Category Archives: Human Trafficking Abolition

Why fight human trafficking? Why Redeemed Ministries?

Recently I’ve been asked several times why I’m involved with Redeemed Ministries & the fight against human trafficking…
And I discovered there’s not one reason, there are so many:

  1. because of Brent & Courtney Orrange, my beloved friends, who have spent 10+ educating & preparing to fight trafficking on foreign soil,
  2. & because I remember the B.C. version of me who looked just like a human trafficking victim in my heart & my choices,
  3. & because my heart longs to live the life of a missionary & my God has kept me in Houston, so I don’t need to raise support & be commissioned to give my whole life to His Work
  4. & because the children waiting to be adopted in foster care are the same adults we encounter in commercial sex, & as the Body of My Christ, I restore peace by sewing up the holes in the fabric of society with His Love, His Grace, His Hope,
  5. & because the best way to escape the rat race of this earth is to live like THE KINGDOM HAS COME & HIS WILL WILL BE DONE!

Could your teen become a Human Trafficking statistic?

As I’ve become a human trafficking abolitionist, I’ve come face to face with more memories of God’s grace in my life.

And since these memories are not horror stories with bad endings, most of them are secrets. Secrets I have kept silent to protect the heart of my most amazing mommy.

But I think part of abolition is EDUCATION. Education about risks.

So here’s a memory…

Today is Fat Tuesday, the end of Mardi Gras. As a lifelong Protestant, I barely know what it stands for.

But as a teenager, I knew it stood for one thing.
PARTYING!
In Galveston, only 45 mins from where I grew up, Mardi Gras festivities imitated the New Orleans activities. Parades by day, street parties by night.

As a deceptive teenager, I planned a “night at the movies” with my friends, and jumped in the car with another 16-17 yr old. We headed across the big bridge to the party. We parked on a secluded street and headed into the darkness.

My mom liked to keep track of me, so she paged me at one point, and I hiked to find a pay phone to report that I had gone to a later movie… Oh and could I spend the night with my friend?

She made the same plan. To spend the night at my house, that is.

And we wandered into the night.

No where near where we said we were.
Completely vulnerable.

Graciously, God brought me home from this particular night & many others when I did not take my safety into account, going to parties in cheap hotels or houses rented by adults who threw parties for teens.

Honestly, I wasn’t trying to get hurt.
I was just trying to have fun.
I thought my mom was just afraid my car would break down.
I DID NOT KNOW THE RISKS.

I did not know that the world was full of perpetrators.
The people in my life, my family, my community, had always cared for me.
This may sound dumb, but my world was so good I didn’t know about rape or sexual abuse.
My safe life BLINDED me to the real world.

Like I said, this story doesn’t have a bad ending. That night, I came home unharmed. Truly, I believe I was wrapped in the prayers of my mother as a shield around me. She did not know the details of each lie, but she knew I was running from her & from God.

The moral of this story:
1. Pray for your kids.
2. Don’t assume they understand what it means that 12-18 year olds are prime victims for trafficking.
3. Pray for your kids.

Redeemed Ministries

If you follow me on Twitter (@heatherburdeaux) or Facebook, you have probably seen me mention Redeemed Ministries in the last 9 months.

Redeemed Ministries is a group of Christians trying to bring hope, rescue, & redemption to the lives of victims of commercial sex trafficking.

I first heard of them in 2009.
Honestly, I was so intimidated by the problem of human slavery (human trafficking), I was scared to go to Redeemed’s orientation meeting.
I was afraid I would be expected to have ideas, or a plan. So I didn’t go.

I finally made it in February 2011.

What I learned was heartbreaking. Houston is full of spas/brothels/massage parlors with enslaved women being forced to perform sexual acts!

There are more factors working to keep the spas in business, than assistance to escape.

But Redeemed is working to change that.
We are an army of volunteers trying to light the path of escape, then trying to be Christ’s arms around them as they make a new life.

Join us!
We meet to organize the 2nd Saturday of every month.

Joyful stressless busy-ness

This year has been transformational for me.
It all started in February, with One Thousand Gifts.
It continued in the summer with prioritizing.

And here I am now, living a different life.

It is wonderful.

My generational sin, shared with my mother, is busyness for busyness’s sake. Overcommitment.

The problem isn’t WHAT was keeping me busy. Often I was busy with good things, but they were keeping me from doing the important things, the things laid on my heart by God, the eternal things.

So February was the beginning of a purge of “good” but extra things keeping me busy.
July was a reminder that I relapsed… replacing the purged items with new “good” things.

Then September & October were a blur of job-related chaos that I had no say or control over.

But then came NOVEMBER!

I think November has been the most joyful stressless peaceful busyness if my life.

In November, there was finally room for Redeemed. Volunteering with Redeemed has been a wonderful busyness. I have made a new sweet friend Kelly Summers, spent lots of time with my Karen, and been able to share ministry with my daughter.

I love today!