taking the words of Jesus seriously

Within our world no form of modern slavery may be greater than that of human sex trafficking. A good friend of mine, and fellow Red Letter Christian, Chris Heuertz, international director of Word Made Flesh, has spent his life working to free women from forced prostitution and to make others aware that human sex trafficking is as rampant now as ever.

In 2010 it was estimated that the human sex trafficking industry included as many as 27 million victims and brought in roughly $32 billion per year. If these numbers do not signify that we have a problem on our hands, a problem that many of us have never heard of or have never taken seriously, then I don’t know what will.

The question naturally becomes: so what can I do to help put an end to such violence and exploitation? Chris Heuertz’s recent article in the Washington Post addresses this very question. Is it enough to simply give money to an organization and let them do the work? A deeper question though is whether giving money in an effort to “free” an individual from forced slavery is the proper way to go about the task. This is the question Chris addresses in most depth.

I implore you to read Chris’ article and think about the ways in which money can be helpful to ministries yet may also exploit those individuals some ministries seek to assist. It’s an article you may need to read more than once, taking time to reflect on certain statements and the message Chris is preaching.

About The Author


Tony Campolo is Professor of Sociology at Eastern University, and was formerly on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. For 40 years, he founded and led the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, an organization that created and supported programs serving needy communities in the Third World as well as in “at risk” neighborhoods across North America. More recently, Dr. Campolo has provided leadership for the Red Letter Christians movement. He blogs regularly at his own website. Tony and his wife Peggy live near Philadelphia, and have two children and four grandchildren.

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