Now it happened in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Susa the citadel, that Hanani, one of my brothers, came with certain men from Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who escaped, who had survived the exile, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.” As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. – Nehemiah 1:1-4 ESV
We at Trihope understand well the brokenness described by the prophet Nehemiah in the verses above. I distinctly remember the day I learned sex trafficking was real and happening in my community. It wasn’t just a dramatic hook in a movie. It was people’s lives being destroyed by lust and greed. Men, women, and children all experiencing life-altering trauma they would live with the rest of their days.
At first, I was shocked. Then came anger and grief growing into an obsession for justice and healing for those affected. And today there is Trihope—Tri-Cities House of Prayer and Hope to use our full name. We chose this name because we were born out of prayer and desire to keep prayer as a focus of our ministry. Prayer for survivors, perpetrators, protection. Prayer for missing children and those in foster care. Prayer to guide our plans and everyday projects.
We believe a select few will be lead to enter the fight full-time. Others will be called to support financially or through the giving of their time. But everyone can pray. Every single person can help bear the burden of pain survivors carry and change not only their futures but the futures of those who may not have even experienced trauma yet. Can you imagine walking through heaven’s gates to learn about all the children who would have been abused but weren’t because of your prayers? This is what we long for.
We invite you to join us before the Lord in prayer. If you need help getting started, you can download our 5 Prayer Points or read our prayer list here. You can also receive our monthly prayer emails by registering on our Prayer page.
The options are many. The need is great. We are believing God for an army of prayer warriors to fight this darkness. Will you join us?
Baby, it’s cold outside, so we’ve been staying active! (And using a space heater.)
No one can accuse us of holding still. Read on to find out what we’ve been up to the past three months and what’s coming up next…
What We’ve Been Up To
This fall has kept us busy as we’ve been ramping up the fundraising, working towards hiring two part-time staff by June and covering monthly program and operation costs. While encouraged by the support of Trihope from so many arenas, we still have a ways to go to reach our goals. Our overall goal is to raise $5,000 per month by June, putting our milestone goal for the end of January at $2,500 per month. With current giving and pledges, we have raised $1,950 per month so far–and if those receiving this email who are not yet financial partners committed to giving just $10 per month, or $120 per year–this milestone would be met! Would you consider giving $10 or more per month? If you can’t–do you know someone who may be interested–a friend, co-worker, family member, church, etc? We would love to connect with them! Becoming a financial advocate for Trihope is just another way you can further the mission and invest in this work. We’re not lying when we say we can’t do this work without partners like you. Click the following link to join us as a financial partner: trihopemichigan.com/donate.
Paintings made by one of our survivors, for sale at Survivors’ Night.
The second Survivors’ Night was a hit! We welcomed 12 new survivors of sexual abuse and/or trafficking (and several returning) to our second Survivors’ Night in November. Receiving a 3-course meal, several craft and pampering activities, and theatrical games, the survivors enjoyed a full evening of laughs and spoiling. The goal for the evening was to bless the survivors as the precious women they are, to show them they’re not alone in the difficult path they walk, and also to offer a gateway for further avenues of healing to those interested.
Praise the Lord for PowerPoint. That’s right, PowerPoint has become a close friend as we’ve been increasing speaking engagements and training opportunities this fall. From teaching parents and guardians how to protect their children from sex traffickers to supporting professionals in methods for working effectively with minor victims and their families to educating members of the faith community on combating the supply and demand factors of trafficking in the Tri-Cities through our first quarterly CAST (Christian Anti-Sex Trafficking) Committee–we’ve been constantly learning and constantly sharing.
Trihope’s first quarterly meeting of the Christian Anti-Sex Trafficking Committee.
Did you know that very little is known about trafficking in the Tri-Cities? While more and more survivors are being identified and although the risk factors for this area are high, there is little to no data available here yet. It’s hard to kill a beast when you’ve only found the footprints. Trihope is looking for those interested in doing research to help us get a bead on the issue here and know how to combat it effectively!
Restored Gems and Trihope have partnered together to minister to those in the adult entertainment industry. Many of those involved in this industry come from backgrounds of childhood sexual abuse and/or trafficking. We think they’re valuable and want them to know they matter to us and to the Lord, so we’ve partnered with the outreach ministry, Restored Gems, to care for their needs and minister to them in whatever way needed.
Watch this brief video on Trihope’s upcoming retreat for survivors of sexual trauma and contact us if you or someone you know is interested in attending.
31 Days of Prayer – January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month and hence, beginning January 1st, TriHOPe will be committing to 31 Days of focused prayer for the survivors and victims of sexual exploitation, as well as the groups that provide resources and assistance to them. Click here to sign up to receive each day’s prayer focus and join others in becoming everyday abolitionists through prayer. Then join us on Friday, February 3rd for a Night of Worship!
The Many Facets of Human Trafficking – Come out on January 24th for a training put on by the Mid-Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force on cyber safety, trauma informed care, and law enforcement’s response to human trafficking. Appropriate for professionals and community members alike! Click here for more information.
The next In the Wildflowers Retreat, a weekend long support group for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, is planned for Thursday-Sunday, February 23-26. For the first time, we are opening this retreat to male survivors as well. If you are interested or know someone who may be, we’d love to talk with you more about this opportunity. We have seen survivors take huge steps forward in restoration and healing in their lives as a result of the retreat and hope to expand our capacity to offer the program more times in 2017.
Following that, on Tuesday, February 28th, we will be holding the second quarterly Christian Anti-Sex Trafficking (CAST) Committee Meeting. Those interested in playing their part in combating the supply and demand factors of trafficking in the Tri-Cities don’t want to miss this meeting. Stay tuned at trihopemichigan.com, email us at email@example.com, or follow us on social media for more information. Here’s your chance to become an everyday abolitionist!
Coming in February 2017, Trihope will once again be holding a retreat style support group for survivors of sexual assault based upon the In the Wildflowers curriculum.
In the Wildflowers Retreat Overview
The retreat format provides an opportunity for survivors to step back from their busy lives and take some much needed time to seek God’s healing for the wounds they have carried for so long. The retreat will be led by members of the Trihope team and will explore several topics, including sharing stories, releasing shame, healing through God’s love, and ministering to others. With several of the retreat leaders coming from backgrounds of sexual assault, they understand many of the emotional difficulties and the courage involved in participating in such a group. They are prepared to walk alongside group members in the difficult, but freeing, journey of restoration taking place over the course of the retreat.
The retreat will take place Thursday, February 23rd at 7 pm to Sunday, February 26th at 5 pm at Bay Shore Camp, 450 N. Miller St, Sebewaing, MI 48759. Enrollment packs are available now by contacting us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The total cost of the retreat including room, meals and workbook materials is $250 per person for a shared room (an additional $100 per person for a single room). All materials, including the $250 retreat fee (made payable to Trihope), are due January 29th. Completed materials can be emailed to email@example.com, placed in the Trihope mailbox at NLCF, or mailed to New Life Christian Fellowship, ATTN: Trihope, 6115 Shattuck Rd, Saginaw, MI 48603.
Please note: We cannot guarantee a place on the retreat for enrollment materials and/or fees turned in after the January 29th due date.
Find out more!
In the Wildflowers Retreat Video