Tuesday, July 5, 2011

That's Why

These first few days in the UK are largely about settling in.  The two main contacts I have with Stop the Traffik are traveling this week, and while I have some independent abolitionist projects I'm attempting, my only official commitment this week is a brief awareness-raising deal on Thursday.  This is good because it gives me time to figure out my neighborhood, unpack, catch up on sleep, etc.  It's good AND bad because it gives me loads and loads of time to think.

One recurring thought (in part just because I'm explaining it to a whole new group of people) is why am I here?  Fear not, it's not in an existential crisis kind of way.  Just... why now?  Why this place?  And, particularly given the plethora of global crises from the AIDS epidemic to clean water initiatives to refugee care to choose from, why trafficking?

Well the why now part is pretty straight forward - I've had a lovely two year start at learning how I feel about working in churches (pretty fantastic), and wanted the opportunity to explore this other side of my call.  Why now?  Because the congregation I serve graciously afforded me the opportunity.  Because I had a brilliant crew of people basically handle fund-raising on my behalf.  Because I don't have a mortgage, spouse, kids, or even a dog and therefore am able to pick up and leave the country when I feel like it.

Why here?  Well, that was pretty much covered in an earlier post.  Here (London) had the best opportunities, seemed the best equipped to handle volunteers, and the lovely people seemed most enthusiastic about making use of my time and skills. 

But why trafficking?  That one's a little more complex.  I care passionately about a great many issues - those listed above and dozens more.  At the end of the day, I care about people.  My faith manifests in my determination that all people should be afforded basic human dignity (well, they should be afforded more than that, but let's start somewhere, shall we?).  It is also my belief that the use of a human being as slave labor, which often includes physical harm, torture, or rape alongside the severe psychological damage of being told they are worthless -- this is the gravest violation of basic human dignity.  It violates the humanity of the victim in obvious ways, but it also violates the humanity of those doing the trafficking.  They become something less than human as they strip someone else of their dignity and rights, and this dims the divine spark in both.  I believe we are called to radical humanization and radical love, and fighting trafficking through advocacy, legislation, rehabilitation, and reconciliation of the soul are my ways of (hopefully) expressing my experience of that call.   That's why.


  1. Laurie, I'm so glad you posted this on facebook- now I know about your (awesome) blog and can follow it. I hope you are well. I think about you often and am glad to follow along on your adventures. We blog too- theberardis.blogspot.com if you're ever interested :)
    Christ's peace,
    Caroline East Berardi

  2. ps- I'm working on a blog for my church- any time we could e-mail or talk about yours? How'd you get a donate button?