Has it really been 5 years?
5 years from the day I sat in a room with the seven other founders of Araminta and resolved to stand against the injustice of child sex trafficking?
In some ways, that day seems like just yesterday, and in other ways, it seems much further in the past.
When I look back on that first day of discernment October 30, 2010, I remember there was an unspoken knowing in the room. We knew we were not committing to something we felt on a whim. This was not just another cause that would have our attention for a short while and fade away. This was something God would ask us to give our whole heart and commitment to.
Your sufferings have been the theme that has arrested and engaged my heart…Your sufferings no tongue can express, no language impart… God Almighty has set before me two great objects, the suppression of the slave trade and the reformation of society.
Looking to the great abolitionists of the past, their words and actions at once captured our hearts, and compelled us to act. These abolitionists had spent their lives in dedicated service to see the end of the slave trade, and yet as we came together five years ago, the reality remained that there were more slaves in the world than at any previous time in history.
5 years ago, there was a deafening silence around the issue.
5 years later, tens of thousands of Marylanders have heard the truth and are using their voices to break the silence.
5 years ago, we knew God’s people were being called to step out in service.
5 years later, 350+ people have become certified volunteers with Araminta, and represent more than 60 churches.
5 years ago, the trafficking of a child was not legally considered child abuse in Maryland.
5 years later, the trafficking of a child is included in our state’s child abuse laws.
5 years ago, traffickers in Maryland were allowed to keep the money they made from the sale of others.
5 years later, their assets are seized.
5 years ago, teachers were not trained on how to recognize the signs of child trafficking.
5 years later, Araminta partners with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to bring comprehensive training and reporting reform to Maryland schools.
5 years ago, many survivors walked alone in their restoration.
5 years later, a survivor stands surrounded by Araminta volunteers in her new home, as they pray over her new beginning.
5 years later, a survivor works with her mentor to apply for college.
5 years later, a survivor uses her voice to testify against her trafficker, wearing the clothes provided to her by Araminta donors while her Araminta advocate sits in, witnessing her bravery.
5 years later, Araminta founders and board gather to pray at the property they believe will next year house child victims of trafficking.
5 years later, we look back on the road behind us with deep gratitude and we look forward to the road ahead with great expectation.
In another 5 years, I believe we will be celebrating
5 years of lives changed in our home for survivors!
I am encouraged by Wilberforce’s commitment to seeing his mission through. It took 40+ years, but 3 days before his death, he saw the abolition of slavery in England. May we continue in our work with the same resolve…
Until Every Child Is Free