Many churches across the globe participate in Freedom Sunday each year. Historically, we have used the first Sunday of Lent or a September date, but many organizations and churches have moved to their own calendars.
January is now National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, so some are focusing their efforts for awareness and partnership at the beginning of the year.
Choose a Sunday that fits best with your church’s calendar. The important thing is to join the fight. The resources we offer can be used at any time throughout the year!
Freedom Fight is a four-week sermon series that challenges the local church to engage the broader issue of sexual exploitation, live in freedom, and reclaim lives. The Freedom Fight Kit is available through Warner Press and includes a planning guide (introduction, guide, promotional ideas, sermon outlines, and more); a campaign DVD with videos, podcasts, marketing graphics, and bulletin insert templates; a banner; bulletin covers, and more.
Partner with us financially in this fight internationally through the Bangladesh Village Project and Children of Promise. With these partners, we hope to fund 10 villages and add 500 child sponsorships because we know that vulnerability is the breeding ground for exploitation. In the United States, we are excited to partner with Hope Ranch for Women in Wichita, Kansas to provide mentoring, a safe place, and steps to transition for women who are the victims of sexual exploitation. Your Freedom Sunday offering can be added to others from around the country and together, we can make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children and women.
As a united body of believers, our growth in awareness of human trafficking and our steps towards action to abolish modern day slavery must be centered and grounded in prayer. Here are some specific actions involving prayer that you can take as an individual or as a church body.
- Focus your prayer on one of these topics:
-Pray for the victims.
-Pray for the traffickers.
-Pray for the justice system.
-Pray for the organizations on the frontlines.
-Pray for the church to rise up.
-Pray for more intercessors.
-Repent for the sins we have committed.
-Pray for the end of human trafficking and modern-day slavery.
- Partner with your church’s prayer ministry.
- Organize a prayer walk in your community.
- Join a 24/7 prayer chain. Your church can create its own prayer chain or join forces with an existing prayer chain.
-One existing prayer chain is affiliated with Exodus Cry
- Practice the Red Light Initiative: “Each time you are waiting at a red light in your car, pray for the removal of the red-light districts in your city, community, and country. Pray for the victims of sex trafficking to be set free and healed” (Byun, 115).
- Practice fasting.
These are taken from the book Justice Awakening, by Eddie Byun (pages 112–6); note that in Justice Awakening there is a prayer guide at the end of each chapter.
Below are some suggested contemporary songs and hymns with a justice or freedom theme that could be used in your services:
- “The Power of Your Name” (Lincoln Brewster)
- “Give Me Your Eyes” (Brandon Heath)
- “If We Are the Body” (Casting Crowns)
- “Amazing Grace! My Chains Are Gone!” (Chris Tomlin)
- “Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble” (Matt Redman)
- “Freedom Is Here” (Hillsong United)
- “Let My People Go” (Matt Redman)
- “Where the Spirit of the Lord Is” (Hillsong)
- “Your Great Name” (Natalie Grant)
Below are two sermons on human trafficking and justice by Eddie Byun, author of Justice Awakening:
- “Stop the Traffick: Psalm 10:1–8”
– MANUSCRIPT is available on page 155 of Justice Awakening.
- “Why the Church Must Lead the Fight for Justice”
Looking for a speaker? Consider connecting with a specific ministry engaged in anti–human trafficking efforts and ask for a representative from that ministry to come and speak with your congregation. Possibilities include:
Youth Pastors & Students
A growing number of pre-teens and teens are being targeted by traffickers, and the means by which they are targeted include “social media websites, telephone chat-lines, after school programs, on the streets, at shopping malls, in clubs, or through other students who are used by traffickers to recruit other victims. In fact, a person can be trafficked without ever leaving his or her hometown.” For more information, download the Blue Campaign’s flyer “Human Trafficking 101.”
Here are some resources to help in your prevention efforts:
In addition to prevention efforts, some great awareness building initiatives suggested in Justice Awakening include:
- Social media & blogs. An easy way to build awareness is to post and blog stories on trafficking. Use your social circles.
- Campaigns. Organize or join a campaign that brings awareness to anti–human trafficking efforts while possibly also doing some fundraising for anti–human trafficking organizations and after-care centers. The A21 Campaign Walk for Freedom is just one campaign with which you could join.
Small Groups & Sunday School
- Justice Awakening, by Eddie Byun, provides group discussion questions at the close of each chapter to engage group participants in discussing topics from the chapter.
- Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking (FAAST) has created an excellent church toolkit that includes the “Human Trafficking Prevention Bible Study”.
One of the reasons that human trafficking is on the rise is because there is a demand. Lust fuels the demand for pornography, which then increases the profits and the hold of the sex industry. One way to reduce human trafficking is to challenge ourselves to examine what we view on our phones, tablets, or home computers while also examining what lies within our own hearts. If you are struggling with an addiction to pornography, seek accountability. Specific ministries that provide such engagement, discussion, and support include:
Another important piece to consider is our purity. Pornography has typically been identified as a male issue, but the number of women viewing pornography is growing. Lust fuels the demand for pornography, which then increases the profits and the spiritual hold of the sex industry. If you are struggling with an addiction to pornography, seek accountability and support.
Missions & Community Outreach
Jesus Christ proclaimed that he was sent to set others free. Jesus is the subject, and as his followers, we are also called to set men and women free from their earthly bonds. How can we seek to end modern-day slavery? We can take action. Here are a few ways to fight trafficking:
- Start an anti-trafficking campaign in your community. Rally others around key areas of fighting trafficking:
Raising awareness, prevention, compassion for trafficking victims, providing services that transform lives of trafficking victims, building community with victims of and those who are most vulnerable to trafficking.
- Get trained to work directly with victims of sex trafficking in your community.
- Start a ministry through your church or organization that fights trafficking or involves outreach to trafficking victims and those at risk.
- Connect with ministries serving on the frontlines of anti-human trafficking efforts by going on a short-term missions experience. See our list of partnering organizations to explore possible partnerships.
Labor trafficking accounts for a significant portion of human trafficking worldwide. As Western consumers, it’s easy to purchase items without considering the process by which products come to be on the shelf or who was involved in the production process. Given the information available today, we can become more knowledgeable about the production process of items we consume.
Your church can become more aware of companies and products that provide products that do not use slave labor. Here are some sites to foster that awareness: