As I look back to those early, hardest moments for me, my eyes were quickly opened to what life is like for those around me. Having spent my latter LA days working for an anti-human trafficking organization, I immediately saw what trafficking looked like much closer to “home”.
In late 2010, we were looking to expand our workforce and hire more factory employees for the holiday season. With several employees referring family members, due to the high unemployment rate, we interviewed several hundred workers.
After the first round, our team started the second interviews. One particular woman, a cousin of two of our employees, was asked to come in for another interview. When it came time to make an offer, she did not return any of our calls.
As weeks went by, and we had completed the seasonal hiring, we received a tearful call from the cousins who worked with us. They were told their cousin was killed in Mexico, with 70 others, while trying to cross into the U.S. I watched them on the news as they sobbed their heartache.
Two months later, they received a call from their “deceased” cousin, stating that she was healthy and arrived safely in the U.S. “Please send money,” she begged. As if the initial news of her death was not painful enough, they then discovered this gruesome prank was simply a scheme to rob them.
In that moment, I realized why we were here. In creating jobs, our hope is to offer more opportunity, here, within their home country, so they don’t feel the only option is to leave, putting themselves and their family at risk.
Five years later, these brave women still work with us and have taught me so much about courage and what true faith in God looks like in this dark world.