We’d like you to meet Ken Wytsma, our newest addition to the growing The SOLD Project board. Ken Wytsma is a leader, innovator, and social entrepreneur respected for his insight and collaborative spirit. He is the president of Kilns College, where he teaches courses on philosophy and justice, and is a church planter and lead pastor at Antioch in Bend, Oregon. He also founded The Justice Conference, a national conference seeking to inspire and connect a generation of men and women around a shared concern for biblical and social justice, the vulnerable and oppressed.
Ken is a consultant and creative advisor to nonprofits and a sought after speaker on justice, church and culture. His first book, Pursuing Justice: The Call to Live and Die for Bigger Things, was released by Thomas Nelson Publishers in 2013.
Sex Trafficking has become commonplace language in society. We all believe in being modern day abolitionists, drawing attention to the evils of slavery and drawing red X’s on our hands to bring awareness, but how do we really get underneath sexual exploitation? How do we intervene in the life of children before they are pulled into the sex industry at twelve or thirteen? How do we help villages and poor families protect their kids rather than require them to sell themselves in order to feed their families? How do we address the gender inequalities and deficient views of human dignity that many girls grow up with?
One of the primary answers to the above questions is: prevention.
Prevention is the long, slow, hard to measure aspect of fighting sex slavery. It is educating, equipping and loving girls and communities to prevent the sexual exploitation from happening in the first place. It is shooting the water at the base of the fire of this problem rather than just fighting the flames. While brothel raids and aftercare for victims are essential, we have to begin thinking more deeply about the roots of sex crime and exploitation and how to prevent it. It is along these lines that the work being done by The SOLD Project in Thailand is essential for both the girls in northern Thailand as well as the justice community that is learning to go deep, love long and build the relationships necessary to truly make a lasting difference.
– Ken Wytsma
Ken lives in Bend at the foot of the Cascade Mountains with his wife, Tamara, and their four daughters.
Ken and our 2014 Activist Vision Team at SOLD’s FREEDOM Project Resource Center.