What is the connection? At my church (Tokyo Baptist Church) about 9 years ago I heard a woman missionary speak and show her photos of women and girls around the world who were forced to be prostitutes and heard the term “Human Trafficking” for the first time. Until then, I’d thought most prostitutes were immoral women in it for the money. But in fact, many are coerced.
So a few of us started meeting after church monthly to pray about the situation and see what God would have us to do. He led us to start a new ministry in early 2012, of which I became the leader. It’s called “Salt & Light” according to Jesus’ words in Matthew that His followers should be these things in society, to influence it for good and God, drawing people to Himself.
By then I’d read David Batstone’s book “Not For Sale” which describes various forms of slavery and heard it occurs even in Japan. I knew the Japan chapter of his NGO had started up and felt God leading me to join as a volunteer to learn more and be a better leader for S&L. I’ve learned and shared so much since then, knowing the first step to stopping the evil of trafficking is making others aware—and at the church we can also do the important work of praying against it, so have weekly prayer times. In our pamphlet we use Psalm 10:14a “But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand.”
Working with the other staff at NFSJ has been a real blessing over the years—they are so compassionate and dedicated. Another thing I like is that it is bilingual, so I can share information to both Japanese and English speakers. One of the ways I’ve been able help at NFSJ is doing native-speaker English check of things that others (mostly director Mariko) have written or translated from Japanese. I think it’s important to get accurate information about the situation in Japan to the world community. With God’s help and your help, we can abolish human trafficking!