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.
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 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 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.
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.
- 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 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