Trafficking workshop identifies problem, offers solution

Originally published in Western Recorder –

Louisville—As another means to emphasize human trafficking awareness across Kentucky, the Kentucky Baptist Convention offered a one-day workshop, “Stuck in Traffick,” at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Louisville.

The Oct. 22 workshop follows on the heels of a letter penned by KBC Executive Director Paul Chitwood on behalf of Kentucky Baptists to potential vendors, stating that the convention will not do business with hotels that fail to train employees to recognize and report human trafficking.

“We wanted to highlight the problem, but also to offer a solution; here’s the practical side,” Kristen Drake, Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief ministry assistant and one of the worshop’s organizers, said. “We wanted to put this in the biblical framework, who we are in the image of God, how that affects everything, and how we approach both the people who have been victimized by it and people who supply the industry.”

Keynote speaker for the event was Nick Nye, pastor of Veritas Community Church in Columbus, Ohio, and a founder of an anti-human trafficking ministry, “She Has A Name.”

Nye proposed that to address human trafficking, one must look at the whole picture in three parts: the image of God, justice in the church, and practical steps to fight trafficking.

“When it comes to the fight, we have to know that we will never have deep roots in this fight if we do not root ourselves in God’s Word and the power of the gospel and have a deep understanding of humanity,” he said. “I want to find our solutions rooted in who God is.”

He pointed attenders back to Psalm 10:16-18, “O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more,” focusing on God’s heart for justice.

“The gospel’s power produces justice,” Nye argued. “Justice is an attribute of God Himself. If God is a God of justice, we have to be a people of justice.

“Trafficking is a pathological problem,” Nye said, meaning that it is a problem that seems too big to solve. Lest those attending think that human trafficking doesn’t happen in Kentucky, examples of victims in the state were given over the course of the day. “This is real,” he asserted.

“There is no way we will see a pimp, a prostitute, and a john sitting together receiving the gospel together without the power of the gospel. When we stand on that solid ground, then we can really be able to engage in this massive problem, because that’s where the power is.”

Nye proposed five practical ways to start fighting trafficking:

1)   Develop a culture for justice

2)   Be informed

3)   Partner with other like-minded ministries

4)   Learn how to empower people

5)   Fight pornography

Nye concluded, “The battle is so big, but the gospel is powerful.”

In addition to sessions led by Nye, the workshop included a panel introducing Scarlet Hope and Refuge for Women. Both are ministries in Kentucky that reach women in the adult entertainment industry.

“I want people to walk away from this conference seeing how the gospel really can transform and renew people, not only the survivor of exploitation, but also the brokenness of the porn addict, the john and the pimp,” Drake said.

“(God) is in the business of redeeming people for Himself and calling people to Himself,” she added. “I really hope that we see the wholistic view, from start to finish, how the gospel touches every part of our lives and how healing and restoration is through Jesus. He saves any who would call on His name.” (WR)