This past Sunday New Hope one of many churches throughout the country and across the world who participated in the Church of God’s Freedom Sunday. Freedom Sunday is a part of the Church of God’s TraffickLight initiative meant to raise $1,000,000 this year that will help churches and ministries around the world fight the evil that is human trafficking.
At New Hope, Freedom Sunday was about providing people with practical ways to be involved in this fight. Perhaps you are looking for more ways to be actively engaged in the fight against human trafficking. Ways four and five are meant to provide that opportunity.
No. 4 – Support the Church of God TraffickLight Initiative
In recent years, the problem of human trafficking has been brought to light through a number of organization and initiatives both inside and outside the church. Groups like International Justice Mission and the ones listed in our last post have got many people’s attention and helped to shed light on this dark reality.
The Church of God is joining in the effort, though not as a new member to the fight. The Shelter, in Cuttack, India, is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and it has been committed since its inception to saving women and girls from the clutches of the sex trade in India. More recently, organizations like the Pink Door in Berlin, Germany, the Church on the Street in Atlanta, GA, Stripped Love in Anderson, IN, and OneHeart in Dayton, OH have been working to show God’s love in their own ways in their own cities fighting to stop human trafficking and help people find life outside of the sex industry.
In 2014, however, the Church of God decided to unite churches from around the country around these efforts under the umbrella of the Church of God TraffickLight initiative. So from now until June 30, 2015 they are challenges trying to raise $1,000,000 by challenging 1000 churches or individuals to raise $1,000 to help stand against human trafficking in the world. The money will go directly to the organizations listed above as a way to show our support throughout the Church of God of this challenging effort to defeat a known evil in our day.
We are joining this effort here at New Hope by agreeing to raise $1,000 between now and Easter. You can give your offering any Sunday by using one of our Freedom Sunday envelopes, or putting your gift in the Freedom Sunday box located in the lobby. We are also asking that people ask others outside of New Hope to donate to this effort as well. There are envelopes available to give to others who are interested in giving. The scourge of human trafficking ought to sicken us all, and many people who are not a part of the church are willing to help give to fight the problem. Let’s not be afraid to invite others to participate when it means justice and flourishing for so many in our neighborhood and around the world.
No. 5 – Partnering with OneHeart
Beyond giving money, however, you can also give time, energy, and resources to the fight by partnering with organizations in your area. For us at New Hope, we are in the unique position to be located in one of the areas of focus for the Church of God, and are thereby geographically neighbors to women, men, and children who are directly affected by human trafficking and the sex industry. For us this isn’t just a global issue, it’s a neighborhood issue. Thankfully, we have the opportunity to partner with a great organization like OneHeart and to work with someone like Donna Cox who has been putting God’s love on display in our neighborhood already.
Each of us, then, has the opportunity to ask, “How am I participating in the ongoing relationship with OneHeart?” Begin praying about the answer to this question, and then looking and listening for opportunities to serve. We are still exploring the options available to us, but we have the chance to meet some families already, and as more comes to light we must be ready to serve. What skills, talents, or passions do you have that might be a vehicle for God’s love and justice in the world? How might Jesus want to make himself known to you through your service to our neighbors?
In an effort to provide tangible ways to serve on Freedom Sunday we provided a list of items needed for OneHeart on their outreach teams. If you would like to put an outreach kit together you can use the list below, and then bring it to New Hope before Easter. We will get them to OneHeart so that they will be able to use them when they go to meet with women and share the good news of Jesus’ love.
- Disinfecting wipes (Clorox-75 count wet wipes)
- Seasonal and/or white paper tablecloths
- Sturdy paper plates: large and small
- Paper bowls
- Service ware: fork, knife, spoon (salt/pepper)
- Serving utensils (plastic)
- Zip lock bags: small and large
- Seasonal napkins &/or white napkins
- Paper towels
- Take out containers (to go cartons)
- Aluminum foil 250 sq. ft.
- Saran wrap 200 sq. ft.
- Food handling gloves (med.)
- Small packages of Kleenex, tape, band-aids, ink: pens, post-it-notes, gum
So there you have it, five ways you can participate in the fight against human trafficking, (1) pray, (2) consume wisely, (3) stop consuming port, (4) support the ChoG TraffickLight, and (5) partner with an organization in your area. Join us in praying that God’s justice and freedom will be known in the world through these and all of our efforts. May this be a movement of God’s people that shines the light and love of Jesus in the world, and may the Holy Spirit strengthen us all as we seek to follow Jesus more faithfully as citizens of the Kingdom of God.