Human Trafficking In Houston: Modeling Scams

cropped-image-12-2.jpegAmanda J. Seymour, Th.M. Deeper Love

My Story

One day when I was 17, my phone rang and I answered it to find a man and woman on the other line.  “Hi.  We are calling you because you filled out the modeling agency form at the mall and we have selected you to participate in our modeling agency,” the woman said.  “We just want to get a few more details from you.”  She asked me for my name, address, phone number, and other contact details.  Then the man said, “What’s your hair and eye color?  Okay.  Now we need to get your sizes.  What’s your dress size?  Your shoe size?  And your bra size.”  I answered their questions. But I hesitated to answer the last one.  “We are asking for the swimsuit modeling,” they said.  So I told them. “GREAT!  You are EXACTLY what we are looking for!” the man said.   I was flattered and excited at the thought they had selected me for modeling.  But I also had a slightly creeped-out feeling about the whole thing.  I felt that something was not quite right about it.  But I was not sure what it was.  “We will call you back in a few days with further details,” they said.

A few days later, the phone rang.  This time, only the man called.  “Hi.  This is Robert,” he said.  “I have been thinking about you and how beautiful you sound.  We need you to meet us at the hotel with the other contestants.  Can you come meet us this afternoon?”  I told him no.  Something didn’t feel right about it (but I didn’t tell him that).

He called back the next day, “You sound so beautiful.  Will you come meet me at a hotel?  Just come meet me.  I know you are 17, but no one will ever know.”  At that point, I told him no and requested that he not call again.

He called a few more times.  Each time he called, I became more adamant.  I went from “I cannot meet you.  Please do not call me again,” to “I WILL NOT meet you.  DO NOT call me again,” to “DO NOT EVER CALL ME AGAIN. EVER!!!”  Finally, he stopped calling.

When I began to study human trafficking, I came to understand more about what was going on with the modeling opportunity.  Here is how it works:

Human trafficking recruiters place “Enter to Win” boxes in the mall which solicit participation in a modeling opportunity.  They then contact people who fill out the forms and have similar conversations to the one the man and woman had with me.  When the individual goes to the hotel, to their surprise and detriment, they are lured into a human trafficking scheme.  The recruiters promise them fortune, fame and fun and then they gradually ensnare them into a dark underworld of human trafficking where they are threatened, coerced, and/or forced to work for little to no pay in the sex trafficking industry.

That happened 22 years ago.  However, the same human trafficking scam/scheme is still happening today.  In years since, I have heard from other girls ages 16-22 that they, too, have received similar calls with similar requests.  In other words, human traffickers were luring young women into human trafficking then and they are still using the same methods today!  Why?  Because they must be working on some women.  Otherwise, they would have stopped using them.

This is why education and prevention of human trafficking schemes is so important.

Articles

Read more on modeling and human trafficking here:

“Modeling Website Linked To Disappearances, Rape, and Human Trafficking” ABC 17 News http://www.abc17news.com/news/crime/modeling-website-linked-to-disappearances-rape-and-human-trafficking_20160823075525915/53416783

A Prayer For You Today

cropped-image-12-2.jpegAmanda J. Seymour, Th.M Deeper Love

Let the deep love of Jesus Christ draw you closer to Him.

I said a prayer for you today that you would let the deep love of Jesus Christ draw you closer to Him.  We invest our time, attention and resources in all kinds of ways and with all kinds of people in our daily lives.  Yet no time is more precious and valuable than our time spent in prayer, Bible reading, and enjoying the presence of Jesus The Christ, our beloved Lord.  He loves you so very much.  I want to encourage you to take a few moments to let the deep love of Jesus Christ draw you closer to Him.  If you’d like, you can just pray and ask Him, “Jesus, please draw me closer to You and let me know Your deep love.  In Your name I pray.”

Many years ago, the apostle Paul prayed a prayer for the Christians in Ephesus, Turkey.  I, and many other Christians in America are praying this same prayer for you today.  Here is our prayer for you.  It is from the letter to the Ephesians, chapter 3 verses 8-21.

Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a]in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

 

My prayer for you today: I pray you would let the deep love of Jesus Christ draw you closer to Him and those you love would also be drawn to Jesus through His deep love as well.  In Jesus’ mighty name.  Amen.

The Deepest Love

cropped-image-12-2.jpegBy Amanda J. Seymour, Th. M, Deeper Love

I’m an ecumenical Christian. And I love all peoples and cultures. I believe God created us for His divine purposes. But our greatest purpose of all is love.

The deepest love is found in Jesus the Christ. He showed us the greatest love of all by taking our place on the cross for the forgiveness of sin. He died to forgive my sin, your sin, our sin collectively as a people. And He gave us the gift of redeeming love. His love is so deep and all-reaching that it reaches past the depth of our sin, and by His grace, He lifts up our hearts and our hope by His mighty hand to find peace, love, and strength in Him. And He gives us deep love with which we can love one another.

His deep love is a gift which He longs to give us. However, a gift can only manifest its fullness when it is received by the one to whom it was given. He has given the gift of His deep and forever love to each of us. Have you opened your gift yet?

It is a gift that we must receive not with our minds only but also with our hearts. We must open our own hearts to receive His deep love. And when we do, with His deep love we will also receive joy, peace, patience, gentleness and self-control.

But the greatest of these is love.

If we have many good deeds that we do in His name but we do not have love, it is just noise. I do not think anyone who earnestly desires to serve and honor God would want to stand before Him and have Him say, “Well, you called me Lord and did many things in My name. But where was your love?”

Also, must be careful not to fall in love with our own righteousness. Rather, let us be compelled by this deep love, the love of Jesus The Christ, that burns fervently and purifyingly within us. We must, like our Lord, love deeply from the heart.

“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.” 1 Peter 5:22

Galatians 5:22-23, 1 Corinthians 13, 1 Peter 5

1 Peter 5:17-23

17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious bloodof Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God,who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.[b] 23 For you have been born again,not of perishable seed, but of imperishable,through the living and enduring word of God.

Prayer: May we know, receive, and share with others the deep love of Jesus Christ today and every day from now to eternity. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Amanda J. Seymour

Amanda J. Seymour
Amanda J. Seymour

Amanda J. Seymour is a professional writer, speaker, and music artist. She helps her audience experience relationships, travel, people, cultures, and spirituality more deeply and fruitfully.  Seymour holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Trinity University and a Masters of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary.

Amanda is available for speaking engagements for religious and secular organizations.  She is a Christian speaker who addresses life improvement issues.  These include spiritual growth, personal growth, relationships, and finding hope beyond heartache.  She also speaks to women and girls on the issues of human trafficking, abusive relationships, and unplanned pregnancy.

Amanda is available for public and private gatherings, including networking groups, religious retreats, and small groups.

To request or book Amanda for a speaking engagement, email her at amandajseymour2@gmail.com.

Basilica of The Holy Blood

Visit to The Basilica of The Holy Blood in Bruges, Belgium

July 14, 2015

Amanda J. Seymour, Th.M

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19

I was raised an Episcopalian, attended an inter-denominational Bible study (Intervarsity Christian Fellowship) in college, studied the Scriptures at a Baptist seminary and the liturgy at 2 Episcopal seminaries, have attended Presbyterian, Catholic and non-denominational churches and now am an itinerate parachurch minister among many denominations. I have a heart and passion for evangelism and discipleship.  I firmly believe Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Today I prayed at the Basilica of The Sacred Blood in Bruges, Belgium. (http://www.holyblood.com/?lang=en)

I asked the Lord to show more detail regarding what His plan is, as in what I am supposed to do.

He said, “Be rooted in love in all you do.  As long as you do this, you will have your answer.”

As I prayed, I saw a big flaming heart of love before me – His love – burning within Him with a kind and gentle hand.

He said, “I am foremostly kind and gentle.  I proceed first in all things in love.  Yet when people turn their hearts away from Me and against Me and refuse to listen, I welcome them, I am patient but I am also just.  And after a time, I will turn my heart from them.  But the moment they turn back toward Me, I will turn to them again and love them.”

He continued, “My everlasting love never goes away and the flame never dies.  But it is a gift – which can only be known by those who are willing to receive it.  I send you to preach this message to the poor and rich – the poor of spirit – that they may know Me and turn to Me and I will return to them – just as the story of the prodigal son and his father.  Mourning may last for a night but joy comes in the morning.  Let my love shine in and from you as the noonday sun.”

All the while beautiful choral music played as I knelt and prayed in the presence of The Sacred Blood of Jesus The Christ.

I responded, “Thank You, Lord.  I devote my ambitions and ministry desires to You.  I hand them and my heart to You.  Do with it what You will.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.  Thank You, Lord.”

Then I heard an announcement that we could venerate the Holy Blood.  To venerate is to appreciate and adore with sacred reverence and cherishing.  I went up to the main church sanctuary and venerated Christ’s blood.

As I put my hand upon the case where the vile of The Holy Blood rested, I felt the warm, living love and joy of the Holy Spirit as I touched it and prayed.  I also told the nun who was presenting The Holy Blood about a miracle my family friend experienced while also venerating the Holy Blood while visiting the basilica.  When she touched the case, she felt a jolt of healing power go through her body and she was cured of cancer.

I came down from the altar and knelt by the Communion of Saints altar.  As I prayed, The Lord showed me a vision of many people dancing on clouds rejoicing in heaven because of my witness – because they learned of and came to know Jesus and became equipped to do His ministry through me and the ministry He had given me.  Really, it is His ministry.  All ministry done in His name and by His power and for His sake is His.

I left the basilica shortly after and took a train back to Amsterdam where I was staying.  I returned to the USA a few days later with determination and willingness to be open and pursuant to the calling the Lord gave to me.  Deeper Love is the ministry born of that calling.