As many of you know, Sojourner is a church that strives to live into the justice that God calls for in this world by lifting up various issues in our world and looking for ways to partner with organizations that are helping live out God's kingdom in the here and now. One of the issues that is on the heart of several within our congregation is that of human trafficking, a practice in which human beings created in God's image are sold like property and used for profit in the United States and around the world. Human trafficking most often impacts women and young girls who have been sold by their families, kidnapped off the streets, or been lured into a life of slave labor and sex trafficking.
On May 26, a group of us from Sojourner had an opportunity to partner with an organization that is deeply committed to rescuing young girls from sex trafficking here in the United States, the Salvation Army's Promise Program. Ten of us made our way to Anne's House, a home for young girls who are survivors of sex trafficking in the United States. Anne's House provides safety, security, love, and acceptance, walking alongside these young women and girls as they seek to heal and restore their lives, returning to school and learning once again what life is like outside of the sex industry.
We spent the day working on the house, planting a community garden, doing yard work, laying gravel to expand their parking for those working at the house, and installing a basketball hoop. Our hope was that in helping to provide a beautiful environment for these young women and girls we would somehow communicate to them that they are deeply loved and valued by God and by our church.
Throughout the day, we met several of the people who worked at the house as well as some of the beautiful young women and girls who live there. We heard stories of their struggles and triumphs. We were reminded of the powerful hold fallen systems can have on individuals, especially those whom they hurt. We saw beautiful girls, created in God's image, whom the world tried to destroy, but who have survived.
We, as a church, will continue to pray for and support Anne's House and the Promise Program. And we ask that you too might take a moment to lift up this ministry and pray for these girls. May God break the bonds created in trauma in the lives of these young women and girls. May God give them freedom, hope, and healing, that they might live the new life promised to them.