Catholics don’t typically want to turn a self-protective blind eye to the suffering around us, but we all struggle how to respond in situations where people in crisis need immediate help — especially if we aren’t able to do more than cross paths.
Traveling between cities with my ministry partner, Luis Torres, I had been telling him about the heroic and successful program Truckers Against Trafficking when we cruised into a rest area. It was hard not to see the crew of four women with all the signs of three being trafficked. They were wondering in a pack around the bustling open area and watching for potential marks. I made a mistake when I pointed them out to my companion. It took no small effort to keep my friend from intervening. Only after describing the dangers involved to the women could he be convinced to leave — with great reluctance.
When he asked me what could be done, it was a challenge. I researched what leading anti-trafficking groups recommend and developed the Spirit Fire Blessings Card for good Samaritans who see people in Potentially dire straights.
Both in English and in Spanish, a Blessings Card can be handed to someone in rough shape to offer hotline information for everything from suicide prevention to human trafficking rescue.
By using this template and these cards, you can print them out at home and carry them in a wallet, car, purse, or backpack–and never lack the information to direct someone to professional and technically knowledgeable care.
You may leave a couple cards in women’s restrooms anywhere, but especially in transportation hubs and tourist areas, or offer a Blessings Card to anyone who is in need. It is useful for the stranger whose welfare you do not know but looks in distress.
The offer of help can be offered indirectly. It refers discreetly to the recipient maybe knowing someone else. They are not targeted or shamed.
So what if you look like a crazy do-gooder who prays. Aren’t you?
When you give this card, you are giving it with a commitment to pray. Be sure to keep that commitment. It may be the first time someone knows they are being prayed for – in their entire life.
Please remember: Where you suspect anything untoward, such as a sex trafficking situation, do not, repeat do not, ever approach the possible victim directly or identify your concern in general. Doing so endangers victims, any others being trafficked nearby, passersby, and you! Call law enforcement right away. Note as many details (including license plates of anyone connected but sitting in a vehicle nearby). Remember and report every detail you can to help the proper authorities intervene and apprehend.
if you can provide translations for other languages, please contact us.