The USA is one of the worst in the world for trafficking

The Annual Trafficking in Persons Report ranks USA in the top three

Sometimes it's a good thing to rank in the "top three" or even the "top ten" -- but this is one time we do not want to earn a high ranking. article on 6/22/19 reports that, "The United States is again ranked as one of the worst countries in the world for human trafficking. According to a recently released report by the State Department, the top three nations of origin for victims of human trafficking in 2018 were the United States, Mexico and the Philippines."

Why do we rank third in the world?  Fox News says, "At the heart of the human trafficking trade in America is simple economics: Supply and demand."  

Geoff Rogers, co-founder of the United States Institute Against Human Trafficking says, "We have a major issue here in the United States.  The US is the number one consumer of sex worldwide. So we are driving the demand as a society.  We're also driving the demand with our own people, with our own kids,” Rogers said. “So there are tremendous numbers of kids, a multitude of kids that are being sold as sex slaves today in America. These are American kids, American-born, 50 percent to 60 percent of them coming out of the foster care industry.” reports that, "This assertion is confirmed by the State Department’s report, which found that children in foster care, homeless youth, undocumented immigrant children and those with substance abuse problems were especially at risk to fall into the human trafficking trap."

To those who don't believe that trafficking happens here, I say open your eyes.  Become aware.  Learn more.  Share what you learn.  Host a gathering in your home and show the twenty-minute Chosen video. (Borrow it from Hope4Justice!)  Promote anti-trafficking curriculum in your school district.  Get involved with youth programs so young people have a safe adult in their lives.  Promote the STEP scholarship program sponsored by Hope4Justice.  

Do you have other ideas to fight against this tide of trafficking of our children?  Please share them with us so we can all consider the best ways to go about protecting our kids.  They're worth it.

Want to learn more about the face of modern-day slavery? Visit 

Let's get the word out: Engedi needs and opportunities

Spread the word! Engedi Refuge has two positions open.

Engedi Refuge is looking for a House Manager for the Engedi House.
In summary, this is the kind of person we are looking for:

  • Minimum age of late 30's or older

  • Single, - willing/able to change careers

  • Children must be older, not dependent on mom

  • Good understanding of healthy boundaries

  • Empathetic, but not a push over

  • Steady head in a crisis, able to think well in the moment

  • Has conflict resolution skills

  • Sense of humor, able to relax and have fun

  • Reasonable domestic skills; cooking/cleaning, home management

  • Able to live full time at Engedi House

  • Someone with a missionary mindset - while it is a paid position and there is live-in compensation, it is not a huge salary

  • Must have a mature, close relationship with Jesus Christ

Obviously there is more to it than that, but if someone has these abilities, I would love to meet with you and discuss the details.  Contact Lea @  360-922-7600

2. Engedi is also looking for a live in House Monitor for one of our transitional houses.  This position is a volunteer staff position with free rent, free utilities and a monthly honorarium.  This is a good option for someone with a job, or a retired woman.  The above skill set is preferred, but there is a vast difference in responsibilities - much less.  Please call Lea if you want to know more.

--- Please pray for the persons who will fill these critical roles! ---

And... if you'd like to be a volunteer, Engedi Refuge Ministries is holding a training.

Engedi Refuge is having a training on June 28th, 6 - 9pm & June 29th, 10am - 3pm for those interested in volunteering with Engedi.  Both days are needed for volunteering.  Please call the Engedi Learning Center for more details: 360-922-7600.

Runaways, social services, and trafficking

"Children in Social Services System Most At Risk for Being Sex Trafficked"

According to an article by, May 22, 2019

recent article showed up on Facebook last week with the claim that children in the social services system are the most at risk for sex trafficking.  The author, Petr Svab, begins with the statement: "Among children reported as likely victims of child sex trafficking upon running away from home, most have one thing in common—they were supposed to be looked after by the government."  

Data from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children shows that, "In 2017, nearly 25,000 runaways reported to NCMEC and nearly 3,600 were likely victims of sex trafficking. Of those, 88 percent came from the social services system.  'In fact, children in the social services system are the group with the highest prevalence of child sex trafficking, said Robert Lowery, NCMEC’s vice president who heads its missing children division.'"

The article discusses the various reasons why children are in Social Services, ending with the conclusion, "It’s not hard to see that children in these situations, whether victimized by parents or the social services system itself, could be vulnerable to pimps eager to give them a false sense of belonging."

"The My Life, My Choice Project based in Boston found that of the first 40 girls they worked with who were living in group homes within the foster care system, 38 had been approached by a pimp for recruitment, according to the 2009 National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: America’s Prostituted Children (pdf)."

Ernie Allen, NCMEC president and chief executive says, “What we have learned is overwhelmingly, while these kids may leave home voluntarily, while they may be runaways or any one of a variety or variations on that theme; they are seduced, they are tricked, they are lured into this practice and then they lose the ability to walk away.  These kids literally become 21st-century slaves.”

How heartbreaking.  First the child's home situation fails them, then the social services system fails them, and then life fails them once again in the form of a smooth talking pimp luring them into a life of prostitution.  

It's a common story, repeated over and over around the world. Please pray with us for families to be rehabilitated and homes to be safe havens for children so vulnerable children aren't exploited.

Want to learn more about the face of modern-day slavery? Visit 

Runaway girl kidnapped and forced into sex trafficking

The Detroit Free Press, June 2, 2019, reported that, "A 14-year-old girl from Michigan, who was reportedly kidnapped, taken to multiple cities and forced to work as a prostitute in California, alerted a crisis line and ultimately helped bring down a human trafficking operation." 

As originally reported in The San Jose Mercury News, "...the teen was reported as a missing runaway from Flint on Sept. 1, 2018, but was kidnapped in Chicago. Sgt. Enrique Garcia of the San Jose Police Department told The Mercury News the teen wound up in California, where she was held against her will and forced to work as a prostitute, she contacted the Crisis Text Line. 

After the teen's report, according to The Mercury News, officers responded to her location at a Motel 6, where they arrested three suspects and rescued two other women from California, one 20 and the other 23."

Thank goodness this girl had an opportunity to call for help.  Let's pray that more victims will be able to take advantage of opportunities to get out of "the life" and back to freedom.  

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

Anyone can be a trafficker
Could you pick out a pimp from a lineup of men and women?  Is there a stereotypical trafficker? 

Recent news articles have included three different cases of men arrested for trafficking.  One is a rapper, one a firefighter, and one a mega-church pastor. Here are summaries of the articles (click on each for details):

According to a 5/25/19 article by Tracy Wright for, "Houston Rapper Sosamannwas arrested for 'human trafficking' earlier this month by the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department, according to TMZ. Sosamann — who's real name is Anthony Denson — reportedly 'lured two women to California' with promises of fame and fortune, only to force the women into prostitution. The women were picked up in a prostitution sting and told authorities during questioning that they were 'unable to escape.'"

A May 16, 2019 headline Florida reported, "Fire lieutenant arrested for human trafficking, sex crimes against children." The article said, "An East Lake Fire Rescue firefighter was arrested on human trafficking and other charges on Thursday.Matthew Doyle, 39, was arrested by FDLE agents in Spring Hill.He faces charges of human trafficking, lewd and lascivious behavior on a victim between 12 and 16 years old and unlawful use of a two-way communications device.Those who know Doyle are shocked and stunned after hearing the news of his arrest. The father of 3 girls spent 15 years with East Lake Fire Rescue."

And onJune 7, 2019, local10com/news in Los Angeles featured the headline,"Mega church leader arrested for sex trafficking, rape." The article explains,"The leader of one of the largest mega-churches in the world has been arrested on multiple charges related to human sex trafficking and rape of a minor.

Joaquin Garcia is now behind bars after being charged Tuesday with human trafficking, production of child pornography, and forcible rape of a minor."  Garcia's La Luz Del Mundo has over one million followers with churches in 50 countries worldwide, including 40 in the Southern California area, the Los Angeles Times reports.   Garcia and three female co-defendants were alleged to have committed the crimes in Los Angeles County between 2015 and 2018."

A rapper, a firefighter, a pastor.  You wouldn't think any of them would be a trafficker but then wolves in sheep's clothing don't look evil, do they?  It's sad but true: anyone can be a trafficker and we need to be vigilant to protect the vulnerable in our communities.

Backlash Against Teen Vogue Article About "Sex Work"

Teen Vogue's Article Raises Fury

According to an article in, April 30, 2019, Teen Vogue recently  printed an op-ed that engendered backlash from sex-trade survivors and anti-trafficking advocates.  The column, written by Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, a South African reproductive specialist,  argued that,  "...selling sex is a legitimate job and should be decriminalized." Though agreeing that it should be decriminalized, opponents furiously disagreed with the main premise, saying, "...Teen Vogue was glorifying the trade and ignoring its many victims."

The Post article said,  "Nicole Bell, who spent most of her adult life in prostitution and now runs a clinic for those in the trade, blasted the doctor’s column. 

“It’s not empowering. You’re told what you’re going to do with your body for how much by the men that are buying and selling you …  you’re at the disposal of the sex buyer,” Bell, 38, told The Post.

Studies have shown the average age of women entering the sex trade as trafficking victims is as young as 12 years old.  Law enforcement experts and advocates have told The Post many of those girls continue to be trafficked under the guise of consensual sex work well into adulthood because it’s all they know.

Though some would like to promote sex work as a choice, our society is gradually realizing that sex work most often involves trafficking of vulnerable people and a lack of choice.   

What can we do?  Let's educate our youth about trafficking so they can keep themselves and their friends safe.  Let's surround our youth with caring adults.  And let's watch out for our youth --  those vulnerable 12 year olds -- so they aren't trafficked in the first place.



Meanwhile, in Seattle, court gives sex trafficker 23 year sentence

On May 22, 2019, reported that, "A Seattle-area man was sentenced to twenty-three years in prison and fifteen years of supervised release for crimes of threats, violence, and sexual assault, which included sex trafficking of a minor using force, fraud and coercion.

“This sentence should send a strong message that those who use physical and emotional coercion to force and manipulate victims into sexual slavery will be held accountable for their crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Brian Moran in a Department of Justice release.

32-year-old Aubrey “Uno” Taylor had worked as a pimp in Washington, Idaho and Nevada.  He transported girls to Las Vegas to engage in commercial sex acts, and controlled his victims with things like heroin and making them get tattoos of his name.