This past month (January 2018) we spent time learning about the terrible crime of human trafficking. We knew going into the discussion that it would not be an easy one to have but I think many of us were surprised by just how prevalent trafficking is, especially this close to home. Jenn Amo from Women at Risk (WAR) taught us how to recognize the signs of trafficking and how to protect those we love from falling into the traps of the abusers. She shared with us her experience helping women who have been coerced into harmful lifestyles and how she is working to help them regain their dignity and self-worth.
I personally was encouraged by the way our congregation responded to what Jenn had to say. As she walked us through some of our local statistics the first response was disgust. But many people within our congregation were not satisfied with just being disgusted; they immediately sprang into action, asking how they can get involved in the fight against human trafficking. Throughout the past 3 weeks I have had multiple conversations with people in our church who are already working to fight back. One woman went to Rivertown Mall and handed out Jenn’s card to them and told them about the training we had received and suggested they have training similar. Others visited the War Chest boutique and café to learn more about WAR and what they are doing to fight for oppressed women. Still others supported Jenn herself.
We live in a broken sinful world in which much is not as it should be. This past month we saw that clearly in the stories we heard and the people we saw. Our hearts break alongside God’s when were exposed to the affect sin can have on his children. God isn’t satisfied to let sin win, however. He’s moving through his Church here in Grandville and specifically Ivanrest Church. God is stirring in us a desire to fight injustice and care for each and every person in his creation.