Former Los Angeles Dodgers general manager and vice president Kevin Malone is a passionate man. It may well have been his passion that led to a confrontation with a fan in San Diego in 2001 that later resulted in his resignation from the senior circuit ballclub and proved to be the last moments of his 17-year Major League Baseball career.
But in the years following Malone’s departure from baseball, God pointed his passionate heart toward a new area of interest, one that he wasn’t really fully aware of until he went on a trip to Thailand with his pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley.
Thanks in part to pastor and Crazy Love author Francis Chan, Malone would be introduced to his new devotion — the fight to abolish child sex trafficking — in 2009.
Fast forward to today, Malone is highly active in the fight to eliminate child sex trafficking in the United States as he says, there are over 100,000 children 17 and under being trafficked for sex inside the U.S.
Malone co-founded the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking in 2016 with the goal of completely eradicating child sex trafficking within the U.S.
Along with financing a number of homes for trafficked girls throughout the nation, the institute is also responsible launching the first safe home for trafficked boys in the state of Florida and has also helped other anti-sex trafficking organizations improve their efficiency by sharing best practices from ministries, NGOs and organizations around the country.
“I just believe God kind of called me. If you looked up and did some research on me, people think I like to fight,” Malone told The Christian Post in a recent interview. “I used to. I am not afraid of an uphill battle or a tough challenge and I think God recognized that. He created this platform I had in Major League Baseball. I knew a lot of people and I have a personality that people usually remember and hope for the right reasons. God said, ‘I want you to take all your experiences, all your talents, all your skills and your passion for Me and I want you to go and fight for kids and protect kids and make families and kids aware of the evils that are out there.’”
Following the end of his baseball career, Malone got involved in serving with various Christian nonprofits. For a time, he served at the Dream Center, a Christian nonprofit that serves various marginalized communities, such as the homeless, families, AIDS victims, drug addicts, and single mothers, in Los Angeles and later in Florida.
During this time, he was attending Cornerstone, an evangelical congregation which was founded by Chan in 1994 and has grown to be one of the largest churches in Ventura County.
Malone said he and Chan, who has since left the church and now resides in San Francisco, maintained a great friendship and regularly hung out or played golf.
“God had already been stirring our hearts and Francis had already started talking a little bit, speaking on sex trafficking,” Malone recalled. “It was interesting because God was pulling on my heartstrings too in different ways because I was involved with the L.A. Dream Center and doing ministry in Los Angeles. I was coming across this human trafficking and it seemed to be growing because I was hearing more about it.”
Malone said he felt like “God was calling both of us to do what we could do in our spheres of influence.” He said that he and Chan did a few things together on this front.
One of the things that Chan and Malone did was take a week-long trip with the Children’s Hunger Fund in 2009 to Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand to visit a safe house providing shelter to at least 60 sex-trafficked kids.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith