Whether you follow basketball or not, “March Madness” dominates TV programming this month. Fans flock to venues all across the country to watch their favorite teams vie for the national championship. Hotels and restaurants in cities hosting playoff games do a blockbuster business. Yet in the midst of all the excitement and celebrations, there is a dark side to this annual contest.
Just as hotels and restaurants flourish as fans flock to these host cities, human trafficking also flourishes. In fact, during most major sporting events, human trafficking spikes. The Super Bowl has become known as a prime time for human trafficking. The recent arrest of Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots football team, has put a brief spotlight on the problem.
In 2015, when the Super Bowl was in Phoenix, I had the privilege of being a part of a group of prayer leaders who prayer walked the stadium the day before the game. I have no idea at this point how the Lord worked during that time. Being there, however, raised my own awareness of the enormity of the problem. Stephanie Kilper, a representative for Operation Freedom Taskforce in Akron, Ohio—an organization that aims to end human trafficking—said, “Prayer is such a powerful way to combat trafficking. It accomplishes more than one might think.”
March Madness provides yet another opportunity for vulnerable people to be used and abused. Whenever and wherever a major sporting event takes place, be reminded that behind the scenes and during all the hoopla and celebration, people are suffering at the hands of human traffickers.
One can only imagine the suffering experienced by those being trafficked during the few days of such an event—for them it must seem like a lifetime. So . . . PRAY!
- Pray for those being trafficked – pray for their deliverance from this horrible abuse. Pray for protection.
- Pray for the traffickers, that God will open their eyes, change their hearts, and give them hearts of compassion. Pray they will be caught and put out of business.
- Pray for the “customers,” that God will bring conviction and pray, too, that they will be caught and not allowed to abuse others.
This is not a small issue in our country. It is a reflection of the value we place on people. Pray that God will bring an awakening to America.