Blackbox Chooses The Dominican Republic As First Location
Brian Jennings, Trustee
I’ve been on the Board of Trustees for Blackbox International for the past year. We exist to provide a holistic approach to aftercare for boys rescued from sex trafficking. Last Tuesday was a monumental day in the life of this young organization. Here are some of my notes from the day:
The meeting yesterday was somewhat surreal, sometimes electric, sometimes overwhelming, sometimes emotional, and also very inspiring.
After much prayer and lots of study of our analysis, the Blackbox team has chosen the Dominican Republic as the site for our first of hopefully many ministry homes.
The latest, official reports indicated that there are 10,000 trafficked boys in the DR. But since the time of that report, there are now 1,000,000 more tourists coming there every year. A major cruise line also just purchased lots of land to build resorts there too. All of this adds up to an environment where more trafficking may take place.
A large number of Haitian boys are being victimized there. They are easy targets, as they try to escape the poverty of their ravaged country. They leave a horrible situation, cross the border with the promise of hope, and enter into a hellish situation that is worse than from where they came. They certainly seem to be “The least of these,” in that they are vulnerable, unspoken for, and trampled upon.
A number of churches on the island seem to be aware of the issue, and Christians there desire to help. Some are already doing what they can.
The next huge thing to be praying about is the hiring of a Country Director. This person will be Dominican. They will lead the first home, interview social workers (counselors), arrange a rental property, hire a cook, hire an educator, and lead the way in helping these boys find hope, joy, healing and purpose in Christ.
Over the next three months, we’ll focus our attention on:
The DR (research, prayer, and the hiring of a Country Director)
Continuing to research and learn (a team will be going to Cambodia to learn from a group that has just started working with trafficked boys)
Establish a fundraising base
Completion of a comprehensive counseling curriculum. As one counselor put it yesterday, there is a 99.99% absence of helping or even acknowledging that there is an issues with trafficked boys.
I’m extremely excited about all of this, and extremely worn out too. Thanks for your prayers and support.