Award-winning Christian singer Tauren Wells has added anti-human trafficking advocate to his resume and is charging people to join the fight against this form of "unbelievable evil" through fervent prayer and support.
Wells’ latest single, “All God's Children,” was released this month to help fight against human trafficking. He became passionate about this form of modern-day slavery after talking with his wife about the sexual exploitation of children.
"It's kind of something that I was aware of, but I had no empathy toward. So my wife was showing me different articles, there was all this energy around this topic in Hollywood and different spaces,” Wells told The Christian Post in a recent interview. “Then she sent me a video of Blake Lively talking explicitly about what was happening in the lives of those who are held captive by this unbelievable evil. I really don't have any other language for it, other than I was grieved.”
A staggering statistic announced on NBC's "Today" show in 2016 revealed that every 30 seconds on average, someone falls victim to sex trafficking. According to UNICEF, more than a million children are trafficked each year.
Wells said that over 40 million men, women and children are enslaved all over the world. The trafficking system consists of victims being bought and sold for various things but primarily for sexual exploitation and abuse. He said 70% of those trafficked are women with a high percentage being children.
"It's a terrible reality [that] these kids are being abused sexually over five times a day. I have kids, I have three little boys and my mind cannot imagine or fathom me never seeing them one day and knowing this is their reality. So I had to do something,” he said.
Reports peg sex slavery as a $150 billion industry with most of the planning happening online and the dark corners of the internet. The detestable trade is taking place worldwide and is prevalent in the United States.
"Houston is the number one hub for sex trafficking. So this is a problem that exists in the cities that we live in,” Wells said of his new hometown. “You may think, 'not my city!' It's happening in your city! Just because we can't see it doesn't mean it's not happening.”
Wells partnered with former professional football quarterback Tim Tebow and his Foundation to release the new single. On Instagram, they revealed that all the proceeds will "go directly to the fight against human trafficking all over the world."
Tebow and Wells came up with the song idea after jumping on a friendly call. Wells was compelled to touch base with Tebow after seeing his anti-slavery post on social media.
"Here he is hosting events for special needs kids all over the world and now he's adding human trafficking advocate. He looks like a superhero, so this is right up his alley,” Wells stated.
"This had to be the Lord because ... it was like 'instead of starting your own fight, why don't you join Tim and his?'” the father of three told CP. “I think so many times these things seem so big and we feel like [when] we have to do something, it's got to be big, instead of looking around and seeing what are people already doing and how can I participate?”
After a call with Tebow, Wells linked arms with the popular athlete to fight sex trafficking. He went on to share a story that Tebow’s father shared with his son which birthed their initiative.
"He begins to tell me about the time that his dad called him and said, 'Timmy, I just bought four girls.' And Tim's like, 'What do you mean you bought four girls?' He said, 'They were being sold to someone so I took all the money I had out of my wallet, it was $1200, that was his money to get back home. And he said, 'I used that money to buy these girls.' That was almost 13 years ago now and that is when they started rescue missions and safe houses,” Wells recalled.
The Tim Tebow Foundation has been in this fight for 12 years. They have created a worldwide network with other partnerships that facilitate rescue missions, create safe houses and build infrastructures around families and communities that offer options other than selling their own family members to try and make ends meet.
Wells said the everyday person should not get overwhelmed by the fight against human trafficking because everyone could help provide rescue.
"I think our intentions are right, we just need direction for our intentions. That was the hope of this song,” he noted. “There [are] well-intentioned people like myself, like my wife, who want to do something, but don't know where to start. Well, with 'All God's Children' you can start by streaming. It's that easy. Every stream breaks chains.”
"100% of the proceeds of this song are going to fuel rescue missions, and safe houses, and community development,” the artist stressed.
Wells and Tebow kicked off a 24-hour “Change the World” challenge, encouraging people to stream the single all over the world. The song went No. 1 on iTunes and reached the Top 40 on Apple Music without radio promotion.
Wells, who leads worship and preaches at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, maintained that people tend to overlook the spiritual component of this great evil.
"I think one thing that we overlook is that this is a spiritual problem. It is a practical problem and we need practical solutions,” he said. “But above anything else, we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities. We're not wrestling human beings. We're wrestling evil spirits. I know that can get kind of heavy and weird to some people but that's the reality.”
There is a spiritual realm that exists to dismantle everything God has designed,” Wells said of the darkness. “If he (the enemy) can do it in infancy, or in childhood, he's going to make his best attempt to do it. We see it all throughout Scripture, the genocide of young people.”
Wells referenced Herod wanting to wipe out all of the Hebrew boys under a certain age because he's afraid of Jesus and said that same spirit continues and “is alive and active in the world today.”
"So spiritual issues require spiritual solutions,” he emphasized. “So we need people to pray. We need people to intercede. Intercede means to pray in the Spirit on behalf of someone else. And we need that happening. We need intercessory prayer — it's where you are praying specifically for the needs of other people. We need people who will get down on their knees, cry tears into their carpet."
He instructed that people pray for God to “pull back the curtain that hides this evil from public view and expose the plots and schemes of evil people in high places.”
The musician urged people to get involved in providing rescue despite the lack of media support.
"It's not in the media and every time something like this comes up, it's not covered by the media. That's why one of the lines in the song says, ‘I don't need the news to legitimize it.’ This is happening!” Wells stated.
“There are stories that I'm hearing every day of women, children, men, boys and girls, that this is their reality until someone rescues them from it, there is no other way out. So this is our fight, it is a fight that is happening. The more hands that we have in the fight, the better the chances we have of winning.
"So don't wait for the news to legitimize it, for some big story to break to get involved. Let this be your invitation to combatting one of the greatest, if not the greatest evil that exists in the world today.”