The Table Podcast

Abolishing Human Trafficking

In this episode, Bill Hendricks and Christine Caine discuss her mission to eradicate human trafficking through awareness, intervention, and aftercare.

Hendricks introduces the mission of A21
Why do we need modern abolitionists?
Caine’s background in this area
The growing problem of human trafficking
The economic and racial issues of human trafficking
How Caine established A21
Human trafficking awareness
Jesus and human trafficking
The power of shame in human trafficking
Caring for trafficked victims
Trafficking victims need salvation
How smaller churches can get involved
Individual volunteer opportunities with A21


Bill Hendricks: Well welcome to The Table podcast where we discuss issues of God and culture. I’m Bill Hendricks, Executive Director for Christian Leadership at the Hendricks Center.


Today we want to look at really what is the dark side of culture and this is the whole topic of human trafficking. I want to get into this by telling a story. It’s the story of a little girl who’s three-years-old and she’s named Eve and she’s growing up in Thailand. Eve’s family is very, very poor. In fact they’re so poor that they take Eve to the city, they take her to a district that is known for its brothels and they dress three-year-old little Eve provocatively and they have her begin to dance in the street, which begins to attract crowd. From that crowd they extract money. They make her keep this up until she’s utterly exhausted.


The next morning they wake her up again to do the exact same thing. The way they keep her at the task is to put drugs into her juice that she can continue to perform. This goes on for some three years. Little Eve is weary, she’s drug addicted, she’s miserable, and she’s exhausted. But she has no choice because she’s earning a very handsome income for her family. To make matters worse she becomes something of an internet sensation on video and so forth.


It’s about that time that a group named “A21” discovers Eve. Her pupils are dilated, she’s exhausted, she’s obviously been abused. They contact the police and the police intervene in a raid and they take Eve. They put her with A21. A21 gets her to safety. Today Eve is a little seven-year-old little girl who is in counseling and getting medical treatment, but she goes to school which she loves and she particularly loves gymnastics.


And all of that is in Eve’s life due to the grace of God and particularly as manifest through a group called “A21.”


This morning we have at the podcast Christine Caine and Christine and her husband, Nick, some nine years ago founded this organization called, “The A21 Campaign.”


You have described yourselves in A21 as “abolitionists with a mission to end slavery.” Let me ask you a rhetorical question Christine. Thanks to William Wilberforce and the Clapham Sect slavery was ended in England in 1833 and here in the United States with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, so why do we need new abolitionists?


Christine Caine: We definitely need new – well thank you firstly for having me on the program.


Bill Hendricks: You’re welcome, thanks for being here.


Christine Caine: I love it – you know A21 has an audacious goal its right to abolish slavery everywhere forever. I think we threw in the word “forever” as well because of the question you just asked me. Hang on a minute look what William Wilberforce had done in England, look at the Emancipation Proclamation Act in North America and yet there are more slaves on the earth today than ever before in the history of humanity.


It’s the way we’ve defined slavery looks different in different parts of the world now, as well I think in the story that you just explained about Eve, the horrific story. It’s not like perhaps some of the slavery where we were putting African slaves on boats and they were coming across the ocean.


Bill Hendricks: What does it look like?


Christine Caine: Well it can look anything from Eve to – there is still in Bulgaria we have recently come into our care, a young woman who was sold, really it was like a stock market. There were some of our workers were there, there were hundreds of men there and traffickers putting one woman up after the other and selling her, €300, €400.


So Libya if you’re looking at the news right now you’re seeing men are being sold for $300.00 and $400.00. So you go, “I can’t actually believe I’m watching this all over again.” But there’s that kind of slavery.


A lot of the young women we work with in Eastern Europe have been taken from rural villages, promised jobs in say Greece where we have one of our aftercare centers and it’s called “organized crime” Bill because it’s very organized. So they will setup a shell company in Greece and so the girls then get a permit to come into Greece to get a job, except the organization does not really exist. So when they come across the border the traffickers often take them, rape them, sell them into brothels.


Prosecuting a lot of those cases poses an increased problem because they’ve gotten to prove that you were forced to come over when you actually got a permit to come over yes for a job.


Bill Hendricks: You did it voluntarily, right.


Christine Caine: I mean it is just so complex, there’s a lot of complexities involved with prosecuting that in many countries that we work human trafficking is not a crime. You can’t prosecute something that’s not a crime, you can’t convict someone with something.


So a lot of places that we go we put lawyers in first to begin to change laws in order to make it a crime so that we can actually help to represent the victims.


We are working with a boy in Greece now. He came out of Syria and was trafficked through Turkey, sold for sex, for three years from the ages of 15 to 18 and he miraculously escaped two weeks ago. He’s come into our care now and we’re putting him through.


Here’s one, that we’re getting girls pregnant in brothels in Greece, taking them up to Northern Bulgaria in what they call “infant farms,” forcing the girls to have those babies and then selling those newborn infants into pedophile rings. Then taking the organs of the girls and selling them on black market.


So trafficking has many different faces.


Bill Hendricks: Many faces. So it’s not all just sexual exploitation, it’s also exploitation of labor.

Christine Caine
Labor is the major, major and of course organ trafficking, it’s horrific. You know for a young woman who is sexually exploited she’s worth about €250,000 to a trafficker per annum. Before in many cases then they will sell off their organs once they can’t sell them for sex anymore, it’s like cattle.

One of the traffickers that was being convicted in Greece in the Supreme Court he judge asked him, “Why do you traffic young women, I mean she was a teenager.” He said, “Because the fines for trafficking people are far less than trafficking armaments or drugs and with them you can do what you want you want. You just kick them and they’ll do what you want them to do.” So there’s the dehumanization of the person, which really is the only way you can do that.

Bill Hendricks: Clearly dehumanization is the operative word. Well I want to come back to dehumanization, but I want to roll the clock back a little bit. First of all tell me about yourself and where were you born? Tell me a little bit about your story.

Christine Caine: I was born in Australia. You know Melbourne, Australia has got the second largest Greek population outside of Athens.

Bill Hendricks: I thought I noticed an accent.

Christine Caine: This is how the convicts speak, the Queen’s English.

Bill Hendricks: Well maybe you noticed my accent.

Christine Caine: Well yes I noticed yours because see you’ll throw the T out in Boston and we kind of carry the commonwealth on that’s us.

Bill Hendricks: Okay

Christine Caine: I’m laughing because now you have a prince that’s marrying an American so we are all far more related than we’d like to think, [laughter] but anyway so I was born in Australia, but the daughter of Greek immigrants. My parents came from Alexandria, Egypt and so there was a mess when all the Greek Orthodox Christians were being persecuted in Isme, Turkey my grandparents fled from there through Greece into Alexandria. Then when King Farouk got overthrown my parents had to flee from Alexandria to Australia.

Bill Hendricks: Wow.

Christine Caine: So kind of a –

Bill Hendricks: So you’re a refugee as much as –

Christine Caine: Oh very much so all the way from Isme, through to Alexandria, to Australia and now we’re living in America, so applying for citizenship now, so I have the immigrant journey all the way around the world.

Bill Hendricks: Absolutely.

Christine Caine: I found out at 33 quite shockingly and not enough time to go into the detail here, but I found out that I was adopted. In fact I’m one of there were three siblings, my older brother, George, my younger brother, Andrew, I was in the middle, Christine, right there in the middle and we found out then my brother was adopted from one set of parents, I was adopted from another set of parents, and my younger brother is the only biological child, but we thought we all were biological children. So it’s quite shocking at 33 to find out you’re not who you thought you were.

Bill Hendricks: Sure.

Christine Caine: I was the daughter all I know from the legal papers is that my mother was an immigrant woman, single woman, lived in immigrant housing who got pregnant to a 55-year-old married man and left me at the hospital. So there were forced adoptions back in Australia in the ’60s. So that’s how I ended up in my home, you had to adopt the same nationality, same religion. So there was not many Greek people looking for babies and then Greek Orthodox as well on top of all of that. So that’s kind of how I ended up in my home. Found that out at 33.

From the time I was very young until my teenage years I’d also experienced sexual abuse at the hands of several different men.

Bill Hendricks: Oh my gosh.

Christine Caine: So in many ways you know I was very broken. My story could be the story of anyone of our traffic victims.

Bill Hendricks: Yes.

Christine Caine: The difference was I was born in Australia where there was a rule of law so there was an adoption system setup. But you know we rescue kids that have been taken from orphanages in Romania, Albania, Bulgaria. I could have been –

Bill Hendricks: Yes, right, you can identify with those kids.

Christine Caine: I am there is just one degree of separation – oh very much so. My birth certificate doesn’t have a name, It’s number 2508 of 1966.

Bill Hendricks: Talk about dehumanization.

Christine Caine
That’s the deal. So I go for me when people throw out numbers like 40 million slaves, well 40 million – if I said to you number 2508, you wouldn’t even think about it. But when I say that’s Christine Caine it changes everything, because numbers are so dehumanizing and desensitizing.

Bill Hendricks: Right.

Christine Caine: So I think in many cases we can ignore suffering when it’s nameless and faceless, but to God nobody is nameless, nobody is faceless, everyone is created with his image on the inside of them. So we’re trying to put a human face on – you know when I first started talking about slavery ten years ago not many people were talking about it in the church you know?

Bill Hendricks: Right.

Christine Caine: Then I remember some people would say things to me especially when it came to sex trafficking, “Well Christine are you trying to tell me that these girls are not asking for it?” “Are these women not…” It was stunning to me.

I thought I have – well now I have a 15-year-old and a 12-year-old, never once did either of my daughters in their growing-up years come to me and say, “Mommy I’d love to be a prostitute.”

Bill Hendricks: Right, right.

Christine Caine: You know it’s never been –

Bill Hendricks: Little girls don’t grow up wanting that.

Christine Caine: Yeah, never. So that’s why I think like, “No, nobody wants that.”

When you’re work really within it, when you’re prosecuting traffickers and you’re seeing especially there’s a lot of Mafia in Europe and South Africa and Asia where we work involved, we work extensively in – we’ve had some miracles in Thailand. We work with the Thai Internet Crimes Against Children, the Thai Royal police, Homeland Security, and FBI from here and have setup in Pattaya, which is the pedophile capital of the world a child advocacy center.

But some of the things that we’ve been exposed to there I mean for people that don’t believe evil exists just need to spend one minute in that child advocacy center and go the depravity of humanity of what people are able to do.

We have a child in our care that is 18-months-old right now with a broken pelvis and you don’t even want to know what the levels of depravity of what people will go to and the child porn what babies and Eve the child pornography and internet porn that these children are drugged and abused and then that is sold on the internet it’s just incomprehensible where we’ve reached as a society.

Bill Hendricks: Yes we don’t want to dehumanize people with numbers, but in terms of numbers I mean my understanding is this is a growing problem in the world.

Christine Caine: Certainly. Because the way we’re measuring it is different. So when I started it was 27 million, you could easily lose heart and go, “Christine, now it’s 40 million. The UN has just released you know the latest figures.”

Bill Hendricks: Yeah, right.

Christine Caine: But we’re measuring it more effectively now. I think children like Eve are being included in those numbers. There was a day they wouldn’t have been. It would have been, “Well that’s just that culture.” “You know that’s just child brides at eight-, nine-, 10-years old.” Whereas now we’re going, “No, no that’s not just a cultural thing to use a child in that way. So I think the way we measure what is trafficking has changed very much so.

Bill Hendricks: You mentioned culture and I’m sure that different cultures around the world do view this differently.

Christine Caine: Yes.

Bill Hendricks: My wife for awhile has been working with a group that’s working with women who are sexually trafficked in a Southeast Asia country and it was a new thought that I came by through that work that this was not a moral issue, this was an economic issue.

Christine Caine: Yes.

Bill Hendricks: That these women would leave their families and go into prostitution in order to send money back home not only so their families could live, but more importantly elders could live.

Christine Caine: Yes.

Bill Hendricks: And that it was not based on you know guilt and a moral thing, it was a shame thing. The shame would not be the sex, the shame would be not providing for your parents.

Christine Caine: Absolutely. It’s so hard – a lot of what we do is in our prevention and awareness programs is we have a school curriculum. So it’s here in the US, but it’s through Asia and through Europe and I mean in every country we’re in we work with the education department to make the curriculum you know pertinent to that country, but the program the essence of it is still the same. It’s called “Bodies are not Commodities.”

We have to work right from kindergarten, because you’re talking about something that’s woven into the very fabric of society. You’ve got those cases in Southeast Asia, in countries like Greece where prostitution is legal, a rite of passage. So when a young boy and I’m Greek you know by heritage, so when a boy turns 13 it’s highly common that his grandmother as his rite of passage into manhood is to take him to a prostitute. It’s almost like incomprehensible for us to go you know a 13-year-old boy would be taken by his grandmother and she would pay for him. Now this is a supply and demand issue.

Bill Hendricks: Right.

Christine Caine: Because then we think, “Good Greek girls wouldn’t want to do that.” Do you want to help me understand why Uzbekistan girls would or why Romanian girls would?

Bill Hendricks: Right.

Christine Caine: But then what you’ve done is you’ve objectified people, you’ve othered people and so then what you have then is a lot of race issues, a lot of kind of – you know it is amazing to me the racism that is inherent all around the world.

Bill Hendricks: Yes.

Christine Caine: It’s like, “Well they’re just Serbians” or “They’re just…” I mean I hear this and I’m the ground and I’m going, “You’re kidding me, are they not human beings? Do you think these girls…”

It’s almost like I talk to rational people that just look at me and go, “Well that’s just what they do. That’s what Roma gypsies do.” We’re working with a –

Bill Hendricks: It’s the new normal.

Christine Caine: It’s the normal and I’m like, “That’s not just what anybody does.” The objectification happens at every level, for the victim that’s being trafficked, but also just the way we look at society and we go, “These people are less than. This is what they…” Whether it’s the caste system in certain societies or whether it’s an unsaid caste system that exists everywhere, “My nation is better than your nation,” “My culture is better than your culture.” We work with this in the format of Eastern European block all the time.

I grew up that you know. We were outcast in Australia being Greek, but you know the Greeks and Turks and Macedonians have had conflict and I thought, “This is not an issue that is just for one country, it’s everywhere around the world.”

Bill Hendricks: It’s global, it’s global.

Christine Caine: Yeah.

Bill Hendricks: So at what point did you and Nick say, “We need to start an organization” and how did the name “A21 Campaign” come about?

Christine Caine: Most asked question. Well I was traveling to speak at a women’s conference in Thessaloniki, Greece and so of course I have relatives throughout Greece and Greek is my first language.

Bill Hendricks: Right I was going to say… Okay, going home.

Christine Caine: It is in many ways. But when I stopped to get my bags at baggage claim there were these posters of women and children, many posters and there was a disproportionate amount, like dozens.

What had happened at that time about a decade ago a young girl called “Madeline” was taken in Portugal, people might remember her. Her parents were having dinner and she was in a room with a couple of her siblings and when they went home she wasn’t there.

Well Interpol was on high alert so every airport you went to her poster was up everywhere, but so were other posters of missing children. I had looked at posters like this in other countries. I’ve done mission work for years in-and-out of Kiev, Poland you know?

Bill Hendricks: Mm-hmm.

Christine Caine: It’s amazing how you can look and look away and look and overlook, but for some reason – I had just had my second child, I was 40 and as I was looking at these posters there was a little girl and her name was Sophia, which was the name of my daughter that I had just birthed and for some reason whether it was maternal hormones, I’d just had a baby, I just –

Bill Hendricks: Or the Holy Spirit.

Christine Caine: Or the Holy Spirit, that’s exactly who it was, [chuckles] I looked but all of a sudden in an instant this is what I call “a call-up moment,” I went from looking to seeing.

Bill Hendricks: Mm-hmm.

Christine Caine
I didn’t just look at these missing children and I could read it now, because of course it’s Greek and it says, “Missing, missing, missing.” I’m thinking, “There’s a lot of missing children and a lot of missing women.” I went from looking at a missing child to seeing who could have been my child and when you see you can’t unsee. I just started weeping, I could not look away. Almost like you know in Luke chapter seven when Jesus is at Simon the Pharisee’s house and he says to him, “Simon do you see this woman?”

Bill Hendricks: Yes.

Christine Caine: It was like that’s what happened. It’s like I saw. She’d been there all the time and I was no longer objectifying, just going, “They’re missing kids,” I saw and I could not unsee.

I would say spiritually that was the moment A21 was birthed, because I mean I still didn’t know anything. I walked out crying. Called my friend who was the Director of UNICEF in Copenhagen and then from there began to find out that these were the alleged victims of human trafficking. That was the moment when like most people in the world I went, “This does not still happen today; slavery ended.”

I mean I’ve got an economic history degree, William Wilberforce, I mean I was you know and it’s like, “No, no, no” and that when my eyes were opened up to the issue.

So we’re thinking of a name and I’d like to say it was something spiritual, it really wasn’t, it was we had to register something and I was in Europe and my PA was in Australia and just in a – she said, “What are we going to call it?” I go, “I don’t know we just have to abolish injustice in the 21s Century that’s what…” Out of that it was like, “Oh A21,” that’s literally how it came about and it stuck and it has really stuck in an amazing way.

I didn’t realize that actually having a name that was just like that has given us great access to governments and law enforcement, because it’s nonthreatening, just A21 and very easy to remember. How it was sort of sealed for me was I came out of the gate at Frankfurt Airport and I was going to catch my airplane from Frankfurt to Thessaloniki and as I was having my conversation and I turned the corner and my plane was leaving from Gate A21 and it was like you know what when you’re looking for confirmation you’ll take anything. [Laughs]

Bill Hendricks: Yes absolutely. Okay let me ask this question. I want to hear later about some of the – you’ve got several layers that you have to work with to free someone from trafficking.

Christine Caine: Mm-hmm.

Bill Hendricks: But it sounds to me based on what you’re saying that there’s a different angle on this that what one of your most difficult and seemingly impossible tasks is getting people to see.

Christine Caine: Yes.

Bill Hendricks: How do you do that?

Christine Caine: Yeah thank God for prayer and the Holy Spirit. A lot of that –

Bill Hendricks: It’s a spiritual issue.

Christine Caine: I believe that totally. It’s the only way it could exist in the way that it exists, undergirding it all and you know the enemy has blinded the eyes of people. If you say people as people you couldn’t do this to people.

Bill Hendricks: Right.

Christine Caine: You know it is interesting to me the only thing that God created in his image were us, human beings.

Bill Hendricks: Yes.

Christine Caine: And I just remember even as I was trying to talk about it in churches and I’m thinking, “Why are people resistant to this?” It is an interesting thought that on our watch it will not be our legacy that human trafficking flourished on the earth the most during our tenure as the church. I mean imagine when we stand before God and go, “Wow that’s how ineffective we were as the church.” The only thing created in your image is humanity and more than the trafficking of armaments and drugs, more frequent is the trafficking of human beings. There’s something fundamentally wrong with that on every level and perhaps it shows you the inherent blindness and deception and darkness in the world today.

Bill Hendricks: Absolutely. I wonder if with the increasing technology and use of machines in our world – the original promise was, “We’ll have all these wonderful machines and that will free humans up to do human things” and instead it would appear that having all these machines is beginning to make humans more machine like?

Christine Caine: Very much so, because you can objectify. That’s how you dehumanize people they think, “I’m just watching a computer screen.” See a lot of people don’t want this stuff dealt with even in the Christian sector because it exposes and you have to deal with your own sin and what’s happening in darkness. Because I say to people, “You want to partner with A21, he’s a great way to partner. Turn your computer off and stop looking at porn.” We would help to eradicate the demand for a lot of this almost overnight because it’s a supply, it’s an economic issue above everything and you just I can feel the tension in the room change oftentimes, because it’s like, “We could stop this even more than you giving me money turn your computer off.”

Bill Hendricks: Yeah. So when we – we’re going to take a break here and when we come back I want to hear a little bit more about the turning your computer off. I also want to talk a little bit more about the image of God and some of the theological dimensions of this thing and frankly the whole sort of spiritual warfare side of this thing, as well as to hear about some of the as I said the layers that you have to go through. There’s a whole process of – it’s not just sort of taking somebody out of that situation, there’s a whole healing process that takes place.

Christine Caine: Oh yes.

Bill Hendricks: So you’re doing this out of your obedience to Christ basically, as a Christ follower.

Christine Caine: Absolutely and you know I believe we’ve all got – God’s got a plan and a purpose for all of us and oftentimes many of us think especially if we have a broken past like mine, a fragmented past that God cannot use us. I think if we really believe Romans 8:28 that God is going to work all things, even all the bad things together for our good and for his glory.

I can see the broken fragments of my life and that Jesus not only rescued me, but now he’s using me to rescue others and fulfill Luke 4:18.

A lot of people perhaps with my kind of past, abuse, and abandonment, and brokenness would think, “Well I’m disqualified. You know I’m disqualified from…” And I’m thinking, “It’s the broken pieces of my pass that God has woven together for his glory.” You know what it’s like when I sit in our transition homes with girls and go, “Let me tell you my story and the same God that rescued me and healed me and restored me he can do it for you.”

It gives the victims of trafficking both men and women, because you know we have many, many men both rescued especially men out of forced labor, but many out of sex trafficking as well, especially young boys.

Bill Hendricks: Sure.

Christine Caine: For me to be able with conviction to look at their eyes and say, “the same Spirit that has helped set me free and brought healing to my inner man can do it for you.” There’s a strength that comes with that that I really, really believe this stuff. I really believe it no matter how bad their story has been Jesus does redeem, Jesus can heal and restore and look for a – outside of him I don’t know what hope there is, but Luke 4:18 if more of us actually really believed it we would have a revival on the earth, because people are hungry for that truth.

Bill Hendricks: Oh absolutely worldwide.

Christine Caine: Worldwide.

Bill Hendricks: You talk a lot about people and particularly women who live in shame. In fact you have a book that came out with last year called Unashamed: Drop the Baggage, Pick Up Your Freedom, Fulfill Your Destiny. Now you know some people could read that and say, “Oh drop the baggage, fulfill your freedom, fulfill your destiny that’s another self-help book.”

Christine Caine: Oh yes. [Chuckles]

Bill Hendricks: You’re not talking about self-help.

Christine Caine: Oh I’m not talking about self-help, I’m talking about God’s help. [Laughs]

Bill Hendricks: Talk to us about women that live in shame and being freed from that shame.

Christine Caine: Yeah I think it’s massive and I think it’s certainly men and women shame is nothing new. Genesis 2:25 Adam and Eve were naked and there’s only one thing that scriptures says that they didn’t know, they knew no shame or they were naked and unashamed, depending on which version you read.

Bill Hendricks: Yeah.

Christine Caine: And I thought, “How interesting that the last verse in Genesis chapter 2 before the fall that God wants us to know “I created you not to know one thing” and that one thing is shame.

Bill Hendricks: Shame.

Christine Caine: So if you are the enemy what’s the one thing you would want to put on humanity because you would unravel them because it’s the one thing that God created them to never know. So that’s where we come in right through in Genesis 3 that’s where shame comes into the Garden and it always starts with the question: Did God really say? If you don’t know what God said you’re going to believe what the enemy says every time. So the enemy wants to stop the Word of God going forth so people don’t know what God has said or he’ll get people to twist what God has said so people will believe the lie of the enemy and then God comes into the Garden and he says, “Where are you?”

Bill Hendricks: Right.

Christine Caine: So first conversation God and man is, “I was naked and afraid and so I hid.” So shame, fear, and hiding in the first conversation between Adam and God, it’s been there ever since and then God’s like, “Who told you? Who told you that you were naked?”

Bill Hendricks: You didn’t get that from me.

Christine Caine: “Who told you? I didn’t.” So I feel like it’s nothing new. It started at the Garden of Eden and it is still the modus operandi of the enemy.

Bill Hendricks: That conversation is still going on.

Christine Caine: It still goes and people see it every day. So for me I didn’t know what God said so I believed what my abusers had told me. I believed what – I believed the lie of even my whole origin for so long. You know there was that, so I had to replace – that’s why for me the Word of God it’s not just a cute thing you’ve got to memorize the scripture, it is life and death.

You know “Do not be conformed to this world, but you transformed by the renewing of your mind.” I had to literally replace the thoughts that I had that I’m unworthy, you know that I’m used goods, that God could never use me. All the fundamental lies that had been sown in my head for decades I had to renew my mind with the Word of God. So literally it’s kind of like form new patterns of thinking on my brain.

So when I understood what God said about me and who God said I was and what God said I could do according to his Word it changed everything.

Bill Hendricks: Something shifted.

Christine Caine: It changed everything and that to me whether it comes to our victims or it comes to our perpetrators of the crime there’s only one way for that to change and that’s the Word of God.

Bill Hendricks: Yeah. So let’s go back to the story I told at the very beginning of Eve or someone like her, because you told several stories like that. So you find this person that’s being trafficked and what’s the process then that you take them through?

Christine Caine: Yeah and again there’s a unique, purposeful –

Bill Hendricks: Because there’s many pieces to it as I understand.

Christine Caine: It’s very complex and we’re very holistic in our – and of course we care for everyone’s body, soul, and spirit. You don’t even – it’s very hard for people to understand the trauma, the amount of trauma. You know if you’ve got a young woman that’s been raped 40 times a day for three years what is done to their – you know God created us body, soul, and spirit and we’re to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind so we try tri-part beings and all of that is so damaged.

Bill Hendricks: Right.

Christine Caine: Even if a girl or a child or a man comes out and say they even get saved the next moment and they love God with all their heart, all their soul, all their mind, but they love God with all their broken heart or all their wound soul and all their tormented mind.

Bill Hendricks: Yes.

Christine Caine: And so you’ve got to help that to be reshaped and that is a process. I say that to people, “You know when I came to Christ with my wounded soul my spirit was born again immediately, no issue, but the same wounds I had before I said the sinner’s prayer were the same wounds that I carried when I said Amen.” There was a process of restoration.

I think sometimes we don’t allow for that. If we did we would see a lot more people come through to wholeness. So we see of course there’s the physical care. We work with the medical profession, with hospital wherever we are, because there’s often been incredible damage.

Bill Hendricks: Yeah physically.

Christine Caine: Many of the young women short of a miracle won’t be able to bear a child, because there’s a lot of damage done there.

Bill Hendricks: Right.

Christine Caine: So there’s physical damage. The emotional, trauma, so there’s ongoing help there.

Bill Hendricks: Counseling?

Christine Caine: Very much so. We have great trauma specialists that we work with the best of the best in their field.

I find you know when someone is a very strong believer and has a great foundation in the word, as well as their skill in what they do you see results a lot more often you really do.

Bill Hendricks: Yes, oh yeah.

Christine Caine: I think you know I’ve only been in this for 10 years, but certainly within 10 years in what we’ve measured thus far why we see and people are start – I mean you know secular organizations are like, “Wow you guys…”

Bill Hendricks: How did you do that?

Christine Caine: We have like 95 percent success rate. Yeah and they’re like less than 5 percent and we’re like 95 percent. You go, “Well let me tell you…” So that side is huge.

We have a process of restoration. So for some people and in some countries and again we have just different models in every country.

Bill Hendricks: Sure.

Christine Caine: So in some countries we work with families where children come in and we work ongoing with them, but rather than going into an adoption, into a sort of a home system they go into families and so we work extensively there. The more often you can put children into a good family with all the resources that they need the healthier that is.

In other models in Europe we have for older girls perhaps between 18 to 25 we have different group homes and an aftercare system of short-term and then longer-term up to two years.

Bill Hendricks: As they build new habits and a few relationships and skills.

Christine Caine: Oh very much so and skills, because the biggest thing is life skills.

Bill Hendricks: Yes.

Christine Caine: Life skills is a huge thing because many of them have never been taught even basic life skills and then job skills.

Bill Hendricks: Exactly.

Christine Caine: I love in Bulgaria we’re starting whole factories of – we have a Liberty, it’s called “Liberty” and it is a for-profit business where we are teaching them to make scarves. I mean there’s a whole different enterprise, but social enterprise. That is exciting to me because the more of that we can do, because we’re talking about nations with abject poverty so if you can empower these survivors to come out and then have ongoing means of finance and resource –

Bill Hendricks: And get to keep the money that they’re –

Christine Caine: Then they are a whole lot less likely to be retrafficked. A lot of this is a systemic cycle.

Bill Hendricks: Yes.

Christine Caine: You go back – a lot of these families won’t take them back because of the shame, even if they were the ones that sold them. I’m finding that we can’t – there’s many cases that the families will not take – there’s certain Southeast Asian countries where what happened with China had the one-child policy you know for all those years and many young women were killed during that time, because you know if it was a boy they survived.

Well what happens in a lot of these Southeastern Asian countries now a lot of the boys have grown up in China and what have we found? There’s an absence of women because of the one-child policy so now they want women so they’re trafficking I mean by the hundreds of thousands of women.

So we’re working with certain countries –

Bill Hendricks: So it is kind of like mail-order bride kind of thing?

Christine Caine: Yes.

Bill Hendricks: Sort of?

Christine Caine: Sort of that a mail-order woman, period, yes. But yes it’s the same kind of system, but they will just bring in trainloads or truckloads and then just disperse them out to the families that want them.

Bill Hendricks: Because I saw another form of slavery is to actually be married to somebody, but you’re basically doing all the menial work with no pay.

Christine Caine: Very much, you’re looking at domestic servant, yes.

Bill Hendricks: Yes you’re a domestic servant.

Christine Caine: That’s what you are, you are domestic servant and a sex slave and it was done against your will. Your family might have sold you through a mail-order service. I mean that is everywhere, that is here and that is in loads of nations in the world and we’re constantly, we’ve got teams working on back-ends of the internet and working with organizations like Facebook extensively going, “How can we expose these kind of scams that are setup? Really they’re just a glorified system of trafficking.”

So you end up with women more often than not that are just the victims of domestic servitude or a legally sanctioned form of sex trafficking basically that’s really what it comes down too.

A trafficker will come up with the most ingenious methods of using the law to their advantage.

Bill Hendricks: Sure it’s a business proposition.

Christine Caine: There it is. I still – you know no wonder scripture says we were talking about this in the break, that money is the – the love of money is the root of all evil. Because what drives this even more than a hatred for people or even more than misogyny or patriarchy or whatever term you want to put on it what drives it is the love of money and that is the root of the evil that continues to just perpetuate this whole system.

Bill Hendricks: Right.

Christine Caine: And it just it is on every continent, we have offices in every continent on earth. And just when I think I’ve seen it all –

Bill Hendricks: You see something.

Christine Caine: I mean my husband will come to me and go, “Chris we’ve just got a victim and this is what happened.” And I’m like, “I can’t – who stays up at night and works this stuff out on how to do this,” because it is shocking, it is tragic, it’s gut retching.

Bill Hendricks: It’s evil.

Christine Caine: It is evil and that’s the nature of evil. So if anyone wants to tell you that, “You know when I really read Revelations and there’s really no evil in the world,” I’m like, “Come and work with me for a day and I’ll help you understand that evil exists on the earth today.”

Bill Hendricks: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah I have always felt that sin and evil is one of the best apologetics there is for the bible, because the bible tells us about sin and evil.

Christine Caine: Absolutely.

Bill Hendricks: And if you can’t see sin and evil in this world I don’t know what to do for you, this world absolutely needs a savior.

Christine Caine: Absolutely, that’s above everything. If we needed more entertainment we’d have an entertainer. We needed saving so God sent us a savior. Me, first and foremost but 10 years on in this work and the reason I think when people again the flip side Bill people come and look at our offices, you know we have 14 offices around the world and our staff is still faith-filled and joy-filled and hope-filled and I know that is as much a testimony to law enforcement and governments, because of course we work across every sector and they’re like, “You have such a low turnover of staff. Your staff actually are full of joy and hope and you have success.”

Again it is a great way to have testimony to testify to the fact that you know truly the joy of the Lord is our strength. That you can have hope even in the midst of darkness. When you know the light and you can bring and penetrate light in the darkness I don’t need to lose hope. Jesus is the hope we have, is an anchor for our soul.

I think to do this kind of work for as long as we have and continue to have faith and hope and joy you truly do become a prisoner of hope in that sense and I think ultimately that’s where the eternal hope comes in that I know this isn’t the end of the story. For every one victim we see rescued there is great hope that Jesus is coming back and there is redemption coming and there is an ultimate hope.

That doesn’t make me stop and not want to do good works on the earth. That’s actually quite the contrary. It gets me up every day with a spring in my step and a smile on my face going, “Come on we’ve got… We can just take this light into the darkness and we can help one person today.” I keep doing it for the one. I don’t get overwhelmed by the 40 million.

Bill Hendricks: Sure.

Christine Caine: It’s like you know people go, “Chris are you really making a difference?” I’m like, “Let me take in and meet one of my survivors and then tell me if it makes a difference for them and that’s enough to get me out of bed today.”

Bill Hendricks: Well I love that focus on the one. I like to think grace is basically practiced at the retail level.

Christine Caine: Beautiful.

Bill Hendricks: We have a modern-day Pentecost going on around the world, not so much here in the United States, but in South America, Africa, and Asia people are coming to faith so quickly that it’s almost a problem if I could put it that way. So God’s got his people on the way and he’s plucking people out of darkness into light.

But how does that church – I mean I just think of these millions of new believes and these hundreds of thousands of new churches, many of them small churches springing up just by the Spirit of God, how do we help them become aware of this and then what do they do, how do they intervene?

Christine Caine: Yeah I think it’s great and again you know I think some people have seen the movie Taken and think I’ve got a particular set of skills, “Get me on a plane. I want to go over and utilize them.” [Laughter]

Here is what I truly believe that there are organizations like us and I do have friends, IJM, that are doing brilliant work globally around this.

Bill Hendricks: Yes. IJM, International Justice Mission.

Christine Caine: Yes the International Justice Mission and Gary Haugen and those guys are deep friends of ours and great guys. So I think one of the first things that is the most helpful is get – contact organizations like ours that are out there and doing it, that have got credibility with governments, because we’re not just going to stop this by thinking, “I’m going to go and do a raid” and “I’m going…”

Bill Hendricks: Yes, right.

Christine Caine: I mean we actually don’t need that. What we need is saying, “Okay some people need to be better educated and better resourced.” And both IJM and us have got great resources and great tools to say, “We can help you to help train your people on being aware of this issue. But then one of the best things you can do as a local church is partner with organizations like us that have got professionals and credible people that have already built the relationships that need to be built, that are already down the road in this field, because together we are better.” “You could provide resources that we haven’t got. We can provide expertise that you haven’t got.”

Bill Hendricks: So there is some expertise needed.

Christine Caine: Some, if we are going to end this truly yes a lot.

Bill Hendricks: You’re saying in a sense do not try this at home, this is not for armatures.

Christine Caine: Yeah I very do because I think you could do more damage. Number one when we’re talking about true anti-trafficking work it is very dangerous. There is a danger. We can’t be ignorant of that. So it is important to – you know if I was going to have to have surgery – I had thyroid cancer a couple of years ago, I had a lot of really well-meaning people and I was happy for them to pray for me, but I only wanted a cancer specialist and a surgeon to operate on me. [Chuckles]

So my thing is it’s the same with, I want everyone to pray for us and then we need some specialists to go in and do the work that needs to be done. So I think the more we realize that we’re one body, many parts and God has raised us up and anointed us to each do certain things I think the more we are awakened to that the more effective we would be on the earth, because we’ve got a lot really great well-meaning good-hearted people, but alone you can only do so much, together we can actually make a huge difference.

And wisdom, wisdom is very important because it takes every sector, it does take the government sector, it takes the not-for-profit sector, but it takes the education. I mean we want to do preventative work in schools, in institutions. We want to work with the government. Law enforcement is a huge thing we need to work with.

We are launching a campaign here in North America and it’s already in Europe and Asia called “Can You See Me,” which in every airport, every train station, everywhere where there’s mass transport where they have video screens there is short three- and four-minute movies that we produced specific to every continent. Again we’ve had to go through governments to get all of these approved and shown.

So it helps you to identify the victims of trafficking. So we’re putting it out there on billboards, on screens, public service television on helping to educate people that have no idea of, “Wow, okay Can You See Me is a program of how a victim can be right in your midst and this will show you wow can you see them? This is how you can identify them.”

And because of a lot of that programming and educating people in airports and the people that work in airports and air hostesses and you know we have had many people rescued out of that, being identified on airplanes, being identified in airports, being identified at train stations, bus stations. People that before would have had no idea that this could be a potential victim and we’re helping people to identify them in their workplace.

Here in America it is amazing because trafficking here in America is hidden in plain sight.

Bill Hendricks: I was going to say –

Christine Caine: So we need people to – we have three offices here in North America and we have aftercare. We work with survivors. It would shock people to see how prevalent it is in this nation as well, but it is hidden in plain sight right in front of us. So our job is to help awaken people can you see them? Like we want you, because if we’re all working together we can become far more alert.

I think most people think, “If I want to be involved and I want to help do I start a shelter?” Well the goal is we’re trying not to start a lot of them, because we want to give people effective pathways to be reintegrated and most victims and even here in the America –

Bill Hendricks: They want a life.

Christine Caine: They want a life. They don’t want to go into organized institutional care and especially when they’re 18, 19, 20 they want to be trained, to have a job, and to be healed. So that’s what we do is we have short-term transition places, but in it all we’re helping them get necessary education and skills so that they can have a life and be contributors. Everyone wants to be that, they want to – they don’t want to be – they don’t even want their primary identity, which is why you don’t often see me go, “He’s a survivor.” Now we have some that are on staff because they don’t want that to be their primary identity.

Bill Hendricks: We’re back to shame, right.

Christine Caine: Yeah totally.

Bill Hendricks: So if somebody wanted to stick a toe in the water as it were and their heart is stirring in them do you have volunteer opportunities or other opportunities with A21?

Christine Caine: Absolutely.

Bill Hendricks: Tell us about that.

Christine Caine: Yes we have great volunteer opportunities at every level. From whether you want to be involved in the legal side or the psychology side or you’ve got a great heart and you think, “Oh I don’t really have a lot of skills, but I’ve got a very willing heart” and to that level of administrative skills. But if you go to there is a volunteer application form and we will help you with all of that for those. Also there are 21 things on our website that you don’t even need money for that if this conversation has stimulated you and you go, “I want to do something today,” you can go and we will show you how to write a letter to your congressperson, how you can support something, so it’s all there

Bill Hendricks: Good. Well I want to encourage our listeners and visitors to go to that website. Christine this has been so helpful for you to kind of luminous us to this huge problem.

Christine Caine: Yeah.

Bill Hendricks: Fortunately I know that you believe we have a huge God, in fact an infinite God.

Christine Caine: Yes we do.

Bill Hendricks: This task is beyond anything that any one of us has the means of dealing with.

Christine Caine: Absolutely and I’m with you that you know He’s able to do exceedingly abundantly above and beyond anything we can ever ask, hope, or think according to that power that works in us. So I believe that what is impossible with man Jesus said it first [chuckles] is possible with God and with God all things are possible and nothing is impossible. That’s why I believe that we can abolish slavery everywhere forever.

Bill Hendricks: We have to believe that and then we also have to act on that. We have to trust God for that.

Christine Caine: Very much so.

Bill Hendricks: We’ve had a woman address this with us today and she is bringing us back to a woman who spoke to her son in Proverbs 31:9-10: King Lemuel had a mother who said, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. For the sight of all who are destitute speak up and judge rightly, defend the rights of the poor, and the needy.”

That’s our call, that’s our task, that is what the Word of God has called us to.

Christine, thank you for modeling that for us. Come back and visit us on our next podcast The Table.

Approved. Paste transcript here

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Bill Hendricks
Bill Hendricks is Executive Director for Christian Leadership at the Center and President of The Giftedness Center, where he serves individuals making key life and career decisions. A graduate of Harvard, Boston University, and DTS, Bill has authored or co-authored twenty-two books, including “The Person Called YOU: Why You’re Here, Why You Matter & What You Should Do With Your Life.” He sits on the Steering Committee for The Theology of Work Project.
Christine Caine
Christine Caine founded the anti-human trafficking organization, The A21 Campaign. She is the author of numerous books, including Unashamed: Drop the Baggage, Pick Up Your Freedom, Fulfill Your Destiny.
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