September is Human Trafficking Awareness month in Houston. Throughout the month, churches and faith-based organizations will host justice-related initiatives throughout the greater Houston area. This morning, Kingsland Baptist Church’s Justice Ministry hosted their Fourth Annual Just Run for a Just Cause — designed to raise awareness about human trafficking and the plight of the oppressed. More than 1000 people from our church and community showed up to participate in our 5k and 10k run and 1 mile family walk.
As part of Kingsland's efforts to educate folks about human trafficking, we set up our justice wall —a display that stretched sixty-feet across our parking lot. Each panel in the wall sequentially illustrates the story of how young girls are trafficked and how those who champion justice come to their aid. In the coming months, our justice wall will be on display at other justice events to help compel people to become champions on behalf of the oppressed. For many today, the story on the wall was their first exposure to the truth about a reality they may never see — the dark world of human trafficking.
We at Kingsland believe that the church must be engaged in the fight against human trafficking. We also understand that this battle will not be won in our generation. We are, however, determined to do all that we can to make a difference. We are also determined to equip and pass the baton along to the next generation, those who will champion the cause and come to the aid of the oppressed long after we are gone. If the church is absent from the front lines of this battle, many will continue to suffer unimaginable horrors. We must be engaged in this fight.
I am grateful for Paul Crandall, our Recreation Pastor, and to Kingsland member and race coordinator Rebecca Kratz. They did an amazing job of mobilizing an army of volunteers and coordinating a thousand details to make this year’s race a huge success. I have to add that Josh Stewart, Ely Butuyan, and Breanna Derbecker sang one of the most beautiful renditions of the Star Spangled Banner that I have ever heard. Amazing!
I am grateful that Kingsland is a church that refuses to be silent about human trafficking, that invests financial and human resources to speak and work on behalf of those who have no voice, and that is determined to stay on the front lines of this battle. The most convicting thing on our justice wall is a quote by abolitionist William Wilberforce: “You may choose to look the other way but you can never again say that you did not know.” We refuse to look the other way.