Do not let yourself be overwhelmed by considering a problem only in macrocosm. Little efforts matter. Deal with that problem where you are in touch with the problem, and trust God to use your small efforts. (E Glenn Hinson on John Woolman,Weavings Vol xxv No.2 p.31)
These words capture my experience working on the issue of human trafficking. The enormity and the horror of modern-day slavery can be paralyzing and bring us to standstill. You may wonder how you ever hope to make an impact, let alone eradicate this horror and bring it to an end.
I believe that it’s only by trusting in God and desiring to be an agent of change that change happens. Wasn’t it Gandhi who said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”? The small efforts today, at this moment, are of great value in the work of systemic change.
Our Corporate Stance on Trafficking says: We stand together in a time when we hear the silent cries of victims of human trafficking, especially those women and children taken for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. We commit ourselves to work to eradicate this global human rights violation and to affirm the dignity of all human beings.
This statement has begun to shape our response. For the past year, LifeWay Network has accomplished much by making small efforts in our work to eradicate human trafficking. For instance:
As the Congregation prepares to delve more deeply into our Chapter Statement, may we continue to respond—and trust God to use our small efforts—to eradicate modern day slavery. “We are moved by the pain of the world and by the energy of our charism” to do what is ours to do in this present moment.
Sisters Barbara Buxton, Mary Beth Moore, Catherine O’Leary, Judith Park, Carol Swan and Barabara Toland are LifeWay Network volunteers.
The United Nations’ definition of human trafficking includes the following three key elements:
The Act (What is done)
Recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons.
The Means (How it is done)
Threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving payments or benefits to a person in control of the victim.
The Purpose (Why it is done)
For the purpose of exploitation, which includes sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery or similar practices.
View our Trafficking Appeal from 2008 to learn more.