This is the beginning of an eye-opening and, at times, heart-breaking journey.
You might be wondering why an ordinary, nineteen-year-old girl is in Vegas for four months. To further any head scratching, what if I added that I will be spending a great deal of time in some of the darkest and most dangerous areas in Vegas? I’m not saying that I’ll be spying on a drug cartel or getting involved in any activity that will lead to having a gun pointed at me; no, that courage isn’t within me. The darkness I’m talking about involves broken people in broken places.
To clarify, those implicated in a drug cartel or gun violence are broken people in a broken place but since it is in my best interest to live, I will courteously leave the crime world to the big guys with silver badges.
Let me ask you the following: What do you know about human trafficking? How about prostitution or gambling addictions? Porn, drug or alcohol addictions? Have you ever met someone who is a slave to one of the inflictions I just listed? Well, in Las Vegas, a room in a grandiose building like a casino is filled with bewildered people in an almost inescapable environment of sex, money, and drugs. (Some of you reading this might raise your drink to the above, which is totally your opinion and you won’t be judged.)
In my hometown, there is an abundance of underage drinking and smoking; drug dealing; car racing; theft; gang-affiliated violence; harassment; sexual abuse; stabbings and more. These are activities that, unfortunately, happen no matter where we travel. However, the most hideous crimes that seem to escape the daily media limelight are sexual slavery and addiction. The victims of these crimes are held captive as sex slaves and/or slaves to substances that have consumed their entire being and torn their world apart. A part of me feels guilty for my lack of knowledge of this broken reality. I was born and raised in the Canadian province of Ontario, and it is here that two-thirds of Canada’s human trafficking occurs. Thankfully, no one in my life has experienced this horror and I am fueled by this to ensure that none ever do. So having said that, I am learning as much as I can to help end these Godless crimes.
My eagerness for knowledge has led me to the bunk bed I am presently sitting on, in Las Vegas, at a base called YWAM. YWAM stands for Youth with a Mission and it’s a four to six months missionary school. YWAM has hundreds of bases around the world but I chose the Las Vegas base because of their purpose statement, which reads as follows: “To engage, disciple, and send out ministers of the gospel, both locally and internationally, to those who are enslaved physically and spiritually knowing that only God’s love can truly set them free.” It will be and exciting journey and at times, heart breaking, but it will also shape my life forever.
Yes, I am a Christian, I believe in God – that’s who I am. You might be from another religion or an atheist but we are in this world together and I stand for loving one another. So, I hope that my beliefs won’t stop you from reading my blog entries because your ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or beliefs wouldn’t stop me from reading yours!
God bless; until next time…
Jamie A. Dornan
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