Inspired by Passion 2012 and driven by a desire to see the world change, the IWU student group known as Doulos is launching a semester-long campaign to rally their classmates to the war against human trafficking.
They kick things off next Thursday, January 31, with a special screening of the film Nefarious: Merchant of Souls, at 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel Auditorium. The screening is hosted by the Dean of the Chapel’s office.
The film is a docudrama that took several years to make and involved trips by the filmmakers into some of the seediest areas on Planet Earth. Doulos president Al Pritchard, a sophomore psychology major, saw it for the first time last fall at a previous on-campus event.
“We hear a lot about human trafficking,” Pritchard said, “but we don’t necessarily know what that looks like or what that is. This film shows you literally the face of sex slavery all around the world.”
In addition to the film, Doulos will offer concrete options to help out. The film will be followed by a prayer session in the Prayer Furnace area of the Chapel Auditorium, led by Dean of the Chapel Dr. Jim Lo.
“We know not everybody feels called in the issue of human trafficking, but everybody can pray,” Pritchard said.
Doulos will also be accepting donations for the END IT movement, an initiative that launches February 1. An outgrowth of the 2012 Passion conference, END IT partners with some of the largest human trafficking organizations in existence to raise awareness and funds and utilizing those resources to take concrete action against human trafficking. At the Passion conference alone, more than $3 million was raised to fight human trafficking.
“It was incredible, ” Pritchard said of the conference, which he attended with other Doulos members. “Over 60,000 students were at this conference, in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta…when I was there, I thought, as the body of Christ at this campus…we’re really not doing as much as we can for this issue.'”
Throughout the semester, Doulos plans to hold more events to raise awareness and money for END IT. They’re talking about hosting a fundraising dance sometime this spring, and after spring break they are planning a Stand for Freedom fundraiser in which participants raise awareness and money by taking turns standing for hours in a public space.
Pritchard, an independent filmmaker who plans to create his own documentary about human trafficking, wants Doulos to be a conduit for IWU students’ passion to change the world.
“There’s a lot of students that have a heart, but they don’t necessarily know what to do, what avenue, what outlet to go through on this campus. So we just want to be there and be like, ‘hey, we’re right there. You can come to us and work with us.’ And just coming together as a community, we can do something, to maybe send out a ripple effect in the world.”
To see a trailer for Nefarious, click here.