MARY REICHARD, HOST: Next up on The World and Everything in It: fighting human trafficking.
Raleigh Sadler spent 15 years in church ministry before founding Let My People Go. The New York-based organization helps equip churches to fight human trafficking in their communities.
MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: In this week’s Listening In, host Warren Smith asked Sadler for some specific ways Christians can help. An estimated 40 million people are caught in some form of human trafficking. Let’s listen to an excerpt of their conversation.
WARREN SMITH: Well, Raleigh, we live in a broken world of course. And so bad things happen. But I think the reality is if the church was being, the church in, in many situations where brokenness is evident in the world, the brokenness will be less. The brokenness will be healed. In this particular area, what do you want the church to do?
RALEIGH SADLER: We come at it from a holistic perspective and we come in and we want to make sure that the pastor is involved, but we don’t want to put this on the shoulders of the pastor. We don’t want to add to the pastor’s plate. We went actually take something off. So we work with them to help them develop a justice ministry team. This is the team that’s going to do the community needs assessment. They’re going to assess their findings, they’re going to present it to the church. They’re going to look at the pastor and they’re going to say, hey, we discovered that those most vulnerable in our community, in our zip code, those most vulnerable are our homeless neighbors. So what we’re gonna do is we’re asking you to preach regularly on God’s heart for the homeless. But also in our community needs assessment, we found two organizations right in our backyard that are already working with the homeless. We want when you’re preaching to give application and say, as a church, we’re going to give towards this mission in our community. In our small groups, we’re going to go volunteer every quarter with this organization. So now you’re creating this kind of grassroots network in your community because you’ve already identified those people that traffickers would most likely target. They’re you’re homeless neighbors. So in addition to that, the justice ministry team is going to propose a vulnerability response plan. Oftentimes when we see people express trauma differently, we want them out. They’re too messy. See, we’re all about loving our vulnerable neighbors as long as our vulnerable neighbors share our vulnerabilities, and so what we’re doing with churches is helping a team lead the charge to really make the church a safe place for vulnerable people.