This legislative session, as part of the Kids Are Not for Sale Coalition, we introduced ambitious legislation that would close a large gap in addressing human trafficking in Virginia.
For years advocates asked for this legislation, and for years legislators gave the same answer: they simply would not pass a sex trafficking stand alone statute.
At RJI, we believe in the power of prayer and going before the throne of God with our requests. We know that our God has a heart for justice, “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.” (Deuteronomy 10:18)
The day before an important meeting with several legislators, a friend of mine stood up in church asking the congregation to pray for human trafficking as well as for RJI’s work in the General Assembly. The congregation prayed, and I felt encouraged knowing that the church was behind our work.
That very evening, I received an email from one of the legislators with a statement I never thought I would read:
We are willing to have a stand-alone sex trafficking statute.
After numerous tries and facing opposition, we experienced breakthrough! Literally, our prayer was answered! This legislative session, we were able to celebrate the unanimous passage of Virginia’s first sex trafficking statute, no longer is our state the only one in the nation without a statute dedicated to addressing human trafficking.
Was it also a politically advantageous year for this bill to pass? Was success also due to the senior legislators who were patrons of the bill? Absolutely. But I do not think it is a coincidence that on the day an entire church prayed, breakthrough happened.
The Lord loves when His children come to Him in prayer, especially as a body united in His name. As my husband often reminds me, we must never forget that our most important lobbying work of the day is on our knees in prayer.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20
Richmond Justice Initiative Advocacy Director
To read about the sex trafficking statute that passed the Virginia legislature this session, click here.