Fort Collins

This weekend I drove to Ft. Collins to visit a few friends
who were in town for Campus Crusade staff training. If you’ve ever been there,
the town has a significantly different vibe from the more conservative and
straight-laced Colorado Springs. The trip was fun and fairly uneventful, but as
we were leaving was struck by a girl sitting on the sidewalk. I never found out
what we name is, but she was wearing ragged clothing and holding a sign that
read “Wandering, Free Broke” in Sharpie on old cardboard. I’m not entirely sure
what the sign meant, but I from what I know about the margins of society, I
could tell that this girl was a teenage runaway.

A few weeks ago I was given the privilege of screening an
upcoming documentary on human trafficking in the U.S.  In it, the producers outlined statistics that describe the
most vulnerable members of society to sex trafficking. Overwhelmingly, these are
younger teenage girls (13-15) who lack strong family structures or male role
models. Traffickers will observe these girls, begin relationships with them,
often as boyfriends, etc, and over time turn them over to drug addiction and
traffic them in prostitution rings. When I saw this girl I knew that she was
exactly the type of girl who would be vulnerable to people like that, if she
wasn’t already. I’m not an overtly emotional person, so I didn’t do anything
about it or talk to her, and it was only as I left that I realized that not
only did I not try to help her out (or at the very least just talk to her and
find out why she isn’t with her family), but no one else looked like they were
about to either. And then I realized my hypocrisy in working for an
organization that frees children from those situations all over the word, but
refusing to act on my impulses to do anything about it right where I live.
That’s pretty screwed up.

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