Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | February 27, 2011

Free the Captives

I returned home from our water-well drilling trip to El Salvador on Friday, a day early, in order to speak at the Houston Anti-Human Trafficking Conference on Saturday. This conference was sponsored by Free the Captives, an interdenominational, evangelical anti-human trafficking organization that desires to engage and mobilize the Christian community and partner with non-profits, law enforcement, and government agencies in the fight against modern day slavery. My friend Julie Waters, the Director of Free the Captives, asked me to tell the story of Kingsland’s journey into the arena of justice initiatives and to offer practical advise on how churches can mobilize to get involved in the fight against modern-day slavery. I enjoyed the opportunity to tell our story. But, I especially enjoyed the opportunity to meet others who are engaged in fighting for the rights of those who live in the unimaginable hells created by those who traffic in human flesh. Freeing the captives is a task that is bigger than any single person or organization can handle alone and will require some sanctified synergy — working cooperatively under God’s leadership to change the world for the 27 million people living in some form of slavery today.

What made the issue even more real for those of us involved in the fight was listening to the personal testimonies of two women who lived through the hell we are working to eliminate. These two young ladies had dreams and hopes of a good life — the normal kind of existence most of us enjoy. However, things turned out much different for them. Because of a convergence of abuse and torment in their respective homes, these young ladies were thrust into the darkness and became ensnared in a life they never would have chosen for themselves. They each lost their innocence and valuable years of their lives but eventually were able to escape from their respective hells. After listening to their stories I understood a little better why they had survived. They are strong women who clung to even the smallest scraps of hope when the night was darkest. They emerged with a determination to invest their lives in making a difference for those who are still held captive in the dark world of the commercial sex trade. God is using each of these young ladies to raise awareness about the problem of sex trafficking and to educate and mobilize people to take action.

Being aware of the scope and magnitude of the problem is the first step toward making a difference. However, once we become aware we must not remain silent or unengaged. We must act. And, our concern and action must be reflected on our calendars and in our check books. While we can’t do everything we can do something to make a difference. If each of us will determine to take ownership of even a small slice of the justice pie, then we can make a difference in our generation. Our Just Change for a Just Cause initiative at Kingsland is one small example of something simple that anyone can do to help make a difference. By collecting our pocket change and giving up a meal a week and investing the savings in our justice initiatives, we are already making a difference in the lives of young girls rescued from brothels in South Asia.

I am grateful to Julie Waters for organizing the conference on Saturday and for lining up speakers who are actively engaged in the fight. Attending the conference gave me a renewed appreciation for all who are working to combat human trafficking in our own community. Seeing all the folks at the conference also reminded me that we cannot do this alone but need to work in partnership and cooperation with others who are engaged in the fight for justice. At Kingsland, we see ourselves as members of a larger justice team and understand that we are all trying to move the ball toward the same goal line. We are committed to working cooperatively with others and are grateful to God for the various individuals and organizations that are going beyond in their efforts to help Free the Captives. We believe that together and with God’s help we can and we will make a difference in our generation.


  1. Thank you very much for hearing this stories.


  2. Omar, I know you’re out of the country right now, but would welcome a chance to find out a little more about your involvement with Free the Captives when you return. I’ve just been introduced to their pro bono program for attorneys and have been emailing back and forth with Julie about volunteering with them. Thanks, Nanette

    • Glad to hear that you are interested in working with Julie at Free the Captives. I hold Julie in high regard and am grateful for her tireless efforts to help the victims of human trafficking and those caught in the web of the commercial sex industry. Thanks for anything you can do to help the cause.

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