Human trafficking generates $31 billion annually and enslaves 27 million people globally, half of them under the age of 18.
When Tim Ellens, a member of Elmhurst (Ill.) Christian Reformed Church, heard these facts and learned human trafficking happens in our own backyards as well as overseas, he felt compelled to act.
Partnering with Dave Larsen, a member of Hope CRC in Oak Forest, Ill., and the director of advancement for Timothy Christian Schools, he helped bring awareness of the issue to Chicago’s western suburbs.
Timothy Christian Schools hosted a “Not for Sale” event, a campaign of individuals, musicians, artists, people of faith, businesses, schools, and sports teams raising awareness and mobilizing around the human-trafficking issue.
David Batstone, director of “Not for Sale” (www.NotForSaleCampaign.org), spoke on the issue and showed video clips of firsthand accounts from traffickers, freed slaves, and “abolitionists” (those who are fighting for the cause).
Both Ellens and Larsen saw the event as a way for the school to live out its Reformed theology. “It’s important for institutions like Timothy to be a voice for social justice in the community,” said Ellens.
“Timothy tries to be a ‘town square’ for our students and community, exploring together Christ’s call to transform the world,” said Larsen. “We plan to work with our students in finding ways to connect to the movement and be of service in specific ways.”