Reasons to Hope

 

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When it comes to the topics that we have sought to address on this journey, such as human trafficking, the negative effects of pornography, and situations of sexual exploitation, it can be easy to become overwhelmed to the point of hopelessness and apathy. These truly are dark issues that we are faced with, but when you allow yourself to dig a little deeper and see the ever-present hope that exists for each and every life, complacency and inaction are no longer valid responses.

Maybe you really don’t believe that there is hope for the issue of human trafficking. Millions of people are trapped in modern day slavery. Human trafficking has existed in one form or another throughout history and honestly does not show any major signs of slowing down. But does that infer an absence of hope? Even if we come to the end of our days and the sex trade is still nowhere closer to disappearing, I will still hold to the belief that hope exists then, just as it does now.

Let me tell you why I have this hope.

I watched and listened to a young girl, who spent time living with dogs after being abandoned by her parents, tell me, with the biggest wide-eyed grin you can imagine, that she wants to be a police officer when she grows up.

I have met a couple that has sacrificed their money, their time, and their personal agendas, to provide food, housing, education, and unconditional love, to ten girls who are from situations of poverty or abuse. They are planning on taking in another 5. That is 15 girls who have the chance to grow up to be strong, empowered women, safe from situations of sexual exploitation. 15 girls taken in by one family.

I have heard true stories of physical, emotional, and spiritual healing, that blow my preconceived notions of what is possible right out of the water.

I have experienced the unconditional love of countless people who have helped us on this journey. People who are willing to lay their lives aside for a time to care for two haggard, needy strangers.

I have seen men who were addicted to pornography, and who had broken relationships as a result of this, change completely and stand up against the cultural tendency to objectify one and another and truly seek deep and meaningful relationships while vocally and actively opposing pornography.

I have met many individuals and have come across countless organizations that are willing to enter the darkest places and seek to bring hope and freedom to the individuals for whom darkness is all they have ever known. This is occurring on individual, community, and legislative levels.

As long as people like this exist and continue to operate where the need is (which is everywhere), I will continue to believe in hope. As long as there is breath in the lungs of precious, beautiful people who are held in captivity, I will continue to hope for freedom and believe that healing and fullness of life can be recognized in each and every life. But I can’t just hope in this. In my own way, I must learn to stand up and fight for the dignity of each life. If we all do this in our own ways then I believe that we will see change occur that we never thought possible.

We have so many reasons to hope. Now let’s use that hope to bring us to action and watch hope multiply.

With much love and great anticipation,

Joel

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