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The L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture seeks to engage culture as salt and light, presenting and defending the Christian faith and demonstrating its implications for all areas of human existence.
The Center has a two-fold purpose: (1) To convey graciously and apply effectively the Christian worldview to all areas of culture and to the human condition; (2) To encourage and support the Church in its redemptive work.
On Friday, March 12, 2010 over 100 people gathered at the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture for The Forum with Sandra Johnson, Founder and President of Triad Ladder of Hope. Ms. Johnson informed members of the community as well as students and faculty of Southeastern Seminary about the tragic reality of human trafficking.
Ms. Johnson began by introducing the mission of Triad Ladder of Hope. She reported that Triad Ladder of Hope is "dedicated to [the] eradication [of] the exploitation, sale, and enslavement of men, women, and children." In order to accomplish this mission the ministry seeks to raise awareness of the reality of human trafficking among citizens and works to rescue and restore those who are or have been victims of slavery.
After introducing the mission of Triad Ladder of Hope Ms. Johnson went on to define human trafficking and explain the contributing factors to this rapidly growing industry. She noted the differences between smuggling and trafficking, pointing out that coercion or force is the differentiation between the two. Explaining that human trafficking can take the form of both sex trafficking and labor trafficking, Ms. Johnson pointed out that overall human trafficking is quickly rising. She reported that over 27 million people are enslaved worldwide and that human trafficking has become a more than 35 billion dollar business. Additionally, she raised awareness regarding the presence of enslavement in North Carolina, stating that North Carolina is among the top five states in the United States for human trafficking.
In closing Ms. Johnson reminded those in attendance of the great responsibility we have not only as citizens, but also as Christians in fighting against the injustice of modern day slavery. She also challenged attendees with practical ways to fight human trafficking: decreasing the demand for slave labor by being knowledgeable about products purchased, recognizing and reporting when someone is a victim of human trafficking, and partnering with the ministry of Triad Ladder of Hope in rescuing and restoring those who are being oppressed.
Following Ms. Johnson's presentation, a time for questions was made available. Also, Dr. Little, the Center Director, offered a few closing remarks to the sobered crowd regarding the need for the Christian community to truly live as salt and light. Fighting injustices such as human trafficking provides an opportunity to be and do just that.
Please visit the Triad Ladder of Hope website for more information about the modern day slavery called human trafficking and to learn how you can help fight the injustice.