This weekend we'll have the Founder of SHIFT FREEDOM, John DeYoung on the show.
I discovered that slavery is still a real thing in the world in 2011 when I traveled to Kolkata India to work with the children in the slums. Learning about the condition of poverty in the slums of Kolkata, and many other countries, I started running into more and more human trafficking situations and stories and started to dive into what was actually happening. In the past 11 years, I have been to over 30 countries and have researched Human trafficking in every country.
In the year of 2008 was when I first had a real face to face experience with child sex trafficking when a young and seeming innocent street girl about the age of 11 revealed herself to me by lifting her skirt to me, as I was serving in the Mother Teresa home in Kolkata. This not only shocked me but caused me to pause and really start looking into what is child sex trafficking. What would allow a child to do such a thing? What would have had to have happened to this young girl, in order for her to feel comfortable enough to expose herself in such a way to me? This really broke my heart and I could not get this experience out of my head. I remember very vividly, that night I told my friend that as long as I have breath I will fight this thing called Sex Trafficking. And since then the Lord has opened up doors for that to happen, and I am thankful for that.
This is a very difficult topic. It really exposes the depths of how evil and dark mankind can go. It also exposes to me how we have all been broken in so many ways, and how deep our pain can go. Well, it wasn’t long after my first contact with a child exposing herself to me that I discovered about the sex trade industry here in the US and in our local city of Denver. This again took me back. People here in Denver CO, would buy and sell young girls for sex? I mean, come on – I can understand 3rd world countries, and other places like Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Africa – but here? Who in Denver or America would actually buy a child or anyone for sex? How are we to react when we find that men are not just buying Prostitutes, but children. I discovered that Denver was one of the top Cities in America to buy and sell children. This was unbelievable to me. How could this sophisticated culture, be open to buying and selling children for such deviant, selfish and abusive reasons. This opened my eyes to the fact that we actually have a Global problem. It’s not just across the world – It’s right in our backyard. It’s in our neighborhoods. It’s in our homes. And finally, it’s in our hearts. This is not how God created us to live in abundance. This is not how God intended for us to live in the community. This is not how God intended for us to serve and love one another. Are we not to love one another? This industry called Sex Trafficking goes directly against the that. Our World fights so hard for Global Love, but when “Love” it’s misdirected, misunderstood, misused, misinterpreted, and operates from a place of scarcity, then LOVE becomes abusive.
SHIFT FREEDOM'S STORY
Through a group of high school students passionate about ending trafficking in the world today, SHIFT Freedom was started in 2015 with a student-led conference. Forming into a movement empowered by adults; SHIFT FREEDOM is currently working to educate and empower to prevent child-sex-trafficking through an annual conference, events throughout the year; and in 2019: through video courses and training.
SHIFT FREEDOM provides a platform for organizations also involved in the fight against sex-trafficking, and encourages collaboration of raising awareness and getting involved in these organizations both on local & global efforts.
Standing against the tide that is destroying our children and future generations, SHIFT Freedom aims to fight for our communities to make the SHIFT from awareness to action. We want to empower others to prevent sex-trafficking within their own world locally and globally.
The first step in fighting evil is being made aware of it. SHIFT’s first mission is to educate people on the issue of sex trafficking, and its presence in Denver and around the world. After being educated, we call those people to action.
If there is evil in the world, there is a moral obligation to take action against it. For this reason, we have created a resource for you to be able to fight trafficking using your talents and passions! Visit our resource guide to be connected to dozens of organizations that fight sex trafficking and see how you can be the one to help stop it.