Looking back on farm scenes we visualize beautiful sunsets on summer evenings while bringing in loads of small square bales for winter feed and bedding. We may think of quaint harvest days and delicious meals brought to the field for picnics and barns filled with livestock and kitties waiting for a bit of fresh milk from the cow. So picturesque. As we view the past of lovely sunsets on warm summer evenings and romantic stories of weathering the winter storms and neighbors gathering together, let us remember the sacrifice that some have made.
Each farm has a history; each family, a story. Each person sees their story within the family individually.
Little has been said this January 2022, concerning the awareness of human trafficking.
The reality of labor forced, coerced, or manipulated must not go unnoticed. Settlers often had large families to have a labor force. Perhaps family dynamics would have one child as a scapegoat. More than one adult child remembers the harsh work ethic connected to the farm. And that is sometimes the reason the farm is left for someone else to tend, rent or is sold.
Human trafficking or modern-day slavery is not to be overlooked. It is not simply a problem from the past, long gone. It’s a global issue that has its roots in disrespect for human life. It doesn’t allow for another’s choice or purpose, but the focus is on the hierarchy’s direction of power. Most often that direction is financial gain. And always related to power.
There is no need to mention the statistics surrounding this topic. Research shows plenty of gloom at the forefront of human history. Oppression comes in many forms.
In years past, many original water wells were dug by hand. As the well was dug deeper natural gases are released from the earth. The person in the well, physically digging, sometimes died, overcome by gas. That is part of our farm history. The name is now lost in time, but recognition of the fact is present. It may have been a hireling, most likely not a family member from my memory of the story.
From my own experience, I recall a well-driller working at our farm. He used fuel for the engine mounted on a truck. The engine ran out of fuel while his small son was down the well on the digging apparatus. The child was left trapped there while fuel was hurriedly found to restart the engine! And I know a man who was that child down the well. The value of life and the respect for that child were not present. That is the root of the problem in family dynamics that lead to trafficking. That, right there!
Yet there is hope. Psalm 146:7 “...God who executes justice for the oppressed...the Lord sets the prisoners free...”