Wow! Are we already through a third of 2022?! Let me be real, friends … it has been BRUTAL.
Our whole team and our families have been faced with some pretty big and serious challenges since Christmas, 2021. Covid, post-Covid complications, tensions in the anti-trafficking community, loss of donors (and subsequently, money), more work than we have hours to give, stretched thin and living in the constant tension of potentially reaching the breaking point …
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
That might sound a bit dramatic, but I can assure you, I’m Australian, we don’t do dramatic.
But in all seriousness, this has been our reality and many tears have been shed and shared within the walls of our tiny, downtown-basement office.
Let me reassure everyone that we are absolutely not going to break. We deeply and genuinely believe that our work is crucial. We believe in it. We are motivated.
As a newbie on staff whom (yes, I actually say that word) has not yet developed any of our educational content nor have I engaged with any at-risk individuals that we provide direct services for, must say on behalf of my humble team … that if we give up, there really isn’t anyone else that can do what we do. No one else can do it the way that we do it, and our absence would really hurt our whole community.
Scot McKnight recently taught us that, “Justice is doing the right thing at the right time.”
This isn’t a very popular thing to do. Recenytly. doing the right thing has cost us. But we will choose to be unpopular. Every. Single. Time.
We stand for justice in many ways but our main focus has and always will be to prevent human trafficking. Prevention work is vital. Benjamin Franklin said it perfectly, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
In the context of human trafficking prevention education, the Justice Coalition’s absolute BEST story is, “We taught a class and nothing happened!” Doesn’t sound very sexy, does it? But it is a 100% successful outcome. The same can be said for our at-risk direct services. We get to intervene and, in many cases, help prevent individuals from further exploitation.
Prevention work is rarely credited because it is not quantifiable and there is no purely accurate way to collect data that will contribute to a measurable result.
So, whilst (yep, I also say that) the equitable work we do is often impossible to measure, almost unidentifiable, highly unpopular, and not always attractive, we are asking that you stand for justice with us.
We can’t continue to prevent human trafficking in the Central Valley of California and beyond without your support!
I really appreciate your time, patience, and emotional investment in reading my update!
Please call or email if you would like to connect with me and learn more.
Dan Carter – Associate Director