Red X’s and Why I am Tired of Awareness

Earlier this week, a sweet friend emailed and said that she noticed that a red X seemed to be the message of the day in the trafficking movement – said she didn’t know how I felt about it, but that she was praying.  Praying for me, and for those still bound, and those who are still trying to recover.

I knew the red X.  I mean, at least, I knew that it was part of another awareness campaign – one backed by big bucks.

But at the time, I was sitting on the beach.  And I didn’t care.

Later that evening I arrived home and saw the social media feeds and that it was “the” day for the red X.  A day when everyone could take a red sharpie and put a big red X on their hand to bring awareness to the fact that modern day slavery still exists.

And the big bucks sent the advertising far and wide both within religious and non-religious groups, with big names jumping in to support the cause with their photos of red X’s on their hands.

And my heart broke just a little bit more.

Because who cares about awareness when you are the one sitting in the dark, holding the pieces of a broken heart, ravished by the injustice of slavery, trying to find a way to stay in this life?

And not a single red X that day brought even an ounce of comfort or healing to my broken heart- at all.  And the only thing that had shed a breath of hope into me that day was the email from the friend who says she prays.

And I thought about my husband and how he had stayed up with me half the night just the night before – again, crying tears and lifting prayers – desperate prayers for God to heal me, to make me whole.  He daily – and nightly – pours out prayer to God for my healing while I am suffocating and drowning in hopelessness.  Again.  Because I can’t stand the pain.  And I can’t see past the moment.  And all I can see is what life has always been, and feels like it always will be.

And he sits by my side and prays.  Because what else is there?

And it will take hours.  And I will find Jesus again, and I will breathe again, and I will make it for one more day, or one more night.

And when he prays, he is not wearing an X on his hand.  But his heart is torn, crying out in the dead silence of the night to the only One worth telling.

Because He is desperate to see one he loves freed, and willing to give up hours in intercession because that’s all there is to do when the hopelessness is threatening to drown his wife altogether, leaving him alone to raise the children.

And he is alone in this – the only one praying for me and lifting prayers in the deep dark of night for me, while you sleep soundly with your red X still on your hand.

And if I know anything at all, I know this – that his prayers are more pleasing to God than a billion red X’s on hands who want a cause but belong to hearts who never bow and never wrestle in intercession for the freedom of just one life.

And today, I read the whole thing,  The “End It Movement Manifesto.”  I read the statistics and looked at the posters and the buttons and stickers and the t-shirts and hats and cards, all with the big red X.  And this is the “action” suggested.

“Take action,” it says and then shows how.  By giving money and wearing X’s.

And I read the stories in the downloadable packet.  And all the stories of girls who are raped for profit are “over there,” because no one is quite ready to say this happens here.  People don’t want to hear about elders in Christian churches who trade their daughters for favors and status and wealth.  And we don’t want to hear that children are sacrificed right to the devil himself, in our very own American neighborhoods.

Oh, we say we know.  But we hold it away from our hearts,  not daring to really look at it.  And we act like those are the stories that will never actually happen to our own children.  Not here.

And I see the poster that tells all the facts, and how many people are trafficked into the U.S. every year….with no mention of the thousands upon thousands of men, women, and children who are trafficked right within our very own borders every year.

And I see that upon a thorough first pass through every bit of the material, that nowhere is prayer ever mentioned.

And I see my husband.  He doesn’t wear the red X.  But the 300 plus hours that he has poured out in prayer in the last one hundred days are the only reason that I am still here.

Your red X has done nothing for me.

Isn’t it time we moved beyond awareness?

And the End It movement does acknowledge that awareness will not stop the trafficking of people, but they say that it will never stop without the awareness.

And I say, it will never stop anyways.

Because, let’s face it.  If anyone is going to give a rip about modern day slavery, they’ve probably heard it by now.

And red X’s do not change the hearts of men.

All the awareness efforts in the world will not grab hold of men with sickened hearts, bent on fulfilling their endless hunger for the bodies of tiny boys and girls.

Because only God can change a man’s heart.

And prayer is the only thing that can stop the insidious spiritual force driving the trade of human souls.

So, please, rend your hearts and not your garments – or your hands. 

Please. Shut your mouth from spouting statistics and sounding passionate about a cause and instead open lips behind shut doors to the only One who can actually do anything about this.

Because nothing will save a life like prayer.

And when we get this – if we can ever finally get it – then we will see slaves set free.

And they will be set free unto true freedom.  The kind of freedom of heart that will never be accomplished outside of a healing work of Christ that never comes just because someone is physically free.

Slam me if you want, but your red X doesn’t help me.  And it doesn’t help any of the ones you talk about but never pray for.

If you’re “in it to end it” then stop talking and start praying.

If your hand still bears the remnant stain of a red X on it today, then may I challenge you to something different?

Give up a meal in fasting and an hour of your time to prayer this weekend?  Fast and pray.  For one meal.  One hour.  Pour out your voice to God in heaven who knows how to deliver both the hearts of men and the minds, bodies and souls of little boys and girls, men and women.

And do it again next week.  Get your red X buddies together and fast and pray collectively every week.

And after that, go find someone who is being trafficked right here in the U.S.  – right in your own neighborhood – and pour your love and prayers and time on her.  Because she’s worth it.  The red X on your hand says so.

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About stonescry

A survivor of sex trafficking, being healed by the grace of God.
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74 Responses to Red X’s and Why I am Tired of Awareness

  1. This is what I was afraid of when I saw a million red x pics. That this movement isn’t moving anything, not even our hearts. Not enough to pray and offer ourselves and our time. May we read your words and really listen and learn. God bless your night tonight. May there be pockets of true rest and peace for you and your beloved.

  2. I know nothing about red Xs but I do know that you are right on about praying!! So glad I stumbled upon this tonight!! Saying a prayer for you right now….that the God of peace will give you peace and rest and joy and trust.

  3. Natasha Metzler says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Thank you, thank you.

  4. Thank you for pouring your heart here. And, while I did wear a red X and did what I could to show the world this is real, I promise you, I prayed. And I also kept and mentored a young at risk girl at my home this day and tried to teach her about the dangers, and the lies and the problems…to make her aware of what goes on. I shared my story–not at all like yours, because I got away. I am sorry for your pain…and I will continue to pray and work when and where I can. Bless you sister. Bless you.

    • stonescry says:

      Loretta, I worried that some who wore a red X but whose hearts truly WERE in it would feel this way from my post. It was most definitely not intended that way. I bless you with all my heart and am grateful to know there are people who truly do pray and do the hard work of reaching out to “the one” in front of them. I’m terribly sorry to hear that you know any of this pain, my sister. May God pour out His peace, healing and grace in abundance on you as you walk forward in His healing strength, reaching out to bring others along with you. Bless you, sweet sister.

      • Glad to know you here; truly. My pain was different from yours and when I have time, I’m going to go back through and read your previous posts. My friend Shannon (Arranged by God) pointed me in this direction and I’m so glad she did. As crazy as it sounds, I’ve wanted to do more and know more about HOW to do more…real and helpful more not just Red x’s… I know you know what I mean. I hope someday to meet you IRL…. the world needs more brave women like you…who choose not to simple be a label like “victim” or “survivor” but instead choose to embrace the royal title as “Daughter of the King”

  5. Carissa says:

    Oh… this needs message to be heard so badly. My heart aches and I share your frustration over the lack of prayer and the prominence of “awareness”. Thank you for writing this. Just yesterday I was praying and sobbing over the current state of the church… The only way for things to change–for us to change–is through prayer. Real, heart-rending prayer. Time-sacrificing prayer. The kind your husband is pouring out for you. Even though I don’t know you or him, it blesses me so much to hear of his prayer for you. I want to pray like that… I will be praying for this situation now as well.

    • stonescry says:

      Carissa, I just read your post on broken hearts. Yes. This is exactly it. Your heart is a true reflection of Christ’s heart for the broken and hurting. Like you, I long to see others get His love for the broken and hurting. It is such a gift when we do because it’s there that we see that we all are the broken and hurting and we find His love reaching out to US, perfect and beautiful. When we receive that love for ourselves we are free to give it away. God bless you, my sweet sister. He indeed hears your prayers and is pouring out His love into your heart to freely give away.

      • Carissa says:

        “It is such a gift when we do because it’s there that we see that we all are the broken and hurting and we find His love reaching out to US, perfect and beautiful.”

        I agree!

        That is something that stood out to me, too, as I was reading through your blog yesterday… we are all broken. Not just certain kinds of people in certain situations. We’re *all* on the very, very bottom. I am blessed enough to have been brought up in a family that doesn’t really care what someone’s past is or what color they are or anything else like that, so as I read through your posts it didn’t really occur to me that you might have been somehow on a “lower rung”.

        But… I don’t know, I just realized it more fully. The lostness and brokenness of us all. And then–oh, the glory of His love is so much sweeter and brighter when we fully see our real condition before Him.

        Thank you for sharing your story. In many ways it is the same as every other Christian’s story–broken, hurting person comes to know a loving, holy Savior. But, on the other hand, every single story God writes is unique and beautiful. And I love hearing each one. And, really, reading your story has changed me. It even helped me to appreciate today’s sermon more fully.

        Isn’t God just so good? I am always blown away by His redemption. The way He turns ashes into beauty. It’s crazy–wonderfully so.

        Anyway, sorry for writing a blog post in the comments… know that I am praying, not just for you but for others like you. God bless you, sister. 🙂

        • stonescry says:

          Thank you, thank you, thank you for seeing. For hearing. For acting. Just by reading here, you are giving me my voice back. Your time is a gift. Bless you, dear sister. Your prayers are being heard. Always.

  6. Sandra D says:

    God bless you and heal you and help you and hold you. Thank you for writing this as I felt in my heart there was something too simple, something not quite right about an awareness campaign with no action steps.

    • stonescry says:

      Sandra, thank you for reading. I briefly visited your blog and see that you are walking your faith out with not words, but your life. May God bless you and strengthen you and pour His love, peace, mercy and grace out onto you and through you as you walk the hard road with Him. It is more than worth it. Bless you.

  7. Jody says:

    Before I started Sex Workers Anonymous – I didn’t have a place to go to help me heal from what I’ve just been through. My sponsor took me to a holocaust survivors’ meeting. I learned more than in a few hours that I had in my whole life. One of the things I learned from listening to the holocaust victims was about the propaganda that Hitler used to convince people that it was “ok” to treat the Jewish people less than human. By learning about how Hitler used propaganda to further this genocide – I learned to notice where things come from – consider the source.. This whole “awareness” movement was not started by a survivor. When I’ve seen interviews on PBS with the people who lived in the villages right next to Auschwitz – they reported they knew what was going on but they did nothing because they didn’t know what to do that wouldn’t bring harm to themselves. They said they would have to come into their shops early to clean up the ashes of the bodies that would float down to their village after burning all those bodies. So they were literally cleaning up the ashes of human bodies being mass murdered – yet they did nothing. They were “aware” of the problem and did nothing. I’ve also studied the civil rights movement. Everyone was “aware” of the problem – heck there were signs up about it saying “only whites can sit or eat here”. I’m sorry but “awareness” means nothing. The 1,000’s of victims I’ve spoken to have all reported to me that someone was watching them being trafficked, abused, beaten, kidnapped, forced, etc. and yet despite being “aware” they did nothing. If you look at this whole “awareness” movement it’s been started by non-survivors to raise money. To sell t-shirts, ribbons, posters and ask for donations that goes who knows where. I know I haven’t seen a dime of it despite the fact we intervene, rescue, and work on the recovery of 1,000’s of victims every year since 1987. I know this “awareness” voice is draining the resources that people like me who are doing the work need to get our work done. If I had a victim who needed a place to stay for the night until I could get her on a plane home – I used to be able to call around local churches until I found her a place to stay. Now I hear – oh we just had a breakfast meeting, or a potluck, or watched a film, and how “busy” they are doing nothing. I can show volunteers how to be out rescuing sex trafficking victims in one hour. We can have rescued women by the morning. Yet they’re too busy watching films and sending in checks again to who knows where – and then when I need people to help me go and do an outreach I hear they are tired, tapped out, busy, etc., because these “awareness” people have them all worn out. Any real survivor, or any group that does any real direct work with victims is going to need a lot more than “awareness” to get that work done – so as far as I’m concerned anyone spouting “awareness” to me is someone who just wants to raise money and spin wheels and not do anything about the problem in reality. I’ve watched celebrity after celebrity talk about how they want to “do something about trafficking” and yet when I’ve tried to get through to them about what they can do to help real victims I get nowhere. It took me a while to figure it out though – they get clicks for everyone who comes to their sites after they make these announcements which translates into ratings for them which translates into money. Their site ranking goes up when they make these announcements – yet victims get nothing from this. Let’s face it folks – there’s a new kind of pimp in town and he ain’t wearing a velvet fedora!

    • stonescry says:

      Jody, thank you for your voice here. I don’t know how you found me, but I’m glad you did. Your words are full of experience, wisdom and truth. I have briefly looked at your site, but intend to look more fully as soon as I can. So much of this is an uphill battle and I’m thankful for people like you who have gone before many us. Your voice of experience is gold. I thought it was very interesting and incredibly insightful of your sponsor to take you to a holocaust survivors’ meeting. At the very heart of the demand in trafficking and prostitution is the dehumanization of its victims. As long as humans can dehumanize another human, horrible atrocities will happen. I am thankful for the redeeming work of Christ in my life and how He is showing me a way out of this nightmare as there is not a way out to be found in our own strength. There were definitely many, many people who knew of my situation and yet looked the other way. Whether it was fear, indifference, personal gain, or God only knows what else – this is still the state of the Church and the population in general. It is easy to SAY that they care and are not ignoring the issue, and yet your specific examples show how this is indeed exactly what they ARE doing anyways. Thank you for your insight. I hope many will read your words and understand what is really required of them. Bless you.

  8. Beth Jacobs says:

    I want to tell you that you are not alone. Yes there are many of us. We are starting to be linked together through the internet. I commend your husband for giving you through his prayers hope. I too often wonder why our focus is in another land. Not to say that is not important, it is , But we are right here. We need the love and compassion too. I am a survivor, and have joined different groups to help me talk about it, and feel at peace. I want to invite you to join me. I am starting a educational/support group in Tucson AZ. I am not sure where you are, but there are other places as well. I went through my own healing process at an agency in Minneapolis, MN. From there I went to college to get the degree that was “needed” to help others. I earned a Social work degree. I was hired right out of college to help women through an agency in St. Paul, MN I facilitated these groups for 13 years. Each and every group I do I feel God healing me a little bit more. There are laces here in the United States run by survivors. Funding is very difficult to get to keep these programs up & running. Who can better help a woman who needs to recover from this than one who has gone through it herself. Once again I invite you. I will help you find something in your area to give you some comfort. My name is Beth, and here is my local organization I have started for victims in the US https://www.facebook.com/pages/Willow-Way/424633120894323

    Please get in touch and I will help you find something close for you…….

    • Jody says:

      There is Sex Workers Anonymous available for anyone anywhere. There’s local meetings in most major cities – and also we have two online meetings a week for those who can’t make a local meeting. SWA has a Recovery Guide, sponsorship available, a Step Working Guide, and works pretty much just like any 12 step program. If you need support – you can find them at http://www.sexworkersanonymous.net

  9. Mick says:

    Hello, thank you for your post. As a young person who has been very involved in the movement, it is very important to hear. Yes, I completely agree that a red X won’t change anything – because the Heavenly Father is the only one that can. But I do believe that awareness has the power to open ears and minds to allow the Spirit of God to burden their hearts. Now, their reaction to this is vitally important. So often we do not respond on our knees praying for our sisters and brothers caught in this trap, but we run around donating money to campaigns we only know little about. As a son of a mother who has worked with women in this situation her entire life, I am praying for you. This issue is more than a youtube awareness video or retweet. This is issue has a face, thousands of faces, and lives and minds and hearts that can’t be represent through a red sharpie.

    • stonescry says:

      “This issue is more than a youtube awareness video or retweet. This is issue has a face, thousands of faces, and lives and minds and hearts that can’t be represent through a red sharpie.” Yes, this is right. It’s not that the awareness is bad, but awareness without the prayer is useless and even downright hurtful. Great job clarifying the issue at hand. Bless you.

  10. Mallory Griffin says:

    Well, said! Thank you for writing this.

  11. kh says:

    Thank you for this. I am one who never thought this would ever personally touch my life and although “aware” was able to comfortable “assume” it was a very small minority who were affected by this especially here in the U.S. I have been shocked to learn in the past few months that this kind of abuse/slavery has been deeply wounding and hurting my family for 35 years without my knowledge. YES, prayer is the ONLY way to healing and the only way to reaching out to the innocent and hurting. Out of total confusion and pain I did as your husband has done on behalf of my husband/family — although I never understood WHY we/he/they were sufferring so much. I finally know now — it is because of the unknown history and childhood abuse/ritual abuse/sex slavery within my husbands early childhood experiences as well as his older siblings experiences that have been kept secret until very recently that have nearly destroyed our marriage and family. I have fought the damage and the enemy in prayer, fasting and spiritual warfare more hours and days than I can count while living totally in the dark as to why our good, “Christian” family should be constantly suffering unexpected anguish and why my marriage has been such a constant struggle despite doing “all the right things”. Through major spiritual warfare using the Word of God over the past 2 years I believe the “truth is being shouted from the mountaintop” now and the explosive past that is finally coming to light can be healed eventually but the pain from learning this for myself is still very raw. It is still a daily battle and my family is splintered and hurting as a result. My husband still does not know the whole truth as his family is fearful of telling him their history for many reasons including his health and how it impacted them when they found the truth –but I believe and can see God is working! We now have a few strong prayer partners who know the truth and are praying us through and holding us up through this and my husband is getting help although we have just begun. If you even suspect there is something wrong/not right PRAY, PRAY and PRAY more until the truth comes out and God WILL start the healing process. Then pray for all the others who are suffering as requested so eloquently above. God is at work in this ministry and I appreciate this posting more than you can know. So glad to know THIS message is getting out there, Thank you!

    • stonescry says:

      Thank you for bravely sharing a tiny sliver of your pain and your story here. I offer you that which I have to give – my prayers, my tears and my listening ear. I’m so very sorry. I know. I know this pain. And I know there is a way through it. Hold tightly to HIM, sweet sister. There is deep darkness ahead, but also brilliant treasures – reserved just for those who walk these dark, lonely, roads, AND for those brave enough to walk beside them. Prayer and the Word, Himself – the only way out and through. Please do email me if you feel comfortable. Either way, I’ll be right here, quietly lifting your family up to the same One who is rescuing me.

  12. Akabah says:

    As a non-believer, I want to ask: isn’t there a place in the anti-trafficking movement for me? Or do my words and deeds mean nothing, because they are not backed by prayer? As a humanist, I believe this life is all we’ve got – and it therefore must be treated as sacred – and the victims and the vulnerable must be sheltered and protected. I work and sacrifice and give to worthy causes. But I don’t believe in any god, and I don’t pray. Just another perspective to consider.

    • stonescry says:

      Hello. I’m sorry for not getting to your comment this week until now. You have a question worthy of a thoughtful response. In fact, I have decided to actually address this issue in my next post because I believe it is a question that must be answered. Please keep in mind that I am only one person, and all that I have to offer here is simply my own story, and that I am writing from my own experience. Please look for the post titled, “Why Humanism Will Not Heal”. Bless you and thank you for taking your time to read, comment and hear.

    • Heather says:

      I don’t want to speak for anyone, so please don’t consider that my answer is a substitution for anyone. I am a Christian who believes that prayer is a powerful tool absolutely essential to healing. However, to answer your question, I would suggest that “awareness” is damaging if it results in no tangible action, in no outward change. Awareness may suggest that change is occurring when it is not while serving to mask the problem instead. If you’re actually doing something that makes a difference in the lives of survivors, then I personally, would not say that it has no place.
      I might suggest that it is incomplete – as a survivor of sexual abuse, I’ve found the most powerful healing in my relationship with God, all of which then feeds into my other relationships. That’s where prayer enters into the equation: it is the invocation of the only power capable of overcoming the pain that threatened to devour and destroy lives.

  13. Pingback: Awareness vs. Action | Hallelujah Breakdown

  14. Brooke Shepherd says:

    I am sorry you feel this way but the enditmovement has helped bring so much to this issue. It also funds numerous organizations that help stop sex trafficking around our very own country and the world. I, being only 20, went to the passion conference in 2013 where I met survivors of human trafficking in person. Together we all prayed for the millions still in slavery. Also, many young people donated almost all they had to help these people. Yes, we may not be out there saving these people with out own hands but we are praying, bringing light to the issue and are informing the world about what is going on because SO many have no clue!!! When people see my x and ask me, I am able to tell them of the horrors of trafficking

  15. Prayer puts everything into action. I wholeheartedly agree. But how can you say that no one is praying, or doing anything about this; or that the red X helps no one? I personally know people involved in the end it movement and they promote organizations who are actively rescuing women out of sex trafficking. I used to work for one of those organizations before I had my child, and I can say that the money out into most of these organizations is put to GREAT use. You say the red X helps no one. Because of those X’a many more people have become aware of the issue, then sought out places to serve, sought out places to give money, and they have begun PRAYING. How can anyone pray without being aware? I say if one more person begins fighting the spiritual war for these women because they saw a red X on someone’s hand, then those X’s are doing their job.

    • stonescry says:

      My heart on this matter is further explained in the posts titled, “What is Justice?” and “Why Humanism Will Not Heal.” I think if you took time to understand where I am coming from as a whole and not just from one post, that would help. Bless you!

  16. Julia Fenner says:

    Thank you so much for this. I have always had a passion for ending sex trafficking and helping those who are in it or rescued. Reading your story and this post inspired me to sign up as a volunteer for Wellspring Living! I start training next weekend and am so honored to be a part of some amazing women’s lives. Thank you again for sharing your heart and your story. Let me know if there’s anything specific I should keep in mind or do while talking/listening to these women and girls. You are much loved ❤

    • stonescry says:

      Julia, that is so awesome! Thank you for letting me know that. I’m honored that God could use my words in this way. Feel free to look around here and if I can help in any other way, feel free to email me. My passion is seeing the body of Christ learn how to usher survivors into true healing, which can only be found in Christ. Bless you and may God strengthen you with His wisdom, His understanding, and His heart as you step out!

  17. Quanah says:

    While I understand where you are coming from and I do agree that for us Christians, prayer is a huge part of beginning to fix this huge problem, you must know that we are praying. Christians are praying. But this is not a “Christians Only” organization. To be quite honest, it would not be as global if it were. And this is sad I know. But we as Christians can take this opportunity to come together with believers and non-believers alike, make a difference, and shine a light on the true King.
    I will say also that this has made a difference and will continue to do so. I knew the sex trade existed, but I didn’t know the level, and I most certainly didn’t know how prevalent it was here. In my own cities. The End it movement has opened my eyes and I have prayerfully decided to find ways to help. Awareness is the first step to change. While it alone will not change circumstances, it is the starting block for people of all beliefs to get something done together. And if we as Christians want to make a difference not only in the sex trade, but also in each other, and the non-believers around us, we need to take this opportunity, and not shun it because prayer was not boldly proclaimed. Prayer is not loud or boastful. For the true Christians, prayer is a way of life. I assure you that people are praying, as well as using the red X. 🙂

    • stonescry says:

      My heart on this matter is further explained in the posts titled, “What is Justice?” and “Why Humanism Will Not Heal.” I think if you took time to understand where I am coming from as a whole and not just from one post, that would help. Bless you!

  18. Erin in FL says:

    I am so sorry. I am so grateful God has Blessed you with a Warrior for your soul.
    How can you get involved here in the states trying to help those in need? I live in a pretty decent area & work pt time at a grocery store. It was so clear this guy was a pimp & these beautiful ladies…were being used. 😦 I felt so helpless. I tried my best to honor those girls w/ eye contact & respect. Which may sound dumb, but I didn’t want harm to come to them, because of something I would say… 😦

    • stonescry says:

      Erin, that doesn’t sound dumb at all. You were right in that there was probably no way to reach out to them in the presence of their pimp. But you SAW them, honored them, and can commit to praying for their freedom. I really believe that we will not see the fruit of so many of our prayers until we are in heaven, but for now we PRAY, and we walk by faith not by sight. God let you SEE them and your prayers may free them! You may be the only one praying for them on the face of this earth. Even though you don’t know their names, ask God to give you a name for each one of them, and then pray for them by name for as long as God continues to bring them to mind!

      • Jody Williams says:

        I’ve got to tell you – sometimes prayer moves mountains true. But “faith without works are dead”. I got a call about a week ago from a woman who had someone literally put a note on her car saying to her “I know you’re a prostitute – and Sex Workers Anonymous can help you”. I didn’t know anything about this – nor did I know the woman or who even wrote that note to her. She called up wanting to know if this was a joke – or were we “for real”. I told her we were and proceeded to tell her about us. As of this week – she not only has quit prostitution and is moving back in with her father who is a pastor of his church so she can get on her feet without prostitution – but her son has moved back in with her to also get clean. All from a flyer on a windshield saying “please call http://www.sexworkersanonymous.net for help”. True story.

        • stonescry says:

          Jody, I’m totally with you!!! Any way that we can reach out to someone without further endangering them, we must!! Thanks for sharing this story! Faith without deeds is indeed dead! I am reminded of that verse:
          “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘We knew nothing about this, does not He who weighs the heart perceive it?” (Prov 24:11-12). We must walk in the spirit and use wisdom. In the case of underage girls who are with their pimp, it is very tricky. I LOVE what you do, and was actually just thinking about you the other day! Thanks for chiming in here!

  19. Miranda says:

    I think you are spot on about prayer. I know some of the original people behind the end it movement, and I know their hearts, and I know they’ve spent days, weeks, months, in prayer, fasting, and just crying out to God that this awareness WOULD move people’s hearts to prayer and actions — not just thinking a red X fixes it. Because ultimately, you’re right. NOBODY but God can bring freedom. But He will use people here. I appreciate your post so much and wish people could truly see the importance of prayer, but I along with tons of other people wore a red X on my hand so I would be reminded constantly throughout the day to pray. There are genuine people behind and involved with this movement.

  20. a friend says:

    First of all, I want to tell you I’m sorry. I’m so sorry on behalf of all those who wear a red X and claim to care yet deep down they do not. I’m sorry that for most, “fighting slavery” actions stop with “awareness.” I do want you to know though that we are not all like that. I believe that God is what it will take for any slight difference to be made in the world about this. I am not a survivor of such crimes, but I do have my own set of experiences that make me extremely sensitive to it. I know from those experiences that God really truly is the only One who can fix this issue. He is the only one who can mend the brokenness and soothe the fear. I will add you to my prayer list, stonescry. My heart hurts for those in pain over such awful crimes. Bless you for writing this blog and sharing your thoughts and stories.

    • stonescry says:

      Dear friend, I am so sorry for your pain. Thank you for praying for me. I’m so glad that you have found Christ to be the answer to your pain. It is a lifelong journey we are on. I wrote this post last year when I was in a lot of pain, in every way. I don’t regret my words at all! He is the answer and without prayer, people DO NOT find freedom! Bless you!

  21. Abby Kraft says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart here. Yesterday was 2014’s “red X day” and I, too, saw it all over my news feed. Awareness is great and all, but what is anyone actually DOING? I know that us “activists” always get up in arms because we feel helpless and we want to DO. Thank you for the reminder that sometimes all we can do is pray. I live in the Philippines, where sex trafficking and slavery IS talked about and prevalent. But it is prevalent in the US too… where no one talks about it. Frankly, I think that is more dangerous. It’s easy to draw a red X and bring “awareness” about “those poor people over there,” but not so easy for us to see what happens in our American neighborhoods. Because if we saw that… what happens down the road… we’d have to actually DO something.

  22. kristoni1 says:

    Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for your bravery. Thank you for speaking. I am praying for you. I pray for peace and healing to continue. I don’t have the words, or the wisdom, or the life experience to tell you anything else, but I pray that you keep speaking. Its voices like yours, voices that speak with honesty and conviction that will be a part of changing this.

  23. SN says:

    I am not sure that I can agree with this post. Yes I absolutely believe that there should be prayer behind this awareness, but I don’t think the red X end – it movement should end. There are billions of people on this world, which means there are bound to be people who don’t actually realize that human trafficking is such a serious issue. I did not know anything about human trafficking or at very least the seriousness of it until last year. Don’t you think someone walking in the mall, seeing all these X’s on peoples hands would wonder what they are for? Then they would either ask, or google it. They would learn about trafficking and see ways that they can donate to help campaigns such as A21 that actually goes out and saves people, puts traffickers in jail, and allows the women to live in a house and helps them get back on their feet and begin life again. Or maybe they will do more than donate, maybe they will intern. They will learn the red flags, they will save lives. Maybe they will be more successful at helping victims than anyone in the past.. but that will never be accomplished if they are not first made aware of this situation.

    You said it yourself…
    “If you have merely heard of human trafficking or sex slavery, think back to the time when
    you first heard those words. For most people, it has been only in the past few years.

    Until recently, I did not have the word “trafficking” to describe what happened to me.”

    For most people it has been only in the past few years. Do you think that just magically happened? No. People were made aware. Wether it be through a speaker, a booth, a news story, whatever. They were made aware. Awareness can be the thing that saves lives, because no one can act on something that they never hear about.

    I hope that you know that I am not trying to start an argument. I’m sorry for what has happened to you, and you will be in my prayers.

    • stonescry says:

      Thanks for your thoughts on the matter and for your prayers. My heart on this matter is further explained in the posts titled, “What is Justice?” and “Why Humanism Will Not Heal.” I think if you took time to understand where I am coming from as a whole and not just from one post, that would help. Bless you!

  24. Mark McDonnel says:

    Thank you. Humbled. Praying.

  25. gplander says:

    Reblogged this on To Live is Christ and commented:
    This is a beautifully written post voicing the truth about awareness movements, and the power of prayer

  26. Chris Martin says:

    Wow. Great post. So sorry for the pain and broken-heartedness you are enduring. Praying. God bless you and your husband.

  27. Melissa Robinson says:

    If I may give a little background on End it movement and the red x’s. This movement was born out of a gathering of college students at a Christian event called Passion three years ago. These students and their adult leaders are the ones that raised the money to launch the end it movemt campaign. We prayed then, we pray now, we seek out ways to bring more awareness to this tragedy. Yes they have celebrity backers now, but that is not how it began. I can not tell you how many people still look at me with great shock on their face when I tell them the statistics about modern day slavery. I don’t use the ones from “over there” I use homegrown American statistics. God bless you!

  28. Cherise says:

    Although I understand what she’s saying that awareness does nothing if no one takes action, it is so much better than remaining silent. When I hear my paster talk about how he is really on in to end it, and being a part of a body of Christ that is actively involved, it’s sad to see people who aren’t devalue the heartbeat which is to end it.

    • stonescry says:

      My heart on this matter is further explained in the posts titled, “What is Justice?” and “Why Humanism Will Not Heal.” I think if you took time to understand where I am coming from as a whole and not just from one post, that would help. I am not against awareness. I am simply for so much more. Bless you!

  29. Alec says:

    I’ve always felt weird about awareness movements for causes like cancer and especially slavery (as far as what it actually does now that everyone’s well aware); but I’ve always had a problem with thinking that prayer makes a difference either. I mean sure it impacts the person praying, but on reality. How can we change the mind of God? How can we influence His decisions? If you believe God is constant, which you pretty much has to, this doesn’t make any sense. So what good is it preaching the the converted?

    • stonescry says:

      Alec, your questions are real, and they are legitimate. I can only answer from my own experience, and to tell you that as a Christian, I believe the Bible, and we are told to pray without ceasing. Prayer connects us to the heart of God like nothing else can. Once we begin to understand His true heart – that He is a God full of compassion and mercy and lovingkindness who loves us beyond any human concept of love we have experienced – when we begin to really understand this, we can begin to pray – not to change His mind, but to agree with Him. He desires that every captive would be free! This is the very reason He sent His son to the earth. (Isa, 61 and Isa. 42). He allows us the privilege of partnering with Him – through prayer – in setting captives free. Not because He needs our prayers in order to get Him to do it, but because He knows that in prayer, we become more joined to His heart. And this is all He really wants anyways – a relationship! With us. And to set captive hearts free, including our own!

      I spent years wondering the same thing. It was not until I came to Him, in my brokenness, and simply asked Him two things that I began to understand and heal. Those two simple prayers were:
      1. God show me who you really are
      2. God give me a desire to read and understand the Bible.

      It turns out those are two prayers that He cannot NOT answer, because they are His very will for us – to know Him through His word.

      Those are my thoughts, my answers. But I encourage you to pray those two simple prayers and see where you end up!

      May God bless you richly with the knowledge of His mercy and love for you!

  30. lori says:

    I agree! And be encouraged, I know many who wear the x are intercessory as well. It may feel a though everyone is just wearing an x because it’s the fad “cause” but many are truly praying!

    • stonescry says:

      Lori, thank you. Yes, I know this. I think many people did not realize that I wrote this post a year ago from a very difficult place. I wrote another post this year, but did not have time to finish it before leaving town. It was God’s choice in allowing these words to go forth again this year! I do know that there are those who truly pray and wear a red x! This post was never in a million years written to those people. It simply represents the true heart of a broken person struggling to heal amidst the hype and the pain of those who love their cause but never stop to pray for the ones they claim to fight for. Bless you!

  31. bewiseaboutmoney says:

    I will commit to praying for you! I’m not sure what packet of info you read but the movement started in the church we attend. It is a big church and connected to a huge college ministry. We all have committed to praying. And we work in our city to rescue the local women and children from slavery, not just overseas. We work with groups who house those who have become free to get them a new life. We believe it takes awareness as well as many dollars to see people free and delivered to live a beautiful life.
    Praying true liberty in Christ for you!

  32. gw says:

    A friend shared this post on Facebook. Though I wore the red X on my hand, I have been feeling concerned over the difference between “awareness” and effective action and prayer. Thank you for so eloquently sharing your heart about this. I hope that somehow God’s redemptive power will lead those of us who participated to pray, instead of just forgetting about it until next year’s end it movement rolls around again. May God bless you as you continue to find healing – I’m praying for you, others like you who are still recovering, and those who are still caught up in the web of slavery. Thank you again for writing this post.

  33. I know you wrote this almost a year ago and I don’t know where you stand on the issue now, but it was the red X that led me here. And I don’t know your story and you don’t know mine, but your words have blessed and touched me and I just want to say Amen Sister, Amen, Amen and Amen!

    • stonescry says:

      Gloria, I’m so glad you came. Yes, this post was a perfect reflection of the real pain I was in last year at the time of the red x. Funny….I had a new red x post I intended to share this year, and God did not allow it through circumstances to get finished. Instead He saw fit to recycle these words of mine from last year. Thanks for hearing and thank you for reaching out. May your story be used for His glory!

  34. Twila says:

    Great message! I did wear a red X, but every time I looked at that X it reminded me to pray. I have never spent a day praying for slavery like I did that day!! And reading some of those “big name” sites, really did open my eyes! I had no idea there were so many in slavery!! 😦
    Asking God to bless you with overwhelming peace and healing!

  35. Laurie says:

    My church, Influence Church, has for the past year been working with the City of Anahiem ministering to help those in our own community that are tramped in this cycle. We don’t have to wear any red x’s or symbols to do the Lord’s work nor is any publicity needed.

    • stonescry says:

      Bless you, Laurie for your willingness to remain hidden and unseen as you do the dirty work of actually wading into the mess and fighting to help victims heal. May God grant you and your ministry wisdom, strength, endurance, hope, and a deep abiding sense of His love and presence with you in this fight.

  36. Pingback: Bits and Pieces of a Scattered Brain | Melinda Blogs {sometimes}

  37. Melissa Robinson says:

    I was hopeful that it was not the case, but now I see it is. I left a comment on the 1st of this month detailing the beginnings of the end it movement. I’m sorry your pain is so deep that you deleted my comment. I will continue to pray for you and pray that God will soften your heart and help you understand that not everyone that wear the red x are doing it because it’s the cool thing to do. They were clueless prior to passion and now they know and now they’re burdened by it, now they cry out to God and fight in their own communities to end modern day slavery.

    • stonescry says:

      Melissa, that was not the case at all. I’m sorry you jumped to that conclusion. I am a survivor, still healing and living with severe chronic pain. Please take the time to read more of my heart here on these pages before you judge. It takes a great deal of compassion to actually help real survivors of horrific trauma.

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