CHECK OUT A GREAT EXAMPLE OF HOW THE CHURCH IS COMBATING HUMAN TRAFFICKING!
TAT executive director Kendis Paris says, "I met Lois Hasselblad several years ago when I was asked to come speak to her group at Bear Valley Church, and I've been going back ever since. People often talk about fighting human trafficking, but Standing Against Trafficking actually does it. They don't shy away from the behind-the-scenes, hard work that truly makes a difference in people's lives, and they care for whoever God puts in their path ... survivors, law enforcement officials, international aid workers, and even TAT. They are an example for other churches who are longing to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the abolitionist movement, and we are very grateful to know them and profile their story."
***I was standing at a hotel elevator in Orange County California in 2007 when I first learned about human trafficking. The speaker for the women’s conference I was attending started talking to me about the devastating trafficking of children taking place internationally – but also here in the U.S. I was shocked and asked her to stop in Denver to talk to my church on her way back home, which she did. This meeting lit a fire in about twenty of us that day. We became more informed, and are now an active, growing group from several churches, meeting monthly (Sept-May) for the past seven years.
We call ourselves, Standing Against Trafficking, and we work to “Actively support the Prevention, Rescue, and Restoration of trafficked individuals, Locally, Nationally, and Internationally.” We seek to be Informed (speakers, books, resources), Interceding (prayer support and encouragement for organizations and their leaders), and Involved (volunteering at after-care houses, promoting organizations, fund-raising, providing needed items, and encouraging the FBI and law enforcement).
Projects and Fundraisers include: Annually - The Climb, our annual mountain hike (includes raising funds for Truckers Against Trafficking), and our International Christmas Bazaar & Tea. Other projects: hosting an awareness/fundraiser dinner for pastors in our suburb, a burrito sales fundraiser, Restoration Bags for newly rescued girls, coupons for new shoes, many donations of hygiene items, lots of gift cards, cleaning items, needed bedding, warm clothing, household items, food items, craft supplies, providing Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas gifts, office supplies, sponsoring two women in Kenya, and many more ways of helping. We’ve had a lot of fun together working on these projects. Our group is amazing and loves to give. I want to encourage every church to get involved in combatting human trafficking in a specific way. Raise awareness in your community – and choose a project or two you can do. Together, we can fight the slavery and injustice of trafficking our children. Contact me if I can help find local needs and opportunities: Lois Hasselblad, Bear Valley Church, Lakewood, CO, firstname.lastname@example.org.