The Table Podcast

Fighting International Human Trafficking

In this episode, Darrell Bock joins Barry and Kim Jones in discussing human trafficking, focusing on international issues and ways to help combat human trafficking.

Timecodes
00:15
My Refuge House and combatting human trafficking
05:18
Comparing International and domestic human trafficking
10:41
How many human trafficking victims can organizations help?
12:51
Relocating people escaping human trafficking
17:05
Barry’s cooperation with Kim’s work
20:13
How the Jones’ discuss human trafficking with their children
22:18
How churches can get involved in combatting human trafficking
29:30
How people outside the church can get involved in combatting human trafficking
31:45
Kim describes the rescue process from the time a person approaches My Refuge House
36:03
How people can learn more about this issue and how to get involved
39:40
How Kim tells people about her work
41:04
What Barry has learned though his involvement with My Refuge House
43:50
Advice for those considering getting involved in combatting human trafficking
Resources

My Refuge House

God's Heart for Human Trafficking Victims

Transcript
Darrell Bock
Welcome to The Table where we discuss issues of God and culture. I’m Darrell Bock, Executive Director for Cultural Engagement at the Hendricks Center at Dallas Theological Seminary. And my guests today are Kim and Barry Jones, and our topic is “Human Trafficking.”

And we’re just gonna dive right in. And my simple question for you, Kim, is how does a suburban wife like you end up working in an area like this? How did you come to spend time in human trafficking?

Kim Jones
That is a great question. I have asked myself that a million times I think. Even when I stood in the middle of a red light district, I’ll never forget thinking, “I’m a homeschooling mom at this point, and here I am standing – what am I doing here?”

But it actually started about seven years ago, and I was watching an interview that Ashley Judd was doing with Madeleine Albright. And in that interview, they mentioned two words that I had never heard of, and they were human trafficking.

And, of course, how does a great user of the Internet respond? We, of course, google it, right?

Darrell Bock
Right.
Kim Jones
So, I went and I googled “human trafficking” and was astounded by what I started to find. From there I read probably one of the best books. It’s not a book of faith, necessary. It’s called A Crime So Monstrous. It took me a long time to get through it, but it was a fantastic read, and it gave me a great understanding of what was happening worldwide.

And so, it just captured my imagination, if you will. It captured my mind; it opened my eyes, and I realized, “Okay, now I know, and so I have to respond.” And so it just went from there. And it was a ball that has not stopped rolling.

Darrell Bock
Just gathering steam.
Kim Jones
Yes.
Darrell Bock
Yeah. So, tell us what it is that you do, since I didn’t tell everyone what you do.
Kim Jones
Oh, that’s okay. I work for an organization called My Refuge House. We are an after-care home for girls who’ve been rescued from sex trafficking. We’re located in Cebu, Philippines. And it’s a great, great organization; I can’t say this enough. Every time I talk about it and talk about our girls, I just smile ear to ear, because it is truly a delight.

Basically, I am their arm here in the U.S. in terms of education, providing education about what we do. But then not just about what we do, but just educating, bringing awareness to the issue. I’m often astounded, and I shouldn’t be, but I find myself astounded in that there are still people that don’t know.

And so, that’s why I’m here. I provide that knowledge for people and really just talk to people about the kind of work that we do with our girls there in the Philippines.

Darrell Bock
Now, Barry, you’ve kinda been along for the ride on this.
Barry Jones
Very much so.
Darrell Bock
So, what’s it like to be a husband of a suburban wife who –
Barry Jones
Sure. Well, it’s been really interesting, Darrell, because I teach here at the seminary. I’m a pastor – teaching pastor in a local church. And so, I get lots of opportunities to open up the Scriptures to talk about God’s heart for justice, for the call for us to be shalom makers.

But it’s fun for me to be able to sort of point to my wife as a very living example of that. It’s one thing for me to stand in front of my congregation and talk about it; it’s another thing to take Kim to the airport to put her on a plane to fly to the Philippines, or to fly to Thailand or Cambodia the places that she’s been.

Of course, she’s seen these things on the ground and are encountering these lives up close and personal. So, it’s been a huge inspiration for me to be able to hear the stories that she brings back from these experiences that she’s having.

And I think, in a lot of ways, it has made me better understand God’s heart for justice, better understand the call to us to be people who are signs and foretastes of the world that is to come. As I watch my wife live that stuff out in really profound ways, seeing that light shining amidst a very, very dark kind of backdrop, it’s not only personally been inspiring for me, but also I think has more deeply informed the way that I teach my students here at the seminary, the way I teach my congregation in the local church.

But I very much have been the guy who’s carrying suitcases and driving her to the airport or helping watch kids while she’s off telling stories about the things that are happening in this area.

Darrell Bock
So, your main contact deals with the international sex trade. We’ve had Mike Bartel do the show, in which he stays concentrated on what’s going on in the United States, ’cause most people think, “Oh, that is –” If they’re aware of it, they think it’s just strictly an international problem – and of course it isn’t.

You know, this is funny, because my awareness of this area is related to a mission’s conference – an international mission’s conference that I went to in Thailand. And when we landed in Bangkok, they said, “Well, we’re gonna go to a church meeting today.”

And I thought, “Okay, this is gonna be your normal missionary, “This is what the church is doing,” kind of thing. And it was, “This is what the church is doing,” but what the church was doing was dealing with human sex trafficking and trying to help rescue women out of it and that kind of thing.

And we hadn’t been told ahead of time what the topic was gonna be. And so, they dropped us in this meeting, and we’re expecting a few rounds of “Amazing Grace,” etcetera, and we’re off and running, talking about evangelism and that kind of thing. And – boom – this is what hit us. And so, that’s – my experience is kind of similar to yours in terms of awareness of this area.

So, let’s talk about international sex trade a little bit and kind of what you’re dealing with, where the girls that you’re talking about come out of. How common is it? What are the ages that we’re talking about? That kind of thing.

Kim Jones
Okay. Well, first of all, they are approximately – and I’m not a big numbers person, because numbers can be manipulated. Right?
Darrell Bock
Right, right.
Kim Jones
But to give people an understanding of what we’re dealing with, there’s approximately 20.9 million people, throughout the world, that are enslaved. And two-thirds of that number are in the Asia Pacific area.

And then when you kind of then focus in specifically on the Philippines, we’re looking at approximately 100,000 children each year. We, like I said earlier, deal with sex trafficking. Our girls range – I mean it could be – we would take girls at any age. And some can be as young as three and four. We’ve never taken any that young, but I do know of organizations that have.

Currently, our girls are between the ages of 11 and 19. And a lot of them have stories of manipulation, fraud, coercion. They find themselves in circumstances that they would never have imagined themselves in, which is not unusual throughout the world. I mean the stories that we hear in the Philippines are gonna be very similar to stories that we hear in India, or perhaps in Africa, or here in the United States.

One of the central issues in the Philippines has a lot to do with poverty. We have a huge issues of poverty there. And so, when you are struggling to eat or you’re struggling to find clothing – you name it – just the basic necessities, you’re not – and I say this to people, and I think I get wide eyes from people in that you never know what you might do.

And they look at me as if, “Are you kidding me?” But when your back is against the wall, you’re never sure. Because we have parents who will sell their children.

Darrell Bock
That was my next question.
Kim Jones
Yeah. We have parents who sell children. And so, when you’re living on the street, and you’re basically living on a cardboard box, and you have no means to make money and to survive, you find yourselves doing things that you never imagined yourself doing.

So, we have situations like that. We have situations where there is abuse in the home, where we have sexual abuse or physical abuse. And it’s sort of preparing them, if you will, in some ways. It’s setting them up; it’s placing them at risk for those that kinda come in – predators who come in and see that these kids are vulnerable.

Many of our girls have had pimps basically come in and say, “Hey, I can give you a better life. Let’s go to the city.” They don’t know they’re a pimp. But the other thing that’s really interesting about the Asian culture, specifically in regards to the Filipino culture, is that children are actually expected to support their families. They’re expected to support their parents at any age. And they get to a point where it – they have to – they feel obligated.

And children see that there’s this – they want to honor their parents, and they’ll do whatever they need to in order to take care of the family. And sometimes they find themselves, “Hey, I’ll go to the city, ’cause there’s a job for me at a hotel.” And what they don’t realize is that they have just been manipulated; they’ve been – it’s fraudulent; it’s not true. And then they –

Darrell Bock
They’re entrapped.
Kim Jones
Yeah, they’re entrapped, exactly. So, that’s where a lot of our girls are coming from. It has a lot to do with the cycle of poverty.
Darrell Bock
So, you’ve got – as I mentioned, we’ve had Mike Bartel in here, and he said something to the effect of there’s something like only 200 dedicated beds to help girls pulling out of sex trafficking in the United States. And, of course, you’re dealing with thousands. So, I mean it’s nothing compared to the need.
Kim Jones
Right.
Darrell Bock
How many beds are you dealing with in the Philippines, and is the situation similar in international –
Kim Jones
Yeah, you know, we have – there are – how can I say this? – There are places that you would want children to go, and then there are places that are not necessarily providing the holistic care that they need. So, there’s places that they can go temporarily, if you will, but there’s just a smattering.

There’s not that many – because there’s so many islands. There’s over 7,000 islands in the Philippines. So, you’ve got such a diverse group, such a spread out group of people, but there’re more – there’s a larger need than we actually are capable of meeting.

We are the one home in Cebu, and we actually can hold up to 20 girls. The one thing that we are very careful about is that our property could perhaps hold more. But if we want to see real restoration happen, then we have to limit the amount of girls that we have. Because otherwise, then, we are – we’re not helping them ultimately. Yes, we’re maybe getting them off the street, but are we actually helping to deal with them emotionally, socially, psychologically, spiritually? Because that – in order to really deal with the issues that these girls are facing, they have to be seen as a whole person. They have to be dealt with holistically.

Darrell Bock
And it takes a long time to go through all that, ’cause –
Kim Jones
Oh, yes, it does.
Darrell Bock
– ’cause of the depth of the damage that’s been done.
Kim Jones
Exactly.
Darrell Bock
Now, another question that comes up in relation to this, so, do the girls – in the United States, what was happening oftentimes is is that not only do you have to rescue someone out of the situation that they’re in, but you actually have to relocate them to some degree to get them away from being re-entrapped, if I could say it that way.
Male
Mm-hmm.
Kim Jones
Right.
Darrell Bock
And so, is it – are those dynamics the same in the Philippines, or are they different?
Kim Jones
What we do – there’s some similarities. But we actually partner with International Justice Mission there in Cebu. And so, IJM, what they do is they go in, and they are there to help law enforcement, to help them do some of the necessary groundwork on helping to locate girls. We work very closely with our – with the law enforcement.

It’s essential to have that partnership and for us to encourage them to actually identify these girls. And so, we’ve got a great relationship in those kinds of ways. And then once they’re rescued, then they come to us. We are located at an undisclosed area. We don’t give our address out, if you will.

Darrell Bock
Right, right, yeah, yeah.
Kim Jones
And so, only a select few actually come to the space that we have. We have a 20-foot wall that surrounds our entire property. We have three security guards that cycle through throughout the day and the week. We do have girls that are still being threatened by pimps. We do have those kind of circumstances. However, we also have circumstances where there isn’t the threat; there isn’t that threat.

And so, what we’ve recognized is that we have to have a balance in that – our ultimate desire is to reintegrate our girls, is to help them to reintegrate into their culture and to be functioning, well-adjusted human beings.

And so, the rub, if you will, is the 20-foot wall, and we can’t always protect them. It kind of reminds me, as a parent – as my kids – I want to keep them to me; I want to protect them from the world. But ultimately, that may do more harm than good.

And so, what we’ve recognized and that we do is for the girls who are not at risk for those kinds of things, our goal is to reintegrate them with their families, is to bring healing to their families, is to really work on that unit. It is essential in the Filipino culture. The family is the center. And in order to function in society, that has to be a really strong unit.

And so, for us, even when maybe there have been parents that have sold them, what we try to do is find someone in their family that we are able to connect them with, that we are continuing to create those connections and firming those up and shoring those up.

And yeah, we don’t want our girls to be afraid of the world. And quite frankly, they’re not. They’re the most courageous girls. They are the sweetest, most joyful, but tough girls. What they’ve experienced, you have to. And they just have such a – they’re just gumption. I mean they just – they’re so – we have one girl right now going to university. And she said, “Well, you know, I’m going to university because I’m gonna become a cop.”

And I said, “Oh, you’re gonna become a cop?

“Yeah, I’m becoming a cop because I’m gonna go out, and I’m gonna arrest them.” And sure enough, ’cause she has that thing in her that says, “This is what I’m gonna do.”

So, that was kind of a roundabout way to answer your question. We – yes, we have to protect them; yes, we do create a situation where it’s a safe harbor facility. But then yet, at the same time, recognizing there has to be flexibility in that, because not all situations are exactly the same.

Darrell Bock
Now, Barry, we’ve kind of had – set this up as you’re kind of on the sidelines watching all this happen, but I know that something like this doesn’t happen without the spouse cooperating.
Barry Jones
Sure.
Darrell Bock
So, what’s involved, from your end, in terms of – in terms of what goes on?
Barry Jones
Yeah, well, I think a couple of ways in which that play out. I mean one of the things that we talk about as a family quite a bit is I preach – I’m on pastoral staff at Irving Bible Church. And so, when I have responsibilities and obligations there, and Kim takes on a greater weight with our children and the family, she, in a sense, is ministering to all the people at Irving Bible Church by helping me to be free to be able to do that.

And we do that in a very reciprocal sort of way. So, I’m taking the additional responsibilities with the family, with the kids, to free her up to be able to pursue this work that God has entrusted her to do. And I think it’s a great way even to show our kids that sense of both Mom and Dad have gifts and callings and support each other in this sort of way.

But the other thing, then, is in my pastoral role at the church that we have partnered with My Refuge House. And so, IBC has had a connection with this organization, even before Kim actually came on staff with them. She made a trip over there – her first trip to the Philippines was as a representative of Irving Bible Church to go and then see the work that was happening and the things that we were giving funds to and supporting.

And so, we want to help our congregation to have a sense of what God is up to, on the other side of the world, in the lives of these little girls, and to help them to feel some sense of their participation as a community.

One of the things that we’ve been able to do as a church is give the money to build a second cottage. There was kind of the main house where the girls were living. And so, we were able to raise the funds and give – to build a second cottage to be able to have more girls there at the facility.

And then even more recently, when the church – we got out of debt; we had a large debt that we were trying to get out from under, with the dream of saying, “What can we as a church do with the money right now we’re spending on building debt? What could we do for ministry purposes, for kingdom purposes?”

And one of the first things we did, when we got out of debt, and we were sending that money to the bank every month, is we cut a check to My Refuge House for them to build a pavilion, which is the place now where the girls will do all their education, all their social activities, just a place for them to be together and to enjoy a kind of social space there on the property.

And so, those are all things that Kim is able to go and see firsthand and then come back to the congregation and tell the people. We’re showing pictures; we’re telling stories. Telling stories of the girls, of individual lives that we’re seeing changed because of our church’s partnership with this organization.

And Kim functions, in a lot of ways, as a go-between. And then I have the opportunity to sort of stand up and preach and use these stories even in my sermons.

Darrell Bock
So, your children are how old?
Kim Jones
Thirteen-year-old son, ten-year-old son, and a six-year-old little girl.
Darrell Bock
Now, obvious question is, how do you communicate this to them? We’re gonna have to watch our time as we answer this, but how do you communicate this to them, and what has it been like for them to watch Mom and Dad go after this?
Kim Jones
Our 13-year-old knows. He – I don’t go into great detail with them, but he understands that the organization works with girls who are rescued from sex trafficking. The ten-year-old has a variation of that story. It’s we’ve rescued girls who are being sold. Now that he’s getting a little older – he’s pushing 11 now – he’s beginning to kind of start to put things together. Our six-year-old, the way she put it to her kindergarten teacher was that Mommy was going and telling people about Jesus.
Darrell Bock
Okay.
Kim Jones
And giving them a house.
Kim Jones
That’s kind of – so, it varies according – you know, it’s whatever’s developmentally appropriate. So, that’s the way that we do it. And as they get older, they learn more. And it’s essential – because I am an educator, it’s essential for me to educate them about what it is that I do, and that what we do here in the U.S. affects what people are doing halfway across the world.

Whether it is through IBC and building or whether it is through – on the opposite – you know, the flipside of that, men traveling across the continents to buy a child – or what we do here in the United States affects other people. And I want my kids to know that. I want them to know and understand that choices have far-reaching ramifications.

Darrell Bock
And I think the first natural question to ask is – I’m a church – I’m a pastor listening to this, and I’m thinking about, “Yeah, that’s a different kind of ministry than anything that we’ve ever done before and contemplated.” It seems kind of out there, to some degree. But on the other hand, it is a very concrete way of really ministering to people and really – with an opportunity to really change the direction of their lives.

So, how does that work, Barry? How did Irving – how did – my initial question to Kim was how did a suburban wife end up in this area. So, how does a normal, everyday church in the middle of America end up going in this direction.

Barry Jones
Yeah, it’s a great question. I think sometimes what happens is we hear about this, and it’s just – I mean it’s horrific to us to contemplate. And almost the natural impulse that arises in some people is like, “Okay, how can we go bust down the doors and pull these little girls out?”

And of course there’s important work to be done in that regard, but for most of us, we’re gonna be pretty far removed from the kicking down the door and rescuing directly.

Darrell Bock
Yeah, some of the experts I speak to talk about the danger of becoming a vigilante, and that that actually is very, very destructive.
Kim Jones
Yes.
Barry Jones
Right.
Darrell Bock
So, that’s not – so, we know we aren’t gonna go in, all guns blazing.
Barry Jones
We can’t follow that sort of impulse as much as we might want to. And so, for us, it’s a matter of strategic partnerships and finding work that’s already been begun that we can join in with. We had a personal relationship with Crystal Sprague, who’s the former executive director of My Refuge House. She’s actually been involved in our church before as a member.

And so, it was kind of through that personal relationship of finding out the work that Crystal was doing and then discovering a little bit more about what the organization was all about and what they needed and how we might be able to support them.

And so for us, it was a matter of saying, “This is an important issue; it’s an issue that we want to be involved in,” and then beginning to look for what are some really meaningful ways that we can partner with existing organizations that are already doing good work.

Of course, there’s room for starting new NGOs and 501(c)(3)s. And I’m aware of some new work that’s being done, but there’s also already some great existing organizations that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. But maybe a church can say, “We’re dedicated to responding to this issue. How can we partner with an organization that’s already doing good work?”

And so, at IBC, we are partners with My Refuge House, and we support them financially. We’re also involved with and have supported New Friends New Life, which is a local organization, here in the Dallas area that helps women who are leaving the sex industry.

And then, in addition to that, as Kim said, there’s a lot of those sort of background factors of at-risk kids and poverty and education and many other things that are – that are the things that make particularly young girls, although young boys as well, susceptible to this sort of thing.

And so, what are the ways that we might be able to strategically get involved with organizations that are part of that preventative type work? Very important that we’re rescuing girls and providing them this kind of holistic aftercare. But oh, wouldn’t it be beautiful for us to be able to have some kind of ability to intervene in the lives of these kind of children before they find themselves having been victimized in these kind of ways?

And so, as a church, we’ve also got some different partnerships that we pursue with kind of organizations that deal with at-risk kids.

Kim Jones
And they don’t always have to be directly related to human trafficking, those at-risk type of organizations. I think for me, when the church asked the question, “How do I get involved,” my question is, “Have you – do you know your community? Do you know who’s around you? Have you gotten involved in your local elementary school? Local public elementary school? Your local middle school? How are you connecting with them? How are you connecting with places where you know that there are youth involved in a way that the church can be proactive in and encouraging those groups of people?”

One of the things that IBC has done is we have a Reading Buddy program in the Irving ISD. And it has been remarkable. There have been people that have walked with kids – just simply lunch buddies, reading buddies, for years. Now, whether or not that’s actually – like we can actually get numbers from that, there’s no way.

But what I do know is that lives are impacted. And we do know that when people are in relationship, in good, healthy relationships, then there are preventative things that are happening. Choices – right choices can be made.

So, those are near and dear to my heart. I would also like to say something – a little bit about My Refuge House and the way that we actually started. We were started by a small church that had been meeting for about ten years in the L.A. area.

And they decided to read a book called Terrify No More. And it’s a book written by Gary Haugen, who is – he’s the one who started IJM, International Justice Mission. And collectively, as a collective, I guess there were about 200 people in the church at that time, they all read it. And after they read it, they realized, “Wait a second; we have to respond. What do we do?”

And so, they – this was, I guess, about nine years ago. And so, they actually contacted IJM, and they said, “Hey, here we are, we’re this group of people. We want to respond. What do we do?”

And IJM said, “Hey, listen, we are in Cebu, Philippines, and we are rescuing these kids, and they have nowhere to go.”

They took that information. They began to pray. They began to fast. They began to just process, “Okay, God, how do you want us to respond?” And out of that is how My Refuge House was born. Now, the way that they paid for it was that they had been saving money for ten years to build a building. And instead of building the building, they chose to build My Refuge House.

And so, when anybody ever asked, especially churches – like when I go and talk to churches – like when I go and talk to churches, and they go, “Well, we can’t do anything,” or, “I’m not sure if we could,” or whatever, I think, “No, yes, you can. This is a church. This small body of believers have changed over 50 girls’ lives. I mean that’s amazing, and they will change lives in the future.”

And so, because they stepped out in a very faithful, concrete kind of way, God is honoring that in a – such a beautiful way. So, I – there is always something to do. I love – I love connecting with people and figuring out, “Okay, how are you wired? How are you gifted?” And figuring out, “Okay, so, how does that fit in with this issue?”

And it’s been really fun for me, because one of the things that I do here in the States is I put on events. You know, when you work for a nonprofit, you’re a jack-of-all-trades. You know?

Darrell Bock
Right, right, right.
Kim Jones
And so – and with that, I thought, “You know, I want to do something creative. I want to connect with the artists of the world. I want to connect with the creatives of the world, because that’s a group that I’m not sure knows or feels like, “How do I connect with this kind of thing?”

And so, two years ago, I had this – it was a crazy idea, I’ll just have to say that – crazy idea to put together an event that was a runway show. And people kinda go, “Okay, so, how is that helping human trafficking?”

Well, first of all, there are people that are – have gotten involved in it that are not inside the church, first of all. Second, people that are inside the church, that have gifts that often go unused, if you will. The church doesn’t necessarily see – maybe unseen gifts, unseen talents, those kinds of things.

And we have put together just a spectacular, beautiful event. We’re doing it again, and it’s been so – and I just – my heart just leaps, literally, when I see people using their gifts in order to bring restoration and rescue to our girls at My Refuge House, because what they do here, whether it’s they make a dress, or they take pictures, or the paint, or they – you name it – they build a stage, that is benefiting the girls at My Refuge House. It’s all interrelated; it’s all intertwined. And it’s exciting to me, and that’s what I tell people. I’m like, “No, these gifts are good. This is good. You’re not going and rescuing them, but you are doing something that rescues them.”

Darrell Bock
Now, here’s a kinda – we didn’t talk about this in the first segment, but we probably should have. A girl comes to your home, to your house, and what happens with them there? What actually does – what services does the place provide?
Kim Jones
Well, the first thing that happens when they come in is that most of our girls come in with STDs. So, we’ll have 11-year-olds. We have four 11-year-olds right now, and they come in with sexually transmitted diseases. So, we have gynecologists that work with us that they immediately get that addressed. They get all of their physical issues addressed. They get – they go to the dentist. They get their eyes checked. Many of our girls – I would say probably 100 percent almost, 99 percent had never had their eyes checked.

So, we first of all deal with the physical needs, just those kinds of things. One of the things you can definitely see in our girls that have just arrived and our girls that have been there for a while, you see a difference in their eyes. I know when I’m there who has just arrived.

Once they have begun the process of their medical, then they begin to do education. They do assessments just to kind of find out. Most of our girls have less than a third-grade education. Less than that. And so, they come in, and we teach, actually, in English, because they really want to be bilingual. And actually, it’s very beneficial to them, ultimately. And in the Philippines, you see English everywhere, and it’s very bilingual.

But then we also deal with them emotionally. They have therapy. We also have – it’s emotional, spiritual. Oh, my goodness, it is so – it’s so exciting to me to see them develop an understanding of what family could and should look like.

I always leave and go, “Man, I need to do that in our family,” because they are in family units, in cottages where six to eight girls stay, and they have a house mother. And they meet weekly. I mean they’re together all the time, but they even meet weekly to discuss, “What went well this week, and what didn’t?” And I think, “Man, the Jones family needs to do that.”

And it’s so neat, because they’re seeing and understanding how a family that is – how it can function well. And we’re also helping to redefine what love should and could look like.

Darrell Bock
So, what’s – I mean this is probably a poor question, but what’s the average stay or length of stay that a girl has in the home? Is it varied? I mean –
Kim Jones
Yeah, it really – it really does. I would say probably about two years, maybe three. We’ve got some girls right now who have been there three years and have just qualified for university, which we are – okay, that is beyond exciting to us. I literally want to jump up and down about it. Because they come in, like I said, with a third-grade education. And there are now three – I think we now have three more, so four, maybe five that will be in university. And it’s exciting. They want to be writers; they want to be police officers.
Darrell Bock
You’ve prepared them for life.
Kim Jones
Yes. And it’s exciting. They’ll say to us, “You have taught us to dream big dreams.” But not even just that. They – when I say that they are joyful, they have a joy – it’s – they understand who their Father is. They get it. They understand it, because they understand what rescue really means and what restoration really means.

And I’m all over the place. But it’s just exciting to see – I see what is possible, and I see what God is actually orchestrating.

Darrell Bock
Okay. So, we’ve looked at how the church does this, and we’ve talked about what happens to a girl that comes into the home and the length of time that this really does take to do well. The one question that I think remains on the table is, “Okay, I’m at stage one as a person. This is interesting to me. How do I think about finding out about this?”

You’ve mentioned a couple of organizations; maybe you said that you’re about education. Where do people go to find out what’s going on, and to even discover what they might be able to do?

Kim Jones
Okay, there’s a couple of great places. First of all, our Secretary of State, if you go to that page, there will be great information that the U.S. actually provides on every country in the world and where they stand.

We have a four-tier system that we rate people, rate – excuse me, not people, but countries on how they stand in the area of human trafficking. That’s a great place to go. Your local government and specifically state governments will have information on their websites about how human trafficking is being dealt with in their own state.

Darrell Bock
So, here’s a use of tax dollars we can ac be proud of.
Kim Jones
Yeah, right? I know. It’s really great; it’s really great. Polaris Project, that’s another great place to go. They give great information there as well. There are so many books. Like I said, Terrify No More by Gary Hague, I highly recommend that.

There’s even – when you’re wanting even young adults – so, I say young adults – like teenagers – to learn more about it –

Darrell Bock
So, you’re thinking about how you actually prepare your children for understanding –
Kim Jones
Exactly.
Darrell Bock
– what you’re doing.
Kim Jones
Exactly.
Barry Jones
Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
Kim Jones
There’s a book called Sold, and it’s a great book for teenagers to read. It’s just really well done without getting into too much detail in terms of what actually happens. Let me think. Even Love146, that’s another organization that I love that’s near and dear to my heart. They have a great web page that – their website has a lot of really good information.

But beyond anything else, one of the things I would tell people – and this is – this is where I think actually the Church needs to work on, too, is having open communication in homes and in the church about sex. And that has to begin with small children. That has to begin. We cannot be afraid; we cannot put – stick our head in the sand.

And that’s really, I think, some of the place that has to begin as well. Education is essential in those areas. Reading is essential. Beyond that, once people start to receive that information, then you go tell. Right? I mean that’s what we do as believers.

And the way that I always tell people that’s the easiest way to tell what you have found, go to Facebook. Start putting things on Facebook. Tweet. Share it on Instagram. It’s nonthreatening. Share it with your next-door neighbors. That’s the next – that’s the next step. After you have this knowledge, then share your knowledge.

And it’s really interesting, because as you begin to do those kinds of things, doors begin to open, whether you like it or not. Like I said, this ball has been rolling. Doors open whether you like it or not. And you will find opportunities. And love your neighbors. So –

Darrell Bock
So, someone walks up to you and says, “Kim, what do you do for a living?”
Darrell Bock
And what happens next?
Kim Jones
That’s always an awkward conversation. And I always try to share it with a smile, but I just say, “I work with girls who’ve been rescued from trafficking – human trafficking.” And I sometimes include sex trafficking, but immediately, if I do use sex trafficking with them, their eyes sort of roll back in their head.

However, I will say this, when – the majority of the time, people are really interested. And I don’t know if it’s more for the sake of, “Wow, what does that mean,” or for genuine interest. And I share.

Darrell Bock
Yeah, yeah.
Kim Jones
So, it’s always kind of funny, and I try to use humor, and I try to just really highlight that there is light and that there is hope. And light has to be – has to be shown because when people are confronted with such darkness, they want to – they kinda want to put up blinders, and they want to – they feel afraid; they feel fearful. And I say, “Don’t fear; do not fear.”
Darrell Bock
Now, Barry, what do you feel like you’ve – this is a journey, a seven-year journey that we’ve been talking about. What do you feel like you’ve learned and gained from watching your wife go through really, in some ways, a transformation in terms of how –
Barry Jones
Absolutely.
Darrell Bock
I’m sure when you all got married and said your original vows, you didn’t think this was gonna be part of that – part of the journey.
Barry Jones
Right, right, right. Yeah, it’s been deeply, personally impactful for me on a number of levels. I mean I mentioned before even the way I feel like it has enhanced my – the work that I do here with students and the work that I do in the local church by giving me some opportunities to talk about the stories of these girls. I mean telling their stories, being able to share about what God is doing to bring restoration out of such pain, out of such brokenness, such darkness.

So, it’s impacted my ministry, but I think the question you’re asking is even deeper than that, “How has it impacted me?” And I would say that I think that the hope of the Gospel has become so much more pronounced, in some ways, in my own life and in the life of our marriage, in the life of our family, because we’re able to see that work of hope, of rescue take place, to see the darkness in the kinds of ways that Kim has seen it, and then to see the transformation that comes in these girls’ lives.

These are little girls who are so incredibly filled with joy. Kim’s brought back videos of the girls dancing and singing. And to see that joy that pervades their lives, despite all that they’ve experienced, really does cause you to sort of step back and go, “Wow, the Gospel is real. The Gospel is powerful. The Gospel brings life and hope and transformation, and it ought to bring joy to me.”

Darrell Bock
So, you’ve seen compassion and mercy and care fleshed out in many ways.
Barry Jones
Absolutely, yeah. You know, it’s interesting, B. B. Warfield wrote a little essay called “The Emotional Life of Our Lord.” And he looked at all the words that are used to describe the emotional disposition of Jesus. And so interesting to see that the single most frequently used word to describe the emotional disposition of Jesus is He is moved with compassion.

And to recognize that, and then to see some of the realities that we’ve encountered, and to see what is – what does the compassion of Christ call forth from us in response to this has rearranged the way that I see Gospel stories and the way that I understand what God’s up to in the world.

Darrell Bock
Now, Kim, if there’s one piece of advice that you could give to someone who’s thinking about, “Okay, I’ve creeped out to the edge of the board; I’m thinking about diving in,” what would it be?
Kim Jones
Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid. Because I know what that feels like, and God wants us to enter in. He wants us to dip our toes in. He wants us to put our foot in. He wants us to move in that direction. Don’t be afraid.

But then, at the same time, as you are having courage to enter into understanding this issue, as you develop a much more in-depth understanding, the question is then to ask God, “How is it that I can order my life? What can I do that will give me an opportunity to deal with the situation? And that’s essential. That’s essential as asking God, “Hey, God, how do you want to use me? I know now; now, what do you want me to do?”

And he’s been really faithful to show you. I say that without trepidation.

Kim Jones
‘Cause He will, but don’t be afraid. And I say that to people who are listening, but I say that even to myself. I have to remind myself, “Don’t be afraid.”
Darrell Bock
You know, it’s interesting, when Paul was talking about how to interact with people on the outside, I was thinking about sharing the Gospel, and you think, “This is the Apostle Paul; he does this every day, no problem.” He asked for prayer in Colossians. You know?
Barry Jones
Yeah, right.
Kim Jones
Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
Darrell Bock
To be led and guided by the Spirit so you can have the capability and enablement to do something that perhaps, if you had thought about it initially, you said, “I’m not sure I could do that.” That’s very much the way it is.

Well, I want to thank you all for coming in and sharing this very important area with us and kind of giving us an overview of what it takes to get into it. It’s an important area, and we’re pleased you could be with us.

And we’re pleased you could be with us on The Table, and we look forward to having you back again.

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Barry D. Jones
Dr. Barry Jones (ThM, 2002) enjoys listening to Radiohead, eating Thai food, drinking good coffee, and reading old books. The associate professor of Pastoral Ministries also serves as one of the preaching pastors at Irving Bible Church in Irving, Texas.
Darrell L. Bock
Dr. Bock is senior research professor of New Testament and executive director for cultural engagement at Dallas Theological Seminary. He has authored or edited more than 40 books, including Jesus according to Scripture: Restoring the Portrait from the Gospels, Jesus in Context: Background Readings for Gospel Study, Studying the Historical Jesus: A Guide to Sources and Methods, Jesus the Messiah: Tracing the Promises, Expectations, and Coming of Israel’s King, Who Is Jesus?: Linking the Historical Jesus with the Christ of Faith, and Key Events in the Life of the Historical Jesus: A Collaborative Exploration of Context and Coherence.
Kim Jones
Kim is the Director of Engagement at My Refuge House, a non-profit ministry that restores survivors of commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) and abuse.
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