“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” (Mahatma Gandhi)
Monday my nieces and 15 of their buddies began a 4-month journey to raise awareness of the horrifying realities of human trafficking – specifically sex trafficking – in the U.S.A. They are an amazing bunch of dedicated 20-somethings who want to see things change in this ‘R’ rated rubble issue as they seek to ‘be the change’ by rocking the comfort out of the comfortable status quo-ers who can’t be bothered or just don’t care…
WAKE UP !@#?! over 200,000 American children are trafficked each year into the sex trade while Joe Schmo down your street drives the demand for child sex by clicking away at internet child pornography. So much rubble in destroyed lives and desecrated beauty of children – KIDS – who should be hanging out with their dolls or playing b-ball outside.
What a journey to this journey. I’ve watched my nieces change from girly-girls keeping up with the latest fashions to serious advocates for the seriously oppressed (ok, they are still beautiful Fashionistas, but with a CAUSE!)
While studying photojournalism & advocacy issues in 30 countries, my niece Morgan saw the bloody results of human trafficking when a young prostitute she befriended was brutally raped & dumped naked on the streets of Bangkok. After tracking the issue of human trafficking/child slavery in several countries, Morgan and her photojournalist- mates produced the powerful book ‘Sex + Money: A Global Search for Human Worth’ using photographs and documentation from their 2-year international course.
Five American students on that course were horrified when they returned home to find that human trafficking is a reality for many children in the U.S. Looking at the daunting issue they refused to give in to the ‘who are we to speak’ syndrome, instead they asked, ‘who are we NOT to speak out?’
With their hearts available to tackle the issue of human sex trafficking in the U.S., Morgan & Autumn & Sarah Jo & Scott & Tim set out 2 years ago with their cameras to create the documentary “Sex + Money: A National Search for Human Worth”… coming soon to a state near you as the screening tour launched Monday hits 48 states (tick, tick, tick…they did Hawaii, Alaska & Washington state in June.)
Check out their website for tour dates: http://www.sexandmoneyfilm.com
Now – onto SUNSHINE… How does sunshine relate to the incredibly dark rubble of sex trafficking in this film? Well, in my humble opinion it relates in four ways – first, obviously, by shining light on the issue.
This heavy duty Sex + Money documentary exposes the dark side of child-sex-exploitation, how it works, what drives it ($$ & demand), the innocuous path to porn addiction – bringing all that out in bright sunshine to see manure for what it is: SH-T (oops) POOP that smells & smears on everyone. So well documented through interviews of those involved from every side (the exploited, the exploiters, crime enforcement, NGOs, advocacy groups, congress-people…)
Secondly, these 20-somethings are beacons of sunlight themselves as they struggle to process what they uncover, reflecting that light back to us like a prism we can relate to. (Can you believe a hardcore child-porn website when shut down in Texas had 70,000 subscribers!?!)
As they get angry, pray God we get angry, too!
Third, they seek to be God’s Sunlight (‘Sonlight’) to the hurting. These young people care because they believe God cares for these beloved children and that the heart of Jesus weeps for their used hearts & broken bodies…
Lastly, (they included a few roses in the rubble) – there is a bit of sunshine in the film. Children rescued out of sex slavery looked after with love – so many concerned advocates out there tirelessly raising awareness – law enforcement on board to make changes… Then there’s the music. My other niece, the-very-talented-musician Megan, has been working with a team for months writing & recording the film soundtrack. She & a team of talented musicians are on board the tour to perform with the screenings in art venues & churches.
You’ve got to hear the final movie song – Isaac Gill, one of my nieces’ best friends & an incredibly INCREDIBLE musician, wrote it about SUNSHINE – the sun WILL come out today…. He & Megan & the whole team sang it Sunday at their send off farm picnic (my sister Shere’s southern hospitality notched them off with extra doses of LOVE!)
Here’s a link to give it a listen (note: i’ve been humming this ALL week & can’t wait to get my hands on the film CD!) http://snd.sc/rpUjj3
And you know, the weather forecast predicted thunderstorms Sunday evening (not good for outdoor send-off picnics), but the sun DID shine – the whole time – and the Sex + Money touring team is off with the sunlight to shine & (prayers appreciated) keep shining through all 48 states….
Exploiters of children, BEWARE…the Sex+Money sunlight’s gonna get ‘cha!