jesus who walked head-on into our human condition – a human condition filled with suffering, heartache, and death.

A friend of mine recently posted a note on Facebook to her deceased son on his birthday. Made me weep. 

I’m sharing it with you today because of the way it exposed my ignorance and gave me new insight into the suffering of a grieving parent – even years after a child’s death.

My hope is it’ll help us all become more compassionate people – and better reflections of the heart of Christ in a really broken world.

Here are some things my friend wants people to know:

  • Time never completely heals or makes the loss easy.
  • Instead of asking if there’s anything you can do, think of something to do then do it – or offer it. In the aftermath of losing a child, it’s difficult for a parent to know what they can do for themselves, let alone tell someone else what to do for them.
  • Instead of generically saying you’ll pray for someone, stop what you’re doing and pray for them on the spot. An email, card, or note saying, “This is my prayer for you today” or “I just prayed this for you . . .” is much more sincere. Too many times, we say we’ll pray – then forget to pray. (I know this from experience.)
  • If you’re not a praying Christian, don’t throw around blank statements on social media and elsewhere. Saying or posting, “I’m praying for you” has no meaning and can actually cause pain. The words come across empty. Find something else to say or do instead.

I would add:

  • Don’t judge someone for the length of time they’re grieving or for how they grieve (i.e., my friend posting a note to her son on Facebook). 
  • Don’t throw scripture at people in pain. It can actually feel like “rocks,” and cause people to feel as though they’re not measuring up. What they need is someone to suffer with them in heartfelt compassion and love.

Here are excerpts from Lynn’s note to her son . . .

I Remember the Day you Were Born, 29 years ago…January 30, 1985

January 30, 2014 at 10:34pm

My Dearest Brandon,

“Today is your 29th birthday. The last birthday you spent with us you turned 22. I miss you every bit as much today as I have since you left this earth. I know I will see you again in Heaven but that doesn’t make the time any easier.

I remember the day you were born, as if it were yesterday.

My oldest son, my firstborn…

I remember my little blonde haired, blue eyed son…

I remember you being my pride and joy…

I remember you, as a baby, so clear…then a toddler, teenager, adult…

mywarminghouse.com

When I first held you it truly changed my life . . . 

A wise friend reminded me that God merely loaned you to me for 22 years. I’m so honored that He chose me to be your mom. I look back and cherish the time we were blessed to spend with you.

I will never understand why you were so young but it certainly is not for me to question the Sovereignty of God and His will. He took a huge piece of my heart when you left. I miss you so very much and everyday I long for the day when I will see you again in Heaven.

Everyday I feel a huge piece of my heart missing. Not one day goes by that I don’t remember you and miss you dearly. People tell me, when you lose a loved one, that it gets easier as time goes on, but I absolutely know that it does not get easier.

A mother’s love for her children just never goes away or changes. There is no loss compared to losing our children.

I miss you more each year and know that my love for you only expands as time goes on. 

I love you dearly and hold you close to my heart each and every day, son. I cherish your birthday every year . . . No one can ever truly understand my love for you and the loss in my heart.

I cherish you,

I miss you,

I love you,

I thank God for you everyday…

I’m grateful for every day I can still say, ” I remember the day you were born…”

Happy Birthday Brandon!

I will love you forever, 

Mom

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

As Christ lives his life through us, we have his big heart to comfort others with.

Our heart should reflect his.

Go love big today.

What do you want people to know about supporting a grieving parent?

Helpful LInks:

6 Things to Never Say to a Bereaved Parent

How to Help a Bereaved Parent

Supporting a Grieving Parent

GriefShare

Lisa~ 

European Human Trafficking Syndicates. A Wicked Web.

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human trafficking, mywarminghouse.com, social justice, compassion Last week, my awesome husband sent me to Florida to spend a week with our daughter . . . then blew my socks off by flying our oldest son in to celebrate my birthday. What a fantastic birthday present!

Needless to say, the blog wasn’t top of mind last week so I need to catch you up on my online human trafficking study. Sorry for the delay.

Chapter four of David Batstone’s book, Not For Sale, focuses on the s*x syndicate in Europe. 

Let me just say . . . it was really tough to read. 

I’m hoping this post will not only educate future abolitionists, but might also prevent the victimization of young women around the world who may be reading this. Awareness of how traffickers operate is power.

One of most trafficked routes in the modern s*x-slave trade is the nautical route between Vlore and San Foca. (San Foca is located in the boot heel near Lecce.)human trafficking, social justice, compassion Stretching through Albania, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, and European Turkey, the Balkan Trail is the most notorious trade smuggling route in the world.  human trafficking, social justice, compassion Victims in the European s*x trade typically originate from a country once part of the Soviet Bloc. What is their final destination? 

  • Most victims end up somewhere in the European Union.
  • Many are transported to the U.S., Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region. 

The collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in:

  • Masses of people facing unemployment while many social services vanished. (pages 143-144)
  • The dramatic rise of alcoholism among men.
  • A return to a male-dominated society.
  • 70-80% of woman were soon unemployed providing traffickers with an abundance of educated healthy young women who were suddenly destitute and desperate for financial security.
  • Extreme poverty.
  • A collapse of the family leading to massive numbers of abandoned children. (Pages 147-148) Orphanages sprang up everywhere.
  • An influx of organized crime (often made up of former Communist officials)

What role does the Russian mafia play in the expansion and operation of human trafficking? How do they handle “product distribution?” (page 159-160)

  • The Russian mafia is involved in nearly every facet of s*x trafficking in eastern Europe.
  • With a home base is in Russia, their fingers reach into Israel and much of western Europe. They have a growing presence in the U.S., Canada, and SE Asia.
  • They outsource the cost of “product distribution” through alliances with other syndicates who earn a share of revenue from their link in the chain.

Who do European human trafficking syndicates target? 

  • Women and children in poverty, desperation, and vulnerable situations.
  • Regions where the greatest profit can be realized, the cheapest “assets” can be purchased, and supply is the greatest. European human trafficking syndicates quickly move operations when the market changes. (Pages 153-155)

70% of prostitution in the U.S. is linked to organized crime.  

What are the police doing to bring justice?

  • Tragically, human trafficking syndicates rely heavily on police to sustain their operations.
  •  Police often play a role in abductions. (page 142)
  • Brazenly rape girls personally as their payoff for looking the other way. (They have no fear and don’t bother to hide their identity.)
  • Open border crossings for traffickers transporting girls.
  • Shield traffickers from arrest by their more ethical colleagues.
  • Issue business licenses to traffickers.
  • Capture escapees and return them to their “owners.”
  • Tip off traffickers when justice raids are scheduled.
  • Treat girls as if they deserve the maltreatment they receive.

Girls are victimized in the worst way and have nowhere to turn for protection. The ones they should be able to trust look the other way, and are often active participants in their abuse – not just in eastern Europe, but worldwide.

*Batstone notes: Police are essential to the battle against s*x trafficking. Abolitionists must find a way to build alliances with ethical police officers.

Nadia’s journey:

  • Nadia was living in poverty as a single mom in Moldova.
  • She was offered a job at a restaurant in Italy. 
  • At the meeting place on the day of departure, she encountered other girls who’d been promised the same type of job.
  • Her passport was taken for “safe-keeping.”
  • She was transported to the Romanian border, then taken to an old country house where she were locked in a room for seven days.
  • After her “employers” supposedly secured her travel visa, she was transported to the Serbian border where she was told to run to vehicles waiting across the border who would  take her to her job in Italy.
  • After traveling endlessly through mountain passes, they stopped at a little stone house filled with additional trafficking victims.
  • Still thinking they were being taken to a restaurant job, the girls were told to strip to their waists so they could be evaluated by a group of men – supposed employers who wanted to make sure they were healthy before hiring them.
  • Nadia’s new employer took her to an apartment in Belgrade where she was sold and forcibly raped. From that moment on, she was forced to service a steady flow of customers.
  • Nadia was told her job in Italy had finally been arranged, and was transported to a “safe house” in Montenegro. On the third day, she was taken to a lake where she and 4 other girls were put in a rubber dinghy. Midway across the water, the Albanian boat pilot stopped the boat and raped Nadia in front of the other girls.
  • As they reached land, they were met by men with machine guns. Some wore police uniforms. The police officers took the girls into custody and drove them to a private home where they each took a turn raping the girl of his choice.
  • In Albania, Nadia was forced to service up to 25 men a day.
  • She was finally sold to the Italians and transported in a motorized rubber raft across the water to Italy. She managed to escape the web of European human trafficking syndicates, and a local resident took her to Regina Pacis – a shelter for refugees. 

Padre Cesare Lodeserto – a modern-day abolitionist:

  • Padre Cesare is a Roman Catholic Priest.
  • In 1995, he established a shelter for refugees in San Foca (Regina Pacis).
  • Girls came to his door sharing personal stories of abduction, rape, and commercial exploitation.
  • Crime syndicate giants wanted their “property” back so the shelter had to be heavily guarded.
  • The Italian government voluntarily provides Padre Cesare with a personal bodyguard 24/7.
  • Regina Pacis accommodates 250. By the late 1990’s, more than 600 refugees crammed in.
  • Padre Cesare tracked traffickers back to eastern Europe.
  • In 2003, Regina Pacis morphed into an abolitionist network tackling the problem at its core – in an effort to prevent victimization. (Page 171).
  • Regina Pacis centers were established in Moldavia and Romania to address three main enemies in s*x trafficking: poverty, the john who drives the demand, and the trafficker.
  • These centers 1) educate children about predators, 2) publicly expose deceptive advertising placed by traffickers in public newspapers, 3) provide microloans, and 4) attempt to reduce demand by shutting down s*x-tourism agencies, etc.
  • The Moldavian government gave Padre Cesare national citizenship in honor of his work. 

Italian law treats trafficked individuals as victims of a crime. Trafficked persons are given legal status to remain in Italy and work if they agree to testify against traffickers. In San Foca, many victims find jobs, marry, and raise families.

Side Note: Sweden rightfully links the ‘slave trade’ with prostitution and pornography. They were the first government to prosecute the buyer of sex while legally treating the woman as a victim. (page 164-165)

Not For Sale opened an office in eastern Germany to train researchers how to:

  • Identify victims and survivors
  • Nurture trusted relationships with law enforcement.
  • Advocate for stronger laws.
  • Support survivors. 

Modern-Day Abolitionists:   

As we progress through this book, do you see common threads in trafficking around the world? What are they? 

Week Five Assignment:

PDF: Not For Sale Reading Assignment

human trafficking, social justice, scripture Scripture Study PDF

Read pages 6-11 of Exploited: S*x Trafficking, P*rn Culture, and the Call to a LIfestyle of Justice by Noel J. Bouche

Padre Cesare says, “I am praying for a new generation of abolitionists who will open up their hearts. Traffickers get away with murder because good people won’t answer the calls of these young women crying out for help.”

Will you hear the cries of these young women? Yes. The problem is huge and complex, but everyone can do something. (A good start would be to visit the sites I listed above, study the scriptures in the PDF, read a book about human trafficking, make a donation, advocate for victims by telling their story, pray, or educate others by sharing this post. 

A lot of little somethings become a big something. What little (or big) something can you do today?

Lisa~

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Spinach & Tomato Pasta with Italian Sausage. Main Course in Minutes.

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spinach & tomato pasta, recipe, main courseA hot meal is a great way to welcome your family home at the end of a long day – especially if you’re serving this pasta dish. There’s something about comfort written all over it.

I love cooking for my family and friends. Gathering around the table is often the one opportunity we have to be together and catch up on each other’s day. Those are the moments I cherish.

Even for those of us who love it, cooking can still become tiresome day after day. That’s one reason this pasta recipe is so great. It takes about 20 minutes from start to finish to get this on the table. Better yet, it’s one of my son’s favorite recipes. He asks for it all the time.

Don’t let the spinach scare you. The flavors of the tomatoes, cheeses, and sausage blend nicely so it doesn’t taste too “spinachy.” The sausage makes it hearty for the person with the biggest appetite at your table.

This is a recipe that’s easy on you – and your family will most likely love it. It’s a win-win. Go for it!

Spinach & Tomato Pasta with Italian Sausage

Serves 6
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Allergy Milk
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot
A quick and delicious main course combining the rich flavors of spinach, tomatoes, and Italian sausage.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups penne pasta (uncooked)
  • 1lb Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 6oz baby spinach leaves (7 cups)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, & oregano (28 oz.) (undrained)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1/3 cup Italian dressing

Directions

Step 1
Cook pasta as directed on package.
Step 2
spinach & tomato pasta
While pasta is cooking, cook meat in large deep skillet over medium-high heat until cooked all the way through. Drain.
Step 3
spinach & tomato pasta
Add spinach, tomatoes, and dressing to meat. Cook two minutes or until spinach wilts, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Cover to keep warm.
Step 4
spinach & tomato pasta
Drain pasta and place in large serving bowl.
Step 5
spinach & tomato pasta
Add meat mixture and cheeses. Stir together. Serve immediately.

Lisa~