May, 2024 Monthly Reflection

Cling to the Vision: A World without Human Trafficking

Anne Victory, HM

Since I began working to end human trafficking in 2007, I admit there have been many moments when I’ve felt overwhelmed, discouraged, weighed down with the enormity of this complex, horrific “scourge on the body of Christ,” as Pope Francis named it.

Sometimes ending human trafficking and changing the systems that tolerate it and even promote it seems impossible, and I can fall into the fog of hopelessness that my tiny efforts have no chance of making any difference on such a complex issue. In fact, when participating in a rally to end human trafficking in Cleveland several years ago, a person actually challenged me by saying, “Why are you even bothering? This has been around since the beginning of time. You’re wasting your time! What makes you think you can change things?”

I had to respond, wondering where the words would come from! Some grace prompted me to say that those who suffer from this crime are counting on me, on us, to raise awareness, to make the connections with other factors that promote the exploitation of our brothers and sisters, and to advocate for needed changes in our society so that all may have their human rights respected and honored. Instead of feeling disheartened by his remarks, I embraced the challenge to find more effective ways to try to make a difference for those who suffer the most from the effects of such vile exploitation.

I learned—and keep learning—that the work of ending human trafficking is not for the faint of heart. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and it requires building strong relationships with others who share the vision and a similar mission of ending the crime. It demands that I generously share my gifts, abilities, time, and energy to address the factors that allow this crime to continue, bringing about healing and wholeness for those affected and for our communities that cannot thrive if any of our neighbors is suffering such gross inhumanity.

When I’m feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, and tired from my efforts that seem fruitless, I turn to the Scripture passage from the book of Habakkuk 2:2-3 that speaks of the dream: “Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily. For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint. If it delays, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not be late.”

So I do hold on to the dream, and I invite all others of good will to embrace it as well. One day the vision will be a reality. One day the world will be free of human trafficking if we work together to make it happen.

Anne Victory, HM