From Jan. 4-10, seven students from PM485 Practicum in Christian Ministry: “Ministry Amidst Human Trafficking” traveled into Boston to learn about the realities of human trafficking in the U.S. and in our local city of Boston.

Led by Professor Montague Williams and Associate Chaplain Jennie Williams, students learned about different local ministries that help victims of human trafficking.

The Abolitionist Network is one of the many ministries that help sex trafficking victims. Jasmine Marino, the founder of the network and current ministry associate, is a sex trafficking survivor who managed to escape the business. She started this network to “equip Christian leaders to understand and abolish systems of human trafficking,” according to their website.

Students also met with Route One Ministry, an organization whose goal is “to minister to women exploited by the sex industry on the North Shore and around Boston.”

The week-long trip taught students about how human trafficking works in society, and how it is still extremely prevalent in our country today.

“When people hear ‘human trafficking,’ their minds right away go to sexual acts, when it is so much more than that. Human trafficking also is about labor,” Williams said.

The trip was a powerful experience, even for the professor of the class.

“This whole experience has been an eye opener,” Williams commented, “Even though I was the teacher, walking through Boston with my students, praying and learning with them made me feel like I was a student again.”

Junior Kurt Gerold was one student in the class who went on the trip to learn about the realities of human trafficking and the different local ministries addressing the issue. Gerold, along with the other students, learned about the victimization of workers in the industry and about how appropriate ministries and the power of God’s transformative love can repair the brokenness of the victims. Students also learned to show compassion for the leaders of these institutions, and that faith in God can “break their false idea of love and success,” according to Gerold.

The class will continue to meet a few more times during the semester to continue discussing this prevalent issue.