OUR EXPERIENCE COMBATING
HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Rev. Dr. Vaughn and Pastor Saudra Huckfeldt

We did not plan to take this path in life, and had not even seen or talked to anyone involved in prostitution until being involved in overseas ministry since 1993.  But GOD knew of the need and that as a pastor,  researcher and university professor, I would have the experience to develop such STEPS TO A COMPLETE SOLUTION. Many years before I went overseas to do ministry work in Eastern Europe, I listened to Dr. Mark Rutland give a presentation in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Rutland told of his ministry work in India where his organization would purchase young girls and educate them as teachers. As a result, these young girls returned to their villages to become respectable, productive women. The alternative for most of these girls was to be sold into Human Trafficking.   I thought, "How wonderful is this work he is doing!"  But did not dream that God would ask us to work in this area as pastors.

 In 2002 after 9/11 (and helping with the disaster affecting many at the Pentagon in Washington DC)  the opportunity developed to assist with sending a container of aid to a school of abandon children in Latvia.  At that point I had been in Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan much of the time since 1993 doing ministry work and delivering relief to war refugees. The Nagorno-Karabakh War had created 400,000 Armenian and 800,000 Azerbaijan refugees to be given ministry aid which resulted in many being led to a saving faith in our Lord and Savior.
On arrival in Latvia, I remembered the story told by a previous evangelist that had been in Latvia.  A girl had walked into a Youth With A Mission revival tent outside Riga, Latvia and had been rescued by the YWAM staff and taken to their remote training site. 

Finally, after six weeks, she was able to tell her story:
“When I was 15 my alcoholic father took me on the street and sold me for my first sexual experience.  Then I was kicked out of the house, and on the street I could not find a job until suddenly I was a captive and being sold to many men each day.  I am now 21 and with your help I am free and with GOD’s grace I have recovered.  But, there are thousands of girls just like me, -- can’t someone help them!”

She was wrong – there are millions.  I have been a pastor, researcher and professor most of my life, and the story motivated me to start researching the Human Trafficking problem.  At the time I also was preaching in churches of Riga, Latvia.  After one service a man came to me and said, “You are doing a good thing, but you don’t know what you are doing! – Do you?”   I responded, “As a professor and researcher I have been trained to study problems and develop solutions. So I am learning.”   The man said, “I am now with the LORD for the past two years, but before that I was a manager of managers in the sex trade".  Put your jeans and leather jacket on;  we are going on the street to give you an education.”  In the following two weeks he gave me more of an education than I had given my graduate students at the University of Colorado.  Thus we have more insight into the Human Trafficking issue  from the inside than most who are involved in the fight against sexual slavery.

In the subsequent years we have worked against Human Trafficking in 18 countries of Eastern Europe.  I have seen the horrors of girls that have been abused, and all of them have a story of the worst experience while in the captivity of sexual slavery.  For example, the rescued girl with a large deep burn scar on her neck said; “When I was first being sold I did not know what to do and a man took his lighted cigarette and put it out in my neck to get me to move”. None of them had any knowledge of GOD’s grace and love, and as one girl said when two were rescued,  “If there was a God, I would not have had to live as I did”.  Her friend said,  “Who do you think sent him from America to rescue us?” The first girl thought and then replied,  “Maybe God did!  

We have firsthand knowledge of the problems of the orphan systems in Eastern Europe. The funding of many orphanages is such that “problem children” are to be given drugs to control their behavior and the center gets extra funding for any such children.  Of course the majority are classified as “problem children”.  The girls are not given any training in life skills and are then turned out at age 18 to be captive by the evil in the world.  Yes, a few organizations are working to give these girls alternatives, but the numbers that need help are many times the number being helped, and additional solutions are needed. 

In addition the economic conditions are so bad in Eastern Europe that many people have lost all hope.  This leads to heavy drinking by the parents, and the daughters try to find work to support the family.  Of course they are easy victims for Human Trafficking.  Although young  single girls are the most frequently victimized, young boys and even couples may fall prey to these Traffickers. Consider the following instance:

A young couple in Israel wanted to get to the United States. They found a California firm who helped them secure work visas and get them to the United States. They didn’t realize this firm was part of the Russian Mafia.  When they got to Los Angeles they were in for a surprise. The husband was put to work over 12 plus hours a day at a construction job for very low pay and they were given a small one room place to live. After a few weeks they were told, “You owe us thousands of dollars for getting you here. With the little you are earning, you are not making any progress in paying back your debt. Your wife must start to work for us on the street at night.” This couple had a relative they called and were rescued, but many others are not as fortunate and remain in captivity.

So why is our approach different from the hundreds of other interested and committed to fighting Human Trafficking?   Part of it is the compassion we have as  servants of the Triune God in which GOD has given this as an assignment, but the other side is the additional background that God led me through over the past 40 years of life.  My initial interest was in aerospace research (growing up when Sputnik was launched)  and living that life working in the high tech world of satellites and the mathematics of astrophysics, and even having the opportunity to work on the lunar lander.  Then  I gained a broader perspective from being a consultant to DOW Jones top 30 level corporations and Washington D.C. governmental agencies, as well as being successful in solving social issues in higher education.  With those backgrounds I approach the issue of Human Trafficking and sexual slavery in not only a hands-on approach in having rescued girls but in a global perspective that has looked at how to identify  STEPS TO A COMPLETE SOLUTION.

In the years since, GOD brought us back to the United States and has shown us the magnitude of the problem here, as well as the STEPS TO A COMPLETE SOLUTION.  The timing of the development of the full solution is in GOD’s hands. When HE is ready, the full sequence of the three essential steps, as well as the follow-up steps discussed above, will be implemented. God’s timing is perfect. Until the resources from His treasure house are provided, we are working quietly and continually to rescue some of those caught in Human Trafficking.
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Please pray for the implementation of the STEPS TO A COMPLETE SOLUTION and contact us with any comments or questions at:
Rev. Dr. Vaughn and Pastor Saudra Huckfeldt                           Phone:  303-667-6919
Project LOVE at the National Policy Analysis Center               ProjectLOVE@juno.com
1750 – 30th Street, #112  Boulder, CO 80301                           www.TrinityLOVEChurch.org

An alternative email is being used for respondents to the Anti-Trafficking survey is:

STOP.sexual.slavery@gmail.com

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