Friday, January 11
Human Trafficking Awareness
Minute for Mission
In the wee hours of Thanksgiving morning 2007, while most of us were sleeping, Mariano Lucas hung from the ceiling inside the cargo hold of a box truck in Immokalee, Florida, punching his way through the ventilation hatch. Mariano and a dozen other workers had been held for more than two years against their will, forced to work and deprived wages for harvesting tomatoes. As U.S. Chief Assistant Attorney and Presbyterian Doug Malloy says, “It’s slavery, plain and simple.”
Right here in the United States, Mariano Lucas and other workers were chained, beaten, and locked in trucks at night in order to deliver cheap produce, not simply to grocery stores and restaurants—but to you and me.
The International Labour Organization estimates that 20.9 million men, women, and children are trafficked worldwide for forced labor. Boys labor in Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa fields. Men slave on fishing trawlers in the seas of Southeast Asia. Women cleaning homes of diplomats are beaten and tortured. Girls are prostituted on the streets of Atlanta. The psalmist cries, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble!” These words are both a hope and a prod. Here are a few ways we, God’s “hands and feet in our world,” are present with and a help to trafficked persons:
congregations are participating in the Campaign for Fair Food, initiated by mission partners the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to address modern slavery and exploitive practices in the agricultural industry;
presbyteries are working with the Presbyterian Mission Agency Human Trafficking Roundtable to host free one-day human trafficking awareness trainings to educate clergy, members of law enforcement, attorneys, and social service professionals;
congregations are working with local government and qualified social service agencies to provide housing and support to trafficked persons.
Please visit to learn more about the church’s work against human trafficking.
Let us join in prayer for:
Let us pray
Loving God, you created us for life together. Yet women, children, and men are trafficked for profit, production, and “pleasure.” Help us create life-giving patterns of community and commerce. In the name of Jesus Christ, who came that we might have life in all its fullness. Amen.