freedom

27 million. 

that is the number of people in slavery today. hard to believe that slavery still exists, right? well, it does. it is not just a thing of the past. it is more prevalent now than it has ever been.

 27 million daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, mothers and fathers in the world today are slaves. they were taken from their families and held there against their will. some are lucky enough to escape to freedom; most are not.

This desperate mother traveled from her village in Nepal to Mumbai, India, hoping to find and rescue her teenage daughter who was trafficked into an Indian brothel. Nepalese girls are prized for their fair skin and are lured with promises of a "good" job and the chance to improve their lives. "I will stay in Mumbai," said the mother, "Until I find my daughter or die. I am not leaving here without her." *from this website*

*taken from this website*

here are some more stories of the survivors.

according to the polaris project, human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. cases of human trafficking have been reported all around the country, in every single state. it is a problem around the entire globe. people are treated as objects. there are no particular characteristics that a traffic victim fits. they can be rich or poor, men or women, adults or children, etc. all victims are forced to some form of labor. it can be for sex, agricultural purposes, housework, etc. one thing they all have in common is a loss of freedom. it can happen to anyone. that is why it’s important to raise awareness.

one thing you can do is pray. prayer is so powerful and so important. you’re talking to God. He is the Almighty, the Creator. with Him, nothing is impossible. He gave us the ability to have compassion on people in pain. He provides ways for us to help others in need and show them His love. pray. pray. pray. He is listening.

another thing you can do is raise awareness. i don’t know about y’all, but i was very shocked to know that stuff like this existed, yet alone happened to so many people of all different walks of life. when i first saw that movie, taken, with liam neeson, i was floored at the main subject of the movie: human sex-trafficking. i had no idea that stuff like that existed. since then, my eyes have been opened and i have become more aware. it is so real and so chilling to know that stuff like that happens. stay educated and be aware. this is real and could happen to anyone.

one final thing you could do is get involved. my church right now is currently doing “pennies for people.” we are having a contest between the “younger than 40” group and the “older than 40” group to see who can collect the most pennies. at the “passion 2012” conference they raised over $3,347,468 for the victims. there is always some way to help. one easy way you can do to help is to avoid making purchases to companies that do not support fair trade. companies that do not support fair trade are supporting human trafficking. usually, products that are cheaper are made by human traffickers because they do not get paid for their labor, therefore, making the products cheaper. we can sacrifice some of our luxuries by supporting companies that support fair trade. you can also contact these companies. your voice counts. you can make the change.

here are some companies that do not have fair trade (some of them will sting a bit, trust me): 

apple

hershey

sketcher

pop secret

north face

here are some companies that are working hard to get their products produced by fair trade:

starbucks

adidas

ben & jerry’s

lego

timberland

thank you for reading this. let’s be the generation to abolish slavery. with God all things are possible. we can do this through Him.

for it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (ephesians 2:8). 

p.s. if you have any pennies you would like to donate, just lemme know. you can help change someone’s life.

here are some websites with more information on human trafficking:

I’M  Ashley

a Richmond, Virginia WEDDING & PORTRAIT Photographer

I’m Virginia Ashley, but my friends just call me Ashley! I’m a wedding photographer based in Richmond, Virginia. Even though I live in RVA, I travel all over for photography, which is awesome because I LOVE to travel! I’ve been as far as California and have my passport burning a hole in my pocket!

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