It was really, really good!

If you missed it, you missed out!

The Protective Parenting & Human Trafficking Awareness Night last Friday, 5/24/19 was super informative and interesting!  

Over 50 attendees were armed with information about trafficking and protective parenting ideas at Friday night's event.  Organized by foster parent Jennifer Custis, the evening featured Aaron Newcomb, co-founder of Engedi Refuge Ministries, Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo, Josh Parriera from International Saints & Abolitionists, as well as the showing of “Chosen" - a video produced by Shared Hope International which tells the true story of two All American teens and how they were tricked into being trafficked.

First on the evening's agenda, Jennifer explained her passion to increase awareness of sex trafficking.  Next,  Aaron shared statistics about sex trafficking, factors that increase vulnerability, and how traffickers recruit and groom young people.  Sheriff Elfo then talked about sex offenders in Whatcom County and how much time deputies spend investigating child sexual exploitation.  He told about a December 2017 sting operation where, in response to an online ad, 20 men were arrested when they showed up to have sex with 13 and 14 year-olds.  Following Sheriff Elfo, Josh gave current  information about young people, including stats on exposure to porn, numbers of teens that are sexting, and apps and video games to watch out for.  He then shared excellent ideas regarding what parents can do to protect their children in our highly sexualized culture.  Wrapping up, Aaron discussed the psychological after effects trafficking victims experience and what steps must be taken to assist them if they are going achieve any measure of recovery.

It was an excellent meeting.  Kudos to Jennifer for organizing and making it happen!  

Would you like to have a similar meeting in your town, your church, or your school district?  Let's do it!
SAH

In Lynden this week

Making a difference by sharing what she's learned  

It's as simple as this: Jennifer Custis attended a presentation about trafficking of young people.  She was impacted and wanted others in our community to learn what she had learned so she arranged for speakers and organized a meeting. 

That meeting, titled "Protective Parenting & Human Trafficking Awareness Night"  will be held in the Family Room at NCCTK, 1816 18th St., Lynden, WA on Friday, May 24 from 6:30-8:00 pm --and you're invited!

This is exactly what Hope4Justice hopes everyone will do when they learn about human trafficking:  learn then increase awareness by sharing with others.  Out of her concern about the issue of human trafficking, Jenn is spreading the word and hopes that those who attend will be empowered to protect vulnerable young people from sexual exploitation. 

Way to go, Jennifer!


See details below and click here to rsvp.  See you there!



unnamed (2).jpg

Happenings in Washington State

Happenings in Washington State:

At Sea-Tac airport:  


The Port of Seattle has posted numerous posters around SeaTac Airport that say, "This airport is a safe place," to help raise awareness about reporting sexual assault. One of the posters in a women's restroom has received a lot of "graffiti", with many women writing on it. The "graffiti" messages say:

I will believe you!  
You are loved.
If no phone, tell someone in this restroom
WE. CARE.
Ask for help. A woman will!
There is nothing wrong with you! You are not Crazy. Believe that.
Tell someone.
Be the best you!
Don’t bend down to any man!!!
You deserve to be respected.
You deserve to be safe.


Let's pray that victims are encouraged by the posters and graffiti and take steps to end their exploitation.

Betty Be Good store in Lynden
Official opening on May 19, 2019

Suzanne Smith, owner of Betty Be Good Boutiques, has combined her passion for fashion with her desire to make a difference in anti-trafficking efforts.  Her website says that Betty Be Good Boutiques,"... give 2% of daily sales to a fund called Betty’s Liberty Closet. This fund clothes survivors of human trafficking in recovery at Deborah’s Gate in Vancouver and Engedi Refuge in the PNW. "  (Click here to read the full story.)

Already in Bellingham and Birch Bay, the trendy boutique held a "pre-opening party"  for their new Lynden store on May 9th, with the official opening to take place on May 19th.  We encourage you to check it out, knowing that your fashion dollars support trafficking survivors when you shop!

Legislation in Washington State
Sarah from Shared Hope sent out this email  on 5/9/19:

"I want to share great news with you from this spring! Senate Bill 5885 was signed into law! This bill strengthens courtroom protections for child survivors of sex trafficking. This law will allow a child's out of court statements related to the victimization to be brought in as evidence for prosecution."

Washington State continues to be a leader in the nation when it comes to legislation about human trafficking.  Well done!

Local Requests: You may be able to help!

Action step against trafficking:  Let's get the word out!  After reviewing the requests below, pass them on to others for consideration.

Request from Engedi Refuge Ministries

I would like to take an opportunity to reach out and let you know about our need for housing staff at the Engedi safe house.  We are in a season of change. Our House Manager has resigned, so we are looking for a new live in manager or looking at the possibility of staffing it with part-time shift staff.  We are looking for a mature single woman who feels called to minister full time. If you or someone you know may be interested, please call Lea at 360-922-7600 or email her at  engedi.refuge@gmail.com for a complete job description.

Thank you!!!
Lea Newcomb, Executive Director Engedi Refuge Ministries


Request from International Saints & Abolitionists


Assist us in booking our upcoming tour!

We are headed to WA DC in June for the annual National Center on Sexual Exploitation conference, NCOSE Summit. We are hosting a booth to assist in influencing and educating leaders in sex trafficking prevention. We also have the opportunity to learn from industry leaders from around the world about how to help eradicate Sex Trafficking.

After the conference we are traveling (June 16-30) back to Washington State across the US. We will be stopping at various cities to educate the body of Christ on sex trafficking prevention. We are lining up speaking engagements now!

What do we need from you?  If you live or know someone in the top half of the US that would help us by hosting a Sex Trafficking Prevention Night, please let us know ASAP so that we can line it up and get the information to the appropriate people!  Contact Josh at JP@saintsandabolitionists.com

Want to learn more about the face of modern-day slavery? Visit http://www.hope4justice.org/the-facts/ 


LEARNING MORE

Something to think about:

The average lifespan of a sex trafficking victim is 7 years from the time the trafficking begins. If a child is trafficked at 13, she is likely to be dead before her 20th birthday. Say a prayer today for all the mothers in our community and around the world grieving their lost children.

(Facebook post by Mirror Ministries, 5/5/2019)


WHAT'S HAPPENING

A nationwide training program is focused on truck drivers as a means to stop sex trafficking. That training is now taking place in Nebraska. 

4/11/19 Truckers Against Trafficking Facebook post says, "900 people are purchased for sex every month – and that’s just in Nebraska.

Truckers Against Trafficking is doing something about it.  

The organization launches its Nebraska chapter this month with a day-long training for all Nebraska State Patrol officers who overlap or work with commercial vehicles in Grand Island.

The group enlists truckers to call out suspicious activity they see and equips them with the necessary tools to do so. Truck stops and their employees have also proven to be valuable partners in the effort to identify and stop sex trafficking.  (Read the full articleHERE.)