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  • 27 million? 27 million slaves in today’s world?

    I sat with an intimate group of people in the candlelit atrium of the church.
    I thought I was just going to a meeting about raising money for church ministries.
    I don’t know why it sparked my attention, but I went.

    But I sat there and listened to my pastor talk about modern day slavery. Many of them girls between the ages of 10 to 12 years old. This is not a matter of color or class but about vulnerability of the innocent.
    Promised a better life. Their dreams robbed when they were lured into the dark world of forced sex and drugs. When I heard this I wanted to kick down every brothel door. I wanted to do something.

    How can anyone put a dollar amount on a human life?

    I had been praying that I could glorify God through my art. I wanted to do something with meaning.

    I know what it’s like to have my innocence taken from me. I know what it’s like to need healing and help from others.

    I don’t remember when, but some time after that, I kept running into the same person at different social events. She told me she was going to the Philippines to work with girls who had been rescued.
    She needed one more person on her team.
    She needed an artist.

    I knew that person was me.

    We helped the girls create art- sewing, painting, and taking photographs. We sold it back home to raise money for them.

    That trip to led to three trips to India.
    This time I took cameras and a team of teenage girls from my church.
    We didn’t come to talk about what happened to them.
    We came to share the love of Christ.
    To watch them laugh, create beauty, and just be girls.

    Photo: copyright Natalie Jeanne Photography
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