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Anti-Trafficking Efforts for the Super Bowl

01.09.18 | Missional Community , Life on Mission | by JD Larson

     

    Anti-Trafficking Efforts for the Super Bowl

    I’m sure you are aware that the Super Bowl is coming to our city Feb 4th, but what you might not be aware of is that along with the Super Bowl often comes an influx of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Sadly, this influx doesn’t just have the potential to affect Minneapolis Super Bowl weekend, but “high demand events” like the Super Bowl can worsen trafficking problems in cities for months or even years to come.

    God’s not ok with that.

    God has been preparing His people to respond to this in Minneapolis, for Super Bowl week and beyond. As a member of Mill City’s Devoted Missional Community, which has been passionate about anti-trafficking for years, we wanted to let you know how you can join us as we join with others in the fight against trafficking this Super Bowl.

    Here’s how you can participate:

    Pray

    If we’ve learned anything in our time fighting trafficking as a missional community, it's that God is the one who brings breakthrough and freedom. Join us and many others as we pray for that breakthrough and freedom. Here are a couple ways to pray:

    • Pray for the Devoted outreach Feb 2nd: Devoted will be doing its regular outreach to local strip clubs Friday and/or Saturday of Super Bowl week. The best way to join us is to pray with us that night. Set a reminder on your phone now for some time between 7-9pm to pray for the women of Devoted who are trained to do outreach with women working in the strip clubs. Pray for friendships to form, for the seeds of transformation to take place. Pray also for access, as the clubs will be busy and the managers may be less likely to let Devoted women in.
    • Pray with us Super Bowl Sunday, Feb 4th, following our Mill City worship gathering. Devoted will facilitate a prayer time after the service on Sunday the 4th, and all are welcome to join (adults, use your discretion with your kids' participation, given the subject matter).
    • Pray for law enforcement. Receive text message alerts when law enforcement seeks prayer during a bust. Our friends in ministry have a special relationship with the law enforcement focused on anti-trafficking, and receive alerts when law enforcement is pursuing traffickers. Text STT to 43506 to get the alerts.

     

    Participate 
    • Volunteer at a drop-in center lead by our friends in ministry the Annex Network. In partnership with Source/Annex network, Hope Community Church downtown will be operating a drop-in center for Law enforcement and victims of trafficking. There are several ways to participate including hospitality, food prep, set-up/tear-down, and even setting up a drop-in room with furniture you are willing to lend to the drop-in center.  Devoted members will be serving either Feb 1st or Feb 3rd. Please let me (Pastor JD) know if you plan to serve; email 

    Drop-in Sign up & Details 

    •  Join Devoted’s ongoing Anti-trafficking efforts. Devoted Missional Community is always open to new participants. We do more than just outreach; we gather regularly for community and connecting with God. If you’ve been looking for a Missional Community to join, we’d love for you to join us. Find contact information for one of our leaders here, and contact them for details on our upcoming gatherings. 
    Share (I have a challenge for you, especially you men:)

    "Did you know that when the Super Bowl comes to a city it increases the amount of human trafficking and sexual exploitation often long after the game is over?... What do you think about that?"

    Probably the most effective thing you can do in your circle of relationships to combat trafficking is to bring the problem up and challenge the assumption that the activity is okay. Men, I particularly challenge you to try this. Here’s a simple way to do this. If you are at a Super Bowl party and in casual conversation, ask a friend this question: “Did you know that when the Super Bowl comes to a city it increases the amount of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, sometimes long after the event is over?” Then ask a follow-up question: “What do you think about that?” Take time to listen, and try to foster a meaningful conversation about it. If you encounter apathy or complicity in your friends response, challenge them with the fact that most studies show +95% of women who trade sex for money want to get out of the life. Be open, see what God might be up to in that interaction. Maybe there will be a chance to share what you know.

    Give

    Maybe you’ve been compelled to participate by directing some of your generosity towards these efforts. There are a number of amazing organizations in Minneapolis, nationally, and internationally doing great work in this area, please do your research and give generously if you feel lead. If you are interested in giving, I would recommend supporting Source/Annex network in their efforts. Devoted has worked alongside the Annex network for a few years and admires the work they do and the way they do it. In the short term, you can give to their Super Bowl efforts here at the Purple Light Project, or support their ongoing efforts here that will continue beyond the Super Bowl.

    Learn More

    A great way to respond to this is to take the opportunity to educate yourself on the problem of human trafficking here in Minneapolis and abroad. Here are some great resources to do so. 

    Annex Network 

    Breaking Free 

    No Wrong Door - Hennepin County's anti-trafficking work 

    International Justice Mission 

    Justice Awakening Conference Feb 1, 2, 3