Tomorrow I’m going to have some big news. I feel like I’m always making announcements, or dealing with this crisis or that. I promise I’m not creating the drama – it just happens. Really. This one has been in the works for a few weeks. But, that’s for tomorrow.
For today: Sex + Money. The documentary, that is.
“Sex + Money: a National Search for Human Worth” is a fantastic documentary created by YWAM missionaries about human trafficking (specifically sex trafficking) in the US. Mama and I went to Harrisburg this summer to see a screening…here’s a response I wrote to it that night.
A Response to Sex + Money, Part 1
Today Mama and I drove to Harrisburg to see “Sex + Money: A National Search for Human Worth.” This is a documentary on human trafficking in the United States; several YWAM missionaries, young people my age and a little older, have put together after traveling the world in 2007 with YWAM, learning how media can be used to bring about positive social change. They put together a book called “Sex + Money: A Global Search for Human Worth,” and while looking at the photos they’d compiled, saw the presence of human trafficking clearly in nearly every situation. They went on to produce the documentary we saw tonight, and though I’ve been learning about human trafficking for a few years and now am going into anti-trafficking work, it was eye opening and moving.
“What one generation allows, the next generation embraces.” This became the group’s motto as they documented human trafficking in America. They spoke to politicians, advocates, social workers, former prostitutes and pimps, former buyers, psychologists and more as they filmed and photographed their journey. This group brought awareness to the demand end of things, beyond simply the supply. Why are at least 100,000 children prostituted and trafficked for sex in the US? Because people, young and old, male and female, are demanding it.
Some of the most searing footage was of Morgan and a cameraperson entering the largest expo of porn in the country. They interviewed porn stars and creators of websites with names like “We Abuse Sluts.” There was certainly a part of this that made me feel revolted, but more than that I was overwhelmingly sad for these women, and men, who are part of fueling the demand. I was torn apart for the people who argued that being able to buy sex is their “free speech.”
The film is excellent, a true eye-opener and well made, thoughtfully put together by people who have spent time shoulder-deep in this issue. They have processed what they’ve heard and seen, and made a documentary that is not about a backlash of anger…but about deep, deep awareness and an even deeper drive to DO something in this country.
As I sat there, watching a film that brought tears to my eyes and heart and exhausted me emotionally, I asked God “Should I be working here? In this country? Maybe I’m just being selfish.” Almost instantly, He brought to my mind all the ways He’s called me overseas. My calling is clear, and my heart is sure. The thought came to my mind, “Here are advocates for the children and men and women of the US. They are committed and following God’s word for their lives. Right now, mine is for the children and men and women of Europe.”
I’ve been asked, or told, that question before – “There are plenty of people here in Pennsylvania who need help,” or “Aren’t we supposed to take care of things in our backyard first? There’s a lot to do here!” And it is indisputably true, what they say. But I don’t believe God has given every human in the world the exact heartbeat. I believe He gives us passions for work that fulfill us AND do good, if we work for Him. No matter what or where that is. Though there is filth in the world, sin and hurt and ugly things we want to shield from our eyes, there is also beauty. And I know one of these beauties is being filled with a desire and calling and then in return having that work come to fruition in our lives.
The state we’re from, the country we ‘belong’ to, and the town we grew up in, they are all important in some ways to how we’ve grown as a person. But focusing on any one place, America or elsewhere, is detrimental to us as human beings. There’s a bigger world than one country or area…and each place, in my mind, is equal, because each place is filled with people of equal worth in the eyes of God. Personally? My roots will always have some influence on me, even in the slightest ways, but I choose to have no backyard as long as I am sent on the move.
This group of YWAM-ers have only completed 3 of over 90 stops! Though my place is in Europe for the time being, I am encouraged and challenged by the hard work they continue to do as they advocate for the invisible children, men, and women of the US. They are beyond passionate. They are genuine, and I enjoyed meeting some of them as well as seeing the huge project they put together. If the tour stops near you, GO TO THE SCREENING. If not, order the DVD…it’s more than worth every penny.