Most of us are shocked and horrified by the reality of human trafficking, whether in Bangkok or Raleigh. Rightly so. Everyone should be outraged. But trafficking has blurred edges. I recently read an article that linked human trafficking in Charlotte, NC to drug cartels: it's more profitable to traffic persons. It's also linked to the broken immigration system, including the guest worker program. And the difference between trafficking someone and exploiting their labor is frequently difficult to judge.

Finally, we are living in a culture in which using women is permissible. As soon as we try to understand what is happening here and abroad, the problem keeps expanding and spiraling. It's easy to get overwhelmed. I have no simple answer on how to think through and work to overcome all these problems--problems that connect to other problems, which connect to other problems... I have, however, learned the importance of prayer as a first step. There are too many problems for me to handle; and the reality is always more complicated than I can even imagine. Fortunately, I am not called to be the savior of this world but to live with the knowledge that there is one. Prayer reminds me of this fact. This Saturday, we will set aside time for a prayerful "first response" to the problem of human trafficking in Durham. People will be free to sit or walk around, journal or pray, meditate or examine their lives. As an organization founded out of the Christian church, we do not think of prayer as something to do before we act. We want to act prayerfully.

We also know that human trafficking is a problem that besets our whole community and thus want to welcome the whole community to join us. Christian or not, we all know that this problem is bigger than us as individuals. And we also know that, whether we like it or not, these blurred edges start bumping up against our own lives--what we buy, how we treat others, and who we consider to be less valuable than ourselves. I hope you can join us as we respond reflectively to the problem of human trafficking in our community. For more information, please go to our website, Facebook Event page, or email