Do you like to hike? My husband and I like to hike sometimes on the weekends.

There are some amazing places to go for a hike in Georgia. Amicalola Falls is about two hours north of the city. If  you don’t want to travel that far out of the city but still want that mountain feel to your hike there are still places to go.

Stone Mountain for starters. While many take the cable care ride to the top, there is a fabulous trail that leads to the top of the mountain. They also have a theme park and accommodations close by. Some people like to make a weekend out of it. Then there’s Kennesaw Mountain, which is just you, nature, and some national battlefields.

This week a woman contacted me on Facebook to share a story of her hiking trip with her husband. They chose to hike Kennesaw Mountain over the weekend. She said they do so often. As they were approaching the top of the mountain they paused at a clearing that has some beautiful views and many large boulders people sit on to rest before reaching the top.

She noticed a girl who looked like she was in high school or college sitting on a rock alone. Then a man, who appeared to be in his early 40s, approached the girl, sat down and struck up a conversation. The observer said,

Susan, you’ve ruined me. Before I wouldn’t have paid a bit of attention, but after reading Rescuing Hope I was glued to what was happening in front of me.”

Something about this didn’t look right. She could only overhear bits and pieces of the conversation. But she clearly heard the man say,

We don’t have to go someplace where we’d be alone. We can go where there’d be other people.”

She picked up her cellphone and immediately started taking pictures as if photographing the views from their vantage point; however, what she was really doing was taking pictures of the couple sitting on the rocks. As she and her husband hiked the last bit of the trail, she informed him,

If they are still there when we come back down, I’m going to say something. I don’t know what I’m going to say, but I have to do something. What is that were Sarah? (Sarah is her daughter’s name.)

Sure enough as they came back down, the man was still sitting with the young girl talking with her. The woman walked right up to the girl and said,

Oh, hey! Don’t you go to Kennesaw?

She had no idea who this girl was or where she went to school but she wanted to provide an opportunity for the girl to play along and escape the situation if she wanted. The girl asked if she meant Kennesaw Mountain High School or Kennesaw State University. The woman said she didn’t know if the girl was clueless to what she was trying to do or if she didn’t feel any danger by the man’s presence.

The girl finally said she was a student at KSU. The woman talked as if she had a daughter in school there to keep the conversation going. As the conversation wrapped up the woman and her husband finished their hike.

When they reached the bottom of the mountain, she went to the ranger station and reported all she had witnessed. She also sent the ranger all of the photographs she had taken. He immediately got in his car and took off to the top of the mountain to investigate.

Now, some people may say this woman was being a busy body and should mind her own business. After all, this guy could have simply been trying to ask this girl on a date. However, because this woman had read Rescuing Hope and educated herself on the issue of sex trafficking, she noticed some of the indicators:

  • The girl was in the company of an older man who clearly wasn’t her father
  • The man did not engage in the conversation
  • The man did not make eye contact

She chose to speak up and say something.

By doing so she:

  1. Got a closer look of the man in question.
  2. Made sure the girl and the man knew that someone had seen them together.
  3. Offered an opportunity for the girl to leave with them if she felt threatened or in danger.

Was this guy a pimp trying to lure a victim? I don’t know. Pimps today are very savvy and due to lack of education on the issue of trafficking, many girls do not feel threatened or in danger until they’ve passed the point of no return.

If it was a harmless conversation, then there was no harm done in approaching the girl and reporting the situation. If something shady was going on, then this woman could have prevented the girl from being taken into the sex trade. She wasn’t willing to take the risk. As she said, this could have been her daughter. She decided to follow the motto,

See something, say something.”

God endorses this motto in Proverbs 31:8 when He says,

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves”

Keep your eyes open. This crime called the crime hidden in plain site is more prevalent than you think. You may have the opportunity to be a first responder as you go about your day to day routine.

William Wilberforce said,

You may chose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.”

Because this woman knows about the issue of sex trafficking, not just in the world, but in her backyard, she chose to pay attention. She chose to get involved. She chose to speak up. What will you do?