I was nine or ten years old when I came across the word “prostitute” in a joke book and asked my mom what it meant. I don’t recall what her answer was, although I know she gave me some explanation.
From there I formed some primitive understanding of what a prostitute was, and I could not fathom why a woman would choose that line of work. Yes, for the longest time I was naive enough to assume that prostitution was always a choice.
Of course, now I fully know the ugly truth about prostitution and trafficking. And, I hate it.
In the past couple of years, I had the privilege of being a part of the work done by Duneland Community Church packing bras for Free the Girls. As much as i want to go out to the local truck stops and do my best to interrupt business, I’ve learned that being involved with Free The Girls is a much more productive way for me to impact the lives of women trying to escape that life.
It is all part of my passion for helping the poor people in our world. Last year, I started running for Team World Vision, gathering sponsors and running marathons to raise money for clean water in Africa. World Vision spearheads an effort to put wells in villages so the children–mostly girls–don’t have to spend their day walking 2 or 3 miles to collect water for their families. Besides the health benefits of fresh water, this also allows the children time to go to school.
Education was more than enough motivation for me to run (even though I’m not especially fond of running). However, I was thrilled to find out recently that it also prevents these children–again, mostly girls–from being abducted during their daily trek to the watering hole and sold into human trafficking. Now, not only do I have a hand in helping women escape slavery by helping Free The Girls, I am also helping prevent young women from becoming victims in the first place by running for Team World Vision.
Valerie Adams volunteers with Free The Girls at our inventory sorting facility in Chesterton, Indiana. To learn more about her efforts to run for clean water in Africa, visit the webpage for Team World Vision Midwest Nazarene Runners. Blog courtesy of Valerie Adams; photo courtesy of Jessica Evans.