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 convinced. For 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,
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.
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!
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.