Human trafficking is a serious issue within Christian churches, according to Karen Fettig, founder of Beneath Our Wings ministry based in Worland, Wyoming. Fettig explains that 47 percent of pastors support or contribute to human trafficking by viewing pornography.

Beneath Our Wings was designed to inform, prevent and educate the public on the signs and dangers of trafficking. Fettig has a unique approach that involves using mules in her ministry.

“I felt impressed to use mules because it was something different. I had a newspaper reporter ask me if it was because they [drug and human traffickers] use mules for smuggling drugs and children. [But it’s because] mules represent the children who are innocent and get forced into partaking in a crime.”

How is pornography tied to human trafficking? Fettig explains you can’t have one without the other “because most of the people who are posing for pornography are being forced. Pornography can go from pictures to videos to snuff films. Snuff films are the worst of the worst, but it’s also a billion-dollar industry.”

It affects not only girls but boys too, explains Fettig. “It is happening to boys. It’s happening to girls. There are many who are forced into posing for pictures and videos and snuff films. They are put to death in snuff films. They are also doing this to babies. Some babies are being born specifically for human trafficking.”

Fettig began discussing this issue 20 years ago but was called by God in 2018 to begin full-time ministry. She travels to schools, churches, meetings and seminars to help educate the people on the dangers that social media poses for our children and how children can protect themselves from becoming a victim.

The church has not always been open to discuss this topic. “We did a seminar in Worland and no one showed up. People are very resistant to this,” Fettig commented. “I have done seminars in various churches on protecting children from child molesters. I’ve had church members who were very against it. God has never let up on my heart and I’ve wanted to quit so many times.”

The results and effectiveness of the ministry can often be discovered in one-on-one interactions and conversations. “I had a parent call me and ask if I would send her daughter something on human trafficking. I said, ‘Why don’t I just come and talk to her?’” Fettig went on to explain that it was good she talked with the daughter because the girl was being groomed by a trafficker.

To the doubters who claim that the Adventist Church doesn’t have to deal with this issue because it is only a world issue, Fettig had strong words. “If there’s molestation happening, I can bet there’s trafficking happening because trafficking is about money. There are silent victims who are crying for help. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you will never help them.”

Some of the statistics tied to human trafficking are very alarming. Every 30 seconds, another person becomes a victim of human trafficking and the average age of a trafficking victim is 12 years old. One of the most sobering statistics is 300,000 underage girls are sold for sex in the United States per year, and 15 times per day a trafficked minor is sold for sex.

Fettig’s own children support her ministry but they also fear for her safety because exposing traffickers can be very dangerous. “They worry about me being hurt doing this. One girl can make a trafficker $250,000 a year. If he’s running five to six girls, he can make a million dollars a year.” Fettig explained that Beneath Our Wings helps inform and educate individuals on preventing this illicit trade, which could cost the traffickers their wealthy lifestyle– the reason for her children’s concern for her safety.

Fettig is available to speak at schools, churches, or community centers.  To discover more about the ministry or to schedule her for a visit, please contact her on Facebook or by email.