Somehow I still can't believe that 2011 has arrived, let alone that January is now history. They say the older you get, the faster time flys...there is certainly some truth to that! Now that the Christmas & New Year's holidays are a distant memory, I've been thinking about the new year and it's opportunities. I resist making formal "New Years Resolutions", but I do think about my life and things I would like to do. Some are as simple a reading more books and some as complex as plugging in to serve others in a way that uses my passion.
A few years ago I had the privilege of teaching cooking classes for teenage girls who were victims of teenage sex slavery. This problem - the commercial sexual exploitation of children or CSEC- is huge. Until a few years ago, I had no idea that Atlanta, a place I've called home for 20 years, is one of the largest teenage sex trafficing cities in the country. Not exactly the kind of "dirty little secret" that folks want to discuss or have in their backyard.
Yesterday I had the privilege of attending Lobby Day at the Georgia State Capitol to raise awareness about CSEC. Hundreds of people like you and me came together to be a voice for those who have none. For those who are victims of this unmentionable crime, and to address a legal system barely adequate to help victims, treating them like criminals. They must have services and we must raise awareness. If there was no demand, there would be no supply. Every Econ 101 student knows that concept. I went to meet with the Georgia senator and representative from my district to ask them to lend their support to this very worthy endeavor and to vote for bills that will help to correct this blight. The children are at stake. These could be your kids. Think about it.
I heard a great message in January where my pastor discussed doing for one person what we would like to do for everyone but can't. It's not possible for me to put my time and effort everywhere, but I will choose to lend my voice to help these girls who are forced to sell a piece of their soul and their childhood each day on the street. If you pray, please take a moment to add this to your prayer list.
For more information, you can go to http://www.streetgrace.org/, one of the local organizations who sponsored Lobby Day. And remember, no matter where your passion to serve lies, do for one what you would like to do for everyone.