WILKES-BARRE, Pa., (BRN) – On Feb. 25, Restored Church in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, utilized evangelism grant funds from the Baptist Resource Network (BRN) to host an Anti-Human Trafficking Workshop for their community.

What was the Plan?

The plan was to gather people from our community, including multiple agencies, churches and non-profit organizations, to raise awareness regarding the issue of human trafficking. As part of this event, we also wanted to take the opportunity to walk through the gospel as a way to point to God as the first abolitionist from the story of Exodus as well as the motivation for why we, who have been rescued, care about those in need of rescuing.

What actually happened?

It was an incredible day and we were able to see 80 people register for the event, but due to a storm the morning of the event only 58 showed up. Although we were a bit bummed about that, it was still a full room that brought a ton of energy. We were able to partner with Derek Thompson from the Gateway to Freedom Foundation based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, who is doing a great gospel work in this area as well as Sarah Turner from TWIGS, who is using art therapy to help those who have been impacted by human trafficking process the trauma and find healing (Sarah is a part of our congregation as well).

Included in the attendees were people from 10 different organizations in our area. These included our County Children and Youth Office, the county’s Victim Resource Center, our local Crisis Pregnancy Center Staff and a number of churches and other non-profit organizations.

We presented the gospel clearly and gave opportunity for those present to respond but no one did.

It has been fruitful though as I am now positioned relationally on both the county System of Care Leadership Council as well as the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force of Northeast Pa.

Restored Church in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., recently hosted nearly 60 people from their community for an Anti-Human Trafficking Workshop.
 What the funds were used for?

• Food for the event – we used the funds primarily to purchase lunch and various snacks and drinks for the workshop.
• Printing – we also printed workbooks for the event so that people had the ability to have everything with them and take it home.

What was the fruit we saw from the event?

We saw a number of amazing things happen at this event! Here are the highlights from the event:

  • County Positioning – It was a fruitful event as I am now positioned relationally on both the county System of Care Leadership Council as well as the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force of Northeast Pa.
  • Awareness – We were able to bring light to a dark corner of our society for many who did not see it before.
  • Networking – We were able to connect with key individuals in our area who are a part of organizations that want to make a difference in this arena and will be gathering on a quarterly basis to discuss and strategize for the future.
  • Seeds – We saw the gospel presented clearly and we will count that as seeds planted or watered.
  • A chance to begin processing – We had one individual who expressed gratitude because they realized that a part of their story that they never knew how to process was finally identified. They had indeed been trafficked in their youth. They were broken, but so grateful that they now had a pathway forward on how to begin processing this trauma. Praise God!
Thank you:

I wanted to thank you for all your investment in this and for jumping in to help us not only love those that were provided this training, but being strategic about the gospel. Thank you for resourcing an environment that mobilized our people, built deliberate relationships and planted gospel seeds in the lives of others!