Freedom Fight Takes Aim at Root Causes of Trafficking
By Carl Stagner
In 2014, the Church of God reintroduced its longstanding commitment to freedom with the launch of CHOG Trafficklight. Since then, the Movement has galvanized around the cause of advancing freedom for the enslaved, the overlooked, and the oppressed through awareness and through support of established organizations. On the heels of Church of God Convention 2017, the first-ever Church of God Freedom Summit not only celebrated the success of CHOG Trafficklight, but also turned our attention to the root causes of trafficking and sexual exploitation. Trafficklight 2.0: Freedom Fight will help us fight a global scourge at an international, domestic, and local church level, even down to our own homes.
One international component of Trafficklight 2.0 brings us to Bangladesh, a country where the Church of God is already two steps ahead. In Bangladesh, as has become clear, it’s all about prevention: please watch the video included with this story. By partnering with the national leader of the Lalmonirhat Church of God group in Bangladesh—Tapan Borman—Trafficklight 2.0 aims to fund eight villages and child sponsorships of up to two hundred children per village. By partnering with Children of Promise, more children will be afforded hope of a safe and blessed future than ever before. From providing safe bathhouses to a life center and classrooms, the Village Project and Trafficklight 2.0 are targeting the areas of vulnerability which become the breeding ground for exploitation.
On the domestic side, the Freedom Fight spotlights existing ministries like Hope Ranch for Women, in Wichita, Kansas, which provides mentoring, a safe haven, and steps to transition out of unsafe lifestyles for exploited women. Hope Ranch and other domestic, on-the-ground ministries have already proven instrumental to the Freedom Fight.
Taking CHOG Trafficklight a step farther, Trafficklight 2.0 arms the local church with an arsenal of resources designed to engage the broader issues of sexual exploitation. By combatting causes of trafficking, such as pornography, and instead creating a culture of purity within the local church, the Movement will begin to chip away at the root issues that lead to sex trafficking. Through a partnership with Warner Press and Stephen Arterburn, the Church of God is making a variety of practical tools available to the local church to achieve this massive undertaking. A sermon series, church planning guide, church campaign DVD, bulletins, church banner, books, studies, leader’s guides, and more will be available this fall, exclusively from the Church of God publishing house. Visit www.warnerpress.org or call 800-741-7721 for details. Stay tuned, also, for more information coming soon about Change Your World grants and scholarships for pastors and leaders to attend Every Man’s Battle Retreats!
Church of God, we’re engaged in a battle of historic proportions. We’ve once again gone to the front lines of a war against human trafficking and sexual exploitation—a war initially waged more than a hundred years ago. The launch of Trafficklight in 2014 brought with it a renewed fervor for seeing what Jesus sees, living out Jesus’ example in our neighborhoods, and allowing our hearts to be broken for what breaks his. Together we’ve raised awareness, funded life-changing projects, and touched the lives of trafficking victims through several ministries already in the trenches. As we turn our attention to the supply side of human trafficking, we celebrate the lives forever changed by your prayerful and financial support: over 750,000 dollars and counting! Help us raise one million more over the next two years. It’s time we stop trafficking in its tracks. It’s time we pull it out at the roots. It’s time for Trafficklight 2.0.
Visit www.chogtrafficklight.org to join the fight today!