Learn to identify human trafficking

Published 5:43 pm Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The first law of thermodynamics says, “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only change forms. In any process, the total energy of the universe remains the same.” (Physicsforidiots.com)

That’s pure science, but it’s also applicable to daily life; you can only do one thing at a time. So, if you do one thing, you’re not doing another thing at the same time. If you’re going to one place, you can’t go to another place at the same time. 

So, the first law of thermodynamics is applicable to science and psychology and sociology and other areas of life. If you focus on one thing, you can’t focus on another thing at the same time. So, I say all that to sadly remember that my United Methodist Church has focused its attention on what the Bible says about sexuality and marriage… for 48 years. (Maybe you know the United Methodist Church is 52 years old?)

“I am the LORD, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore, be holy, because I am holy.” (Leviticus 11: 45) What does it mean to be holy? It means we ought to be who God is and do what God does…

So, last week, while I was thinking about human trafficking, I wondered what we United Methodists might have done if we’d settled the sexuality/marriage debate quickly and then re-focused all that attention and effort onto the problem with human trafficking. It’s especially pertinent to us, because Atlanta is the nation’s human trafficking capital. What would God have done? What could we have done? What would God do? What can we do?  

The United States Department of State says the first thing we can do is learn all we can about the problem. Learn how to identify potential or actual trafficking victims and call the 24-hour national human trafficking hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

Take a look at the Department of Labor’s list of goods produced by child labor or forced labor. Don’t buy them and do complain to merchants who sell them. After a bit of research, find a good anti-trafficking group to support with time and/or money. I get alerts from The Exodus Road whenever they rescue a trafficking victim.

If you own a business, provide jobs for victims. If you are a health-care provider, offer free or low-cost health care to victims. If you’re a journalist, report the news about victims without blaming them for being victims. If you are an attorney, offer free or low-cost legal services to victims. 

And finally, you can pray for the traffickers (11 arrested on Jan. 1) and their victims (23 rescued on Jan. 1), and for the members of the rescue teams.