The story of this ministry was shared to me by a dear and trusted friend of mine. Due to the sensitive nature of human trafficking, the founders of this ministry and this story (my friend and her friend) have chosen to remain anonymous because of the simple fact that there are people (that are making money human trafficking) who want to stop them from protecting these children. When I heard about the reality that there are boys and girls in Kansas that are coerced and kidnapped into human trafficking, I was stirred to move into action by making you, my tribe of followers, aware of the need to rally and help bring the ministry goals of Alden’s House to life. After you read this story, if you find that you want to join in helping, please check out their website at www.aldenshouse.org or message me and I will connect you to the key leaders in the Ministry. It is my prayer that this story will move us into action, so that we can join in the mission of Alden’s House “to create a comprehensive community that will completely embrace, restore, and provide continuing support for children that have been victimized by human trafficking.” God is doing some amazing things in our city, let’s join Him in making a positive difference!
Alden’s House Inspiring Hope Story
In the winter of 2012, I watched a video raising awareness for human trafficking. I don’t remember the details of the video, but I will never forget the final frame: “Now you know…what will you do?”
I knew of few options for a stay-at-home mom with three small children in Kansas…send money overseas? So several friends and I organized a chili feed fundraiser event to “do” something. God used that little meeting to stir something deep in my spirit. A survivor/advocate told her story about trafficking that happened a mere forty-five minutes from my comfortable seat in church. This wasn’t a small orphan overseas; this was a middle class Kansas girl attending a well respected Kansas school. Immediately, I knew we needed to turn our eyes to the horror right here.
After the event I researched domestic sex trafficking. The results stunned me. The average age for a girl or boy to be coerced into trafficking is 12-14 years old (although survivors in Topeka were sold as young as 18 months old). Sixty to eighty percent of these children come from the foster care system and are “forgotten” as no one tries to find them. They are lured by shrewd traffickers into the system through a loving relationship (often called “daddy” or “boyfriend”) that becomes violent as the trafficker uses psychological torture to enslave a child. They are moved around, often along the same highways we drive for family vacations. They are used 15-20 times a night in truck stops and motels. If they survive until they are 18, estimates say the abuse is over 10,000 times per child.
In one raid in New York City it was found that 1 in 8 of the young girls rescued were from Kansas (significantly higher then any other state). Their wholesomeness and naïveté make them easy prey. In the United States alone there are 100,000 identified children in sex trafficking. The most common shelter for those rescued is a juvenile detention center. There are 500 beds in restorative shelters for these 100,000 children, and the state of Kansas has four.
There are vast problems and few resources locally, so God laid on our hearts to become voices for the voiceless. Initially, we hoped to establish a home shaped around the needs of trauma care, but a shelter is only part of the answer. These children need a “forever” community to counteract the perverse bonding manipulated through torture. Their families also need comprehensive help to overcome the obstacles that create the vulnerability in the first place. So God designed a connection with the ministry of Safe Families/Lifeline Adoption Agency. This partnership continues to develop as God moves.
The Alden’s House team (named for two of our team members’ godly grandfathers) feels that alone an individual cannot be successful in this war, but God is weaving together a team of social workers, therapists, pastors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, teachers and business pros who believe that our small gifts go far when the Holy Spirit uses them. We are building a team that has professional skills but will also make dinner for a struggling family. Our mission is that we, the Church, CAN do simple things to show Jesus’ love and hope. We firmly believe the Gospel in us allows us to authentically say to the walking dead that the resurrection power is real.
Our prayer is that through God mobilizing us for His children, you can hear His call. So we pray for eyes to see and ears to hear for our community. Come join Him in this battle. You can DO something.