My Neighbor Is Not For Sale Study
We are pleased to present our sixth congregational discussion guide, “My Neighbor is Not for Sale.”
Joining our previous studies – “My Neighbor is Muslim”, “My Neighbor is on Medicaid”, etc. – “My Neighbor is Not for Sale” brings congregations the facts, figures, and stories of the insidious world of sex trafficking of children and youth in our country. It also represents our first collaboration with Cherish All Children, a 10-year-old Lutheran social ministry, which has recently become a service of LSS of Minnesota.
It has been a shock to so many of us to learn that, what we used to call prostitution, has been quietly and quite creepily replaced by an Internet-driven industry of luring kids into phony relationships, controlling them, and selling them in the sex trade right under our noses in communities everywhere.
The images we grew up with of adult women on the corners of the “red light district” soliciting men has been replaced with an invisible web of adults preying on children and youth. Our new awareness has also made us question whether those women in the “red light district” ever really had many choices in life themselves.
Over the last couple of years, the State of Minnesota has contracted with LSS and others to offer “Safe Harbor” services in several communities that reach out to youth trapped in trafficking, help them escape the life, and support them in getting back into strong and healthy lives, utilizing our years of experience working with homeless youth.
Our new affiliation with Cherish All Children adds a rich dimension of congregational outreach and education and a focus on helping our children and youth protect themselves from trafficking by teaching them to beware of the signals that they are being lured into the danger zone.
I wish you blessings on your journey of awareness and enlightenment.
Jodi Harpstead, Former CEO
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota