The Work Continues: Stripped Love Becomes Grace Horizon
By Kim Ousley
Editor’s note—The establishment of CHOG Trafficklight the better part of a decade ago was a milestone moment in the history of the Church of God movement as it came together in strength and purpose to curb the scourge of human trafficking and advance the fight for freedom. Several notable ministries were highlighted and supported in the effort, which continue to carry on in the name of Christ. One of these was known as Stripped Love. Today we check in with the central Indiana ministry as it continues the great work under a new name, celebrating the dawn of yet a new day.
Stripped Love came out of an idea Rev. Dr. Kimberly Majeski had to reach those trapped inside the sex trafficking trade. Now, with former Global Strategy missionary Audrey Weiger as CEO, the name of the ministry has changed to expand and protect those the organization serves, both women and children.
“Grace Horizon is a community of survivors supporting each other in recovery from violence and exploitation, including sex trafficking and sexual exploitation,” says Weiger. “We provide them with a safe environment where they can start to heal.”
Weiger notes that Grace Horizon takes a two-generational approach to anti-trafficking, which is why the organization employs a children’s coordinator and second-generation coach, who connects with the children of participants to create positive childhood experiences. Sarah Helber currently holds this role and provides children’s programming using social emotional learning techniques, and taking a trauma-informed approach, during Grace Horizon’s monthly meeting called Second Sunday. She also is trained in the “What Would I Do?” curriculum through Indiana Protection of Abused and Trafficked Humans Taskforce (IPATH), and educates students in Madison County about healthy relationships, human trafficking, and how to stay safe.
Weiger explains that much of the work of the organization when it first started was outreach in local strip clubs. Now Grace Horizon focuses mainly on the stabilization and recovery and healing of participants. Participants have had such transformative experiences that they are now referring other survivors or friends in need to the organization. This is reflected in the survivor-centered and survivor-led approach the organization now takes.
When asked by Weiger what participants wanted to focus on for they year’s programming, participants replied: healthy relationships and forgiveness. Grace Horizon has incorporated these elements through their coaching relationships, through monthly programming, and through twice weekly yoga classes. “Yoga can provide another way to develop healthy coping mechanisms,” says Weiger.
“Right now, we help twenty-five women and forty-four children,” Weiger explains. Human trafficking affects the most vulnerable in our society, whether a child or someone over the age of sixty-five. Grace Horizon has partnered with more than twenty local organizations in Madison County and the state of Indiana to get survivors the support they need. If you are interested in connecting with Grace Horizon, visit www.gracehorizon.org.
Kim Ousley serves as a freelance writer for Church of God Ministries.
Learn more about CHOG Trafficklight at www.chogtrafficklight.org.