Generally Speaking: The horrors of human trafficking

By MARILYN TINNIN COLUMNIST,

New York Times Best Selling author and host of the Eric Mataxas Radio Show was in Jackson this week for a fundraiser to bring awareness to an issue of epidemic proportion — human trafficking.

Just a quick aside here — Charles and I are “groupies” when it comes to Mataxas.

My low key, steady, ever calm husband discovered his podcast a year or so ago.

Charles would go off to run an errand, listen to the Mataxas show in the car and come home animated and eager to have me listen to something he had saved. Last January I think we binge listened to back to back shows all the way from Ridgeland to Atlanta. I became a fan, too.

If you are looking for something uplifting, educational, entertaining, and at times humorous, by all means, discover the Eric Mataxas Radio Show.

You can get his daily podcast online. I guarantee you will be hooked. He interviews the most interesting people, and their grasp of history and culture is like nothing else on the airwaves. Tuesday night, however, was not one of his humorous topics.

Joining Eric in Jackson was Victor Boutros, the CEO and Founding Director of the Human Trafficking Institute. His resume is impressive and includes Baylor, Harvard, Oxford, and the University of Chicago Law School, the United States Department of Justice and much travel across the globe training lawyers and law enforcement and basically being an advocate for the victims of human trafficking.

It is noteworthy that Victor left a most promising and lucrative future in the Justice Department because he had a stront calling to finding a way to eradicate the scourge of human trafficking. It is in and of itself an entirely new genre of criminality. \

Modern slavery, whether it involves labor or sex trafficking, has spawned a multibillion dollar industry that has proved difficult to uncover and just as difficult to eliminate.

The perpetrators’ schemes bring them great wealth as they operate worldwide and artfully conceal their crimes.

They skirt legal accountability by knowing where a corrupt system can be found and where they will never be prosecuted.

They carry on much of their activity in developing countries as they exploit, manipulate, and terrify their vulnerable victims. Girls, as young as 9 years old have been lured into trafficking, but young boys are not exempt either.

There are about 24.9 million victims today. This more than doubles the total number during the entire 246 years when slavery was legal on North American soil.

The traffickers’ single motivation is money. They easily discard a victim when he or she is no longer useful, but the pipeline for securing more victims is endless.

The annual profits of at least $150 billion are more than the combined annual profits of America’s 5 largest corporations. The answer to ending trafficking is in training specialized investigative units that know how to identify, infiltrate, apprehend and prosecute the criminals at the top.

The format for Tuesday evening’s event was much like the Mataxas Radio Show.

There was no script. Eric and Victor sat facing each other, and in easy conversational back and forth, gave a very engaged audience an education on this dark business that thrives across the globe in 2019.

You could have heard a pin drop. I will have to say; they put a real face on a subject that could have been nothing more than a list of staggering statistics and another item in a long list of  societal ills.

I Peter 4:10 speaks about using the gifts God has given in serving others “faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” I love the words “in its various forms.”

When the universal church of the Lord Jesus is really being the church it was designed to be, we engage our culture regardless of how much it repulses and offends.

I look at that verse and see the work Victor Boutros is leading, and I am just awed once more by the way God empowers and calls certain individuals to see a need and to be willing to sacrificially run toward it despite its Goliath scope and power. I wish I had had a million dollars to donate last Tuesday night.

I don’t have a million dollars, but I do have a small platform that God has provided me, and I can encourage you, dear reader, to get educated on this subject. Join me in becoming a serious prayer warrior that God would grant Victor Boutros and all who work beside him the resources, the wisdom and the favor to end human trafficking and save the souls and the hearts of its victims.

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