I have never been a big fan of sports.
I have always been the odd ball in my family, barely remembering what sport season it is. Pastor Paul from overflowchurch.org begins his message with how he once wanted to be a basketball player and how we idolize sports figures. How many spend a fair amount of money to come together to root for the team! Frankly, I though “great Pastor Paul… all about sports!” Just what I crave to hear.
Then what he shared next stunned me, moved me, jolted my brain with a seldom-told story that has been happening all around us on a day that many truly delight in coming together.
The seldom-told story of Super Bowl day is one that brought pastor to tears (and I believe every one else in the room). The description of the excitement of men and women coming together to cheer and relish over their favorite team, their favorite player. But on the other side is the darkness of men forcing women/girls to come together for sex for money. Selling humans, modern day slavery.
The next day in the news, there was a heroic story of one woman who noticed “something not right” on the flight she worked as a flight attendant. Some were obvious signs; an unclean, disheveled teen girl accompanied by a well dressed, stern and anti-social older man. The flight attendant noticed the obvious and responded appropriately. I cannot imagine that she was the only one who saw that “something not right”.
This caused me to ask myself, “What would I have done?” I’m saddened to think I most likely would have ignored the obvious. I’m not certain I would have known the safest, appropriate thing to do however, the flight attendant knew what to do.
This also caused me to think about Pastor Paul, I asked myself, “What would I do?” If I had a platform to speak and deliver a message as courageously as he did, would I have on my own accord? Next, I ask what will I do the next time I see “something not right”?
Here are the signs of something not right that may signal a human trafficking situation:
Poor Mental Health or Abnormal Behavior
- Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid
- Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after bringing up law enforcement
- Avoids eye contact
- Lacks health care
- Appears malnourished
- Claims of just visiting and inability to clarify where he/she is staying/address
- Lack of knowledge of whereabouts and/or do not know what city he/she is in
- Loss of sense of time
Imagine this person in your mind right now. And if you are still reading this, you already have imagined. Will you figure out the right steps to do the something in this “something not right” situation? Will I?
Don’t wait, relate.
For more information and a longer list of signs go to www.humantraffickinghotline.org