I was nine years old when I was abducted. True story. I was nine years old when I was abducted, along with another boy, in New York's Riverside Park. One of the two abductors claimed to have a gun in his pocket. We had no choice but to believe him. The details of what happened next aren't particularly important. What is important is how a nine year old boy feels in that situation. I was too naïve to know all of the possibilities. If I did, I'm sure I would have been even more scared than I was. Even so, I experienced the full measure of fear for my life.
The whole thing didn't last very long. By the grace of God, we were soon set free. These guys were just looking for some quick, sick "fun". We received good medical attention at the emergency room and were home with our families by evening. In spite of the short duration of the event and the lack of permanent physical injury, the events of that day left a deep and permanent impression.
Today, all these years later, I have a tiny window into the suffering felt by the victims of human trafficking. That's one of the reasons I am so passionate about the mission of organizations like Born To Fly International. A million kids lose their lives to human trafficking each year, not their physical lives, but their future. Unless they are among the fortunate few who are rescued and given a chance to reclaim their future, all of their rights and opportunities, their hopes and dreams - all that makes one truly alive, is stolen from them.
Human trafficking, violence against the weak and exploitation of the vulnerable are massive problems with many variations, from small parallel stories like mine and bigger stories like Jaycee Dugard's 18-year imprisonment, to the $9 billion worldwide organized sex trade. There is no single solution. The problem must be confronted from many angles. We can all do SOMETHING. Will you join me between now and 9-9-9, next Wednesday, by chipping in at least $9 to Born To Fly International's education project? Click here to visit their web site.