Big Changes at Trihope!

Dear Friend of Trihope,

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.

Towards the end of January I was blindsided by an intriguing email. A UK-based non-profit asked me if I was interested in applying for a local research position with them. While it at first seemed an impossibility considering my commitment to leading Trihope, I ultimately became convinced that this was where the Lord was leading me, complete with the full support of Trihope’s staff and board. 

This left one inevitable question on the table: what would become of Trihope? While we didn’t have answers, we suspected we were on the brink of seeing God do something awesome and we were not disappointed. 

So when the opportunity suddenly presented itself to join another organization with a similar heart and aim, we were interested. When we learned that the organization was in process of restructuring to provide a broad range of services to clients, a dream of Trihope’s from the beginning, we were excited. And when we received the confirmation that we were being invited to bring onboard all that makes Trihope unique–the name, the mission, the services–and offered an opportunity to expand and deepen everything we have grown to offer; we were convincedFor those who have played Mario Kart, we knew we had hit our “mushroom”, an opportunity to accelerate further and faster than we possibly could have before.

We are in awe of what He had in mind and how He pulled it all together in just a few weeks, something we never could have done in our own power, had we even conceived of the idea. 

Trihope has now officially joined the Pregnancy Resource Center of Mid-Michigan (PRC) as the Trihope Trauma Program. PRC has a long-standing history in the Tri-Cities, providing services as a non-profit for more than 30 years. PRC’s services now include Pregnancy, Parenting, Sexual Health and Trauma Support for men and women.

5 years ago when God gave Beth Swenson and me the vision for Trihope, it was to have a multi-service facility. With this merge, we see our original vision being fulfilled. While we believed we were being asked to build towards the completion of the whole vision, we now see God was just asking us to build a piece while He was preparing the other pieces to bring them together at just the right time. Now!

We hope you are as excited as we are, but we also understand if you have questions about this merger. It’s a lot to take in! We’ll answer a couple Frequently Asked Questions here, but feel free to reach out if you have additional questions.

Will the programs Trihope offers remain the same?

Yes! In the past, we’ve broken down our services into three components: Prayer, Survivor Support, and Community. While all these elements will remain present, it will look a little different. Prayer will become a core piece of the entire organization, so will no longer remain a component of Trihope in particular. Instead, the three components making up the Trihope Trauma Program will be Survivor Support, Advocacy, and Awareness–all of which we currently do. The only thing that will change is that we will be able to do more of each of these.  

Can I donate specifically to the work of Trihope? 

Yes! You can request to have your donation go specifically to the Trihope Trauma Program. However, we do encourage you to consider giving to the general fund “As Needed” as well. Because services may be used to fulfill multiple needs of the same population, giving to the General Fund allows client needs, as well as organizational growth, to be met most effectively as funds are allocated at the discretion of the board and executive staff who consistently assess the best use of funds to accomplish the mission.

Thank you for being willing to join the work of God to invest in the work of Trihope and launch it into an even more incredible future! 

In Awe of Him,

Kelsey Dillon
Board President, Trihope


To financially support the ongoing work of Trihope, please visit prcmm.org/donatenow, click on the purple donate button, and select “Trihope” in the drop-down fund selection box. 

Quarterly Update – January 2017

Quarterly Update // TrihopeMichigan.com

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.

Wildflowers Retreat

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 info@trihopemichigan.com, or follow us on social media for more information. Here’s your chance to become an everyday abolitionist!

Quarterly Update – October 2016

Quarterly Update // TrihopeMichigan.com

It’s that time! September just ended. That means you won a quarterly update.

It’s been crazy around here the last few months. Read on to find out what we’ve been up to and what’s coming up next…

What We’ve Been Up To

This summer we’ve had to take a brief step back from programs to build a stronger organizational foundation for Trihope. We became officially incorporated in August and submitted our non-profit application to the IRS after months of working on it. This fall we’re busy fundraising to get off the ground by next June. Because it will no longer be possible for Trihope to operate on a volunteer basis next year (the video below explains why), we need to raise at least $5,000 monthly to cover not only the program and operation expenses of the organization, but also to hire two staff to run them. Interested in joining our team as a monthly sponsor? Click the following link to sign up: trihopemichigan.com/donate.

As exciting as fundraising and applications are, that’s not all we’ve been up to!

Survivors making crafts at Survivors’ Night

In August, we held our first Survivors’ Night. We invited survivors of childhood sexual abuse and sex trafficking to come out for a night of pampering, food, and fun to bless them 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. We served approximately 12 survivors at the event and the question of the night was, “When will you do another one?”

After Survivors’ Night in August, we joined the Running to Freedom 5K and hosted our 2nd Annual Open Mic in the beginning of October. Our president, Kelsey Dillon, spoke at the 5K, sharing the stories of her first four encounters with sex trafficking survivors–all personal friends. You can catch the tail end of the speech on Trihope’s Facebook page (under videos) and learn a few ways you can be an everyday abolitionist right where you are. That, or contact us! One of the pillars of our organization is community mobilization–that means helping each person or each organization play their part in eradicating the sexual exploitation occurring in this community. Did you know that the Tri-Cities is an incubator for sex trafficking? You can learn more about it by attending the first meeting of the Christian Anti-Sex Trafficking (CAST) Committee on Tuesday evening, November 29th. More on that later!

The Open Mic was a huge success again this year. Approximately 115 people turned up for the night. Over $1,000 was raised for Trihope and when it was all said and done, nearly $750 came in in monthly support. Aside from that, it was a wonderful night full of incredible talent! If you didn’t make it this year, you’ll want to come next year.

Finally, in September, the long-awaited Open Table has been launched! We have been excited to partner with New Life Christian Fellowship and The Open Table to set up the first table in Michigan to support a survivor of sex trafficking. This may sound mysterious for those unfamiliar with the model, so click here to learn more about this unique way of responding to poverty, and now, human trafficking as well.

What’s Coming Up Next?

On November 14th, we’ll be hosting another Survivors’ Night. We need RSVPs by November 7th, so pass the word to any survivors you know! This is a night designed to bless and encourage them. They won’t be asked to share their story, answer any questions, or sign up for additional programs. We simply want them to know they are precious and valued.

Following that, on Tuesday, November 29th, we will be holding the first quarterly Christian Anti-Sex Trafficking (CAST) Committee Meeting. There will be a presentation on the supply and demand nature of sex trafficking, why we believe it’s a big issue in the Tri-Cities, and how the committee is structured to combat it. Then each attendee will be invited to evaluate and identify their ability to combat it within their own sphere of influence. Here’s your chance to become an everyday abolitionist!

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. We are considering opening this retreat for the first time to men 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.

Quarterly Update – July 2016

Quarterly Update // TrihopeMichigan.com

Quarter 2 has flown by and while the organized events have been lighter than in Quarter 1, things have still been ramping up for the team. Read on to see what we’ve been up to…

APRIL

We held our second annual In the Wildflowers support group, retreat-style. We had a few repeat-attendees and some new faces as well, but all around it was a powerful time of healing for everyone, including our facilitators. In addition to the regular sessions, the survivors engaged in times of prayer, therapeutic activities, and enjoying times of just laughing together. Our team was privileged to watch these amazing survivors bond with and encourage each other, and find healing themselves, in so many ways.If you or someone you know would be interested in attending the next support group, or if you’d like us to present at your church–give us a shout! We’d love the opportunity to discuss our support groups with you more.You may also remember from Quarter 1 that we’ve been partnering with Open Table and New Life Christian Fellowship to launch the first “table” in Michigan to surround a survivor of sex trafficking. April was full of training for this opportunity and the table will hopefully be launching late summer.Also in April, Beth and her husband, Tyler, accepted an appointment to join an overseas agency to carry on the work of bringing hope, freedom, and healing to survivors of sexual exploitation in Southeast Asia. They will be leaving in June of 2017 to begin training. What an opportunity!

MAY & JUNE

These two months blur together a bit for us. We’ve been spending a frustrating amount of time preparing our application to become a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We brought together a board, wrote bylaws, articles, and narratives, got coaching, revised bylaws, articles, and narratives, wrote some more, edited and revised some more, and got special ergonomic mice to keep our wrists happy for all that writing and revising.

 Finally at the end of June, we submitted our articles and are waiting to hear back! Once those are filed, we can go on to submit our 501(c)(3) application.

Aside from the hum-drum of working on that, we’ve been busy preparing presentations, meetings, and events for June, July and August, building more community partnerships, and working with survivors on individual bases to reach individual goals.The last big news of June is that Kelsey was able to increase her availability to work at Trihope from 12 hours per week to 24+ hours. Did you know that we only started working one day a week in March of 2015? That means we’ve tripled our availability and activity in just over a year!

ON DECK

On July 12th we will be hosting the first quarterly gathering of a Christian Anti-Sex Crimes Committee. We are forming the committee with the purpose “to mobilize individuals and organizations in the Christian community to curb the existence of sex trafficking through combating supply and demand factors.”

Not long after that, on August 1st, we are hosting a Survivors of Sexual Abuse/Assault Fun Night. We know it sounds kind of odd, but we are inviting survivors to come, have fun, get to know other survivors and offer encouragement to one another. We’ve found that one of the most powerful tools in overcoming past brokenness is learning that you are not alone. While not all survivors are ready to embark further on the healing process, we hope this event will provide them the opportunity and comfort of knowing they are not alone in all they’ve suffered.

We are also in process of launching a new video campaign to enable survivors to use their own stories to bring hope to other survivors who have yet to find a voice. The first of these videos should be ready to go this fall.If you or someone you know is interested in participating in any of these activities/events–let us know!

FINAL THOUGHTS

Did you know Trihope is 100% run by volunteers? While we believe the calling is worthy, we also know that it is simply not sustainable to operate and grow without being able to expand our staff, including filling the 24 hours per week that Beth currently “donates”, once she leaves. Would you consider becoming a monthly sponsor for Trihope? We suggest amounts of $25, $50, $100, or $200 per month, but appreciate gifts in any amount to allow us to continue bringing hope, healing, and freedom to broken souls. If you would like to join our financial support team and invest in the work of Trihope, you can donate at trihopemichigan.com/donate.

We can’t conclude an update without testifying to the faithfulness of the Lord in all we’ve been doing too. While He has entrusted us with the development of this ministry and there is great responsibility in that, we also recognize that He has been “directing our steps”, paving avenues we didn’t know we needed as well as answering so many of our prayers. Praise the God Who sees and hears the cries of the broken-hearted!

JOIN US!

  • Pray! Request to be added to our monthly prayer list or join us for prayer Thursday mornings at 9:00am at New Life Christian Fellowship. Don’t underestimate the power of prayer—we cannot overemphasize how desperately we covet prayer warriors who will boldly approach the Lord on our behalf and on behalf of the sexually broken in this region and in this nation.
  • Meet with us to become equipped to make a difference in the realm of sexual abuse and/or trafficking in your specific sphere of influence with your specific talents and passions.
  • Follow us on Facebook and share our posts. The best way to bring freedom to survivors is by changing the culture that cultivates their exploitation. The more we share about it, the more mindsets we change.
  • Donate at warinternational.org/donate , designating TriHOPe. We are looking for monthly sponsors to help TriHOPe become sustainable.

Thank You

For your support and involvement with TriHOPe. Bringing hope, healing, and freedom to broken souls is not something one person or one ministry can do alone. It takes everyone contributing their piece of the puzzle to make a difference. So thank you for your willingness to take part.

With gratitude and joy,
The TriHOPe team

Quarterly Update – April 2016

Quarterly Update // TrihopeMichigan.com

Quarter 1 is under our belt! While it sometimes still feels like the year is just starting, we look back and see that quite a lot has already happened since we tacked up the new calendar.

JANUARY

In January we held an event called K indle the Coals. We’ve heard a lot of rumblings in the faith community of those with hearts to help combat sex trafficking, so we tried to gather together those we discovered for a night of networking and prayer, as well as to fill opportunities in the community, including strip club outreach with Restored Gems, Open Table, and a faith­based sex crimes committee. We had 10­15 people join us and it was really a great time for everyone to connect and see what the Lord is brewing in this arena. We also came out of the event with a great deal of volunteer interest in all the opportunities presented, so we’re thankful to see these teams begin filling up.

January is also responsible for presenting us the initial chance to connect with Restored Gems’ leader, Karen Brokaw. We love Karen’s heart for the women she serves in the strip clubs and have enjoyed being able to partner with her to connect women and men with appropriate support and resources.

One last note on January, Beth started volunteering 3 days a week, allowing us to greatly expand our efforts. Kelsey continues to volunteer 1.5 days per week.

FEBRUARY

February was another big month for us. Kelsey went to Thailand with Women At Risk, International to learn more about the global sex trade and strategies to best help survivors. While she learned far more than can be recorded here, a few of the big things she discovered were: the necessity of prayer and worship in combating sex slavery, the importance of business in nurturing sustainability for ministries and survivors, and the

value of networking and partnerships. I suppose we could say “no ministry is an island.” To learn more about that experience, you can read our blog at t rihopemi.blogspot.com. Meanwhile, Beth was working hard on the home front, preparing a training on the signs and symptoms of sex trafficking and sexual abuse for an event called “Shattering the Silence.” The idea for the event came out of the realization that incidences of assault and abuse, particularly for youth, is drastically under­reported. We wondered—h ow can we reach minors? Ah­ha! Let’s reach the adults who work with minors, creating more safe places for trauma to surface and providing proper steps that can be taken when it does. W e had a turnout of 75 and got a lot of positive feedback. We pray this event will open doors for victims to be recognized and receive the help they need.

Also in February, we realized we were putting prayer on the back burner, when it should be going before everything we do. We know God is the One who started this engine and we believe He has a better idea of the route TriHOPe should take, so we felt convicted we needed to spend more time in prayer. Did you know TriHOPe was birthed out of 24 hours of individual dedicated prayer? Remembering that, we have blocked off time Thursday mornings for prayer and are looking for more ways to increase our focus and reliance on the Lord.

MARCH

March has been low­key. Beth and Stacie have been busy preparing a retreat for survivors of childhood sexual abuse coming up in April. Back in the office, we are working on applying for our non­profit status—which, in case you are wondering, is about as much fun as it sounds—and decompressing from all that occurred in February. We also have been partnering with New Life Christian Fellowship and Open Table to put together a team of people to pilot a human trafficking “Table” in the community. To learn more about this opportunity, visit www.theopentable.org.

WHEW!

We can hardly keep up with everything. So with all that behind, what lies ahead in Quarter 2?
I don’t want to ruin the surprises, so you’ll have to stay tuned. “Like” us on Facebook, follow us on our blog, invite us to coffee, or just wait till our nextQuarterly Update comes out in the end of June. In the meantime, we invite you to get involved in some of the ways below.

JOIN US!

  • Pray! Request to be added to our monthly prayer list or join us for prayer
  • Thursday mornings at 9:00am at New Life Christian Fellowship. Don’t underestimate the power of prayer—we cannot overemphasize how desperately we covet prayer warriors who will boldly approach the Lord on our behalf and on behalf of the sexually broken in this region and in this nation.
  • Meet with us to become equipped to make a difference in the realm of sexual abuse and/or trafficking in your specific sphere of influence with your specific talents and passions.
  • Donate at warinternational.org/donate, designating TriHOPe. We are looking for monthly sponsors to help TriHOPe become sustainable.

THANK YOU!

Thank you for your support and involvement with TriHOPe. Bringing hope, healing, and freedom to broken souls is not something one person or one ministry can do alone. It takes everyone contributing their piece of the puzzle to make a difference. So thank you for your willingness to take part.

With gratitude and joy,
The TriHOPe team

Pin It on Pinterest