Sexual slavery happens. Often. Worldwide. More often than we could possibly wrap our minds around.
Children stolen, sold, bought, traded, abducted, tortured, raped, forever changed.
But it’s not just a global issue.
It is happening right near home. Near MY home. In MY city of Milwaukee, WI.
It’s hard to believe that Milwaukee is such a hub for human trafficking. We think of bigger cities like LA, Chicago, New York. But Milwaukee, unfortunately, is a highway for these precious children to be moved around and away from anyone who could find them.
It’s one of those problems that feels so overwhelmingly huge, there’s nothing we can do to change it.
But there are a group of churches and non-profits in Milwaukee who are now working to bring a place of safety, healing, love, and hope to these sweet young girls.
Right now the project is untitled, but it has a vision, a purpose, and even a plan! And I will be a part of it in some way.
We are going to provide a house for girls ages 12-18(ish) to live in after they have been rescued and decide to leave the sex trade industry in Milwaukee. Right now there is nowhere for them to go. They are arrested and sent to detention centers.
But that isn’t what they need.
They need care. Love. They need to be given value and worth again. They need to know that God sees them as beautiful, precious beings who are more than just their bodies. These girls have been crushed by what has been done to them. They have been forever changed. And if they aren’t taken care of, if they are left to figure life out on their own, they will probably be destroyed.
And that is NOT what God has for them.
So we are going to provide a space for healing to be welcomed. A space for these girls to work through all that they have gone through. People who can help allow God to show them their great worth as a beautiful human being and NOT a slave to anyone or anything.
Right now there is not one single bed in the Milwaukee area for a girl who needs this safe healing place. Nationally there are only 391! In the whole country!
The plan is for us to have 2-3 beds available in about 3 years. Then expand that to 8. Then….who knows what God may have planned!
This process takes a lot of time, effort, and money. So much needs to be done legally, logistically, and with staffing and training. But it will get done. Three years may feel like a long time to wait, and I know it is for those girls, but it has to be done right and done well to be sustainable.
You can read this document to see the background and the plan in detail. And I hope you will take time to read it at some point. It gives great information if you are at all interested in this.
I know many of you are not in the Milwaukee area, but your prayers would make such a difference! This is BIG undertaking. There is A LOT of red tape, so many steps to take, such a long road ahead. But it is worth traveling and WORTH the work because these girls NEED this. These girls are WORTH all of it!
This home could be the first place in years, or ever, where these girls can receive gentle, all consuming, healing love. Where they can feel safe for the first time. Where they can learn about a loving, healing, restoring, life giving God. A space where they can be FREE. Free from the slavery they were in. Free to feel. Free to smile. Free to cry. Free to laugh. Free to create. Free to think. Free to sing. Free to BE.
Human trafficking has always hurt my heart in ways little else has. I can’t think about it, hear about without breaking down in tears. The thought of these innocent 12, 13, 14 year old girls being abused, raped, sold over and over and over and over is more than I can handle. And then, now that I have a daughter of my own, the pain is even more intense.
I don’t know exactly what role God has for me in this project. I really hope I will get to work with these girls one day. Listen to them. Cry with them. Hold them. Laugh with them. See a glimmer of hope and life shine in their once dark eyes even if just for a brief moment. Maybe even get to see them FEEL a hug from their Heavenly Daddy one day. I hope I can experience that.
But I don’t know if that’s what God has for me.
In the meantime, I will be praying. And supporting. And getting the word out for this project. Because it’s too important.
If you pray, will you join me in praying for this? I will keep you posted as I get any new info!