I hate the Super Bowl.
I love football. Cheered the Irish alongside my dad on Saturdays. Now I tweet Bears on Sundays.
What’s the disconnect? Any big event is big business for traffickers of sex slavery.
The traffickers bus in the girls and women and boys on Super Bowl weekend. The johns pay to indulge in sexual pleasure. They don’t care about the girls. Just themselves.
The slave owners pocket the money, lots of money: $9.5 billion throughout the world each year for sex slavery, according to Born to Fly citing the FBI. Human trafficking (all types, including forced labor) ranks #2 among all income-generating syndicates. Illegal drugs are #1; illegal arms are #3.
The average of sex slaves around the world is 11 years old.
Are You Angry?
Me too. Here’s a link to a brief video. It’ll get you real mad. Righteous anger! Warning: It’s disturbing.
What should you do with your anger? That’s the big question, a hopeful question.
You can make a difference. You can help end slavery.
Occasionally I’m awakened by a dream in which I’m the female version of Chuck Norris, karate chop my way into a brothel of sex slaves, and lead them to freedom.
But dreams won’t stop slavery at the Super Bowl. Action will. You can do more to end slavery than you might think.
How You Make a Difference
First. pray. Pray for the johns, the slaves, the traffickers, and the authorities. Pray how the Holy Spirit leads you.
Second, become aware. More and more websites and organizations are involved in stopping sex slavery through prevention, rescue, and aftercare. A few great ones are: Free the Slaves, Born to Fly, The Exodus Road, and International Justice Mission.
Third, decide how you’ll make a difference. A few ideas:
- Financially support groups that fight sex slavery.
- Discuss the book God in a Brothel (endorsed by many Christian leaders) in your Sunday school class or small group.
- Blog about sex slavery. The Exodus Road has a team of bloggers you might consider joining. Of course you can blog on your own.
- Involve your church’s youth group in a fundraiser to support organizations that prevent, rescue, and/or provide aftercare to sex slaves.
Remember, you can change your world because Christ has changed you.
Let’s start by praying during the Super Bowl. Are you game?
photo credit: furanda via photopin cc
The Deliverer — A Book Review and Giveaway
Enter the giveaway for THE DELIVERER, a new novel by award-winning author Kathi Macias. See info below.
Sex trafficking of children breaks my heart and prompts me to action:
1. Learn about this horrific crime in other countries and in the United States. This is an informative site.
2. Pray. God sees. God knows. God heals. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
3. Get involved by donating money to organizations that help prevent child trafficking or free or counsel victims, or by raising funds, blogging to raise awareness, or whatever the Spirit leads you to do.
In the novel The Deliverer by Kathi Macias, the moving story cannot help but call readers to join the fight against human trafficking. Through the characters’ stories, you learn about this crime, and you want to pray and to make a difference in the lives of real children in bondage today. Even if human trafficking itself were fiction — and we all wish it were! — Kathi’s book has the components of stay-up-late-to-read story: suspense, action, and characters you care deeply about. It is a story of hope.
I highly recommend it.
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:
To enter the giveaway for a free copy of this book (which I’ll mail to you), leave a comment at the bottom of this blog post AND send me a Contact message with your email address, which will be kelp confidential.
The giveaway is open through Wednesday, September 19. I’ll notify the winner by email.
With Joy Overflowing!
An Interview with Kathi
While this is the third and final book in the Freedom Series, I’m sure there are people who are just learning about it. Would you please share what prompted you to write these books on such topic as relevant and difficult as human trafficking?
I was finishing up my previous fiction series for New Hope Publishers (the Extreme Devotion Series, dealing with the persecuted Church around the world) when Andrea Mullins (the publisher at New Hope) asked me what topic I wanted to tackle next. We discussed a few possibilities, and then she suggested human trafficking. I was aware of it and thought it was terrible but had no idea how widespread it was. I agreed to do some preliminary research and get back to her. When I discovered there are more than 27 million people held in various forms of human trafficking (sexual slavery, forced labor or military conscription, involuntary donation of body parts/organs) and that many of them are children (including an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 MINORS held in sexual slavery in the US today!), I was horrified. I was also convinced that I had to do everything possible to help educate others about this widespread horror and to call them to join the fight. Not only have I now written/released the Freedom Series on human trafficking, but I’m speaking on it everywhere/every chance I get.
What was your original objective in writing these books, Deliver Me From Evil, Special Delivery, and The Deliverer? And, what are you hearing back from people who have read the books? How are they taking action?
Originally my plan was to see the books alert readers to this horrific crime and, hopefully, challenge them to get involved in fighting it some way. That seems to be happening, but on such a larger scope than I had imagined. The response from readers is overwhelming! Pastors have written to say they are challenging their entire church to get involved on some level, and I’m being invited to speak all over the country on this topic. I am thrilled to see the Light being shined in this terrible darkness at last! As for specific actions, pastors and civic leaders are inviting me (or others in this ministry) to come and speak to their congregations/groups to help educate them on this massive tragedy. Readers tell me they are posting about my books all over the net to help snag people’s attention. I’m getting invitations to speak on radio and TV as well. I’ve also been contacted by readers who are getting involved in setting up safe houses for rescued victims, which is a huge need. I was even contacted by the Department of Homeland Security and invited to participate in group conference calls on the topic. Overall, I’m thrilled at the way God is using these books to help sound the alarm and to “rescue the perishing.”
It seems there is always someone in your books who is an intercessor. Why is that important for you to include?
This is vital to me, and as you said, I almost always include an intercessor in my novels. I know there were intercessors in my own life who prayed me through some incredibly dangerous and difficult times, and I appreciate those heroes of the faith more than I can express. Highlighting their importance in my books accomplishes two things: it enables me to honor those faithful intercessors who often get no recognition in this world, and it also calls others to get involved in intercession as well.
You write books as you often call them, parables with a purpose, on topics such as human trafficking, the persecuted church, illegal immigration, and your Christmas 2012 book is about homelessness. Some might call you an advocate. Why is it important for Christians, and the church as a whole, to discuss these issues?
You’re right that I call my novels “parables with purpose,” because I believe Jesus is our example and that’s what He told to His followers—parables with purpose. He didn’t just tell them “nice stories” to entertain them. He told stories that would grab them right where they lived, and then challenge them to change their hearts, their minds, and their lives. The Church has always been at the forefront of serious social change, leading the charge to abolish slavery for instance, and leading the charge on these other issues is right where the Church needs to be now. The first step is to discuss the issues, to make people aware of them, and then to call them to action. I believe gripping fiction is one of the most effective ways to do that.
Will you give us a glimpse, a taste of things to come — without getting too far ahead — of what’s in store for your next series and books on the horizon?
In addition to the 2012 Christmas novel, Unexpected Christmas Hero, dealing with homelessness in America, I will be releasing a new series starting in January. The first of the three novels is called The Moses Quilt, and it deals with a contemporary interracial romance, set against the background of a quilt that tells the story of the courageous, faith-filled woman known as Harriet Tubman. A contemporary novel dealing with the issue of abortion will follow, with the first woman doctor in America, Elizabeth Blackwell, as our backdrop heroine. The final book will be built around the much beloved Fanny Crosby, as we deal with the issue of people with disabilities. That series is from New Hope Publishers, but I also have a book releasing in the Spring of 2013 from B&H Publishers called Last Chance for Justice. It’s part of the multi-author Bloomfield Series, and I’m very excited about it.
You also write a devotional blog. Can you tell us what the focus is and where we can find it?
I started writing a weekly devotional several years ago, in response to a request from the then newly formed group CAN (Christian Authors Network). I sent it out as a group email and had about 40 recipients then. The devotional mailing quickly grew and expanded beyond the CAN group, with countless readers signing up to receive it. I also started posting it each week on my devotional blog (http://kathimacias.com/category/devotional-2/), which is part of my primary website (www.kathimacias.com), where you will also find my “Easy Writer” blog, which is more writing-related. (You can also sign up there to receive the weekly devotional in your inbox.) Over the years the devotional has been picked up by Crosswalk, Black Christian News, Latino Christian News (I offer it in Spanish as well as English), Believe.com, Christians in Recovery, etc., so the readership has mushroomed beyond anything I ever imagined. God is amazing, isn’t He?
Finally, we know you as an award-winning author, but you also enjoy speaking for women’s events, and other groups, as well. On what areas or topics do you focus your speaking presentations? How can a church or group find out more about having you speak for their event?
I speak on various topics, including the issues I address in my books, but on other topics too. One of my most requested topics is “When Passion and Purpose Collide.” That, along with several other popular topics, can be found in the speaking section of my website (http://kathimacias.com/speaking/). To see my current speaking schedule and/or to explore the possibility of having me come and speak, just go to http://kathimacias.com/speaking/speaking-schedule/ and click on the Christian Speakers Services button to make contact. You can also see some of my speaking endorsements at http://kathimacias.com/speaking/endorsements/.
For more opportunities for free copies of The Deliverer by Kathi Macias, please visit Facebook.com/CSSVBT.KathiMacias.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview and/or book review on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speakers Services (http://ChristianSpeakersServices.com).
My author friend Kathi Macias writes another compelling and important novel on a horrific crisis worldwide: human trafficking. Do you dare read it? Do you dare not to?
Kathi Macias has done it again. Another compelling and important novel on a horrific crisis worldwide (including the United States): human trafficking. Her novel, Special Delivery, is the second of three in a series that shines light in the darkness of this crime, too evil to imagine.
May our great God bless the children and young people–both male and female–enslaved in human trafficking, specifically sex slavery, as well as people like Kathi who keep us aware of it. Let us pray for these modern-day slaves’ rescue and recovery. May He also bless our enemies as He sees fit, for Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43,44).
God hates evil. Yet by His grace, He brings many blessings in this life to unbelievers in order to bring them to repentance and to everlasting life through Jesus Christ. (By the way, I’m giving away professionally designed t-shirts with the words “Save the Girls” to the first ten folks to comment here on this blog post.)
An Interview with Kathi Macias
Q: Special Delivery is book two in the Freedom (human trafficking) series. For anyone who may not have read book one, Deliver Me From Evil, can you fill us in on the focus of the series in general, and Special Delivery in particular?
Kathi: The Freedom series is a three-book fiction series built around the horrifying topic of human trafficking. People often ask me why I decided to write about such a dark topic. First, I explain that I’m not writing about a dark topic; I’m writing about the Light that shines in that darkness. And second, I believe the Church should be at the forefront of the modern-day abolition movement to set the captives (modern-day slaves) free.
The three books in this series specifically follows the life of a young woman named Mara, who was sold into sexual slavery by her own parents in Mexico, and then smuggled across the border into San Diego by her uncle who then served as her pimp. A strong sub-plot throughout the series tells of two sisters in the Golden Triangle of Thailand, Chanthra and Lawan, who are also trapped in a brothel. Finally, a teenage girl named Francesca, kidnapped in Juarez, Mexico, and forced into prostitution, is introduced in book two. Special Delivery picks up two years after book one, Deliver Me From Evil, ends, and continues with the stories of Mara and Lawan, as well as others carried over from book one. Mara hopes she is finally free to pursue her own life because she was rescued from the brothel and her testimony helped lock up her uncle for life. But the man has underground connections and is driven by revenge to reach out from behind bars and deliver the ultimate punishment to his niece.
Q: This isn’t the first fiction series you’ve written on nationwide and even worldwide social issues, the one previous to this being the persecuted Church. What draws you to these difficult topics?
Kathi:As a Christian, I believe I am compelled to use my God-given gifts to honor God in all I do—and that includes exposing the deeds of darkness, calling sinners to repentance, and taking a stand for righteousness by doing all I can to help rescue those who are suffering. I dare not turn my back on “the least of these.” I also believe that God placed this sort of burden on my heart even before I became a Christian at the age of 26. I’ve always been a champion of the underdog, a “soap-box” preacher, if you will. When I met Jesus, I simply redirected that passion toward His people, realizing I couldn’t effect real change in my own strength anyway.
Q: With your obvious passion to right social and moral wrongs through the power of the Gospel, how did writing and speaking enter into that?
Kathi: I’ve known I wanted to be a writer since I was a child—never wanted to do anything else. When I was a teenager I told my then boyfriend (now husband) that I was going to be a writer one day. What a blessing that God allowed me to fulfill that dream!
After becoming a believer and growing in my faith, it was natural to take my passion to fight for others and incorporate it into my writing. Speaking, on the other hand, was an entirely different story. I was terrified of public speaking when I was young, and the day I received Christ I made a “bargain” with God, promising to do anything He asked of me—so long as it didn’t include public speaking. (Does God have a sense of humor or what?) Now, when I stand in front of audiences where I believe God has called me to speak (and actually find myself enjoying it!), I tell my listeners that if God has called them to do something and they feel it’s impossible, they can consider me their “visual aid” that NOTHING is impossible with God IF we will simply take that first step of obedience and let Him fulfill His purpose in and through us.
Q: With the topics of the worldwide persecuted Church and human trafficking under your belt, what other issues are you dealing with in your writing?
Kathi: My Christmas 2011 book, A Christmas Journey Home, dealt with the immigration/border problem, and my Christmas 2012 novel, Unexpected Christmas Hero, will be about homelessness in America. The next issues-related fiction series I have on tap—which I am just starting to write, by the way—is called the “Patches of Courage” series and will begin releasing in late January 2013. Book one is The Moses Quilt, based on the life of Harriet Tubman, and will be followed by The Christmas Quilt and The Impossible Quilt. This series of books will highlight historical American women whose Christian faith enabled them to walk in great courage and make a difference in the lives of countless people.
Q: Where can people find out about you and your books, speaking, and appearances?
Kathi: They can go directly to my website or my Easy Writer blog. I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, and various other social sites. Would love to hear from all of you!
I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speakers Services.
With Joy Overflowing!
God has a sense of humor.
You see, I detest garage sales. I don’t like going to them. I’ve never had one. Never.
Now I’m beginning a ministry named Save the Girls, and garage sales are a vehicle to help make it work.
Save the Girls offers hope for girls ensnared in the global commercial sex trade. Those who escape or are rescued face a difficult physical and emotional recovery process. World Vision, a highly respected Christian nonprofit organization, ministers to girls (and boys) who were sold into sex trade, sometimes by their parents. Human trafficking ranks #3 on top money-making crime list, surpassed only by illegal drugs and gun sales.
If you’re getting mad, good. Get mad! Then do something!
You can change your world because Christ has changed you!
As I pondered how to Save the Girls — recognizing I’m only one person — the proverbial lightbulb blinked on. Garage sale! Three reasons I believe this is God-inspired is:
1) I really do detest garage sales. I can think of a hundred things I’d rather do than have or go to a garage sale, and scrubbing grout is one of them. Just hand over you old toothbush and I’m good to go!
2) I am excited to have one this May. How weird! This past week my husband has inquired about my mental state. I assured him I’m sane. And joy-filled! I am having a garage sale with COMPASSION and a PURPOSE!
3) God deeply values girls. Jesus came to seek and save the lost.
A chunk of the money my family takes in at our first ever garage sale — and at my kids’ lemonade stand — will be sent to World Vision to save the girls. I so love the fact that I know World Vision workers will share Jesus with them. They will proclaim Christ!
Lord, may the day you give us be beautifully sunny, so many come and thirst for lemonade and you!
My kids, hubby and I will hand out flyers informing people of this crime. I plan to get publicity from the local news outfits too. And, the best for last:
On this blog, I will post promotional materials for you to use at your garage sale to Save the Girls: flyers, press releases, and so on. Check back in a few days and they’ll be available to you. I’ll also set up Pay Pal in case you want to make a donation through Save the Girls. Of course, you may donate directly to World Vision.
Let’s do this together, my precious sisters in Christ. Save the Girls!
A beautiful warrior reaches out to the needy.
Next post: A book review of bestselling novelist Brandilyn Collins’ latest thriller, Dark Pursuit.
You Are Beautiful, Lucy