USA (MNN) — Students at Michigan State University are finding out The Price of Life this week.
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is partnering with other organizations to raise awareness about child sexual slavery and human trafficking. The event started yesterday and will end with a finale event on Thursday night.
The Price of Life invitational is a way to get students informed and involved on a subject that not only affects people overseas but is a growing issue in the United States as well. York Moore, regional evangelist for InterVarsity, says the generation currently in college is rightly called the "justice generation."
"They might not be able to make the long term lasting impact that they would like to make right now with little expertise, little money, and with little ownership in the American dream. But at some point, college graduates go off and they do become world leaders. I think by mobilizing American college students specifically to fight the issue of child sex slavery and the larger issue of human trafficking, I think in the long run it will make a profound impact," said Moore.
In the U.S. alone, 50,000 sex workers were estimated just two years ago ,and today there are over 200,000.
With so many noble issues competing for college students' attention, such as AIDS, the environment and Darfur, capturing their attention can be difficult. "I agree with Colin
Powell on this one. This is the gravest of situations. It's the most dire of
circumstances when children are imprisoned and used as a commodity, bought and sold for sexual gratification and for profit," said Moore.
Through partnerships InterVarsity is talking with the students instead of to the students. During the three day "invitational," there will be a
multitude of displays to depict the situation and events informing the student body. Those who simply see a display in passing may encounter a female student chained to a bed, banners, a truck driving around campus with a billboard, or an interactive art station in one of 20 locations. There will also be an "army" of students walking around campus to talk one-on-one with students. Nightly scheduled events will tackle issues related to human trafficking.
The issue is not one that only concerns Christians. But since InterVarsity is putting on the event, doors to spiritual conversation are opened. "It's
a human problem, so because of that we've really worked hard to develop a campaign that's inclusive. We do tell people that we believe the issue of human trafficking is a spiritual issue, and because of that we do pretty blatantly address the spiritual contours of human
trafficking," Moore said.
Moore also believes that every student has superpowers–gifts that have the ability to get them in a specific place to do work for the good and for change. Though traveling to MSU for the event may be out of the question at this point, Moore says learning about the issue of human trafficking–also called the modern day slave trade–is a huge step to helping change the world.
"Typically the response is just shock and horror. Many people say, ‘Well, why haven't I heard about this? Can this possibly be true?'" said Moore.
"What can a doctor do? What can a nurse do to educate themselves to identify victims of slavery? What can a lawyer do, a politician, a mother of three children at home? There's something that each of us can do, but we have to do the research and ask the question, ‘What can I do?'" said Moore.
"This cannot stand whether we're Muslim or Christian or Jew or atheist," said Moore. Such a large issue draws people of all backgrounds and opens avenues to talk about faith.