Set Free from Human Trafficking
Know the Facts
As defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery. Victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor. Victims are young children, teenagers, men and women.”
Human trafficking is a criminal business that profits from enslaving people for sexual servitude and forced labor. It is the fastest growing and second largest criminal industry in the world today (second only to drug trafficking and tied with illegal arms), according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The Slavery is all around us:
- Texas is home to two of the largest cities in the country, Houston and Dallas, where domestic trafficking thrives. This is due to the prevalence of runaway and “throwaway” youth, thriving sexually oriented businesses, and major sporting events and conventions that drive the demand for commercial sex, according to freedomplaceus.org
- There are over 6,000 runaways in Houston and according to National Incidence Studies of Missing Abducted Runaway and Throwaway Children; an estimated 1 out of every 3 children who run away is lured into sex trafficking within 48 hours of leaving home.
- The U.S. State Department estimates that 244,000 American children and youth are at risk of sexual exploitation. The average age of children exploited is 14; however, children as young as 10 and 11 have been reported as victims.
- If there were no demand for commercial sex, trafficking in persons for commercial sexual exploitation would not exist. United States Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
- ICE Operation Predator estimates that 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 10 boys in the United States are sexually exploited before they reach adulthood.
- 1 out of every 5 pornographic images is of a child; and 55% of child pornography comes from the U.S., according to sharedhope.org.
- According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Houston is a major hub of human and sex trafficking.
- Houston has more strip clubs and illicit sex stores that serve as fronts for sex trafficking venues than Las Vegas, according to freeourcity.org.
- At the Department of Justice Human Trafficking Conference the I-10 corridor was identified as one of the main routes for human traffickers in the United States.
- Criminals throughout Harris County are moving their “business” into our neighborhoods using rental properties to house illegal brothels, according to freeourcity.org.
Pray for Freedom
Join us in lifting up the victims of human trafficking and the evil that perpetuates the slavery using this 30 day prayer guide beautifully written by Tallowood member, Heather Bell. May God move powerfully through our intercession and fuel our passion to actively advocate for freedom and transformation of hearts and lives through His Son Jesus Christ.
Day 1: Please ask that the Lord would open the church’s eyes and ears, individually and corporately, to know how he may be leading in involvement in his work against this work of the enemy. God’s Word says: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free.” Luke 4:18; “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 2:7
Day 2: Please pray that the Lord would turn peoples’ hearts back to him in Houston and Texas. He has promised to heal our land if we (as his people) humble ourselves, pray, seek his face, and turn from our wicked ways. Ask the Lord to reveal any area of your life where you would need to ask for forgiveness and repent. God’s Word says: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” II Chron. 7:14; “Where Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.” II Corinthians 3:17
Day 3: Please pray specifically that the victims of human trafficking in Houston and Texas would escape their captivity or be rescued. Pray also that the Lord would give them hope in him until the time of their release, and supernatural knowledge that he has a good plan for their lives. God’s Word says: “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me.” Psalm 138:7 “For in You, O Lord, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God.” Psalm 38:15; “'For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back from captivity.’” Jeremiah 29:11-14
Day 4: Please pray for the family of Mike Anderson, District Attorney of Harris County, who was working to end human trafficking in this county. Mike was battling cancer and passed away August 30th. Please pray that his family would be comforted during this time. God’s Word says: Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. As they grieve please pray that they would find hope in Jesus and that they would be full of the Lord’s presence.
Day 5: Please ask that the Lord would break the power of greed in people’s hearts in our city, state, and nation. According to information from the International Labour Organization, human trafficking in the US was a $9.8 billion dollar industry in 2005. Ask the Lord for forgiveness for any hint of greed in your own life, and repent. God’s Word says: “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” I Timothy 6:9-10; “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5
Day 6: A great need right now is for more rehabilitation/safe houses for the girls who are rescued. If all of the safe houses are full, the overflow ends up in the juvenile system. Please pray that the Lord would supply this need according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus, and raise up more people with a heart to work in this field. God’s Word says: “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19; “He told them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’” Luke 10:2
Day 7: Please ask that police and FBI forces would be lead by the Lord and have supernatural wisdom from above in how to arrest and gather evidence against those involved in human trafficking. Ask that the Lord would be their shield and protection as they are instruments carrying out his will. God’s Word says: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shieldand the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—from violent people you save me.” II Samuel 22:2-3
Day 8: Pornography is an industry that fuels human trafficking. When people succumb to this sin, they open the door to the enemy to go further in their lives. Please pray that God’s people would turn and repent of any hint of this sin in their lives, and that they would hate it as the Lord hates it. God’s Word says: “Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.” Psalm 119:37; “’You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27
Day 9: Please pray that families would be strengthened, and that the Lord, who is Love (I John 4:8), would be the head and master of each home- many victims of human trafficking come from families where they are
abused and/or neglected. Ask that the Father would conform those who belong to him to his image, and draw those that are lost to himself. God’s Word says: “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19
Day 10: The Department of Justice has identified I-10 as one of the major routes for human trafficking in the US. Please pray for those using the road for this purpose—that their purposes would be thwarted. Link to an I-10 corridor story of trafficking: myfoxhouston.com/story/23161277/armed-and-dangerous God’s Word says: “He thwarts the plans of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success. He catches the wise in their craftiness, and the schemes of the wily are swept away. Darkness comes upon them in the daytime; at noon they grope as in the night. He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth; he saves them from the clutches of the powerful. So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth.” Job 5:12-16
Day 11: Please pray today for truck drivers driving through Texas. Ask that they would be filled with the fear of the Lord—to not give into temptations that may arise, and that they would report any instances of human trafficking that they encounter. God’s Word says: “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death.” Proverbs 14:27
Day 12: Please pray for Home of Hope—a place of refuge for adolescent victims of human trafficking. Please ask that the Lord would continue to lead and guide in their goal to provide long term care, rehabilitation, and healing for victims of modern-day-slavery through the love and power of Jesus Christ. Please also ask that the Lord would supply their needs as they expand to be able to serve even more children. homeofhopetexas.com
Day 13: Pray specifically for the end of human trafficking in Houston. In 2007, 37% of the calls that came into the National Trafficking Hotline came from the Houston area, and there are at least 137 known brothels in the Houston area. Please cry out to the Lord that his will would be done on earth as it is in heaven, that the captives would be freed. God’s Word says: “He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.” Psalm 146:7-9; “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10
Day 14: Ask that the Lord would open up the ears of those in his body (the church) in Texas. May he help us to hear his voice in small things, everyday life, or large things that may help tear down the high places that are helping human trafficking thrive in Texas. God’s Word says: “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 2:7 “Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his laws and commands. He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him.” II Chronicles 14:2-5 “Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains, on the hills and under every spreading tree, where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods. Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places.” Deuteronomy 12:2-3
Day 15: Please pray for Free the Captives, an interdenominational anti-human trafficking non-profit that fights the exploitation and trafficking of Houston's youth. freethecaptiveshouston.com Please pray that the Lord uses this organization to accomplish his purposes, and leads and guides Julie Waters as she heads the organization.
Day 16: Please pray that the purposes of traffickers trying to recruit/abduct new victims would be thwarted. Ask that potential victims would escape their grasp by the Lord’s grace. God’s Word says: “He thwarts the plans of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success. He catches the wise in their craftiness, and the schemes of the wily are swept away. Darkness comes upon them in the daytime; at noon they grope as in the night. He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth; he saves them from the clutches of the powerful. So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth.” Job 5:12-16; “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16
Day 17: Please pray for Sheriff Adrian Garcia. He has been a major advocate against human trafficking in his role as Harris County sheriff. Please ask that the Lord would be a shield around him and his force, that they would be led and directed by the Lord in their efforts, and that they would be effective. God’s Word says: “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.He holds success in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.” Proverbs 2:6-8 “’Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’” Joshua 1:9
Day 18: There are four to five law enforcement task forces set up in the state of Texas specifically to work against human trafficking. Please ask that the Lord would provide funding for these task forces, and set up more as his will allows for the accomplishing of His purposes against trafficking. Ask that the Lord would supernaturally, lead, guide, and direct them in their work. God’s Word says: “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’” Luke 10:2; “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
Day 19: Please pray for Elijah Rising, an organization that equips people for prayer, awareness, and intervention of human trafficking in obedience to Isaiah 1:17. Ask that the Lord would lead and guide Cat French as she heads the organization, and ask that the Lord would accomplish his purpose with their conference September 19 – 21, 2013. God’s Word says: “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” Isaiah 1:17
Day 20: pureHOPE is a ministry that equips individuals, families, and churches to pursue purity and oppose exploitation. purehope.net Please ask that the Lord would lead and guide this ministry to know what programs he would want them to have available for his global purpose.
Day 21: Please pray for the restoration of victims after rescue, that they would come to the Lord and be healed physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Ask that the Lord would supply the resources for this to occur—provision of housing (and that each victim would be sent exactly where he wills), provision of godly counselors, and that they would truly have a sense of the Lord’s love for them. God’s Word says: “He has sent me to…comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” Isaiah 61:1-3
Day 22: Please ask that the Lord would tear down the pornography industry in Houston and Texas as a whole. Ask that God’s people would not “wink” at sin, but in love stand for the truth and speak as the Lord leads. The deceptive allure of this and any other sin only leads to death and separation from the Lord in our lives. God’s Word says: “Whoever winks the eye causes trouble, but the one who rebukes boldly makes peace.” Prov. 10:10; “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
Day 23: Please pray for the traffickers—that the Lord would convict them of sin, righteousness, and judgment, that they would not feel that it is too late to turn to the Lord, that the Lord Jesus would become more beautiful than greed, pride, and evil, and that they would repent and accept him as Savior and Lord. God’s Word says: “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” John 16:8; “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” II Corinthians 7:10
Day 24: Please pray for the ministry of Traffickstop traffickstop.org The 10@10 for I-10 prayer initiative (praying on the 10th of each month against human trafficking) was birthed out of this organization. Pray that the Lord would continue to lead and direct this ministry, and its leader, Tomi Grover.
Day 25: Please ask again today that the Lord would strengthen family units in Houston and Texas as a whole. Ask that the Lord would help us to conform to his vision of family dynamics laid out in Colossians 3:18-21.
Day 26: Pray for the judges presiding over human trafficking cases, and the lawyers involved on either side, that the Lord’s will would be done in the outcome of the cases and the sentencing. May those involved come to know Christ as their Savior, and may the works of the enemy be destroyed and halted. God’s Word says: “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” I John 3:8b; “The Lord executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.” Psalm 103:6
Day 27: Please pray for the work of Redeemed Ministries redeemedministries.com This ministry focuses on human trafficking in Texas and engaging the church to outreach to women in the industry, aid in aftercare for survivors, and be a voice for the helpless. Please also pray for Dennis and Bobbie Mark to have the Lord’s wisdom as they lead this ministry. Ask that the Lord would accomplish his purpose with their conference September 8-10, 2013
Day 28: Please pray for the ministry of Exodus Cry exoduscry.com This is an organization that focuses on prayer as the main weapon against human trafficking and works to abolish slavery through prevention, intervention, and restoration. Please pray that the Lord would continue to guide each step that they take, so that they may continue to, through him, tear down the strongholds of the enemy. Story from their website about how the organization started: On February 5, 2007, in response to God’s burden for the victims of modern-day slavery, Benjamin Nolot led several hundred intercessors in prayer for breakthrough on their behalf. The very next day, one of the largest human trafficking busts in history occurred involving 2,400 arrests in 77 countries. That prayer meeting has evolved into a movement of intercessors and abolitionists that is today called Exodus Cry.God’s Word says: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.” II Corinthians 10:4-5
Day 29: Please pray for Ted Poe, Congressman for Texas, and the work that he is doing to end human trafficking in his position of influence. Please ask that the Lord would continue to open doors of opportunity for him to walk through that will help tear down human trafficking. Please pray that a bill on trafficking now in Congress would go through and that much good would be done with the Victims’ Rights Caucus.
Day 30: Please ask again that the Lord would open the church’s eyes and ears, individually and corporately, to know how he may be leading in involvement in his work against this work of the enemy. Ask that we would continue to follow and seek him first, and that his purposes would be accomplished in and through us. God’s Word says: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free.” Luke 4:18; “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 2:7
Read about one Tallowood member's journey from awareness to action on human trafficking. Robin Moore shared her story with Texas Baptist in her article "Pushing Back the 3 a.m. Darkness."
Staring at this evil, I realize only God can end the constant demand for sexually exploited women, cheap labor, child soldiers. So, like the persistent widow begging for justice, I fight this monster on my knees. Not only do I plead for a way of escape for vulnerable victims but also for the Church fully to participate in His plan to set captives free.
Engage for Freedom
Pray - Join 10@10 for I -10 Prayer Team - tallowood.org/set-free-reaching-out-to-victims-of-human-trafficking/
Educate Yourself – Be informed about Human Trafficking.
- Books – aheartforjustice.com/books/
- Films – aheartforjustice.com/films/
- Labor vs. sex trafficking
Labor Trafficking - acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/resource/fact-sheet-labor-trafficking-english
Sex Trafficking - acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/resource/fact-sheet-sex-trafficking-english
Know the signs for a trafficked victim - humantraffickingsearch.net/knowthesigns.html
Plan an action event – Discuss with your Sunday school, Bible study, Women or Men’s group.
Speak out – Talk about the issue with family and friends
Be a wise consumer: Buy Fairtrade items.
- Free2Work - free2work.org/
- Fair Trade USA - fairtradeusa.org/blog/fair-trade-just-click-away-new-fair-trade-finder-app
- Slavery Footprint - slaveryfootprint.org/about/#getapp
Support local anti-trafficking ministries.
- Redeemed Ministries – redeemedministries.com/get-involved/volunteer-opportunities/
- Free the Captives – freethecaptiveshouston.com/get-involved.php and freethecaptiveshouston.com/volunteer-training.php
- Elijah Rising - elijahrising.org/volunteer-application// and elijahrising.org/awareness/van-tours/
- Freedom Place - freedomplaceus.org/volunteer.html
- Home of Hope Texas – homeofhopetexas.com/index.php/support/needs
Help change legislation - poe.house.gov/key-issue-rationale/end-sex-trafficking-act/
- Men - xxxchurch.com/men/
- Women - xxxchurch.com/women/
- Teens - xxxchurch.com/teens/
- Parents - xxxchurch.com/parents/
Report suspicious activity. Add iWatch Harris County app - iwatchharriscounty.com/
National Human Trafficking Resource Center, (NHTRC) is an invaluable resource in the fight against human trafficking. Texas consistently ranks the highest in call volume to the Hotline. Call NHTRC at 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733). National, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls and texts from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.