The Friday Five
Fighting Human Trafficking: The Friday Five with Charles Powell
Charles is a justice activist, film producer, conference speaker, and founder of Mercy Movement, a grassroots movement to abolish human trafficking and slavery. Over the past three decades Charles has been trained in counterterrorism and police investigation, worked as a bodyguard for royalty, and lived undercover during the war on drugs. He now uses his unique background to investigate and stop modern slavery in the U.S. and beyond. Powell lives in Northeast Georgia.
Not in My Town not only exposes the scourge of human trafficking in our midst, it also gives practical ways to fight it. Charles was kind enough to stop by for today's Friday Five:
Why did you decide to write about human trafficking and modern slavery?
Not in My Town tells the whole truth about human trafficking in the U.S. that most Americans have yet to hear about and then absorb. The book's main theme is best described as a two-year odyssey of discovery of America's ugliest crime: modern-day slavery. Dillon Burroughs provides the research and I investigate the problem up close and often undercover. Our research has revealed that, for the most part, the evangelical church is peacefully co-existing with trafficking in their town, even though some may say, "Not in my town."
It's hard for most Americans to grasp that this is taking place in our own communities. How can it possibly happen here?
Most people don't know that this problem is right under their noses, while others do not believe that it exists. Still others are just unaffected by slavery; they don't want to know about it. The two responses I get from people when I speak in churches is 1) "This is horrible . . . How can I join the fight against human trafficking?" and 2) "I don't want to hear anymore about this—it's more than I can handle."
I have been amazed at how the evangelical church in the U.S. is often peacefully co-existing with human trafficking in its communities. Christians drive their cars past brothels disguised as massage parlors, billboards promoting Asian spas, and read the Sunday paper sports sections containing ads for strip clubs. We have made peace with our enemy rather than standing against the evil of human trafficking close to home.
Daniel Darling is the Senior Pastor of Gages Lake Bible Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and the author of Crash Course and iFaith. His columns appear at Crosswalk.com. Follow him through Facebook, Twitter, or his personal website.