Tuesday, March 16, 2010
This year, an estimated 125,000 people, mostly young families, filled Broadway Blvd in Midtown, KC to be Irish and watch the 36th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, one of the largest in the nation.
For the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOP–KC), the day begins at 7AM as hundreds of people gather for prayer and last minute instructions before hitting the streets. Their goal is to engage the gathering parade crowd with the truth about Jesus Christ. Varied evangelism strategies include:
• St. Pat tract distribution teams
• Street preacher, musician and heckler teams
• St. Pat survey teams
• Prophetic evangelism teams
• Video interview teams
Before the parade began at 11AM:
• The pre-parade evangelism teams spoke personally to over 10,000 people
• They passed out 6,000 St. Pat tracts
• Numerous people received prophetic words that opened their hearts
• Healing miracles were reported right on the parade route
• Over 50 people prayed to receive Christ as savior and Lord
One of the outstanding features of the parade for the last three years has been a float entry by IHOP–KC’s Forerunner Evangelism department.
Saint Patrick, a striking figure, bearded and in humble monk’s robe stands atop a fifteen-foot green mountain, grasping an eight-foot cross draped in red. From high above the parade route he speaks to the crowd, disarming them with his Irish brogue and folksy warmth before thundering out his 30–45-second sermonette via a hidden miniature mic and P.A. system.
“Welcome to my parade, Kansas City! Tis I, Saint Patrick! I’m so glad you’ve come to celebrate with me today! And aye, tis a beautiful day the good Lord has given us, isn’t it!My friends, do you know Him and do you know how much He loves you? The Lord doesn’t change. He loved the people of Ireland in my day and He loves you folks here in Kansas City in the same way. He is calling you! Can ye hear His voice? He is saying: Turn my friends, turn from your sinful ways and come to Me. Yes, Kansas City, turn to Jesus, turn to Him!”
The massive crowd is dumbstruck in silence for the most part, caught off guard by the preaching of Justin Perry, this year’s St. Patrick. Immediately following the homily to repent and believe, the unsuspecting parade-goers are in for a second surprise.
Suddenly the attention of the crowd is drawn to 600–700 musicians, singers and dancers from the prayer room of IHOP–KC, as they begin belting out an upbeat, Gaelic version of Todd Agnew’s worship chorus Grace Like Rain.
“Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me
Hallelujah, all my stains are washed away, washed away”
The worshipers are a sea of Irish green stretching out for almost a hundred yards. The crescendo of worship arises to God as thousands of streamers are hoisted high and sway rhythmically together in the breeze. Like King David of old, these worshipers unashamedly sing and shout, dance and twirl before the Lord in the streets of Kansas City. This cycle is repeated fifteen times as the float works its way slowly down the 1.2-mile parade route.
People’s faces betray them. Some parade-goers cannot look or listen without turning away for shame, while others are suddenly radiant in the fact that this story is theirs also. Some of them break into song and dance as we pass by.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is designated as the agency responsible for helping victims of human trafficking become eligible to receive benefits and services so they may rebuild their lives safely in the U.S. As part of this effort, HHS has initiated the Rescue & Restore Victims of Human Trafficking campaign to help identify and assist victims of human trafficking in the United States.
The intent of the Rescue & Restore campaign is to increase the number of identified trafficking victims and to help those victims receive the benefits and services needed to live safely in the U.S. The first phase of the campaign focuses on outreach to those individuals who most likely encounter victims on a daily basis, but may not recognize them as victims of human trafficking. By initially educating health care providers, social service organizations and the law enforcement community about the issue of human trafficking, we hope to encourage these intermediaries to look beneath the surface by recognizing clues and asking the right questions because they may be the only outsiders with the chance to reach out and help victims. (please click on the link to read more)
In their CAMPAIGN TOOL KITS they provide (pdfs) for health care workers, social service organizations and law enforcement officers (unique to their job role) but in these times, I believe that we each need to be more aware, especially on tips for identifying and helping trafficking victims. Here are the ones for SOCIAL service organizations, which I guess the church would fit under as well:
- Resource Overview (pdf - 55KB)
- Tips for Identifying and Helping Trafficking Victims (pdf - 39KB)
- Screening Questions to Assess Whether a Person is a Trafficking Victim (pdf - 34KB)
- Understanding the Mindset of a Trafficking Victim (pdf - 35KB)
- Communicating With Victims of Human Trafficking (pdf - 34KB)
- PowerPoint Presentation for Social Service Organizations (ppt - 159KB)
- Social Service Poster #1 (pdf - 143KB) Social Service Poster #2 (pdf - 90KB)
- Social Service Brochure (pdf - 83KB)
- Rescue & Restore Logo (pdf - 210KB) / Logo image (jpg)
Children who are victims may be mistaken for prostitutes, runaways, migrant farm workers, or domestic servants. Child victims of trafficking may be found in: commercial sex, domestic servitude (servants), sweatshop factories, construction, farming and landscaping, fisheries, hotel or tourist industries, panhandling, janitorial services, or restaurant services...but also because they are does not necessarily mean they are victims. By looking beneath the surface, picking up on the right clues and asking the right questions, you may uncover children who are being exploited.Children exploited for labor are often hunger and malnourished to the extent they may never reach their full height or they may have poorly formed or rotting teeth.Children exploited for sexual purposes may show evidence of untreated STDs including HIV/AIDS, urinary tract infections and kidney problems.Children who are victims can also be identified by environmental factors, including whether the child is living at the workplace or with an employer, living with multiple people in a cramped space, or not in school, attends school sporadically or has significant gap of schooling (in the U.S.).Forced labor may expose children to physical abuse or leave signs such as scars, headaches, hearing loss, cardiovascular/respiratory problems and limb amputation. They may also develop chronic back, visual and respiratory problems from working in agriculture, construction or manufacturing.The psychological effects of exploitation include helplessness, shame, humiliation, shock, denial, disbelief, disorientation, confusion and anxiety disorders including post traumatic stress disorder, phobias, panic attacks and depression.***************************************
Traffickers use various techniques to instill fear in victims and to keep them enslaved. Some traffickers keep their victims under lock and key. However, the more frequent practice is to use less obvious techniques including:
- Debt bondage - financial obligations, honor-bound to satisfy debt
- Isolation from the public - limiting contact with outsiders and making sure that any contact is monitored or superficial in nature
- Isolation from family members and members of their ethnic and religious community
- Confiscation of passports, visas and/or identification documents
- Use or threat of violence toward victims and/or families of victims
- The threat of shaming victims by exposing circumstances to family
- Telling victims they will be imprisoned or deported for immigration violations if they contact authorities
- Control of the victims' money, e.g., holding their money for "safe-keeping"
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
- SPREAD THE WORD
- USE YOUR TALENTWrite a blog about why we should fight human trafficking; paint a picture and display it publicly; use a sports event to raise awareness and funds; write a song or talk about human trafficking at a concert; create a short film and post it on www.youtube.com. Use what you do best to make a difference!
- INVEST IN FREEDOMOne way you can join The A21 Campaign is by financial support. Your donation will be used to fight human trafficking through legal fees, as well as costs related to healthcare and housing for rescued victims. If you would like to join The A21 Campaign by making a financial contribution or becoming a regular monthly partner, please click here.
- LOBBY POLITICIANSFor more information on how to inform your elected officials, check out www.polarisproject.org.
- ORGANIZE A FUNDRAISER
- SUPPORT SURVIVORSBuy products made by survivors of human trafficking. Here is one place you can find jewellery that is hand-made by survivors: www.nightlightbangkok.com. You can also support survivors by donating items for newly rescued victims at our shelter in Greece. One suggestion is new clothes such as pajamas, socks and other essentials as survivors often come to us with only the clothes on their back. A current need in our shelter is for bags to give the girls when they leave the shelter so that they have a beautiful bag to carry their belongings in. If you would like to make a donation directly to the survivors in Greece, please contact us.
- VOLUNTEERYou can also join The A21 Campaign by becoming a volunteer. Some of the areas that you can get involved are: Research, Legal Advice in Greece, Counseling, Medical Advisor/Doctor, Vocational Training or Graphic Design. If you would like to volunteer with The A21 Campaign at some capacity, please contact us.
- FAST ON THE 21STOn the 21st day of every month, fast for the work The A21 Campaign is doing in Greece and around the world as together we stand in agreement to see the injustice of human trafficking abolished.
- START AN AWARENESS GROUPStart an awareness group at your local high school or university. Get your campuses involved in spreading the truth about human trafficking to your community. Check out free handbooks you can use at www.notforsalecampaign.org.
- BUY FAIR TRADE PRODUCTSFind out how you or your company can support fair trade and help reduce the demand for products made by slaves. Visit www.fairtrade.org.uk for more details.
- SPONSOR THOSE AT RISKBecause poverty is a major contributor that can lead to human trafficking, sponsoring a child or woman in poverty-stricken areas that are also ranked as high origin countries for trafficking, can help make a difference. Check out this organization, www.compassion.com, to see how you can start sponsoring someone in need today!
- INTERN FOR A SUMMERThe Home Foundation has a summer internship program for college students. For more information on how you can serve next summer, visit http://www.thehomefoundation.net/internship.html. Another great organization offering internship programs to fight human trafficking is Transitions Global. To check out their program, visit http://transitionsglobal.org/internships.php.
- EDUCATE YOURSELFDownload the United Nations toolkit to combat trafficking: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/publications.html. You can also watch a movie or read a book to learn about real stories of human trafficking.Recommended reading material:
Recommended movies (for mature audiences only):
- Not For Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade--and How We Can Fight It - by David Bratstone.
- The Natashas: Inside the New Global Sex Trade - by Victor Malare
- Terrify No More: Young Girls Held Captive and the Daring Undercover Operation to Win Their Freedom - by Gary A. Haugen and Gregg Hunter
- The Road of Lost Innocence - by Somaly Mam
- Ending Slavery - by Kevin Bales
- Human Trafficking (2005)
- The Jammed (2007)
- Trade (2007)
- Taken (2008)
- Lilya 4-Ever (2002)
- STAY CURRENT
- WORK THE WEB
- MOTIVATE THE MEDIAEncourage your local newspaper or television station to cover stories about human trafficking, and what your community can do to help stop it.
- STAY ALERTIf you see something suspicious in your area, make sure you speak up by informing your local law enforcement. To find out what to look for, visit http://www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking.
- WORK FOR FREEDOMConsider a career as an abolitionist. There are many great organizations that are in need of skilled and trained professionals to help advance the cause of justice. Here is just one of many to consider:http://www.ijm.org/careers.
- MAKE CONNECTIONSPlease contact us with your feedback, ideas, possible contacts, and important information.
- HELP VICTIMS ESCAPELeave local rescue hotline numbers in public places around your city. For ideas and free downloads, visit http://www.hhs.gov/.****************************************SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???
Denise @ Shortybear's Place UPDATE 4/2016 Coco's Momma