By Abby Hopkins
I have always wanted to be a world changer. Even now I am constantly reminded of this goal at my university, where our motto is, “What starts here changes the world.”
I believe God has given me this desire for change and justice in the world for a reason, and I am so thankful for the passions He has placed in my heart. Lately, God has caused me to desire a platform of change that centers on Him, rather than on myself.
Over Spring Break, I traveled to New York City with other college students from my church. It was a large group, but we were split into breakout teams with specific focuses for the week. My group’s focus was anti-human trafficking, so we met with three different non-profit organizations that work to end trafficking.
One of the primary lessons God taught me throughout the trip was the need for Christians to love people in a way that prevents them from being exploited. Traffickers target the vulnerable. People who are often overlooked, unloved, and underserved are often the most vulnerable. So, one of the best things we can do for people is love and serve them.
Jesus spoke to this point in Mark 9:35 when He said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
Jesus calls us to feed the hungry, take in the stranger, and clothe the naked; what we may not realize is that by doing these things, we are fighting human trafficking at the same time. This is the beauty of anti-human trafficking efforts; they fit right into the commands of Jesus to serve and love the vulnerable. Whether it be the homeless, women, impoverished children, minorities, or foreigners, fighting human trafficking serves each of these through acts of love.
As Jesus humbled himself for us, now we are able to make ourselves vulnerable to others. But the best part is that we get to do this with joy and through the strength of the Holy Spirit. God does not call us to do something He did not do; rather, we are able to follow in the example of Christ.
It’s human nature for us to want a noticeable platform when we are serving people. But through this trip and seeing the work of people fighting human trafficking, God showed me that sometimes the most unrecognized role is the most crucial. By humbling ourselves, it takes the pressure off of us and allows us to simply join God in the work He is doing while giving Him all of the glory for it.
I entered the trip eager to change the world, but I left humbled to focus on loving vulnerable people.
Abby Hopkins is an intern with the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission and a student at the University of Texas in Austin.