Bill Cosby isn't exactly the first figure you think of when you speak of human trafficking. Images of a campy '80's sitcom come to mind or hilarious cameo moments from "Kids Say the Darndest Things" or even Jell-O commercials are more appropriate. But trafficking?
I chose this particular quotation because of its simple truth: we are truly the only species on earth that allow our children to come home. I'm sure Dr Cosby was making a comedic point here in suggesting that when one has children, no matter how badly you try to get them to fly the coop, they NEVER LEAVE! But on a deeper, more fundamental level, we are made in the image of God. And God is relentless in His pursuit for us to come home.
I think back to the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15) where the Father races from His home to meet His son after "seeing him from a long way off". The Father was watching for the lad, waiting for him, hoping for him, eager to catch just a glimpse of him. The Father kept that light on in the window, kept home prepared as 'home' for the boy and not just a roof to rest under, and He delighted in the presence His son finally graced Him with. There was never a question of whether or not the boy could return. The Father ensured that once the boy came back, in all his shame and poverty, he would find prepared a place for him as "son"… not slave or hired hand.
Many victims of human trafficking are not welcome at home anymore. Some never really had places they could call 'home' to begin with. Others, due to displacement or war, cannot find their homes or families and are left stranded in cultures and nations not their own. Others re-connect with their places of origin, are welcomed back with tears of relief and open arms, only to find integrating back into the family structure is far more difficult than ever thought imaginable. And the support through that healing process suddenly has diminished.
My dream – Coming Home Ministries - is to educate and mobilize churches about the issues surrounding human trafficking. I want to create places where victims can truly come home. Whether they travel back to their families or build new lives wherever they are, I desire to see these people grow from victims of the slave trade to fully restored children of God, co-heirs with Christ… family. Earthly families come and go, they are destroyed, broken up, prone to all forms of disease and decay. But the family of God is never torn apart by such limited things. What greater place to heal, to learn, to grieve, to grow and to find new life than in such an eternal family? True, we are not perfect here on earth but we have the hope of Jesus Christ… and this "hope does not disappoint us." (Romans 5)
I am but a simple frontline worker. I do not possess a PhD or any kind of merit that would peg me out as able to begin such a ministry. All I know is that Jesus Christ has brought me into His family… I have a home… and I want to go out into the world where men, women, and children are being bought and sold as merchandise and bring them home. God is pursuing them as desparately as He pursued me. And never is He so joyous as when all of His loved ones, His children, are home.