The title of today’s post may be a little misleading. If I’d tried for something more accurate, it would have looked like this:
An issue I care about, a sporting event I don’t, and practical ways we can all pray about it.
But that isn’t quite as catchy, is it?
Titles aren’t the important thing, though. The important thing is that you’re here (hi), and I’m here, so let’s get to the matter at hand.
The spike in buying and selling of victimized women and girls for sex during the Super Bowl is a tragedy that has been well publicized over the past several years. Most people are, I assume, aware of this. If you weren’t before, I guess are now. Look into it.
Of course, it’s not just during the Super Bowl, or other heavily attended events. This happens every day, in every American state, and all over the world. If you’re a victim of the trade, Super Bowl weekend probably isn’t any more hellish than any other in the calendar year.
Since I don’t give two hoots about football games, though, this seems an apt time to think and write about an associated topic close to my heart. And since the Super Bowl does bring a large number of both perpetrators and victims into a relatively concentrated area, there are a host of 21st-century abolitionists and law enforcement officers descending there, as well.
According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution (and various other sources), forty individuals had already been arrested on trafficking charges as of Friday. Four victims (two adults and two minors) have been rescued. At last year’s Super Bowl in Minneapolis, 94 arrests were made.
Praise God, the forces of light are out there combating this darkness.
It is easy to feel helpless, sitting in our safe and comfortable homes while this crazy good and evil stuff is transpiring in Atlanta (and elsewhere around the globe). But I was very encouraged by a blog posted by the ministry Exodus Cry earlier this week. Their organization has outreach teams on the ground at the Super Bowl, and offered up a very helpful and practical list of ways we can all be praying over this weekend.
I wanted to share that list with my own readers today. It is, in fact, my very reason for writing.
Credit and gratitude to Exodus Cry for this, and all the other wonderful work they are doing.
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Pray with us for the transformation of hearts during the Super Bowl, for the success of SafeZone Atlanta, and for the long term eradication of sex trafficking in the city. Pray:
That the walls of exploitation and abuse begin to crumble in Atlanta and across America as abolitionists from across the country gather in prayer and intervention
That those attending training and outreaches in Atlanta would encounter Jesus’ heart for those enslaved in the sex industry and begin abolition work for the exploited in their own cities
That law enforcement would catch sex buyers, traffickers, and pimps and offer assistance to the sexually exploited
That men tempted to purchase sex during the Super Bowl would be empowered to choose a different way and quit exploiting women
That healing communities would rise up across Atlanta and walk with survivors on their journey into healing and restoration
That the sound of survivors and abolitionists calling for stories to be heard would drive reform in our culture concerning entitlement, objectification, and exploitation of women’s sexuality
That the people of Atlanta would rise up to fight for the human rights of the prostituted like they fought for the civil rights of African Americans a little over 50 years ago
That trafficked girls would be freed and healed
And that the face of Atlanta would shift once again as sex trafficking, like segregation, becomes a part of history