Dave Stachowiak interviews co-authors, Shayne Moore, Sandie Morgan, and Kimberly Yim about their newly released book: Ending Human Trafficking: A Handbook of Strategies for the Church Today. Together, they discuss the inspiration for the book and each of their unique take on equipping leaders in the church.
Shayne Moore, MA
Shayne Moore is an author, editor, and activist. She coauthored Refuse To Do Nothing: Finding Your Power to Abolish Modern Day Slavery, which was named a 2014 Resource of the Year in Outreach Magazine. Shayne is the cofounder of Redbud Writers Guild, and former director of operations at the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College Graduate School. With an MA in theology, Shayne is a national guest lecturer on issues of global justice.
Sandie Morgan, PhD, RN
Sandie Morgan is director of the Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University. She is recognized globally as a leader in the fight against human trafficking. She hosts the Ending Human Trafficking podcast, and she also served by presidential appointment on the Public-Private Partnership Advisory Council to End Human Trafficking.
Kimberly Yim, MA
Kimberly McOwen Yim is cofounder and executive director of the SOCO Institute, and she writes and speaks on issues related to human trafficking. She is also coauthor (with Shayne Moore) of Refuse To Do Nothing: Finding Your Power to Abolish Modern Day Slavery.
- The book was written to give churches and the faith-based communities an understanding of their unique role in the fight against human trafficking.
- Learning about human trafficking will build awareness about prevention gaps, or even how we are already fighting human trafficking in our community.
- Invitations to begin:
- Join – you don’t need to reinvent the wheel; join and grow the resources around you.
- Pray – seek wisdom from God to see where the gaps are or how you are already fighting through prevention.
- Collaborate – look at the resources in your community to see where you fit and partner with others in your community to build a strong safety net.
- Ending Human Trafficking: A Handbook of Strategies for the Church Today (InterVarsity Press or Amazon)
- Use code: EHT30 for 30% off and free shipping from InterVarsity Press
- Ep. 272 – The Cool Aunt, with Rachel Thomas
- Ep. 266 – Rescuing Boys Labor Trafficked in the Fishing Industry, with Chris Fields
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Dave [00:00:00] You’re listening to the Ending Human Trafficking podcast, this is episode number 273 Ending Human Trafficking: The Book!
Production Credits [00:00:09] Produced by Innovate Learning, maximizing human potential.
Dave [00:00:29] Welcome to the Ending Human Trafficking podcast. My name is Dave Stachowiak.
Sandie [00:00:34] And my name is Sandie Morgan.
Dave [00:00:37] And this is the show where we empower you to study the issues, be a voice, and make a difference in ending human trafficking. Sandie, I am so looking forward to this conversation today because we are featuring the book that is coming out on ending human trafficking with both you and two of your co-authors. And I’m so glad that we have the entire author team here today to be able to talk about this new book and to really look at some of the key lessons that are coming out of it. So first of all, congratulations to all of you on this book coming out, and I’m really glad to introduce to our audience today, Shayne Moore, Kimberly Yim, and of course, my co-host Sandie. Shayne Moore is the author of five books, including Ending Human Trafficking: A Strategy for the Church Today and was director of operations at the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College Graduate School with a focus on anti-human trafficking. And Kimberly Yim is returning to the show. She is the director of the Soco Institute and author of Refuse to Do Nothing and Ending Human Trafficking. And of course, you all know my friend and colleague Sandie Morgan, who is also co-author on this new book, Ending Human Trafficking. I’m so glad to have you all here. Welcome back to the show.
Sandie [00:02:00] It’s so good to be a guest on my own show.
Kimberly [00:02:05] Thank you for having us.
Shayne [00:02:07] Yes, it’s good to be here. I’ve been a podcast fan for a long time.
Sandie [00:02:12] Well, one of our favorite stories is the Pithari and Dave and I have used that story many, many times during episodes and in other events, and I think I want to start this book launch interview with a statement of gratitude for Dave Stachowiak. Dave is on the Global Center for Women and Justice Board, and when he learned about human trafficking, he had heard me tell the Pithari story for new listeners. It’s a really large vessel that I saw at the palace of Knossos on the island of Crete. It’s so big I could stand up inside of it. And this is a people that were three thousand years ago. They didn’t have cranes, they didn’t have elevators, and they would literally fill that huge jar, the Pithari, with grain or olive oil or whatever. And then they had to get it down very narrow stairs. And the ingenuity was just phenomenal. They baked into the jar handles from the top to the bottom, so everybody had a place to take and carry that big, heavy piece of materials down those stairs. And when Dave encountered our work at the Global Center on Anti-Human Trafficking, he found his handle and said, Let me help you start a podcast, and that’s the origin story of Ending Human Trafficking, the podcast. So thank you, Dave.
Dave [00:04:05] Oh my pleasure. It has really been a wonderful blessing to me to learn so much about this, to have that handle as a piece of this, and I think it’s just a great lead in to the conversation about this book. The title, of course, is Ending Human Trafficking, but the subtitle is A Handbook of Strategies for the Church Today. And so many in our church communities as they learn about human trafficking and modern slavery, have a heart and desire to want to help in a substantial way. And they’re and they’re active and getting more active in the fight against modern slavery. The challenge is, it’s not always in a way that’s helpful, and one of the things that we run into, Sandie, we’ve talked about in the show before, but it’s featured in the book as well, is this savior mentality mindset that that sometimes shows up when churches dive in. What is that and why is it an obstacle for being helpful in this fight?
Sandie [00:05:03] Well, one of the wonderful things about having Kim and Shayne as co-authors is helping shape the message of the book so that it fits in everyday life. And so many times, from my perspective, when I was a task force administrator, some of the things that particularly churches did were well-intentioned. Kind of going out and doing their own rescues. But that kind of a citizen savior thing isn’t really sustainable nor necessarily effective. And so looking at it from a different perspective of how we can do rescue and Shayne, you want to tell the story of the cliff?
Shayne [00:05:49] Yeah. To go off of that idea that, you know, there’s some very well intentioned efforts in the churches today to fight human trafficking and all three of us have seen, or possibly, these well-intentioned efforts were not, in the end, the most effective efforts. So, you know, we wrote the book really with the intention to empower churches to play their unique and indispensable role in ending human trafficking or modern-day slavery. And Kim can talk more about this, about what human trafficking might actually look like in your specific community. But we built the book around the image of needing to build a safety fence so that people don’t fall off the cliff of human trafficking in the first place. Most of the resources today are really poured into scraping people off the bottom of the cliff once they’ve already fallen into human trafficking or as we say, they’ve fallen off the cliff. And of course, rescue and rehabilitation absolutely has to happen. But the thesis of this book, it’s an academic book, but it is an accessible tool for all church leaders or anyone in congregations that are interested. Is this idea that we will only end human trafficking if we, as the church, we understand that we are uniquely positioned for prevention and protection. And so we give this analogy of together we need to build a safety fence and that throughout the whole book, we talk about fence posts and every church, every community, and we teach you how to do this. You’re going to go out into your communities, you’re going to look at your own church, you’re going to look at your resources, you’re going to look at your strength, who’s there, who’s not, and you’re going to pick your fence posts. What can you do? What can your church do that is uniquely your sweet spot and build that fence post, and whether that’s around cybersecurity or after-school programs or whatever. And we unpack all of these ideas in the book. As you start to pick your fence posts. You might be a small church. You might have one. You might be a church with a lot of resources. You might have 10. So you build your fence posts and then you partner and you collaborate and you connect your fence posts to everybody else’s fence post. And the church is uniquely positioned to just make this huge force field protective fence.
Dave [00:08:26] Shayne, it’s such a helpful analogy in thinking about how we can work together to keep people from going past that fence, right? And I’m thinking about the church communities that need or maybe are just coming to this for the first time. They’re engaging. What’s an example of a fence post that you find often that is a good starting point to begin to engage?
Shayne [00:08:48] Well, you know, we, the way we start our book, quite frankly, is that we give examples for a church collectively and corporately to understand the role that they’re playing in slavery, both past and present. So, quite frankly, a very specific early fence post is to study the scriptures, know what it says and God’s desire and how holy people and the church should be set apart and see everyone in the image of God. And we talk about having a prioritized times of lament and repentance for the parts we play, whether we know it or not in our attitudes, in the past, present or even our purchasing habits. Do we know where our products are coming from? So those are some corporate ideas of fence posts, but we also give fence posts, and Sandie can speak to this of the idea of learn how to do a community assessment, walk around your church. What’s there? What are the needs? And what can you do? And start creating a plan.
Dave [00:09:58] Yeah, you said the word study a moment ago. And of course, Sandie, the Global Center for Women and Justice study the issues has always been the first invitation, right? And so much of this comes down to education. And you know, Kim, I was thinking about you in the context of education of there’s often, you know, certainly well-intended, almost everyone in the church community of wanting to serve well. And yet there’s often a lack of understanding of what’s involved with fighting modern slavery. What do you see when you run into that tends to be a stopping point on that?
Kimberly [00:10:32] Yeah, thanks. I think that in terms of the church, you do like Sandie said, you do see people with kind of savior mentality idea of going to the rescue. But you also see people either paralyzed when they learn about the issue, like it’s so overwhelming there’s nothing they can do, and the needs in their own communities seem so, so overwhelming that they don’t want to engage. They see human trafficking as another issue and another something to engage with, and it seems like too much. I already have enough on my plate. I can’t engage. Or, I see church leaders, community leaders just thinking it doesn’t exist in their own community. They don’t see it being a problem in their church. They don’t see it problem in their own towns. And so it’s like it’s the lack of understanding of what human trafficking and modern-day slavery is, not only globally, but locally. I think a lot of people think that human trafficking goes on overseas, that it’s in another country, that it only impacts people in extreme poverty or in war, and they don’t recognize the connection with their local community. They don’t see their own children at risk for being trafficked. They don’t see their own complicity in their purchasing and what they’re buying to Shayne’s point. And so the lack of understanding of the global and local domestic issues around trafficking either are not addressed because they don’t think it’s a problem, or they don’t want to lean into it because they think it’s going to be too much or too overwhelming for them to address. And those are the couple of things that I see in meeting with pastors or even nonprofit leaders who might be engaged in issues of homelessness or issues of poverty. And they see this as like another issue competing with what they’re doing, and they’re not seeing the intersection with what they’re doing and how it’s intersecting around human trafficking. So to be informed and be educated around this, I think we begin to see either, one: wow, maybe there’s an individual church organization that’s already doing something. Maybe they don’t see how this is really a preventative piece to trafficking. So learning about it and getting informed and educating yourself, you begin to see, Wow, when I am working at this homeless shelter, I’m actually doing trafficking prevention. So rather than looking like you have to jump ship and do something else, you’re more informed in what you’re doing and you could begin to see families like when I care for families on the brink of homelessness, I’m protecting these kids from being trafficked. When I’m involved in, you know, wheelchair missions, I’m helping people not be trafficked. And also, as you learn about trafficking, it’s not just how your church can help or how individuals in a church can help outside. But looking at, are we a strong community that we’re protecting our own kids, single mothers, adolescents from possible exploitation and harm? So I, as you can tell, I’m very passionate about educating and being informed on the issue of human trafficking. I think both protects our local community strong, but it also helps us see how we can, I think, will help develop what are those fence posts that we can do well and recognizing maybe we’re already part of a fence post that needs to just get stronger or needs to connect with another local fence post.
Dave [00:14:08] I so appreciate you saying that, Kim, because I experienced that myself when I first learned about human trafficking. That sense of overwhelm and also that sense of like, well, I’m already involved in other things like this is another thing competing for my attention. And it is interesting that like to be able to come to a place to see the intersections, right? And I’m wondering, as you’ve talked with church leaders and observed folks who really are able to start to make that transition. What do you find that’s helpful to get past that mindset of like, OK, this is too big or it’s like, I’ve got so much else and starting to see the intersections and how it all fits together?
Kimberly [00:14:49] In terms of, like continued learning, I think some people feel like they know all that they need to know and to have the posture of continually to learn and be open to where they’re places. I don’t know if that’s answering your specific question.
Dave [00:15:07] Yeah, I think it does. And it like having that is really key, then. When you run into situations with church leaders where maybe that isn’t the leading indicator. Is there anything you found that either they do or you do or someone else does that just helps people to like, move down that path a little bit of starting to do a little bit of that leaning in of that, that willingness to learn?
Kimberly [00:15:28] I think one of the things that I have told people is that if they start feeling uncomfortable, upset, overwhelmed to just pause and take a breath, but continue to lean in where your heartbreak is, where you’re beginning to find yourself kind of choked up. I feel like it’s kind of where God’s kind of nudging you for a little bit more. I have spoken to some groups of women and you can feel their resistance like they don’t want to get upset. They don’t want to get upset. They think they can’t handle it. But the more that they’re informed, the more they realize they have capacity to lean in, that there is something for them to do, and I, I think that people, as they come to around trafficking issues of trafficking, they don’t want to be left with a sad story. They just don’t want to be moved to just an emotional place. They want to get tangible, get to the place where they have tangible actions and feel and power that the steps that they’re doing make a difference. And I can’t stress enough that reading, learning, getting informed, knowing the language around trafficking, all of that’s going to help prepare for what that step is. Understanding the language around trafficking was we talk about becoming human trafficking literate, helps us to engage in the public square and then regardless of what that steps looking like, even understanding, OK, we talk about purchasing power. When we learned just a little bit, then we can go to our grocery stores and we’re more informed on the products we’re buying. That might feel so small, like an insignificant step, but with a little bit of education when a lot of people start changing their consumer habits and tweak it, that that changes entire global markets. When individuals start changing their habits, then this system of whole global markets change. All of a sudden you’re seeing more fair trade chocolate items in your grocery store. Why? Not because someone thought selling a five dollar chocolate was more, you know, smart fiscally. But it was because consumers started saying, Why don’t we have more fair trade chocolate items? This is fair trade chocolate tells us that the people and the kids that are harvesting our cocoa are not enslaved and making the chocolate bar. That’s a big deal. When people start asking or kind of demanding their money to have more fair trade options in their stores that begins changing entire markets. But it’s hard to– I think it’s hard in the beginning to make that turn like that, that my individual actions and my individual purchasing decisions, what I click on, what apps I download are going to make a big difference in the larger global issue around trafficking. But I think the more you learn and the more you understand the issues, the more you’re empowered by, actually, it does. It does matter.
Dave [00:18:29] Yeah, I so appreciate your invitation to us to think about. I mean, a lot of times we don’t think about the study in the reading as tangible. We think about, okay, I need to get out in the community and go somewhere or volunteer or bring food. And all of that is like good and important and as a part of this, but also to reframe thinking about the study as being so important as a tangible thing each one of us can do. And as you were saying that Kim, I was thinking I actually purchased a gift for Sandie yesterday, which spoiler alert Sandie. You have a gift coming in the mail and it’s a food item. So I was making sure that it was a fair trade item and it took me more time to find it because I was looking for something specifically fair trade. But I know to do that now because of all of the conversations I’ve heard on this show and from Sandie over the years. And just that study, that awareness, especially on an issue so complex as human trafficking is really key and like then framing our behaviors that are really tangible. And speaking of that, Sandie, you know, one of the other mindset shifts that I think a lot of us have started to make over the years, and certainly we’re always inviting folks to make is thinking about this on prevention as the way to really end human trafficking. A lot of times we think about it as people initially think about it as rescue. And one of the quotes in the book says that: “focusing primarily on prevention is the only way to end human trafficking and modern slavery.” That’s not news for anyone who’s been listening to this show before, but it’s such a key important principle in all of this, isn’t it?
Sandie [00:19:59] Absolutely. And and I have to say that we need a bigger understanding of what the word prevention means here. To your point about purchasing fair trade, I can’t wait to see what comes in the mail, and I’ll be sure to let everybody know. But the idea and Kim, I think you were the one who put the quote in from Kevin Bales. This is an economic crime. People do not enslave people to be mean. They do it to make a profit. And whether thats sex trafficking or labor trafficking, understanding that my purchasing decisions reduce demand for slave made products and one candy bar doesn’t save a continent. But there is a dioceses in Australia that did some research on their procurement policies, and their spending is four point six billion dollars a year. And so that’s a big chunk of prevention when it’s intentionally designed to look for avoiding labor trafficking or sex trafficking, whatever the prevention focus is. So we do a lot of prevention materials and interviews here. Just a couple of weeks ago, we interviewed Rachel Thomas and the Cool Aunt Series. We want to do prevention right here in our own backyard, but we also want to think about it in the big picture and how we start to impact how our church members think about stewardship. Cheap isn’t good stewardship. The respect for people created in God’s image is good stewardship. When I think about prevention, I also think I can make almost anything sound like prevention, I’ve been told. But the idea that we equip in this book, we equip readers with the language to be part of the community response to ending human trafficking. So we teach you the five Ps of prevention, protection, prosecution, partnership, and policy. And those five Ps are laid out so that church leaders can develop strategies that will empower their whole community, and they can be part of that. And when we become part of it, we become part of the army that is protecting our children, protecting the most vulnerable who might be labor exploited or even labor trafficked. So prevention looks different in different communities. Sometimes I go back to the recent interview with Chris Fields and the work of Mercy Project on Lake Volta. And Lake Volta, for decades, we’ve gone in to try to rescue kids who are being labor trafficked in the fishing industry. And they went in and figured out from a community assessment that building a stronger business economy for the fishing industry and equipping families to be safer and more economically secure. That was the best prevention, and now, they’re recognized for their model of developing avenues for removing children from being labor trafficked. And it really went back to a prevention mentality.
Dave [00:24:02] You know, so much of this really comes from a place of starting, and I know all three of you have the heart for church leaders to come to this book and to take something away from it that’s a starting point. Kim said there were tangible a few times earlier, like something that that you can begin with. And Sandie, we often when we have conversations on the show we talk about, you know, what’s the first step? And I’m curious for all three of you, actually, and I’ll start with Shayne. If you were having coffee with a church leader who was asking your advice about getting started with ending human trafficking for the first time, perhaps on their own volition, perhaps folks in their congregation that were starting to think about this? I’m curious if you were going to make one invitation for them to begin with as a starting point, where would you invite them to begin?
Shayne [00:24:57] Yeah. Often the saying goes, you know, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. And we wrote the book really with this spirit of we wanted to come alongside church leaders and congregations, and it be an encouraging book. We want it to be a compelling resource. And, you know, if I was going to give a starting place piece of advice or encouragement, it would be you don’t have to invent anything. You don’t have to do it alone. And to really build up that sort of enthusiasm and morale that this is a movement. People are talking about it. Our children are talking about it because you may think you don’t have issues of human trafficking in your community or your church with four walls. But every one of your kids have a phone, and there’s so much cyber security and online security and so many resources about how you can protect our very own. That would be, I guess, my word of encouragement would be: Join. Find your friends post. Join it to the fence posts around you because you don’t have to do this alone.
Dave [00:26:12] So often there is whatever starting on something new. There’s that tendency for all of us to start from the beginning and create an isolation and not to think about what’s already there that we can help with and like finding the place we can latch on to. Thank you so much for that invitation. Kim, the same question to you. If you were sitting down with a church leader starting on this, what would you invite them to start on?
Kimberly [00:26:34] I think I would encourage them to spend some time in prayer, both in their church and then to get a few and walk around their church, walk around a few blocks, start praying for asking God for wisdom on where to begin and finding a few people in their church with the same feelings of we’re ready to listen and to do something. I think listening and learning should kind of be some of the first postures in terms of when we’re coming to an issue. I think our impulse is to do an act and at first, and I think I take this pretty serious. So I would say, I would encourage people to listen and learn, and then those next steps would be then begin to see what needs have risen to the surface. What kind of resources do you have available within your church and then to begin that discussion around assessment before acting. But I think my very first things would be through prayer, listening, and then learning.
Dave [00:27:41] Thank you. Sandie, I know, like Kim and Shayne, you’ve been involved in many of these conversations over the years with church leaders. When you sit down with someone who’s starting with this for the first time, what’s the invitation you would make?
Sandie [00:27:56] My invitation is really centered around collaboration, and that means I want them to understand the framework and figure out if we can go back to the Pithari where they actually fit instead of trying to do something they’re not very good at. I love what Kim just said about listening and in collaboration to be a real partner, to have the trust of the community. We need to show up and have respect for the other members in our community, respect for law enforcement, respect for victim service providers who are required to use a trauma informed approach. To learn those, the language around that and demonstrate our value for the leaders that are doing that hard work. Communicate with the people in your local coalition, your task force. There are so many opportunities to be involved. It’s really interesting to see how often churches feel very isolated and they start a human trafficking ministry and I ask them who their partners are and all their partners are people in their church. And actually, if we’re going to make a community impact where we actually have the capacity to become a safety net that doesn’t allow our children, our adults, people who are part of our mission organizations to fall through, then we need very densely woven connections to have a a net that is a safety net. And that means creating partnerships with people in other parts of town, in other walks of life, and opening our doors to people that we don’t always agree entirely with. But we all have the same focus and we want to end human trafficking. And when I finish coffee with this church leader, I would suggest that they do a book club or a staff training and use the Ending Human Trafficking Handbook of Strategies for the Church Today as a starting place, as they grow their impact in the community.
Dave [00:30:41] Thank you all three of you for the incredible work that you have done and the hours you have put in, not only to write this book, but of course, in your work and your volunteer work over the years to yourself study these issues so you can be a voice and make a difference. And I would love to echo Sandie’s invitation of this book as a resource. Normally, here at the end of episodes Sandie, we talk about resources on the website and the guide and Patreon. But today, I really would just have my single invitation for you would be to grab this book because as we’re airing, the book is available and out. It is a resource that will help you really from beginning to end to frame some of the key places on study, as you’ve heard or echoed in this conversation. And when I read through the book Sandie, I thought, Wow, this is just such a wonderful guide that captures so much of what we talked about over the last decade on the show in one place from the context of a church leader to really begin. And so I hope that you’ll take a moment to find Ending Human Trafficking: A Handbook of Strategies for the Church Today on Amazon or wherever you purchase books. We’re, of course, going to link to it at endinghumantrafficking.org and utilize it as a starting point, either for yourself or within your own church community as the beginning place to take tangible action. Thank you so much to all of you for your work on this. Shayne, thank you so much. Kim, thank you. And Sandie, of course, always a pleasure to work with you and just support you on your efforts on all of this.
Kimberly [00:32:20] Thank you so much for having us, Dave.
Shayne [00:32:21] Thank you.
Sandie [00:32:23] Dave, as we wrap up here, I do want to let people know that InterVarsity Press Academic has offered a promo code on their website and will give our listeners 30 percent off plus free shipping. And all they need to do is enter the code EHT30 perfect.
Dave [00:32:46] We will have that linked up on the website. Thank you so much for that Sandie. So just go over to endinghumantrafficking.org find the link. EHT30 is the code to use and we would love to hear from you on what questions and conversations are coming out of the book because we’ll address them in future episodes. Sandie, Shayne, and Kim, thank you so much to all of you. Sandie, we’ll be back in two weeks for our next conversation.