This webcast is open to everyone. You can register and add to your calendar.
I’ve spent the better part of 5 years of my life and ministry combatting human trafficking, deploying volunteers and resources into the battle. It all began with a meeting when I learned children were being bought and sold in my community. I started at zero, thinking that trafficking happened in some far off land – not here – not in my city. I was so wrong. Since that faithful meeting, I’ve visited Iraq to meet Yazidis rescued from ISIS, we’ve assisted local law enforcement, the Texas Governor’s office and White House. This is all God’s doing because I’m just some pastor who had my heart broken for what breaks God’s heart.
I joined the 5 Stones Taskforce and by God’s grace, my church followed en masse. We prayed and God raised up leaders who stepped up in every way imaginable. In addition, the church was enabled to provide funding and support for nonprofits and agencies. Five years later, our anti-trafficking ministry is one of the largest outreach ministries at our church.
I’m convinced that the Church is the solution to trafficking. Only the church can handle this type of darkness. We follow in the footsteps of William Wilberforce, Bonhoeffer and others. Now is the time to allow the unbelieving world see the fullness of the Gospel of the Kingdom manifested as we go after “the one.”
On the webcast, I will share with you how we (the local church) can combat human trafficking.
I promise you will be encouraged and equipped to take a small step to combat trafficking in YOUR community.
Can I have your undivided attention for 8 minutes?
‘Deepfake’ AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology is a powerful technology and it’s on the rise. Rather than trying to explain the technology, click play on the video below. This technology enables one to superimpose actor Tom Cruise’s face onto comedian, Bill Hader’s body. It is downright creepy.
Having viewed the video above, imagine the face of your child superimposed on to someone else’s body using AI technology. The scenes are made against their will and beyond your knowledge for the benefit of those who exploit and harm children. DeepFake AI technology can be used to create images and videos by those who wish to bully, blackmail, exploit, entrap, or groom our children. This is the worst kind of identity theft.
Artificial Intelligence commonly referred to as ‘AI’ is quickly transforming from a sci-fi fantasy into a current reality. It will impact every human-being on the planet. AI is a powerful technological tool. Will it be for good or evil, for benefit or detriment? We don’t know yet. However, law enforcement is concerned, the Federal Government is concerned, nonprofits and NGOs are concerned. Should parents be concerned? The answer is ‘yes!’
As many of you know, I advocate for internet safety and vigilance when dealing with these new forms of technology. In particular, understanding how our children (minors) interface with smartphones, internet capable devices and social media is vital. In addition, we must understand and address their vulnerabilities and our responsibilities on an ongoing basis. We must understand threats and risks of offering this powerful communication portal into their lives to early for the wrong reasons. These technologies are changing us as humans. But, that discussion is for another time.
My family practices internet safety by limiting where my wife and I post photos of our children on Social Media. We ask the same of the rest of our family. In doing so, we raise awareness of the risks in our community.
Having served for 3 years on the leadership team of the 5 Stones Anti-Trafficking Taskforce under the Ft. Worth Police Department, I am well versed in the child exploitation and trafficking space. Smartphones, unlimited internet access and Social Media platforms can be a risky if not deadly for our children. If this frightens you, it should. I’ve seen dozens of cases where children are being exploited online by bullies and pimps. The children come from every demographic, ethnicity, socioeconomic sphere, all ages and every neighborhood. Exploitation is not limited by borders or wealth (see Jeffery Epstein or visit your local law enforcement officer). We know the risks of sharing data and photos online. We know the risks of devices in the hands of children. Heck, I have a hard time putting down my smartphone.
We need a paradigm shift in our thinking. Parents must lock arms and unite against technology’s ability to allure our children (and us).
Imagine posting a public photo of your child the same way you see an advertisement on a public billboard. You are putting your prize possession on display for the world to see. With the current advances in AI technology (DeepFake), someone you don’t even know can transform an innocent image of YOUR child into a degrading and disgusting pornographic film by superimposing your child’s face onto a video image. By the time you discover the exploitation, its too late. Thousands of perverts, traffickers, sex-buyers and criminals will have viewed the video. Videos spread on the dark web and in private chat rooms where they are bought and sold. There is nothing you can do except prepare to deal with your child’s lifelong trauma.
Imagine your child on an auction block to be sold. In short, this is happening on the dark web and social media sites. But, you can mitigate the risks. You are the solution. You can be a hero for your child. It will require GRIT and discipline on your part as you talk with your children and partner with them as they grow older and demonstrate responsibility. Encourage them to lead in the family and school.
Solutions: Be Vigilant not afraid
Be aware of what you post online.
Be careful to post using proper privacy settings when using Social Media.
Use internet filters and monitors on your child’s devices for school and home use
Consider delaying giving your child a personal smartphone until 16-17yrs old (depending on their maturity and responsibility).