Human Trafficking: A World Traveler’s Perspective
By Andrew Lyon
When you travel all over the world like I do, you see amazing things. A hot air balloon ride over an elephant-filled savannah. An ice skating rink on the top of the Eiffel Tower at Christmas. Warm welcomes into the homes of Ukrainians, Israelis, Brazilians, Chinese, and more. Part of the wonder of travel is the serendipity of the unexpected, and I love it with all my heart.
It’s not all perfect though.
There are serious needs around the world. Hunger, poverty, disease, lack of education, constricted freedoms—they’re all overwhelming, unimaginable needs. I work with organizations helping alleviate these needs in the best ways possible. But none of the needs is more appalling than human trafficking. None is better hidden, more damaging, or more underhanded.
With these kinds of serious problems, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel underqualified to help. I’m not a pastor. I don’t run an organization that combats human trafficking. I don’t have a lot of money.
But I am a Christian and go to church, and I do believe God can use me. I believe in the priesthood of all believers, which is foundational to Church of God teaching. I’m convinced that every one of us can do something to combat human trafficking. Join us on Freedom Sunday, February 22, 2015, and find out how you and your church can be involved, joining with the larger church to raise awareness and participate in this campaign.
I’ve known for years that trafficking was a problem, but I wasn’t sure I could really help. The more I heard, the more I knew I had to try. I had to say yes. I had to give what I could.
I started small, joining the prayer team for Kimberly Majeski’s Stripped Love ministry to strip clubs from the first whispers of her calling to the ministry several years ago. I remember being in Berlin as the seeds of Neustart and Pink Door were being planted way back in 2008, and shared about it when I could. Last year, I took a bigger step and led a group of fifteen Americans on a trip to celebrate one hundred years of The Shelter’s ministry in Cuttack, India.
Then last year, Kimberly asked me to join the CHOG TraffickLight Task Force, which is coordinating the Church of God effort to combat human trafficking. I’ve been working to raise awareness and funding for the Church of God $1,000 X 1,000 campaign to support ministries within the church that are already combatting trafficking. And I’ll be here in Seattle, Washington, with the Fairview Church of God in February, engaging in Freedom Sunday.
There are lots of ways to get involved. Together we can make a difference. Join us.
Andrew Lyon has taken hundreds of people abroad to over thirty countries, building relationships, accountability, and funding for ministries and NGOs doing international relief work. As CEO and owner of Lyon Travel, he oversees a team that handles logistical work for short-term international trips and offers fundraising consulting services.