Summer 2024

THE INCREASE: Defending the Defenseless – Adam LaRoche

“Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.”— Psalm 82:3

I love this Psalm. One of my greatest passions is caring for the oppressed. It breaks my heart to think of women being abused, children sold into slavery, kids in school who have no friends or family to go home to, and those who are being bullied. Many see their lives as worthless because they’ve never been told otherwise. I would love to focus more of my time and attention on helping people who are suffering through any type of oppression. I spend so much of my time in other places doing other things, but are these the best things?

I’m about to head to partake in a training with DeliverFund, an organization created to fight against human trafficking worldwide. Then I’ll be able to do some more in-depth and hands-on training to fight in ways I haven’t been able to before. To me, this is well-worth the 10 full days of training. I’m willing to sacrifice other things to make this a priority.

When I’ve served with DeliverFund in the past, I’ve been able to get involved with the investigations on the civilian side of things. I’ve helped them uncover online trafficking hubs, but now I’ll be able to dive deeper into these areas to better combat the injustices happening throughout our country and around the world. I’ll be one of the only civilians going through this training. The others in my class will be law enforcement officials whose goal is to implement these strategies into their local communities so they will be better equipped to look for trafficking victims and perpetrators, in order to make the rescues and arrests.

I’m more concerned about these women’s and children’s eternal lives than their physical ones, but I also know that many times we have to save their physical and emotional lives before we can help them spiritually. The majority of these victims are stuck in a state of mind that is not their own. Experiencing what’s called, “traumatic bondage,” they feel indebted to their captors. The only emotional connection they’ve ever experienced is with those who hurt them. Many times they don’t even see themselves as a victim because it’s the only reality they know!

In these cases, the idea of us going in to just tell them about the Gospel isn’t enough. Now, of course, I know God can do miracles in people’s hearts that we can’t fathom, but many of these individuals aren’t in a stable enough place to hear the Gospel. They’re relying on drugs to survive and they know the one place they can get them is through their trafficker. They need the tangible and practical saving love of Christ, which first responds through action. When we look at the life of Christ in the Bible, we see Him first care for the physical needs of the blind, the paralyzed and the abused before approaching their spiritual needs.

When I look at the things happening in our world, I can’t think of anything that should come before our efforts to defend the cause of the weak and fatherless, the poor and oppressed. I may or may not be able to put a dent in the process of stopping this horrible industry, but I won’t stop trying. Christ called us to be His hands and His feet. This requires action.

— Adam LaRoche, former MLB player

Adam LaRoche is a former MLB player and a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.

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