This year's bestselling new artist, Bluetree, launched a charity this week aimed at ending child sex exploitation.
The charity, StandOut International, is connected to the Ireland-based band's hit song, "God of This City" – both of which were inspired by their trip to Pattaya, Thailand.
During the mission trip, Bluetree performed worship songs on stage at the Climax Bar, a club which doubles as a brothel in the Red Light district of the city. What the band saw at the club and in Pattaya inspired them to write "God of This City" and to help those exploited and without a voice.
"We created StandOut International to help end child sex exploitation on a global scale, while loving, educating and releasing those rescued into the fullness of life that God has for them," said Bluetree deejay Pete Kernoghan, in a statement.
The band members said from the start they were not interested in writing feel-good worship songs that cause "a few goosebumps" during Sunday service but don't inspire change and action once the service is over.
"We really want 'God of this City' to be more than a song that we just proclaim in the safety of our churches," said Kernoghan. "We want to see the hope of the song worked out in the lives of millions of children who are exploited throughout the world today."
Reports estimate that there are 12 to more than 30 million people affected by human trafficking in the world today, with half of all trafficking victims being children, according to the 2008 State Department Trafficking in Persons Report. Each year, 1.2 million children are trafficked for child labor, and another 1 million children are annually trafficked into the global sex trade, according to the 2006 International Labor Office report entitled, "End of Child Labor Within Reach."
StandOut International's mission is to channel funds it receives to organizations working on the grounds helping children who are sexually exploited. It also wants to inspire people to pray, go on short-term mission trips and organize events to raise awareness about the issue.
"Let 'God of this City' inspire you into action," Kernoghan said. " Join us and 'stand out.'"
The album, "God of This City," is one of the best selling Christian recordings this year. It has been sung by American Idol winner Kris Allen and been recorded by Chris Tomlin and Passion.
On the Web: http://www.standoutinternational.co.uk/