In 2007, on their way to the Jubilee Conference., Ohio Wesleyan students had their own close encounter with trafficking – they stumbled upon a massage parlor at a truck stop that help police shut down trafficking in several states.
Lisa Ho has literally helped break the chains of those trapped in labor and sexual crimes by speaking up and encouraging students to speak up.
An undergraduate of Ball State University, Ho earned a bachelor’s degree in communications. She has been at Ohio Wesleyan since 2004 when she joined the chaplain’s staff as an associate chaplain.
Ho provides guidance and support to the Christian student groups on campus and leads Bible studies. Faith issues centered on social justice are where Ho puts a lot of focus. Ho is an avid reader of, Sojourners, a magazine that explores issues through the lens of faith.
Lisa Ho telling the story of how her students discovered people being trafficked at a massage parlor in a truck stop.
Throughout the years, Ho has introduced students to a global problem: human trafficking. Ho first learned about this issue at the Jubilee Conference in 2005.
Gary Haugen, an attorney and CEO and founder of International Justice Mission (IJM),which combats this hidden crime overseas, spoke at that conference.
Haugen has traveled to Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia to identify and expose to prosecution the perpetrators of human trafficking. His goal is to seek out the violators who are responsible for modern day slavery and bring them to justice in a court of law.
“Did you know there are 27 million slaves?” Haugen asked the Jubilee audience. He then asked them to text that fact to ten people.
It was Haugen’s presentation that prompted Ho to embark on her own journey to educate students and the Delaware community about this worldwide issue.
The statistics were mind blowing, Ho said.
“It was everything from international sex trafficking in Thailand, graphic stories of busting brothels that had 6, 7, 8-year-olds, to stories about things that were happening in the United States I heard that opened my eyes,” Ho said.
Additionally, Ho participates in Delaware community events to raise awareness for human trafficking. In January 2017, she spoke at Honey & Abernathy to tell people how they can use their wallets to fight modern slavery.
“I feel like often we think we have to go right out on the frontlines and rescue girls from a brothel, but in reality it has to do with everything we buy,” Ho said.
Where customers purchase their coffee or clothing are links in the chain of human trafficking. Ho believes it is important for shoppers to be mindful of where their purchases are really coming from.
Ho continues to encourage students and community members to simply know the signs of trafficking and to become involved in the community programs related to this issue. Through those simple steps, she believes human trafficking can be conquered.