It's a hard read, but you need to hear it. I've put off posting this for over a week but feel that it's incredibly important for all of us to hear:
Your child knows about porn.
If they don't, they will. How will you handle that? We have to become a proactive society instead of a reactive one. Not talking about hard things does not make them go away. We can't be surprised by the type of men our society is producing if we're not equipping our sons with the truth to handle what our society will throw at them.
I sat in church two weeks ago next to my 11 year old 6th grader, listening to our pastor teaching on how to be Brave. While teaching, he was discussing temptations that we as humans come in contact with and how to guard yourself against them. One such temptation was porn. He didn't go into detail, just mentioned it, and as he did, my sweet kindhearted, handsome young man, let out a sigh, rolled his eyes, and murmured "Oh my gosh" under his breath. This caught me off guard and I had no clue as to why this topic would elicit such disgust from him.
After we came home from church that day, when it was just he and I, I point blank asked him if he knew what porn was. His expression went totally somber, his eyes welled up, and his cheeks turned red. He reluctantly told me yes. I then asked if he had ever seen it and he adamantly told me no. He then went on to tell me how the older boys at school talk about it and have privacy screens on their phone so that their parents won't see that they've watched it. I took the opportunity to explain that for starters: that is not real, healthy, or what love looks like, that those girls in the videos are someone's sister, daughter, cousin, mom, friend. That they are not objects for men's pleasure and that the majority of them are trapped in that industry against their will.
Up until then, we had discussed that Mom was fighting to help free those trapped in slavery. They know that the people's basic human rights are violated, but that has been as far as we've gone. However, that day, I pointed to the A21 "BECAUSE" bracelet on his wrist and explained that the people in those videos that his friends are laughing, joking, & talking about are the same slaves that Mommy is fighting for.
He started sobbing, and after a while I was able to get him to use his words to tell me why he was upset. He told me that "He didn't want his friends watching that, didn't want people treating women that way, and never wanted YouTube if he ever did get a phone because kids watch bad things on it."
We then prayed that when faced with the temptation of watching (because that day will come) that God can give him the strength to resist temptation. We prayed that he can be a witness to his friends and share with them how this is a vile epidemic in our country that is tearing people's lives apart. We also prayed for his friends, that they would turn from the temptation as well. And then, we prayed for the slaves trapped in that industry, that we can help free them and bring an end to their misery.
My son will be exposed to Porn at some point. Whether intentionally or not. Whether by mistake, or out of weakness, he will be armed with the knowledge of how to handle it. Will yours? Have you talked to your children about this? Sticking our heads in the sand is only perpetuating the crisis. Have the tough talks. Back it up with scripture. Arm your children. I for one pledge that my children will be informed about the evils in the world, and they will not be exposed without knowledge. Not talking about the scary things doesn't make them go away. Your children are talking about it. Wouldn't you rather they have those discussions with you? At what point, do we stand up & say #notmyson ? At what point, do we #takebackourchildren ?
If you don't understand the ties between the porn industry and human trafficking, here are some facts to help you become more aware: https://www.google.com/…/the-internet-can-be-a-very-un…/amp/
So often we feel we have to have everything in order before "serving". We may feel that God is "calling us to serve"...
By the way.... if you're breathing, God has called you to serve. But, we feel like we have to get ourselves tidied up before saying yes. I think what we don't realize is that God just wants us to get into action. Serving doesn't look like what most people think it does. It's literally just saying yes and being obedient.
When God first led me to the Human Trafficking cause, I had no idea what he wanted me to do with it. I didn't know why he was calling me to that particular cause. I had no experience with abuse and have lived an incredibly comfortable life. Plus, it's dark and shady, and I just wasn't sure I could handle it. However, I kept hearing "Move your feet" and "Serve where you are." I tried to ignore it, but God kept calling louder until finally I had to say yes.
Last night, my "serving" looked like: making a batch of chicken spaghetti, having dinner, and playing Phase 10 with some beautiful souls. All survivors of trafficking & all with their own story to tell. But, most importantly, all with a new love for Jesus and the newfound freedom to hope and dream. As I listened to them share their goals and plans for life with me last night, I thanked God for bringing them to me, and realized, that it wasn't all dark and shady. There was beauty in the hearts of the women sharing with me.
Many of you reading this know what you're being called to do but you're getting in yours (and God's) way. You're thinking the same thing I did: What do I have to offer? How can I help put an end to such a massive crisis? Why me? Where do I start? How do I get involved? But.... I'm Scared.
2 Tim 1:7 "For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control"
Here's the clearest instructions I can give you.
1. Say Yes
2. Pray about it (not once, continuously)
3. Get involved (research, connect via social media & in person)
4. Find the people that want to get involved with you. (Scary things are less scary with friends)
5. Just keep saying yes and moving forward.
In the words of my pastor "You already have whatever it is that you need to do whatever it is that God needs you to do."
God needs laborers. He needs us to all take the prayers we've prayed and put them into action. He needs us to move our feet. Luke 10:2 "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore to send out workers into his harvest field."
We were in Vegas this past week where we went to car museums, the drag races, a car show, saw shows, and ate amazing meals. But, I saw more than that.
While at the car show (the largest in the world) I saw two peddlers outside of the convention center shoving flip cards in men's faces as they walked by trying to get them to take the images of scantily clad women. I watched man after man turn them down and keep walking. I watched the two peddlers motion to my friends and me, and grumble, saying that none of the men were going to take the cards while we women were standing there. In the past, I would have never thought twice other than that normal "ick" feeling. I would have thought that's just Vegas and moved on. But, I know too much now. I knew that 200,000 men had come to Vegas for a car show which meant that countless girls had been brought to town specifically for that reason. And my stomach sunk.
I saw Her. She walked in and sat down at a bar with two men at least 40 years older than her. Both dressed to the nines in flashy dress shirts, pants and loafers, white hair slicked back, and ready for a night out on the town. One pulled a chair out for her and placed her in it while the other pulled a chair next to her. She fidgeted with her short tight black lace dress and crossed and uncrossed her worn flip flops. She smoothed her unnaturally red hair with her chipped manicure clad hand as she nervously looked back and forth over her shoulder. The man standing, rubbing both of her shoulders asked what she wanted to drink, but she never responded. Instead, she chewed her fingernails, smoothed her hair, and darted her eyes back and forth watching the bartender. The two men asked Her again what she wanted to drink as the one standing squeezed her shoulders, leaned in, and with a denture baring grin told her "You've got two guys tonight, you should probably go with Tequila!" While the two men laughed and gave her a shoulder rub, they didn't see what I saw. I saw her eyes that were filled with terror, misery, and emptiness. I saw her chewing her fingernails. I saw her not speaking. I saw her pick the menu up and put it down three times. I saw her scan the room constantly to see who was watching. I saw that she was much younger than her heavily made up face told. I saw someone who wanted to be anywhere other than she was.
I tried to make eye contact, just to let her know that I see Her. I wanted to reach out, share the Human Trafficking hotline number, tell her to say she needs help, something..... I wanted to kick the men in their teeth, and I wanted to vomit.
But, instead, I walked off to watch a show called "Love" with my heart breaking. I wondered what I could do for Her. So, I prayed. I prayed that she would get out. I prayed that she would find a way to escape her torture. I prayed that she would tell someone she needs help. And, I'm still praying for Her every day. I pray that God sends someone to help Her.
Most people would blow it off because prostitution is legal in Vegas & our society sees prostitutes as entrepreneurs that have chosen to sell themselves. But, more often than not, that's not the case. Less than 6% of Vegas "prostitutes" are not under the control of a pimp. While chatting with a survivor recently, I asked her to explain the difference between prostitution and being trafficked. Her response was "It's whether they have the ability to leave or not. I had a car and my own money. I physically could have left at anytime. But, I also had a Dude that had the address of every family member of mine and promised to kill each and every one of them if I ever left."
So, look around. Pull your head out of the sand and realize that Trafficking isn't something that is happening in other countries. It's happening in your country, your state, and your city.
And, do me another favor. Pray for Her and all the other Hers out there.
Hi! I'm, Brandi, founder of The Power Project, and I'm so glad you're here! I have this crazy belief that we can all do anything we set our minds to! Sometimes, you just need to hear it from a stranger on the internet. But, we're not strangers anymore. We're friends now. Welcome Friend! I hope you find some inspiration, encouragement, and empowerment here.