80% of people in the U.S. believe in God. Over 51% of people attend a faith community. That makes the faith community the most powerful community in the U.S. What gives the human traffickers power is that they are highly organized. They have an organizational structure, their own social networks where they share how not to get caught, etc. However, the faith community has far more power because there are more of us than they are of them. We just need to organize and collaborate. We win when our organization is more powerful than theirs. The Mission of Through God's Grace Ministry is to empower the faith community to take action in the fight against human trafficking and to organize their efforts. This site is directed to the faith community. For community organizations involving schools, health clinics, service groups, businesses, etc. , you can go to our sister site, "Together, We Can End Human Trafficking" where you can learn what works to reduce human trafficking for community entities. Your donation supports our outreach to the faith community and our Awareness campaigns.
Churches partner with us by having us speak at their services, sometimes during the homily, most often at the end for 5 minutes where we let church members know that human trafficking is the second largest and fastest growing criminal enterprise in the U.S.. At the table outside after the service, we answer questions and pass out flyers. During the talk we invite church members to a meeting where parents learn how to protect their children and the church can learn how to take action. Given the number of people who attend church, we easily went in front of well over 100,000 people in 5 years. Our one hour parent/church training has been done with over 4,000 parents and our teen presentation has been done with over 6,000 teens. We did all this with a staff of three. At the trainings we invite participants to come to a follow up meeting to build a ministry effort or to simply talk about one action they could take that year. From there, we invited churches to come together to network and share at faith coalition meetings what is working to take action. From the trainings and ministry meetings and the faith coalition meetings where we have talked to hundreds of church leaders, we have learned a lot. At this site we will share much of what we learned with you. You can find the trainings on the Parent, Teen and Reduce Demand tab.
We make sure during the parent/church training that the pastor has invited all the church ministries to that training. At the end we ask who in the group who like to be a part of the effort to fight human trafficking and invite them to another meeting. At the follow up meeting we find out what people are most passionate about. It may be Fair Trade, so we talk about what would work to raise awareness so that church members commit to purchasing slave free products. The group may feel strongly about reducing demand, so they would take the kind of actions recommended on our "Reduce Demand" tab. Their passion may be to support a local non-profit that takes care of victims of human trafficking so we talk about doing a drive or fundraiser. The group may have members who have been involved in related projects like recruiting foster parents and mentors, so the group follows their lead. The faith community may already be skilled at doing events, so they take on doing an educational conference. Sometimes these efforts become a ministry. With smaller churches a woman's group or men's group or singles group etc. may take on one or two efforts per year. For more ideas on projects that faith communities can do, please see our "Mobilizing Your Commuity" tab.
When we speak at a church or synagogue, the question we are always asked is "Who else in my community is working on this issue?" They are looking for ideas and how to partner. So we made 7,000 (3 minute) calls to churches and synagogues in the Southern California area, which is our home base and got email addresses, found out which faith communities were active, etc. and formed several So Cal Faith Based Coalitions. You can find the model for what we did at that website. These networking meetings are for people who feel called to act, so they can come together to find out what can be done in a faith community. For active churches at the beginning of the meeting, they have 3 minutes to share what they are doing. Then during the networking session, which is the last third of the meeting, people connect with the faith communities they want to partner with, who share their interest. For the middle third of the meeting, there is a speaker like a law enforcement officer who updates the group on what is happening locally and answers questions. Or it could be a speaker like a fair trade organization that lets the group know how they can support them with their local efforts. These meetings have been invaluable to the group as they inspire participants as to what can be done, who they can partner with and what their resources are.
When we went out and spoke to over 100,000 people, we were asked thousands of questions. Some we knew the answer to, some we didn't. So we went out and interviewed community leaders, non-profits, law enforcement and many others to find the best answers. The book "How You Can Fight Human Trafficking, Over 100 Ways to Make a Difference" was written for speakers, ministry and social justice leaders, pastors, rabbis, task forces, etc. in essence anyone who feels called to join the fight against human trafficking. This book enables one to "hit the ground running." Amazon lets us offer the e-book at no cost four times a year. Those dates are the 15th to the 19th in the months of January, April, July and October. You can find the book here.
God's grace ministry P.O. Box 18065 Irvine,, CA 92623 US