Boys and men are sexually trafficked, not just girls and women. If only we’d press up upon the gender-based glass ceiling, we’d offer boys a better chance at freedom. Our hearts should ache at even the slightest thought of boys being raped by men, at the hands of a pimp. Even more distressing are the wounds left on one’s soul and heart; God is calling for healers.
Boys and men seldom report or reach out for help, they are told to toughen up and handle pain on their own. The public judges and creates stereotypes claiming survivors should enjoy the sex, that they are just gay or they choose the life only to further condemn survivors into a dark hole of silence. I say to hell to these stigmas, let’s break these lies and call forth truth.
I’ll certainly not forget the day that Chris and I agreed we would take on male sex trafficking.
Magnetically locking eye to eye at the pleas of conference panel hosts, “There are no safe homes for boys in the United States,” a remark we’d heard spoken as a frequent broken record player for months.
Not a slight clue of the trials ahead, our eyes conveyed to one other, “Yes I am in, lets open a home for boys.”
The Anchor House vision carried from that emotional cold November afternoon into toiling years onward.
Friday February 6, 2015, Restore One held a groundbreaking ceremony marking the beginning of building of The Anchor House. Prayer warriors, pastors, social workers, clinicians, business women and men, educators, journeyers and troubadours calling forth Angels and Heavenly Armies to smother this land, this home and these fast approaching boys.
Chris asked me to write a poem to commemorate the moment.
Crowns Over Chains
I heard cries and screams
I was the cup bearer of the King
Reclining back, drinking wine, eating cheese
Burdened with the needs
I cried out, “Oh Lord please rescue these, they are caught. No one hears their perilous pleas. “
Boys, not little men, smothered daily by another’s lustful sin
It makes me sick to dive in
Yet knowing truth urges reality to sink in deeper amidst my skin
So dark my eyes drift away yet compassion urges my gaze to stay
Evil ties boys up in pins
Traffickers’ hands force unwanted blackness to creep in
This is now the great exchange,
for these boys bear a name.
They are called sons, by our
most high King
Who says nightly to them his servants:
Build brick by brick, piece by piece
Trust your King to set free
All broken memories
Healing places we cannot see
For this is your decree
Rebuild walls evil has torn down
For in my kingdom orphans wear a crown
“Crowns Over Chains,” reflects HOPE is an angelic word that holds the future in the hands of the spoken syllable.
My holding to hope is a vision of boys at The Anchor House encountering unparalleled freedom and knowing a Father who crowns them Sons.
So dear friends, take care to heedfully serve those in need knowing they are not merely least of these, their royalty is beyond what our earthly eyes can see.
Their crowns are far brighter than those we’d deem fit for you or me.
For at the end of the day they are to be crowned the kings and we are to wear the coronet.
None is greater in the eyes of the King; we are all equally loved and named, but lets choose go after Jesus’ by washing feet and elevating those considered underneath you and me.
Anna Smith is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Restore One, where she works diligently on their chief project, The Anchor House. The Anchor House will be the first shelter in the nation designed to meet the needs of sex trafficked and sexually exploited American boys. Anna has a resilient passion to see sex trafficking victims experience true healing and restoration. In her spare time, Anna enjoys biking with her husband Chris, reading, cooking, throwing pottery, running and yoga. Learn more about Restore One here.