Tim Tebow was in his mid-twenties when he got a phone call that he would never forget. His dad called to say he’d just purchased four young girls from somewhere overseas.
At the time, Tebow had no idea such transactions were even possible, as he shared in an op ed published Friday on Fox News.
“People buy groceries. Shoes. Annual passes to Disney World. They don’t buy other people,” said the New York Mets player, now 33. “But I had heard him correctly. My dad had opened up his wallet and bought as many girls as he could with the cash he had on hand.”
He had no choice.
It was a “split-second decision” to change where those girls’ lives were headed forever, Tebow explained. And it led to the building of a safe home and Tebow’s foundation quietly stepping in to join forces with his father since that day in 2013.
“Years later, countless more human trafficking victims have been rescued around the world, even right here in the states, because of the mission that began that day,” Tim wrote.
The Christian former quarterback became famous for other forms of advocacy, such as his “Tebowing” (kneeling) in prayer ahead of games as an NFL player—though he has never knelt for the national anthem in protest, or in support of social inequality or Black Lives Matter.
Tebow has also hosted “Night to Shine,” a prom for children with Down syndrome and special needs, while the Tim Tebow Foundation engages in ministries providing care for orphans and children with medical needs in countries across the globe.
Only now has the foundation come out with its latest “anti-human-trafficking” ministry.
Not on our watch.
Writes Tebow: “How did we fail to not take a stand for what is right, to say ‘not on our watch?’
“That’s why I am so incredibly excited to go public with my foundation’s latest initiative. TTF has been actively fighting against human trafficking since 2013. For the safety and security of both the victims and the rescue organizations operating on the ground, we’ve kept our involvement completely under the radar.”
He adds: “But I can’t help but feel that we are at a point in history—a point just like the one my dad faced years ago—where we cannot stand silently and passively watch as evil rages on.”
He’s urging fellow Christians to join him in the fight to end what is the equivalent to modern-day slavery, only far more organized today thanks to the internet. And he recognizes how daunting the problem must seem—a problem “that big and that complicated.”
Human trafficking generates a staggering $150 billion worldwide, according to the Polaris Project, and the U.S. leads all other nations in demand. Of the estimated 40 million victims globally, roughly 70% of the victims are women, 25% are children, and victims have been identified in every state.
The problem is “big” and “complicated.”
But then he reminds them who they are serving: God, and a big God at that: “The God who created the universe, rose from the grave and defeated death once and for all … Nothing is too big for Him. Nothing.
“He doesn’t need us, but He chooses to use us.”
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