We wanted to be chefs and lawyers and rock stars. We dreamt of the possibilities of college, a career, and a purpose in life; the possibilities that aren’t so possible when living at risk of exploitation. The 35.8 million men, women, and children in forced labor across the world don’t have their sights set on their ultimate potential. Without hope, they struggle to see a future and are forced to dwell in their broken pasts. We see beyond the rearview mirror and know they all deserve the same chance we had to drive forward.
Exploitative, deceitful activity is lucrative in the black market, making many innocent girls and women at risk of having their future stolen from them. This is not okay. We all know this. We also know that we cannot realistically impact every individual affected by exploitation. However, we can, and do, focus our efforts on young individuals to empower them, instilling the values of hope, pride, and love. We sponsor students while they’re still in school to break the cycle of exploitation. Spiritual mentorship provides inner healing of past emotional damage, and job opportunities provide a sense of purpose for vibrant futures.
We can’t put numbers on the feeling of a full heart or a new, optimistic future. We can’t quantify the love received from knowing Jesus and being around people filled with hope and encouragement. But we can count the blessings we have, receiving the ability to transform the lives of exploited people through collaborations with our partners. By cultivating relationships between the exploited and these opportunities, we create individual connections which spread across communities. Because I Thirst isn’t about making waves; we make splashes turn to ripples.