My name is Gayle, I am the founder and CEO of Invisible Traffick, and as I volunteer people ask me what drives me, I reply confidently if I didn’t have God, none of this would have happened.
Just over 10 years ago I attended a Christian conference in London, this was my first experience hearing about Human Trafficking. A true story was shared of how young girls were taken from their home village in Thailand, put onto a container bound for Europe with a promise of a better life where their only means of survival was a large polythene bag filled with oxygen for which they had to take turns to breathe. Horrifyingly, there were only one or two survivors. Tearfully one of the survivors spoke and through the voice of an interpreter said, “Why didn’t someone come sooner?” I couldn’t stop thinking about this story. I asked God, is this happening? Here? now in this time in history? I felt him say yes and it is happening in your area, on your doorstep and you need to do something about it.
I didn’t know where or how to begin, both parents were ill in hospital at the time, my two children were aged 9 and 12 years old, and my husband was travelling to China on business. When I spoke to my husband about how I felt, he had no idea of what I should do either, the only thing that kept me focused was I knew that God was serious and so was I. I prayed “Lord if this is your will can you please help me, I don’t have the knowledge or wisdom or even the finances to start”. One afternoon I was rushing back home, after visiting both my sick parents in the hospital, I needed to make dinner, and sort homework, and uniforms, and my husband was flying back out to China early the following day. On my way home I stopped at a garage where I picked up readymade mashed potato (something I never did) to accompany chicken for dinner as I had to get back up to hospital for evening visits quickly. My husband noticed that the empty mashed potato container said, ‘You have won’, he asked me to find out more about this. “Yes, I will” I replied, but quickly looked at the kids’ homework, and sorted uniforms and clothes for my husband’s trip before visiting Mum and Dad in the hospital following morning my husband rang from Heathrow and asked if I had called up, I had forgotten entirely and said I would call them. I did and to my amazement, they asked me for the code on the tray to which I heard “Congratulations you have won £500” I felt God saying that’s your finance to start and with the bank account officially opened the rest is history.
From then to now God has always been faithful and supportive, I have certainly made mistakes, but he always brings the right people to connect at the right time providing all we need.
I am constantly reminded of how so many people are still being exploited and abused; the fatal brutality of 39 Vietnamese who perished in a container that was discovered in Essex, children being sold as sex slaves, people being exploited to work long hours every day for little or no money they grow cold, hungry, and very ill. I believe that we need to amplify the voices of those trapped in slavery and bring justice and I know what breaks God’s heart should also break ours.