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Slavery Still Exists – but there is something we can do.

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Slavery Still Exists – but there is something we can do.

I dreamed of growing up to be just like Amy Carmichael. My life would be like really cool action movie – going undercover and rescuing children from brothels and temple prostitution. Then creating a safe place for them to live, heal, learn a life-skill, and be integrated back into society. Good triumphs over evil!

Fast forward to present-day. There are professional cops, social workers, and lawyers who stake out suspected brothels and wait for the opportune moment to perform a raid, arrest the pimps, rescue the girls, and take them to a safe house, which does all the necessary after-care. That doesn’t really leave much for me to do.

In 2009 I spent two weeks in Calcutta, volunteering with Life Connection. I met some gap-year students who volunteered at FreeSet, so one day I went with them. FreeSet trains and employs over 160 women would otherwise be trapped in prostitution. Now they have great jobs making bags and t-shirts. There is even a day-care for their children (as that tends to be the result of their former occupation). I spent the day at FreeSet cutting t-shirt sleeves out of pieces of fabric and listening to the ladies laugh as one sang a made-up song about Aloo (potatoes). That was the only word I understood, but apparently the song was pretty funny. I loved seeing their joy in spite of all they had been though.

At the end of the day I bought a couple of their jute bags and gave one as a thank you to my “host” at Life Connection (he had been using his daughter’s pink “hello kitty” backpack after his bag broke). Later I wished I had bought more bags and brought them to the USA to sell, but I’m pretty sure there’s come complicated red-tape involved in importing things and selling them.

For the past several years I’ve pondered my quandary of what to do about the issue of sex-trafficking and modern-day slavery (other than being the hero of an intense real-life action movie).

I knew that I desired to bless those in need by helping in practical ways. My vision is to see hope restored in the lives of girls trapped in prostitution and young mothers, and for God’s truth to replace the lies of the enemy as these individuals receive God’s love, grow in their relationship with Him, and are empowered to fulfill His call on their lives. I just didn’t know how that would look.

This past February, Duane & I attended the Justice Conference. It was a case of being in the right place at the right time. When you live a life of listening to His voice and following where He leads, sometimes these things just happen and we say, “oh, so that’s why we are here?”

We volunteered to help a friend at her booth and spent a lot of time in the exhibit hall. That’s when I noticed some bags that looked familiar. Then I read the tag: FreeSet. I had stumbled upon a fair-trade organization called Better Way Imports. They too were burdened by the issue of sex-slavery and worked to empower ministries like FreeSet by importing and selling their products.

Not only that, but they invited me to join them by becoming a Freedom Fighter. What does that entail? Talking about problem of sex-trafficking and the hope and freedom provided by ministries like FreeSet, and selling awesome bags, scarves, jewelry, cards, and journals made by women who would otherwise be trapped in prostitution. As if that’s not good enough, I get to make some money too, which will help us to keep going back to India, so we can train and equip leaders to start new ministries. I only wish I had started sooner. I could have been doing this while we traveled all over the country.

Becky is wife to Duane, mama to "Monkey-girl" and baby "Lioness" aka "PipSqueek." She is the administrative powerhouse for YWAM Bend and keeps our team grounded and organized. Her hope is to inspire and encourage other mamas in their journey to raise healthy, thriving families.
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