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June 11, 2019

Do Good Works: The Fight Against Human Trafficking, Part 1

Dave Zuleger

Pastor for Preaching & Vision, South

As the South elders and congregation have begun to get our bearings in our new location in Lakeville, we've been burdened for the truck stop (referred to as the McStop) just up the hill from us as we've learned it is a hub for human trafficking. Several of us have been meeting every Thursday morning to pray for the Lord to move in this area and Robin Sutphen has been a great blessing in organizing these times and helping us all become more educated as we pray. Here's a ministry update from Robin ...

Last week I read an article that shared the story of a sixth-grade girl in Coon Rapids who, one minute, was roller skating with her friend, and the next minute found herself in Texas, forced into the life of a prostitute. In this 2003 article, the FBI reported that the pimps in Las Vegas call Minnesota “the factory.”

This girl could be any one of my three daughters.

Human trafficking is defined as “a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion, to control victims for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or labor services against his/her will” (from the human-trafficking hotline). Many don’t see the connection of trafficking to our daily lives. Yet the FBI lists Minnesota in the top 13 states with a high incidence rate of child prostitution, and, in 2015, Minnesota had the third-highest number of cases nationally. Sex trafficking doesn’t happen “out there,” it happens right here.

Trafficking in Our Neighborhood

In Fall 2018, the South Campus opened in Lakeville. We had previously considered locations in Burnsville, but now we see the intentionality of God in bringing us to Kenrick Avenue. Our new South Campus is located just down the hill from the McStop Truck Stop in Lakeville, one of the busiest locations for the trafficking of people in the Metro area.

So, ‘What do we do?’

The topic of human trafficking is wide and layered and dynamic, and it won’t be solved by any one of us individually. But God has planned to work through many of us in many ways, from prevention to protection, from proclamation to policy. Considering our strategic location and the resources God has given us, the question becomes, “What do we do?”

To be continued …

In Part 2 of this post, we’ll look closer at the question, ‘‘What we do?” For now, here are some resources to consider ...

Statistics on Human Trafficking

Organizations Fighting Against Trafficking