Kilmek, Brown and Pierce (l-r) are taking a stand against human trafficking through Bought At A Price, the organization they started together.

“In Cambodia, girls as young as 5 years old are sold to up to 10 men a night.” This was the first statistic two of my friends and I ever heard about human trafficking.

The statistic was convicting and haunting. It was all we could think about — knowing that this was going on and we weren’t doing anything about it. We thought these convictions would just go away. But they didn’t. They just became stronger.

That’s how Bought At A Price was born. We were three very unorganized and unsure high school boys: Luke Kilmek (’15), Jaron Birkey and me, Kevin Brown (’15), who wanted to make a difference for God. We decided to ask three girls to join our group: Bri Pierce (’15), Cydney Lock and Kiley Koeppe. Now it was the six of us trusting in God with our convictions and gaining wisdom from other nonprofit organizations. Our goal: to bring awareness about human trafficking and raise funds to help stop it.

We started raising money through selling T-shirts and hosting concerts. The comical thing about this was that none of us had ever made a shirt before, nor had we ever really planned a concert. All we had were T-shirt sales and a booth at our church, Grabill Missionary, to help advertise and get our name out in the community.

Then Bought At A Price took off like wild-fire! A few months after we became an organization, the bands Disciple and Write This Down heard what we were trying to do and called to ask if they could play at our first event. Yes, they called us! We raised more than $1,500 from that event. It takes about $21 to intercept one girl out of slavery inNepal, and through the organization Tiny Hands International, we were able to save 75 girls. More than 200 people came to the event, which blew our goal of 100 people right out of the water. We even sold out of our second line of shirts that night.

Last summer, during a worship night, we raised more than $500 for two female missionaries who are known in Thailand for working with girls trapped by human trafficking. They came to our event and talked about their experiences and we presented them with the money. It’s so exciting to see what God is doing through this ministry.

Since then, five of our group members have gone off to college — Luke, Bri and me to Bethel, Cydney to Indiana University and Kiley to Asbury in Kentucky. But Bought At A Price is still very much alive. We stay connected through Facebook and Twitter, and are planning events and concerts for this summer as a team. A few of us are looking at Bought At A Price as a potential career. And Jaron, our sixth member, who is still in high school, got another team of high schoolers together to do events back home.

Bought At A Price is making a difference in our savior’s name. We are giving a voice to those who can’t speak for themselves. To learn more, visit our blog.

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