Free & Fit Outreach - A21 Walk for Freedom - Saturday 19th October 2019 - by Jess Leichtweisz

Free & Fit Outreach - A21 Walk for Freedom - Saturday 19th October 2019 -by Jess Leichtweisz 

I had heard of human trafficking before. However, it happened to people I didn’t know in places far away that I couldn’t relate to. So like it is for most people, it was easy to disassociate myself from it. The truth is, I didn’t really get it. I didn’t get the magnitude of the problem. I didn’t know it happened where I live. I certainly didn’t realize that it happened to people who shop in the same supermarkets I do and even go to my church. Until I did. Then, I could no longer ignore it. It is easy to not care about something when we don’t understand it. The idea that human trafficking and slavery still exists today seems unbelievable. Like literally, I didn’t believe it. I had friends who told me stories about seeing things when they want on mission trips to faraway lands. I heard them talking but I didn’t really get it. It was so different from anything that I could possibly relate to. However, this summer I had the privilege of hearing Christine Caine speak at Hillsong in NYC. When she entered onto the stage she started off by announcing that nine women had been rescued that day from slavery and were now in safe houses with A21. As the church cheered, for the first time, it became real to me. A seed had been planted. But to be honest, by the end of the sermon, I forgot all about it and went back to scrolling social media to see the more familiar news of what my friends had for brunch, who went to the gym and whose dog did something cute. However, I loved Christine’s energy and decided to buy one of her audiobooks. I listened to it in 24 hours and was enthralled. She spoke about A21 and I heard stories of women that had been rescued from slavery. Hearing their stories changed everything for me. I could no longer disassociate myself from human trafficking and I know longer wanted to. I bought the rest of her books and immersed looking for solutions to a problem that I just learned about. I knew I wanted to get involved with bringing awareness to human trafficking. If I didn’t know it existed, it seemed reasonable to think that some of my friends may also not know. I don’t do politics. Going to a walk and carrying a sign to bring awareness to a cause was way outside of my comfort zone. I was terrified I would look like a Trump