OCU Students Help Combat Human Trafficking in Costa Rica
In May, a group of 16 traditional students and staff headed to Costa Rica to work with Face of Justice Ministries in the fight against human trafficking. During the week-long trip, the team did a variety of outreaches including serving the homeless and praying with prostitutes.
"Words can’t explain how much this trip has impacted, blessed and challenged me in my faith and life,” said Ally Hall, Assistant Volleyball Coach, Business Office Assistant and master’s student at OCU. “God’s presence and love were all around and we were able to see God consistently throughout the week.”
The group ministered to abandoned children at several orphanages and to teen mothers who had been removed from their homes because of abuse. They held a prayer vigil in front of the most popular brothel in the city and did a street outreach where they handed out refreshments, lip gloss with a help hotline number, and prayed with people. They visited the red light district where they fed the homeless, gave out clothes and did another street outreach in an area that has 30 brothels within 20 minutes.
“This trip truly challenged me and opened up my perspective on human trafficking,” said Ally (pictured at right). “It has challenged me to get more involved. Trafficking is a major issue and I don't think I can explain how much it broke my heart.”
The team also was able to help YWAM with their goal of having a bible in every house in Costa Rica by distributing bibles to homes while praying with people and sharing their testimonies. They also volunteered at various ministry centers picking up trash, cleaning, painting, doing laundry and building beds and met up with another team led by OCU Board member Gary Uber.
“This trip has truly blessed my heart in many ways,” said Elizabeth Hicks, a Junior Intercultural Ministries major. “God used me when I thought I couldn't be used. People are hurting and it’s up to us to be a light in their darkness.”
“We spent a week in Costa Rica helping to fight human trafficking, loving on the people and children that were abandoned by their families, and doing the work of Jesus,” said Ally referencing Matthew 25:35-40: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”