Engedi is in the business of 'lighting lamps'

Engedi Refuge MInistries held  a recognition ceremony yesterday.  It was an awesome celebration!

Residents were recognized with long-stemmed roses and the audience applauded their participation and/or completion of program phases.  A slide show highlighted activities of the past several months.  The "house mother" of the safe house spoke of the courage she saw in each of the residents and her love for each of the ladies was evident.  

And then a resident spoke.  She talked about how Engedi helps the ladies in many ways --  from learning practical life skills to navigating aspects of the social services system.  She touched our hearts as she explained how Engedi shows the unconditional love of Jesus to each resident -- each day, every day.  Encouraging them.  Lifting them up.  Going through the ups and downs with them.  Helping the ladies to see what REAL love looks like.  Pointing the way past surviving to thriving.  The resident explained that, "You light our lamps and show us how to shine."

And as tears flowed and hugs were shared, all of us in attendance knew that this is just the beginning of shining ever brighter.

Hope4Justice is honored to partner with Engedi Refuge Ministries.  May God continue to work through Engedi to pour out His love and redeem broken lives.  

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

Action step against trafficking:  Like Hope4Justice on Facebook!


Many thanks to Jennifer, a new Hope4Justice volunteer.  She's been finding informative and interesting information to post on the Hope4Justice facebook page.  On 7/6/18 she posted vital information from the CNN Freedom Project titled, "7 Ways to Spot that Someone is Being Trafficked."  If you didn't see it on Facebook, you can click here to access it.


The next public meeting of Hope4Justice will be in the fall of 2018.  The specific date and information about meeting content will be included in this weekly email as far in advance as possible.


Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Uganda’s Children by Faith J.H. McDonnell and Grace Akallo

A look into the life of a girl abducted by the LRA. Now pushed out of Uganda into South Sudan, the DRC, and the CAR, this brutal army of rebels has been raiding villages, kidnapping children and turning them into soldiers or wives of commanders for more than twenty years. This unforgettable book–with historical background and insights from Faith McDonnell, one of the clearest voices in the church today calling for freedom and justice–will inspire readers around the world to take notice, pray, and work to end this tragedy.  (Information from Mirror Ministries website.)

Remember the Zambian boys choir? They were trafficked.

Did you know that the Zambian boys choir -- those energetic boys with the angelic voices that gave concerts in the mid-1990's -- weren't the happy children they were portrayed to be?  A June 2018 article titled, "Stolen Youth: Modern Day Slavery in Texas," recounted the story of Given Kachepa, a Zambian orphan brought to America as a member of a touring choir sponsored by Keith Grimes, head of a non-profit called Teaching the Teachers: Partners in Education (TTT).  It says,  "When Given Kachepa first arrived from Zambia as a young boy, he expected to sing in a choir and gain an education. Instead he was forced into servitude."  

The article wasn't clear about the status of the older group but the younger of two groups brought from Zambia was trafficked: lied to, forced to perform on an exhausting schedule and used to make money for TTT.  Records show that the combined income from the two choirs was over $500,000 per year.  The young men had been told they would be educated, funds would be raised for a school in their hometown of Kalingalinga, and their family would be given $20 per month -- none of which actually happened.

For Given, the story turns out to have a happy ending.  After Keith Grimes died from a brain tumor in 1999 and TTT was investigated by both the FBI and the Dept. of Labor, Given and other choir members were able to leave the TTT compound in January 2000 and get in touch with INS agent, Sal Orrantia.  Today Given Kachepa is a dentist in Dallas, Texas.  The article says, "His dream now is to open a permanent clinic in Kalingalinga, a community that has never had regular dental care. He hopes to employ a local Zambian dentist, whom he would help train, and make regular trips back himself as well. “That’s the way I can give back to the disadvantaged people of the world. God brought me this far not to let me fail at the end of it.”

One of the amazing things about this story is how it happened in plain sight of thousands of people that were the audiences and homestay hosts for the young choir members.  "To this day, (Agent) Orrantia marvels at how openly TTT managed to conscript the boys. “Even now, it’s hard to imagine that this was a group in plain view. Most labor traffickers keep it under wraps, but these folks were blatant,” he said. “People call it human trafficking now, but at the end of the day it’s slavery.”

Can trafficking happen here?  Yes.  And though much of the time it's hidden from view, it can and does happen right under our noses -- in plain sight.

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

What would be on an anti-trafficking billboard?  Where would it go?  How would it's effectiveness be measured?  If you're interested in working with others on this project, contact Karen at karen@hope4justice.org to discuss details.

The next public meeting of Hope4Justice will be in the fall of 2018.  The specific date and information about meeting content will be included in this weekly email as far in advance as possible.


Not For Sale by David Batstone

An excellent look at human trafficking around the world. Award-winning journalist David Batstone, whom Bono calls “a heroic character,” profiles the new generation of abolitionists who are leading the movement against human trafficking. This groundbreaking global report is now updated with the latest findings, new stories, and statistics that highlight what is being done to end this appalling epidemic, and how you can join the movement.  (Information from Mirror Ministries website.)