This past weekend I was able to take some time away from school and volunteer! I went with a group of friends into the city and teamed up to do a mobile mission. We loaded up a van with clothes, toiletry supplies, and food, then drove to different spots around the city where the homeless typically congregate.
As this was not my first experience with the homeless population, nothing came as a real shock to me. However, each time I am always reminded of my appreciation for these people. I or someone I know could easily be in the same situation… being stuck homeless on the streets. We are so quick to judge these people when it could so easily be any one of us.
I met two young men, probably college age, who were so grateful to receive any sort of help we could give them. I don’t know why these boys were on the streets, but it really hits home when they are so young and going through this on their own.
I also got to meet one college-aged girl. We were serving hot coffee, and she brought along an empty gallon jug and filled the whole thing up with coffee. She then asked if we had any pads or tampons… she took the whole box of tampons. Could this girl be any more relatable? Like girl, I feel you.
A lot of the time this is not what homelessness is thought to be, but this is the reality. People just like you and me were caught in a bad situation now their lives are flipped upside down.
I have heard again and again… don’t have a hero mentality.
But I can’t help it!
To give some context, when preparing to go on a service trip the leader always reminds us not to have a hero mentality. Meaning, don’t start serving thinking that what you do is going to have this HUGE impact and everything will be better once you leave.
Typically when serving, you are partnering with an organization who has been serving a community for a long time. When you come in for a week to serve, that is just one week of the years the organization has been there. If a whole organization has not solved all the problems by now, do you really think you can?
Therefore, it important to remember that when we serve, we are only one tiny piece of the puzzle. Of course our service has an impact, but we must remain a humble servant.
Which brings us to the spiritual side of things… remember that is all God working through us. It is through God that these communities step out of poverty or the man on the side of the road is given a bed for the night.
Only God has the power to save the world. Although it can be hard to take a step back and humble ourselves. It is good remind ourselves, THROUGH CHIST we can do all things.
This topic might be a little uncomfortable for some readers, but it is important to share.
I did a research project on how porn fuels sex-trafficking a year ago, and it was unbelievably interesting and infuriating at the same time. I will save all my recourses and statistics.. instead, I just want to share the basics.
Did you know that most pornography is made using sex-trafficking victims? Or that most prostitutes are trafficked?
It all comes down to supply and demand. The more pornography viewers there are, the higher the demand becomes. A higher demand means more of the product is needed, and how is more product acquired? By tricking and taking women and children into sex-trafficking. These victims when “ready” are then used to create the porn that those viewers can’t wait to click on.
Now, how does porn demand more prostitutes? Well, there are a few ways to look at this. Someone starts watching pornography and they progress into dirtier and dirtier content… then just like with drugs, they form a tolerance. The dosage just doesn’t do it for them anymore. When viewing is no longer enough, they will want the real thing. That’s where the prostitutes come in. Prostitutes can allow a person to get the real thing of what they have been viewing online. Therefore, a demand of prostitutes is formed.
I also like to look at this through a social interactionism perspective. When a person is constantly viewing pornography, it effects how they view their social worlds. Constantly watching women being treated in this way can make a person feel like this is the norm. The person may then begin mistreating and demeaning women in their own lives.
The pain and trauma sex-trafficking victims go through is unbelievable and completely unreasonable. It is important to realize that you may have a part in their suffering.
For more information check out: Fighthenewdrug.org
I may continue to write more on this subject as time goes on!
For anyone who has never left their country of origin, or anyone who has never visited a third world country, I recommend watching this. Living on One Dollar is a documentary on Netflix. It tells the story of a few college students who move to Guatemala and try to live on a dollar a day, just as the natives would. This documentary does well at accurately portraying life in an impoverished community. It is important to keep in mind, these students were only living like this for a few months, in reality, this is how some people live their entire lives. The film does its best to keep this in the viewers mind. Of course, a better way to understand this kind of poverty is to visit these communities yourself or even try to do what these students did. However, make sure to realize that you will never truly know the struggle of poverty until it is not a choice.