Every couple of weeks we close the office for a few hours and drive around the Dallas-Fort Worth area to locate places we feel that trafficking is probably happening based on research, or that we feel led to go to and pray over them. Yesterday we headed to an area in which we are thinking about starting a street outreach for the girls on the streets. We drove up and down the main street of the potential outreach, praying out loud over the people, the area, the prostitutes, the pimps, the homeless, the families who live in the area; all who are at risk. Many of whom are already trapped.
“Human trafficking victims are often found in street prostitution where they are forced to provide commercial sexual services by a controller or ‘pimp.’” –Polaris Project
We realized that we were driving too far down the road, hitting unfamiliar territories, getting lost in the neighborhoods. Instead of trying to find our way back, we took advantage of the situation and decided to pray through the neighborhood we were in. It was a historic part of town. Every other house was run down, but some were beautifully taken care of, showing off their historical attributes.
Turning down a road of particularly well-maintained homes, we noticed a small white house on the corner. It was a little run down, very plain, kind of cluttered; definitely did not fit the rest of the block. We drove past it going about five miles an hour, silently praying over all the homes on this street. Just because houses look nice doesn’t mean the people in them are exempt from exploitation. You never know what is happening in any area!
A white minivan drove past us slowly, stopping behind us at the white house on the corner. “Elyse, do you see that?”
I turned around in my seat just as a young girl got out of the back of the van. She was maybe 18-19 years old. Her short wavy hair was disheveled, colored a fake-reddish color on the ends, the roots showing, almost orange from being fried by bleach. She wore a skin-tight black top exposing her flat stomach, the sleeves hanging off her bony shoulders. Her denim miniskirt barely covered anything, while the ridiculously high black heels make her legs look longer than they probably were. We were probably a hundred feet away, but to me her messy face seemed sad. As she walked toward the house, she looked down at the ground until she was inside. The man in the white van waited until she was out of sight and then drove off. I obviously can’t be sure what her story is, but based on her appearance, I believe she was being dropped off either returning from or going to a job.
No matter what her story is, I don’t think getting lost in this area was a coincidence and I am thankful. Thankful for getting lost. Thankful for witnessing her get out of the van. Thankful for seeing details. Thankful for noticing her. Because now she is on my heart and it’s up to me to choose to do something besides turn a blind eye.
I can’t do much. I can’t go rescue her. I can’t turn the situation into the police because there’s no evidence. I can’t do nothing! But I can do something. I can pray. I can pray until God tells me what to do next. It seems like nothing, but I believe it will open the doors to freedom. To me, prayer is the most powerful action there is.