Over the course of the weekend, Send Relief’s L.A. team was battling intense spiritual warfare as they fought child trafficking in Phoenix during the Big Game.
Twice, the team were nearly in fatal car crashes where drivers would have T-boned the vehicle had they kept spinning out.
Shaken but comforted by God’s protection, Send Relief Journeyman Jacob Gonzales, along with other L.A. ministry center staff, joined In Our Backyard teams in canvasing nearly 600 convenience stores in the area, passing out booklets of missing children and training materials for recognizing the red flags of trafficking while posting hotline numbers on over 1,000 store windows and bathroom stalls.
Through the concerted efforts of Send Relief, In Our Backyard and local churches, 13 children have already been rescued since the Big Game.
Gonzales commented, “One of the most impactful moments for those of us canvasing in Phoenix was seeing how heartbroken local workers were when they were made aware of the rampant child trafficking that typically happens over this weekend. We were worried that people might be annoyed or not want to help since it’s not their job, but God moved ahead of us in softening the hearts of locals and paving the path beforehand so that operations could run smoothly.”
Across the many hotels and gas stations canvassed, every single employee the team approached was eager to help and willing to put in the effort to help locate the children.
On one occasion, a convenience store worker flipped through the booklet of missing teens and immediately recognized several, enabling our partners to notify local police and report the specific locations of where they were last seen. From there, FBI task forces combed through CCTV footage until the children were found and rescued from their traffickers.
“The reality set in immediately that this is a real issue that impacts real children, not just numbers and pictures,” Gonzales shared. “We’re one day out and 13 kids have already been found, so we ask for your prayers for continued rescues this week and this year, for more workers in the field and for everyone across the world who has entered the fight against the evils of human trafficking to be given stamina and resilience.”
Pray for the L.A. team as they continue to do this important work of locating exploited children across America. If you would like to help these vital operations continue, give below today.
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Published February 13, 2023