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Gahanna Campus

3690 N Stygler Road Gahanna, OH 43230

CELEBRATION TIMES

Sunday at 9 and 11am

Whitehall Campus

441 S Yearling Road Columbus, OH 43213

CELEBRATION TIMES

Sunday at 11am

East Campus

4000 Mink St SW, Pataskala, OH 43062

CELEBRATION TIME

Sunday at 10am

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Human Trafficking - It’s Everywhere!

Posted by Cindy Schmidt

Today while Jason held a soccer coaches clinic at the church campus, the lady folk headed off for a long trek into the capital city of Kampala. While perhaps only 15 or so kilometers distance, the wretched traffic, dirt roads, and sheer volume of motorcycles, goats, trucks, buses, trucks full of live chickens & cows, vans, steers, street vendors, people and cars made it a 2 1/2 hour trip (each way!)  Praise the Lord, our driver, Joseph is truly an amazing, safe, clever, magician of a driver and he makes each trip a pleasure!

We worked with “Free the Girls,” a Ugandan non-profit that helps train women rescued from the sex trade so that they can have an income to support themselves. Many sell bras, which is a profitable market for them. We collected a suitcase full of bras for them which they will donate to a woman to set up her store. She will then re-stock from the profits from her sales. Each woman is trained in business principles as well as life-skills in a Christian environment.

We spoke to 75 women on Identity in Christ, forgiveness, inner healing, and claiming their value as a child of God. The forgiveness activity was quite powerful and most seemed grateful to learn more about forgiving those that hurt them. The bulk of requests were for learning to forgive their parents for abandoning or neglecting them- it’s easy to see the factors of over-whelmed parents, poverty, lack of education, abuse and violence contributing to young girls forced, sold, or coerced into prostitution. Several girls shared their stories - one was sold to a man for marriage at 15, by her mom. It was hard to choke back tears!

God is moving in the lives of these girls- most are believers, they are in quality programs designed to help them heal and learn job skills, they are learning to forgive their abusers and start new lives as skilled businesswomen. It’s a hard journey but they have people dedicated to helping them heal and move forward. We were SO blessed to be a part of their progress and we wish them great success as they re-set their lives and get a second chance to blossom.

We talked in the van today (during all that travel!) about how GREAT this trip has been, how smooth & full of God’s favor, and how sad we are that we are down to our last big event tomorrow! We are hosting a ginormous carnival for 400-ish kids. Sponsored kids, neighbor kids, all kinds of kids-babies through high schoolers. And we don’t know much! The weather looks rainy, which makes the red dirt muddy red puddles! Inside? Outside? Full sun? Will the kids move from station to station or just swarm & rush? How do we serve ice cream in the heat to 400 kids...over the course of 3 hours? How do we paint 400 faces? We plan to show up with our music speakers, our cones, our giant beach ball, our parachutes, our coloring books, and our face paints and see what happens! Pray everyone has lots of fun, including the leaders! We are excited to love on our kids - pray for us, haha!

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