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The fight against human trafficking

GRACE AS JUSTICE Volu m e 3, Issu e 6, Decem ber , 2017

i n sp i r e

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em p ow er

spotlight on

Arts and Media I n th i s i ssue:

Heath er Cl ark Gir ls of Cou r age

Li sa M i tts " Wh er e Has Love Gon e?" Cov er A rti st

A eron Brow n Br eak in g Ch ain s Th r ou gh Ar t An d M or e!

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ed u cate


On the cover: Artwork by Aeron Brown. Image altered from the original with permission from the artist.

The fight against human trafficking

GRACE AS JUSTICE Volume 3 Issue 6 * Editor: Cindy Powell Simple Faith Press * PO Box 1614 * Redlands, CA 92373


CONTENTS

Editor's Corner

1

Regular Columns: Love Has a Face Andrea Aasen

3

Spotlight on Arts and Media: Girls of Courage An Interview with Heather Clark

21

I See You Cindy Powell

24

Where Has Love Gone An Interview with Lisa Mitts

25

Freedom on the Frontlines Hallie Schaefer

7

Exodus to Flourish Kezia Hatfield

9

The Healing Power of Art An Interview with Aeron Brown

29

11

Rose in the Sky Sarah Peterson

33

15

Mercy Creates Rachel Hendricks

37

Freecember Alison Ludriks

The Simple Kind Jenna Funkhouser

Audacious Diane Scimone

Book Review: "Why Not Today" 19

Rachael Williams-Mejri

41


Edit or 's Cor n er ?Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.?? Edgar Degas love this quote, because it perfectly captures the role of the arts in the fight against human trafficking. The arts engage not just the mind but also the heart. Art? in all its various forms? makes you feel something. The arts have the capacity to open eyes in a way carefully compiled statistics and boatloads of information never will.

need to see something. We need to see them. We need to see the hidden ones. The forgotten ones. The ones who are lost in the shadows. The ones who, in this very moment, are enduring unspeakable pain and abuse.

I

Intellectual understanding of a problem rarely compels a person to action. But eyes that have been opened because the heart

When it comes to the horrors of human trafficking, we need to feel something. We

has been touched deeply, often will. That is what art does. -1-

Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6


I?m so excited about this issue of Grace as

making a difference where they are and

Justice. I don?t necessarily consider myself a

with what they have. This issue is no

?creative,? but my brain does hang out a lot

exception. Check out Jenna Funkhouser 's

on the ?right? side of the tracks. Since it

interview with Molly Hardwick of the Simple

does, I?ve often felt a kinship with those

Kind, and Allison Ludriks' story on Tate

who truly embody that word. We are

Johnston of Freecember as great examples.

honored to feature several of them in this

I?m grateful for the diversity of content GAJ

issue. These individuals represent a wide

is able to feature in the fight against human

variety of creative expression: fine art,

trafficking. Our contributors are well-known

music, dance, filmmaking, fiction, and even

organizations,

a poem from yours truly. Each of the

everything in between. They are recognized

featured individuals has taken advantage of

leaders, artists, and journalists, as well as

their distinct creative gifts to draw attention

homemakers, high school students, and

to the issue of modern-day slavery. They

more. They come from all over the globe.

are modeling what it means to faithfully

Really, they

use what is in their hand.

common:

In addition to the spotlight section on arts

Th e

and media, in this issue we are debuting

deser ves t o be f r ee.

cor e

hidden

have

belief

heroes,

only

t h at

one

ever y

and

thing

in

per son

two additional regular columns: ?Love Has a This is the conviction that drives us. If you

Face,? by Andrea Aasen, and ?Freedom on

are reading these words, I?m sure that?s

the Frontlines? by Hallie Schaefer. Andrea

your conviction too. If it is, make your voice

and Hallie will join Kezia Hatfield, whose column

?Exodus

to

Flourish?

heard. Make your voice count.

was

Because every voice matters.

introduced in our last issue, as a regular part of the GAJ team. You are sure to glean

Cindy Powell

much from these gifted communicators

Editor, Grace as Justice

and committed freedom fighters, so don?t miss a single issue! As always, we continue to make room to highlight the work and stories of other individuals and

organizations who

Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6

are -2-


"Love has a Face? is a column dedicated to ending human trafficking through the realization of LOVE as the preventative solution. But love has a face! It takes a multitude of people, skill sets, ideas, ministries, and nations coming together to bring order in chaos and light into places of darkness. ?Love has a Face? will empower you to see your part in the solution to stop human trafficking and other forms of injustice before they start.

L ov i n g th e U n l ovely other Teresa once said, ?The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved.? I find this simple fact true wherever I am in the world. Despite cultural differences, socioeconomic structures, or hierarchical needs, everyone is seeking after the same thing ? to be loved and accepted. Where love and a sense of belonging are not met by family, friends, colleagues, and most importantly by God, a great ?poverty? will ensue that will dictate the course of future decisions, self-will, and relationship choices. I am convinced that this absence of love is the void that generates global injustice.

trafficking before it starts involves firstly looking at the roots that lead to the repercussion of slavery.

M

Basic economics says there is always a supply and demand chain, which produces the sales market. While buyers of human goods are looking for sex, cheap labor, or trafficking re-sale, the concept is the same. If there is not a demand for goods, eventually there will be no need to supply the market. So, why then do so few organizations, governments, and awareness campaigns focus their efforts on the demand side of the issue? I believe the answer to that question involves confronting controversial stereotypes and heart issues. It?s easy to love the victim but far more challenging to love the abuser.Reaching out to love vulnerable women and children is effortless.We see their hurts and pains, and can often even identify with them as the victim. It?s easy to love and help them in their

Today, there are nearly 30 million slaves worldwide, many of whom were forced into their circumstances through human trafficking and other forms of exploitation. The problem is huge, the roots are many, and the solutions are complex and multi-layered.But the underlying root of injustice is a lack of love. Fighting human

-3-

Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6


brokenness.However, loving the traffickers and ?Johns? is a different story for most of us. Our lens is to see them as the bad guys. While this is not entirely wrong, and a righteous anger is required, sometimes I wonder if in our judgment we mask our true calling to love the unlovely.

received begging and gathering recyclable garbage. He had been raped and sexually abused multiple times in his life. He was afraid, lonely, and in desperate need of love. Over the course of the next few months, we worked closely with him to try to provide a safe place and alternative family options. However, little did I know that what transpired next would forever mark a paradigm shift in my thinking.

Years ago, while working in Cambodia, I was in a prayer meeting with a group of street children. Most of these kids had been living and working on the streets for a large portion, if not all of their life.The organization we were partnering with fed them, cleaned them, and gave them hope through Jesus. Due to their long hours on the streets, these children were incredibly at-risk for human trafficking and other forms of sexual exploitation. They were often propositioned by pedophiles for money to take pornographic photos or in providing other sex services. On a case-by-case basis, the organization, along with our ministry, would help provide investigative and social services to protect and rescue those in need. However, today was a prayer day, where the kids were gathered to listen to the voice of their Heavenly Father. As we listened, I was burdened in intercession. God began to highlight one of the adolescent boys. I started to weep for him and eventually had to excuse myself from the room, in order to not frighten the kids or draw too much attention to my sadness. I was feeling the heart of the Father for this special little boy, but also I was feeling his deep pain and struggles .I knew that something was wrong; he was in danger.

It was early one morning when I received a phone call stating that the sweet, adolescent boy I had wept over was now being brought in for charges of raping a six year-old girl. As they reported the alleged abuse, my heart sunk. I was angry and upset with the situation, but never did my heart move towards anger for our little boy. How could I? He had only acted out of the undoubted hurt and wounding in his own heart.In his need for acceptance and love, he violated others with the only example he had known.

I quickly pulled one of our Khmer staff to the side and asked her to remove the boy, so we could speak with him in private. As she did, he began to share his story. His father had little to no income and as a result kicked him out on the streets at a young age to work and make money for the family .His father was very abusive and the only time he was allowed to see him was to collect his earnings from the income he had Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6

It was in that moment that God changed my heart for the perpetrators. Not in siding with what they had done, but in reevaluating my attitude towards them. While we hate the sin, we need to learn to love the person. God challenged me that day to see the perpetrators in the same manner I saw our scared, adolescent boy. No -4-


matter the age or background, each perpetrator is living with a similar poverty of heart. Though most of the perpetrators I knew were old, foreign men, I could now see the same scared boy when I looked at them. Many of the abusers were also abused. They were wounded, lonely, and seeking love in the wrong places ? a product of their circumstances. Though we shouldn?t make excuses for their actions, I wondered what would happen if we stopped to love those that were causing the offense. How well do we love the traffickers, pedophiles, and abusers?

men in red-light districts, creating books and other resources for men struggling with sexual addictions, and equipping those working in prevention with different worldviews of the issues.If we can stop the demand, there will be no more need to work tirelessly in rescue and aftercare efforts for the victims ? there will be no more victims!

range of areas, such as: awareness trainings on

What will the world look like when we really learn to love the unlovely? I choose to accept the challenge. How about you? What will your heart response be? Let?s position ourselves to love in extreme ways, especially to the unlovely.Your love will mark the transformation of whole nations, and we will see an end to human trafficking in our lifetime when we learn to love well.

the dangers of pornography, outreaches with

Love has a face.

Since then, I have found a number or incredible organizations* that have a heart to work with the perpetrators. They are targeting issues of human trafficking with a preventative focus in a wide

* To lear n m or e, please visit t h e w ebsit es of t h ese gr eat or gan izat ion s: -

Love 146 Goin g Un der t h e Cover s New Hope f or Sexu al In t egr it y Or ch eck ou t Vict or M alar ek 's book : THE JOHNS: SEX FOR SALE AND THE MEN WHO BUY IT (New Yor k : Ar cade Pu blish in g In c., 2009))

Andrea Aasen is the Director of XP Missions / Extreme Love Ministries. She is an apostolic leader with a heart to see justice released to the nations. Andrea has a desire to see women and children empowered and walking in their God created destinies. She believes in the power

of LOVE to transform nations and

individuals, and as a result, has developed various community, business, and advocacy models to support and protect victims of human trafficking, abuse, and other forms of exploitation.

-5-

Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6


GRACE AS JUSTICE ur o n g i 018 n i Com r i ng 2e! Sp i ssu

Spot l i gh t on

Su rvi vor St ori es

Now accepting submissions for our Spring 2018 edition! Everyone has a story. And everyone's story is important! In our March 1, 2018 edition, we want to hear from those whose voices are often silenced--those who have survived the trauma of human trafficking. If you are a survivor, or if you know a survivor who is willing to share their story, we want to hear from you! In addition to our Spotlight feature, we are always accepting submissions for our regular feature "What's in Your Hand?" as well as any articles that fit within our overall mission to empower, inspire, and educate others to join the fight against human trafficking. Email graceasjustice@gmail.com for more information! GRACE AS JUSTICE IS EXPANDING! During the next year, we are making plans to strengthen our infrastructure which will position us for greater impact in the years ahead. To do this, we need the assistance of those who believe in what we are doing. Through our partnership with Commission Ministers Network ( CMN), donations for Grace as Justice are now tax deductible. As a 501(c)3 organization, CMN will send you a tax receipt for each donation, as well as a year-end giving statement.

If you?d like to partner with Grace as Justice on either a one-time or monthly recurring basis, click here. Please be sure to specify that the donation is for ?Grace as Justice.? For more information, check our page on the CMN site.


elcome to Freedom on the Frontlines! In each issue, I will be highlighting individuals and organizations who are on the frontlines of the war against human trafficking and rescuing its victims. In this issue, I'd like to introduce Tim Swarens.

W

Tim Swarens is the opinion editor of The Indianapolis Star, the most prominent news source in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has been in the journalism field for over thirty-four years now, heading projects that have won Sigma Delta Chi, National Headliners and Robert F. Kennedy Excellence in Journalism awards while being published by the likes of The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. He takes a stand on the frontlines of fighting Human Trafficking, dauntlessly exposing the issue in the United States and overseas.I

originally discovered Mr. Swarens when I began researching articles about Human Trafficking in the Indianapolis area. His name was on nearly all of them. It is obvious by his work, and from our conversation, that he is knowledgeable and passionate about the issue. Swarens found his calling in 2010 when a visitor came to his home church to speak on the topic of Human Trafficking. Looking back now, he says he realizes just how life changing that moment was for him. The following year, he traveled to Cambodia. According to the 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report, Cambodia is considered a Tier 2 in human trafficking. A tier 2 label is for countries whose government does not fully meet the Trafficking Victims Protection Act?s (TVPA) minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance -7-

with those standards. For the victims, it means that there is not much in place to protect their rights. In August of 2016, Swarens received a grant from the Society of Professional Journalist to better understand why millions of people, including children, fall victim to sex trafficking every year. Swarens? project has taken him to places all over the world including Thailand, Mexico, Bolivia, Kenya, Italy, and France. During his travels, he noticed alarming trends everywhere he went.

Tim Swarens

Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6


For one, many people believe that the victims of human trafficking have a choice in the matter, assuming they chose the life for themselves. Because of this belief, the victims don?t get the help they need. Instead, they are usually met with disdain because of their position. Second, in every country, buyers are almost never punished. He met a survivor from Illinois, a teen who was purchased for sex by more than 150 different men. Not a single one of those men were ever charged. Swarens points out that most of the buyers are the average male: the dads, the doctors, the teachers, and even pastors. You would think that the majority must be pedophiles, since it was clear she was underage. Most aren't. Swarens calls them "opportunists". The last trend he found during his travels was the normalization of sexualizing children. Television shows and movies often portray children and teens in a sexual light. The

average age of girls trafficked in the U.S. and Indiana is 15. The average times they are sold for sex, is 5.4 times a day. ?There are reasons we don't allow 15 year olds to drive, vote, etc. Yet that's the average age in sex trade.? In 2014 Bolivia lowered the legal prostitution age to 12. Because of the sexualization of children, we don't hold the buyers accountable. We don't want to accept the reality of what's going on. A child can't choose this life for themselves, they never "ask for it". They are coerced into it, one way or another. I asked Mr. Swarens what he feels we can do to best fight human

trafficking.

He

emphasized that we need to begin to focus on the demand side. "You can pay to sexually abuse a child and there is very little accountability for it. Why are we letting these guys get away with this?" Essentially, if the demand goes down, there will be less of a drive for "supply".

In April 2018, there will be a conference held in Indianapolis to talk about the demand side. This conference will be open to the public. During his travels, he met over 60 trafficking survivors who are no longer in the trade. He found that most of them are upbeat and positive about their futures. One woman in particular, is a 61 year old survivor from San Francisco. She was an alcoholic and drug addict in her 30s while also prostituting at the time. She's now clean and sober and mentoring others who are in the same situation. Mr. Swarens reminds us, "The survivors will carry the scars for the rest of their lives, but that doesn?t mean they are broken. There is hope." A series of columns and a video on Mr. Swarens' findings is scheduled for publication by the USA Today Network in January 2018, which happens to be Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

Hallie Schaefer is a freelance writer and web content creator from

Indianapolis, Indiana. Earning her degree in Psychology from Grace College and Theological Seminary, she has combined her experience in counseling and love of writing to equip and inspire others. When she is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and threesmall children, exploring all Indianapolishastooffer.. Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6

-8-


"Exodus to Flourish" is a regular column that invites readers to delve deeper into the process of

restoration for survivors of sexual exploitation and trafficking and includes topics related to healing complex trauma, the church?s role, and the many questions that arise when journeying from Egypt into promise.

Saf e People h e p u r su i t of becom i n g a saf e p er son i s ver y i m p or t an t w h en en gagi n g p eop l e w h o ar e h eal i n g f r om th e i m p act of abu si ve r el ati on sh i p s. Yet bei n g a saf e p er son i s h ar d w or k . I t's n ot an i n h er en t qu al i ty w e h ave. I t r equ i r es p at i en t , d i l i gen t, cou r ageou s w or k con f r on ti n g ou r ow n h eal i n g an d n eed f or on goi n g gr ow t h . Saf et y i n volves sel f - aw ar en ess an d d i f f er en t i ated r esp on ses. B ecom i n g saf e takes w r estl i n g w i t h al l th e t h i n gs w i th i n u s th at f eel d an ger ou s. I t t akes f eel i n g ou r ow n gr i ef an d h ear t ach e, m ak i n g w ay to r ecei ve r eal com f or t . God d oes ch al l en ge u s bey on d ou r com f or t zon es, bu t H e d oes alw ay s d esi r e f or u s to be com f or t ed . I t 's f r om th at p l ace th at w e gi ve to ot h er s

T

-9-

t h e com f or t w e ou r selves h ave r ecei ved . I f w e ar en 't w i l l i n g to l et H i m an d ot h er s go t h er e w i t h u s, w e ar en 't p r ep ar ed t o l ead som eon e el se t h er e. Saf e p eop l e ar e i n con tr ol of t h em selves an d t ake r esp on si bi l i ty to ad d r ess p r esen t i n g i ssu es. T h ey h ave accou n t abi l i t y in t h ei r l i ves. Accou n t abi l i t y m ean i n g p eop l e w h o k n ow t h e t r u e t h em an d w i l l h ol d t h em t o t h at st an d ar d of au t h en ti ci ty an d i n t egr i t y. T his em p ow er s ow n er sh i p of t h ei r ow n m i st akes an d t o r ebu i l d w h en t r u st h as been br oken . To h ave p eop l e w h o k n ow t h em t h i s w el l r equ i r es v u l n er abi l i ty w h i ch can f eel scar y, esp eci al ly f or l ead er s. Bu t i t i s t h e saf est p l ace to l i ve. For t h em an d f or ever y on e th ei r l i f e t ou ch es. Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6


Saf e p eop l e ar e th ose w h o st ay i n

n ot i on s of h eal i n g an d th ey d o n ot st ay

t h e st or y of u s al l . T h i s p r ot ects agai n st st r i v i n g t o p l ease an d to keep ap p r ov al / l ove (w h i ch can r ei n f or ce ol d p at t er n s of f ear an d m an i p u l ati on ).

i n of f en se w h en r ejected by th e on es

Saf e p eop l e d em on st r at e t h e stead f ast

t h ey ar e seek i n g to l ove. Saf e p eop l e

l ove an d d u r abi l i t y of God becau se

set good bou n d ar i es. T h ey k n ow t h ey

t h ey r ecei ve d ai ly f r om H i m . T h ey ar e

can say y es an d n o, even as th ey go on

t et h er ed t o H i m an d l ear n t o r egu l ate

l ov i n g

ar e

t h ei r em ot i on s accor d i n g t o H i m an d

God ;

n ot accor d i n g t o t h e i n st abi l i t y of cr i si s

t h er ef or e, th ey d o n ot n eed to r eact

ci r cu m st an ces. T h ey p r act i ce th e d an ce

d ef en si vely.

of bot h joi n i n g w i t h ot h er s i n th e

Saf e p eop l e h ave an ch or ed t h ei r ex p ectat i on i n God , n ot i n i d eal ou tcom es w i t h i n i d eal ti m ef r am es. W h en th e goal an d th e r ew ar d ar e f ou n d i n f ai th f u l n ess to God an d f ai t h f u l n ess to th ose H e k n i t s t o ou r l i ves, th er e i s con f i d en ce th at th er e w i l l be f r u i t th at r em ai n s. T h i s al l ev i at es r el ati on al p r essu r e on th ose i n p r ocess an d en cou r ages th em to si m p ly r ecei ve l ove an d be ch an ged over ti m e, as i s

u p / d ow n / si d ew ay s r ol l er

r el ati on sh i p , even th r ou gh th e m essi est t r i al s. T h ey h ave l et go of n ost al gi c

u n con d i t i on al ly.

p r ot ected

u l ti m ately

T h ey by

of

h eal i n g, w h i l e i n v i t i n g ot h er s to joi n t h em i n becom i n g m or e accu stom ed t o p eacef u l l i v i n g. Saf e p eop l e k n ow t h em selves as l oved an d

ar e t h er eby

f r ee t o gi ve l ove

w i t h ou t agen d a. T h e m or e w e ar e d ef i n ed an d secu r ed by t h e Fath er ?s l ove, t h e saf er w e ar e t o a su f f er i n g w or l d .f

Aft er sev eral years of experience w it h t raum a and recov ery, Kezia believ es healt hy fam ilies are t he linchpin t o all hum an grow t h and rest ored design. She receiv ed her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Azusa Pacific Univ ersit y and is a licensed Marriage and Fam ily Therapist . She has w orked exclusiv ely w it h surv iv ors of sex t rafficking and t heir support syst em s, w hile also dev eloping and ov erseeing a resident ial aft ercare program . Through t he adopt ion of her daught er, Kezia has seen Jesus?glory in fam ily and t he rest orat ion He brings t hrough t he process. Her desire is t o nurt ure t he healing int egrat ion of indiv iduals, fam ilies, and com m unit ies ? t hat w hat w ere once cycles of abuse are t urned int o blessings for fut ure generat ions. Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6

coaster

-10-


by Ali son Ludri k s

T

ate Johnston?s first encounter with

with

human trafficking caught him off

prostituted for over a decade, Tate had an

guard. He was leading a trip to an

intense and unexpected response.

Eastern European orphanage. It was a service project, so Tate was focused on his responsibilities to the team. However, some of his more experienced team members suspected the orphanage director was selling

the

orphaned

girls.

Tate

was

horrified and astonished that he had been so oblivious to what was happening right

people who were trafficked

and

?I couldn?t stop weeping. I felt an urge to go up and wash her feet with my tears. I didn?t do it, not wanting to interrupt. Or more probably

out

of

self-consciousness.

I

wanted to find out more and say thank you for giving your life to serve, so I had lunch with

her

and

her

team

and

the

under his nose. ?I wasn?t looking for it, didn?t think about looking for it and was focused on other important matters. Thankfully, despite my ignorance, the attention brought about as a result of our presence resulted in the removal and prosecution of the orphanage director.? A

few

years

later,

Tate

attended

a

conference in Budapest. At a seminar presented by a woman who had worked

-11-

Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6


uncontrollable sobbing continued. I said, ?We have to talk about something else for a while. I can?t cry anymore.? At that point I had no idea that women and girls were deceived, forced, coerced, threatened and enslaved for commercial sex.? Later that night he saw a woman lingering at the entrance to his hotel. Now he saw a

ground. I started reading chapter one of The Locust Effect. When I read that girls between 10 ? 13 were regularly violently raped, I felt shocked and outraged. Tears fell when I read about Yuri?s broken body discarded on the street. And when I read that someone knocked at Jhon?s door and said, ?Someone killed your sister,?the floodgates opened. We have to do something! NOW!

woman with a story that he didn?t know. He wondered whether this woman was there by choice or was indeed a prisoner without bars.

At various times over the past decade Tate had been both heartbroken and outraged, however this was the moment when he knew he needed to act. The seeds of what would become Freecember had been planted. After talking, dreaming and kicking ideas around with a few friends, Tate decided to try running 100 miles in one month and see if anyone would be crazy enough to join him. With only three days? notice, 18 people from three different nations were involved

Although deeply affected by this experience in Budapest, Tate largely continued on with his life until a third encounter with the reality of human trafficking. His journal entry from 25 March 2014 reads as follows: This morning I wept. Not just some tears rolling down my cheeks. Full on sobbing, scrunched up face, drool from my contorted mouth sobbing. I fell to my knees. Face to the Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6

in the first ever Freecember event back in December 2014. Seven participants completed their 100 mile goal to bring awareness to human trafficking. Together the team went 1,522 miles and raised $1641 for International Justice Mission, with others raising hundreds for A21, iSanctuary and Saving Innocence. The following year, more people joined in and together they raised $6,280. This included teenagers Luc and Ben, both hockey goalies, who raised $2500 for IJM by saving pucks. There?s also Brooke, a mother to three small children, who ran in the Australian summer to donate $227 to the A21 Campaign. These are everyday people making an impact. -12-


This December marks the fourth annual Freecember event. Tate?s philosophy is that everyone can do something, so participants are encouraged to do whatever they can to raise awareness and/or money. Whether that is running 30 kilometres or 100 miles, saving hockey pucks or knitting scarfs. The freecember.org website recommends platforms that can be used for fundraising, with helpful advice for individuals and team leaders. Tate is adamant that 100% of the money raised goes to the nominated anti-trafficking organization, therefore Freecember does not collect any of the funds raised or even charge an entry fee. You could think of Freecember like a cheerleader, spurring others on to raise awareness and funds for anti-trafficking NGOs. Tate Johnston is just one person, just one voice crying out against modern slavery. Yet others are coming alongside him, raising their own voices to encourage and support existing anti-trafficking organizations. Eventually that one voice will become a roar. Just start where you are with what you have. It?s never too late to join the fight!

Tate Johnston i s a husband and dad, an everyday aboli ti oni st and the founder of Freecem ber and Freedom Fortni ght. He holds a BA i n Econom i cs from the Uni versi ty of Vi rgi ni a and an MA i n Global Leadershi p w i th an em phasi s i n Chi ldren at Ri sk from Fuller?s School of Intercultural Studi es. Tate has over 15 years experi ence i nternati onally i n the chari ty sector and has w ri tten a book to help everyday people m ove from aw areness of hum an traffi ck i ng to acti on to stop speci fi c slavery. He?ll be runni ng 100 m i les thi s Freecem ber to help fund the frontli nes of freedom and w ants you to k now , ?you?re i nvi ted!? Fi nd out m ore or say hi at freecem ber.org.

Allison Ludriks is a freelance journalist and social marketer who enjoys traveling the globe. D uring a trip to T hailand, Allison was confronted

with

the

reality

of

human

trafficking. So now she fights for freedom over a keyboard. -13-

Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6


For our U.S. based friends

JANUARY IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS MONTH

W i l l YO U u se w h at's i n your h an d to stop h u m an tr af f i ck i n g? Beginning in 2010, by Presidential Proclamation, each January has been designated National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Following the start of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, with the help of non-government organizations, National Human Trafficking Day began and is observed annually on January 11.


Th e Si m pl e Kind

by Jen n a Fu n k h ou ser

Two years ago, I attended a seminar in Amsterdam on global sex trafficking and met many people doing world-changing work. One of those incredible women was Molly Hardwick, who later went on to found The Simple Kind, an ethical clothing company employing women who have left a life of exploitation in Riga, Latvia. This month I had the opportunity to catch up with Molly and hear more about the journey of creating The Simple Kind.

J: Tell us about your name, "The Simple

strongest things those writings imprinted

Kind."How do you feel it expresses your

on me was the belief that small, consistent,

mission?

& courageous acts of love & kindness have

M: I spent my teenage years being a real

the power to change the world maybe

nerd and obsessively reading the writings

more than anything else.

of faith & social justice leaders like Mother

I think once you start to become aware of

Teresa, Saint Francis of Assisi, Thomas

some of the enormous issues facing our

Merton, and Martin Luther King. One of the

world (things like human trafficking and

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Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6


worker exploitation), it?s very natural to

practices & community development, we

want to be loud and urgent in bringing

must also recognize and fight for the

solutions. But historically, that?s not the way

humanity of their oppressors that can be

lasting healing happens. Saint Francis said,

lost in greed and isolation. We want to be a

?True progress quietly & persistently moves along without notice.?

brand that encourages a sort of community around

these

ideals

of

nonviolent

resistance to injustice. It?s simple, kind work. J: Could you share some about the process of launching The Simple Kind? What did it take to go from vision to reality? M:

One

of

the

most

impactful

and

important things we did in the beginning was spend time in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe researching the issues we cared about and discovering a bit of the nuance & complexity behind them. I am overwhelmingly

thankful

for

those

experiences!

We want to be a brand that brings lovely, colorful, ethically made dresses to the market; quirky dresses people can feel totally themselves in and empower others to be themselves as well. We want to be a place of empowerment for those who are economically vulnerable. We want to be a brand that inspires enemy love; as we stand for the dignity of the oppressed in the world by supporting fair trade working Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6

In Southeast Asia, we met with & toured dozens of fair trade garment production facilities. We met a Cambodian woman who works with the garment worker population in Phnom Penh, helping young girls complete basic education so they aren?t as at risk for exploitation. She told us that her research recently concluded that over half of the women who worked in prostitution in Phnom Penh had come from garment factories, basically because it was a better economic opportunity for them. That broke our hearts, and has encouraged us to see this connection more and more around the world.

-16-


In Eastern Europe, we met with several

Our

organizations

women

organically and it?s been very relational

involved in street prostitution specifically,

every step of the way. When they were

hearing what they perceive to be some of

ready to start incorporating job training &

the biggest needs of these women. The

financial planning into their curriculum at

needs are many, but one of the most

the women?s center, we were ready to start

common & outstanding needs is viable

hiring others to help us produce our

economic opportunity.

clothing. I went over there and taught a

From there, we?ve just put one foot in front

group of women how to sew our dresses,

of the other in seeing our dream come to

and one of them really loved it and

life, taking risks and working hard.

connected with the work on a personal

that

work

with

partnership

came

about

very

level, and now she?s worked for us for a J: Tell us about your partners, Freedom 61. How did the partnership come about? What

have

you

learned

from

the

experience?

year! As she graduates their transition program,

we?re

evaluating

what

our

partnership looks like going forward in a more sustainable way. I?ve learned so much

M: Before The Simple Kind, I was involved

from them; valuing the [sometimes very

in Christian missions for a number of years

long]

and I developed a really great network of

committed and trusting timing, and just a

friends all over the world. Some of those

lot about what true empowerment in this

friends started working with Freedom61 in

field looks like. We?ve really just begun, and

Latvia! They originally began by operating a

we?re excited to see where this goes!

small cafe in the area of Riga where street prostitution is common. Seven years later, they?ve opened

a safe home in

the

process

of

justice

work,

being

J: What is the greatest challenge you've faced so far as a business? What has been your greatest joy to celebrate?

countryside for these women to rest as they find health & wholeness, they regularly

M:

run seminars in local schools to educate

challenges. It is a hustle to get anything

young

of

going. I?m sure anyone who has started a

trafficking & exploitation, and as tourism in

small business would agree with me.

Riga has increased, they?ve begun a weekly

There?s always a mountain of work to get

outreach to the sex tourism clients in the

done and not enough hands or money to

city center, where men come from around

do it. I have spent so many nights sewing

the world to visit women working in bars &

till my eyes close, and I?ve had to ask for

people

about

the

realities

Boy,

there

have

been

plenty

of

brothels. -17-

Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6


plenty of favors! Thankfully, I have found an

M: I want The Simple Kind to be the go-to

army of support from my friends who have

ethical shop for women who love quirky

been so kind and helped us in so many ways.

& feminine dresses. And right now, the

I think that?s been one of the biggest joys:

vision in my mind is helping to pioneer a

seeing that community form around this

sustainable production facility in Latvia.

cause.

The country is so rich in cultural tradition

Another huge joy has been to see the women

&

we trained graduate Freedom61?s transition

production is far from a new idea there!

program. They are so strong and so beautiful!

I?m excited to meet people who are

J: What's the most helpful piece of advice

creative

already

doing

expression;

that

and

garment

see

how

you've received on this journey?

Freedom61 can be a piece of the puzzle.

M: Before we began, I spent a bit of time in

For more information on The Simple Kind,

Amsterdam studying human trafficking, and

visit thesimplekindclothing.com.

that

city

has

some

really

neat

things

happening in the way of social enterprise. I asked a few of the folks involved in that what sort of advice they could give to someone just starting, and the thing I heard over and over was that it?s so important to have a good business model in place before you begin adopting the social aspect of your mission. That way, you aren?t inviting economically vulnerable people into something that may slip out from underneath them. That was so good to chew on, because I am definitely more of a social justice person than a business person. But a sly passion for business has emerged from that advice, and I feel like it?s been so vital to our success. J: What do you envision The Simple Kind becoming in the coming years? Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6

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Jenna Funkhouser lives in Portland, Oregon

with her husbandanda handful of mostly alive houseplants. She studied Creative Writing at Corban University and loves exploring the power of storytelling in giving dignity and advocating for change. She currently works in communications for local anti-trafficking nonprofits.


A UD A C IOUS The bold, brave, brazen plan to shut down the global child sex industry by Diana Scimone

hat makes you angry? What makes you say, ?Someone needs to do something about that?? Is it child trafficking? Abuse? Violence against women? Poverty? Racism? Illiteracy? ____________? Fill in the blank.

?Audacious gives you permission to be bold, brave, and brazen,? Scimone says. ?In fact it encourages it.? The world is waiting for you. Don?t disappoint it.

Audacious equips you to do something about whatever issue of injustice keeps you up at night. Journalist Diana Scimone shares her story of traveling to India on assignment and seeing cages that held 5-year-old girls trafficked for sex. She couldn?t do anything to rescue those girls but she came up with an audacious idea to reach other kids before the traffickers ever got to them. Today more than 700 organizations have registered to teach her program in 65 countries.

has traveled to more than 40 countries including

W

Be audacious. Go change the world. Dian a Scim on e is an independent journalist who Sudan, Zimbabwe, and China writing about justice and human rights. She is president of the Born2Fly Project to stop child trafficking, which she founded in 2003 as a result of seeing the plight of many of the world?s children.

Audacious: The bold, brave, brazen plan to shut down the global child sex industry Š 2013 by Diana Scimone Peapod Publishing, Inc.

?You have an audacious world-changing idea inside you, too,? Scimone says. Audacious helps you to: -

ISBN 978-0-9894591-1-2 184 pages, paperback, $16

Un lock your own audaciously big idea. Discover the gifts God has already put inside you. M ove your audacious plan and dream into reality. Ch an ge the world? and your world? in the process.

www.peapodpublishing.com Facebook A portion of book sales supports the Born2Fly Project to stop child trafficking.www.born2fly.org

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Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6


GRACE AS JUSTICE Spotlight Section:

Arts and Media We're excited about the many talented freedom fighters who gave of their valuable time to share their stories for our special Ar t s an d M edia section. We hope you enjoy getting to know them as much as we did!


Gi r l s of Cou r age A GAJ I n t er v i ew w i t h

H eath er

Cl ar k eather Clark is a multi-talented advocate for justice. She gradually became aware of the issue of human trafficking through a variety of circumstances, but readily admits she doesn?t fully understand the magnitude of the problem. As she says, ?I have statistics memorized, heard true stories of the horrors, and have played the character of a trafficked girl, but I don?t understand. How could I? I think it is something in which we can always be growing in our awareness.?

H

When her daughter Aliya was 2-years-old, she broke her leg and was incredibly traumatized from the event. To help her process her trauma, Heather created an imaginary club called the Girls of Courage. ?The Girls of Courage had super powers and we would fly

over the city and look for kids who were in need or hurt and we would help them. Through these imagination games, she grew in courage as she gave it to others. Once she came through her trauma, the Girls of Courage remained but as the months went by, the scenarios changed from helping a little boy who fell off a swing in a park to helping ?da poor kids? as she would say in her little 3-year-old accent.? Heather soon realized this was no longer a game to Aliya and she was becoming quite serious about wanting to help the poor. ?I realized that as her mom I would be the one to mentor her in her compassion and empathy. I wanted to do something that allowed her to be a part of helping, and not something that I did and told her about. I

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Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6


GAJ Spotlight on Arts and Media

considered the fact that I had the ability to use the arts to make a difference, to educate, raise money, etc. I put a dance show together called The Least of These and Aliya, my other daughter, Shekinah, and I, along with a cast of six, started to tour doing shows.? The process was simple for Heather. She created a show, auditioned dancers, and set up a tour. The creative part, or the production part, was not difficult. ?I have had wonderful casts of beautiful caring people who have volunteered their time and gifts for something bigger than themselves.? While the creative part of the process wasn?t difficult, finding enough venues was! ?There are only so many places I can go on my own. I wish we had more venues. Since we are essentially fundraising, I wish we could partner with more people.? Finding the right venues for the show was one challenge, but an incredibly surprising issue created an even bigger obstacle? one that took years to sort out? finding an organization to receive the funds raised by the shows. ?Yes! Actually! Organizations didn?t have the structure to partner with us. I approached one organization and said that we would be touring, promoting their organization, and giving the funds raised to them. But after so many attempts at communication with very little reply, we changed our minds and gave it elsewhere. Now we work with Patricia King

Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6

and XP Ministries. They have been amazing to work with. They are exactly the kind of organization I want as a partner.? Raising awareness about human trafficking is never without heartache and strong emotion. As Heather shares, ?The thought of what these little children have lived through is what grieves my whole team the most. We have done our best to really look in to the details of a few true stories to gain perspective when playing the characters in our dances. A viewer came to me once and said, ?Your daughter is a really good actress. Her crying was so believable.? I replied, ?She wasn?t acting.?? Heather admits she can become angry at the state of society that allows such a thing to exist, ?That men who should be protectors and guardians have become predators and abusers. That angers me.? On the flipside, there are great rewards as the cast impacts people on both an emotional and intellectual level? especially when people are moved to action. ?When we have given a really great performance and the audience is deeply moved, we feel successful and it gives us a lot of joy.? But their impact goes far beyond the audience at their performances. ?Part of what the Girls of Courage have done is raise money to get kids in Cambodia out of the slums and into school. We had the beautiful opportunity to go to Cambodia and meet the eleven kids that we helped to give an education. We went

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GAJ Spotlight on Arts and Media

into the slums and met their families who were so thankful. That felt amazing!? Heather has these words of advice for other creative people who want to use their gifts to advocate for justice: ?Start small but start. The scripture that has been behind a lot of what we do is, ?Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have I give it unto thee.?We may not have money but we have talents, gifts and the ability to make a difference. Therefore, we use what we have. I would say to others the same thing, use what you have.? In fact, that is Heather ?s advice to anyone seeking to make a difference. She believes absolutely everyone can contribute in some way. ?Homeless women from the other side of Canada made bracelets and sent them to us so that we could sell them for the education program. Homeless women! They could have said that they have nothing to give but when they heard about what we were doing, they got together and did that. If a group of homeless women can do something to help the kids in Cambodia, we all can.?

Heather believes that with a little effort, everyone can discover what they can do. Here are some of the examples she has seen personally: ¡A high school student had a bake sale at lunch time to raise money. ¡Kids got together and made purses from old jeans. ¡A knitting club in a secular school, knit scarves to sell at their shows. You can be sure that Heather and her Girls of Courage will continue to do what they can, too. We currently have shows on human trafficking and the sex trade, child soldiers of war, and slave labour. We are very happy to work with people on a local level. For example, if a church has a missions? project, we are happy to come in and be a fundraiser for their project. We are always looking for places that we can come to perform!? If you?d like to have Heather and her team perform at your event, you can contact her here: heatherclarkinvite@gmail.com

Heather lives in Kamloops, B.C. with her four children.

Heather

is

a

singer/songwriter,

dancer/choreographer, painter and writer. She has her own professional dance company "Collective Productions" through which she brings out a message of mercy and compassion for those who are less fortunate and is also the owner of DNA Academy, a dance and arts school. She travels internationally singing, leading worship and speaking, calling people into a greater place of wholeness, healing and freedom in their lives and in their relationship with God.writer -23-

Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6


I See You by Cindy Pow ell

I see you hidden in the shadows, silenced by your shame

I see you trapped in darkness, locked in a prison of pain I see you victimized by perversion, forced to serve the lust of man I see the tears you cry each night, innocence lost at their hands I see you cast into a pit of despair, heartache your closest friend I see you battling demons alone, unsure the nightmare will ever end I see the torment you?ve endured; your humanity, they stole I see the scars of injustice, now engraved upon your soul I see you, little one, I see you? I have since your days began I see what has been done to you? it was never part of My plan I see, but so must others, My eyes search to and fro For those who will hear My heart, and shake the status quo I see, but will you? Can you hear her crying still? Will you do what you can to help? If not you ? who will?

Editors note: I wrote this several years ago and I remember having a difficult time trying to figure out how it should end. The issue of human trafficking isn?t one you tie up with a nice tidy bow at the end of six or seven stanzas. The only way that made sense was with an invitation to get involved? because, honestly, that?s the only way slavery itself will ever end. Is it time for you to rise up and get involved to the degree you are able? If so, there are tips to help you "use what's in your hand" in every issue of GAJ.

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W here H as Love Gone? A GAJ Int erv iew w it h Lisa

Mit t s

Since becoming aware of the magnitude of the issue of human trafficking in 2012, Lisa Mitts has been using her time and talents to do what she can to end modern-day slavery. We're thankful that Lisa took the time to answer some of our questions and we're thrilled to share a bit of her story with you. Can you tell us a little about yourself and what

At that same time, I had just released my third

first inspired you to use your gifts in the fight

album (You Found Me) and there was a specific

against human trafficking?

song I wrote in the studio for the album called

My advocacy for survivors of sex trafficking came directly through my music. My husband saw a music video on YouTube back in 2012, called ?Our Silence is Shameful?? a simple but powerful music video by Luke Dowler that showed a young girl being taken in a truck with a man, then dragged into a room in a house where you see a few other girls. The door closes and the video finishes with some of the statistics about the sex trade, including it being the 2nd highest crime in the world, and that the average age of victim is 12-14 years old, including here in the U.S..

?Where Has Love Gone??The words were deep and

We were shaken by the reality of what was going on in our own cities and nation. Our daughters at that time were 12 and 18 and many of our friends had teenage girls, too. My husband, David, felt compelled to do something.

director. Many volunteers, including the actors,

significant, and after we watched that first music video, David turned to me and said ?Honey, I think I know now why you wrote that song. I think we are supposed to make a music video to bring awareness and help for this critical cause.? I knew he was right. What were your first steps? 1) We gathered with the small church we pastored. Everyone came together and we quickly raised $6,000 to hire a professional film company and donated their time for this purpose. We began filming in early April of 2012 and had an intended release/launch of early June.

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Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6


GAJ Spotlight on Arts and Media

2) We planned a big city-wide event announcing

What obstacles have you faced in desiring to use

the release of my music video. We invited many

your creative gifts in the fight for justice?

special

There are many challenges being an unsigned Indie artist to begin with, then when you add in the mission to support a nonprofit focused on helping survivors, it isn?t easy. It?s not like hundreds of people are asking me to come and do concerts for this cause.I have to plan all of our benefit concerts and auction fundraisers. I have to find my band members, pay them something to cover their gas for practices and the event, and then pray people will partner with us and buy my CD?s. And that is just the beginning of the work to raise funds? it?s a weekly and often daily effort.

VIP

guests

including

city

council

representatives, a retired Seahawks player, the media and other anti-trafficking organization directors. We had an amazing turnout and while we did not raise nearly the money we needed, it was a beginning. 3)We wanted to support an organization with the video so when people watched, they could help. We started with a small organization called the Defender Foundation, which worked to rescue victims. However, we quickly realized that true freedom is when the young woman herself can be healed from trauma and live a normal healthy life. Thus, Destiny House Restoration Center was birthed and the H.E.A.R.T.S. Program (Healing, Education

and

Restoration

Treatment

for

Survivors) was created. 4) We also did research in the Seattle area and in the U.S. Most girls in the sex-trade were not being kidnapped to other countries, instead vulnerable young teenage girls were getting lured into prostitution by groomers and pimps. After meeting with

several

anti-trafficking

mission with our email lists, and social media, sharing my music--both my music website and the

receiving

website for Destiny House Restoration Center? and

counsel,

keep looking for the next connection. I recently got

were

a gig scheduled for early December at a nice

to

restaurant in the area, and I am always hoping for

good we

encouraged develop

our

more connections to benefit Destiny House.

program

for

What has grieved you the most as you?ve been

women 18 and older who were

Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6

I just keep going! Seriously, I keep sharing the growing our partners, and at the same time,

organizations and

How did you overcome them?

involved in this battle? How hard it is to find support and raise the money

more mature and

needed. After more than 5 years of hard work, we

ready for healing.

still have not raised enough to get a property and -26-


GAJ Spotlight on Arts and Media

a home. Sometimes it feels like, ?Why keep going,

diminish and eventually stop, we won?t see an end

it?s never going to happen.? But then I get a call

to trafficking. Lastly, we as a community in every

from a survivor who needs help and I realize God

city and state need to understand the reality, the

must have a purpose for us as an organization. I

signs, and educate our own children and families.

also have been able to connect with other well-known organizations and refer survivors to

Do you have any exhortation or advice for other

their programs, so that has been a blessing.

creatives desiring to use their gifts to help shine a light on slavery?

What has been your greatest joy or victory?

I would just say DO IT! Maybe the true purpose of

I have a few that come to mind: One is when my

our gifts is to make a difference in a way that only

music video, ?Where Has Love Gone?? earned Best

eternity will be able to reward.

Music Video at the 2015 Awareness Film Festival

What advice would you give people who have

in Los Angeles. That was a highlight. The other

been touched by this issue but who feel they don?t

great joy is to hear the gratitude from the women

have the resources or gifts to make a difference?

we have been able to support, whether finding a program for them, praying with them, or even just connecting as a friend. Another great blessing has been some of the wonderful people who have come alongside to support us and partner with this mission consistently for several years.

That?s a great and important question. I think EVERYONE can help and make a difference. Even if you aren?t a musician or an artist, you can still support those of us who are. Everyone listens to music and buys CD?s or downloads iTunes, or from other retailers? so why not buy from an artist who

From a big picture perspective, as well as from

is donating their time and profits or a portion of

personal experience, what do you see as the

profits to ending human trafficking?

biggest obstacles in the fight against human Do you have any future plans or projects you want

trafficking?

to make our readers aware of? I think it has to start with reaching young women early on and educating them, getting to the roots

My main focus is to continue to raise funds and

of teenage insecurities, and empowering them to

build relationships for the benefit of Destiny

know their true identity and purpose. I also feel a

House Restoration Center. I also want to continue

huge obstacle is the demand. Until we see demand

to support survivors who need our help and at the

from the men (who need healing themselves)

same time do what I love to do with my

*NOTE: The above images are from the music video "Where Has Love Gone?"

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Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6


GAJ Spotlight on Arts and Media

music? write songs, record, make a new music video and sell downloads and CD?s.

Any additional thoughts or ideas you?d like to share with our readers? I would like to encourage every reader to visit the website: www.destinyhouserc.org and on the home page you will see my music video (please note it is not suitable for children under age 13) I also would be SO thankful for your readers to visit my website: www.lisamitts.com and listen to some of my music. I would love to send everyone who writes me a free download! My email address is; lisa@lisamitts.com

You can follow Lisa on Facebook by clicking HERE

Lisa's passion is to bring joy, healing and God's love

through her music to everyone who listens so they will be empowered to fulfill their destiny. In addition to being a worship leader, singer, songwriter and recording artist, Lisa is the Director of Operations and Fundraising for Destiny House Restoration Center, and along with Dr. Stacy Cecchet, a leading expert, psychologist, professor and consultant, has put together a breakthrough program called ?H.E.A.R.T.S? (Healing, Education, And Restoration Treatment for Survivors). She resides in Auburn, WA with her husband David and their children.

Click below to watch the award-winning video for "Where Has Love Gone?"

Please note, images in this video are NOT suitable for children under thirteen!

Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6

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B r e a k in g Ch a in s T hr o u gh Art A GAJInterview with

AERON BROWN

eron Brown knows a thing or two about the healing power of art. A professional artist for the past decade, Aeron started painting and creating as a way of dealing with his own loss.

A

?My father was an artist and when I was three he passed away. He left behind paintings, sketches, all kinds of songs he wrote? he was an awesome creative? and my mom put them all away in a closet to deal with her grief. I would take a lot of his things out of her closet and hide them in my own closet. When I was in high school I started taking out pieces of his work and by cutting them up I created my own form of artwork and collage.? While Aeron?s use of collage started as a way of connecting

with his father, the practice has become something of a signature in his work and Aeron continues to use an element of collage in most of his paintings to this day. After going through a few years of inactivity with his art, Aeron started doing live paintings in church as an expression of worship. His first live painting was a divine setup that God used to reveal the power of art in restoring lives. Aeron tells the story this way: ?I asked God what I should paint because I didn?t want to do it apart from Him. I saw a hand holding a treasure chest, and there was a key opening the treasure chest. I thought that was such a lame image! I thought it was cheesy and dumb, to be honest, but I really believed it was what -29-

Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6


GAJ Spotlight on Arts and Media

God wanted me to paint.? Aeron painted the image he saw. ?That night, this lady that had been going through a lot of stuff came up to me afterwards. She was really broken and didn?t want to be in church that night. She had given God an ultimatum because she didn?t want to do this whole God and church thing unless He showed her He was real. When she found out a painter would be painting live, she told God that if the artist painted a treasure chest being unlocked, then she would believe Him. It was crazy? and so cool! She ended up giving her life back to the Lord and I gave her the painting. Man, that girl was on fire after that. I?ll never forget her story and how that all came together.?

That transformational incident left a lasting impression in Aeron?s heart about the power of art? especially art yielded to, and co-created with God? to break chains and restore broken lives. Recognizing he could create with God helped unlock Aeron?s own creativity, knowing he would never be in the process alone. ?After the experience with that girl, it was like a drug to me. I wanted to create, and I wanted to transform people?s lives by speaking God?s words, through art, into their hearts.? When specifically asked about the role of art in raising awareness in areas of social injustice such as human trafficking, Aeron said, ?Art is like a megaphone into the ears of people who are locked up on the inside, and it wakes them up out of their complacency.? He went on to tell this story, ?In prayer years ago, in the spirit, I saw this

Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6

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GAJ Spotlight on Arts and Media

little Indian boy locked in a cell with nothing but a little pair of small shorts on. I wept uncontrollably for hours and it wrecked me. I prayed for years, ?Lord, free the children in bondage!? ?I think God was also healing me. When I was a child I was molested, but I really

this gigantic chain that is so symbolic of the human experience. We feel so small; how could we ever break something that is so big and so binding? But there is a supernatural thing that happens through the cross that doesn?t take our ability? it?s His ability in us that breaks chains. ?

believe our mess can become our message. I really believe everything that happened in my life wasn?t for nothing. There is a

Aeron offers this advice to other creatives who want to have lasting impact in bringing awareness to injustice through their art:

redeemable thing that happened through the cross that we can access if we believe and operate in that reality. When I drew the image of the little girl breaking chains, it

?Get heaven?s perspective on those issues. So many people want to run after a movement, or a cause, or an organization and you end up with a narrow vision. You

was me accessing that realm, not just for myself, but for others. I did a whole series of women breaking chains, children

can become so encompassed in your own hurt over an issue that your voice becomes muffled. It?s still a voice, but it?s a voice

breaking chains, I even did little birds. That seemed so simple, but there?s something powerful behind seeing a little bird break

filtered through pain. You have to be grounded in the love of God, otherwise you end up with an agenda. If you don?t live like

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GAJ Spotlight on Arts and Media

a much-loved child, the cause and the call will burn you out. The ones who don?t grow weary are the ones who know who they are and know why they?re doing what they?re doing.? Aeron certainly seems to know who he is and why he is doing what he is doing. There is greater freedom in the world because he does. *****

In addition to his other artwork, Aeron does one-of-a-kind commission pieces that are both powerful and prophetic. These pieces start at $200 for a very small painting, and up for larger pieces. If you would like to commission a painting for a survivor or frontline worker, Aeron is offering a 20% discount to GAJ readers. Be sure to mention this article when you commission your painting! **All artwork in this article (and on the cover) is the property of Aeron Brown and has been printed with permission. Some images have been slightly altered for fit.** A eron Razz Brown is an artist and musician, who was

born and raised in Southern California, where he still lives with his wife and three children. At the passing of his father at a young age, Aeron submersed himself in his father?s sketches, lyrics and creativity. Aeron wanted to connect with his father in the ways he knew how, through art and music. Aeron employs mixed media, acrylics, collages, canvas, wood, and one-of-a-kind collaged vintage collections of newspapers from the 1920?s-1960?s, scraps of book pages, book covers, sheet music, poetry, handmade custom frames, and canvases and other medium to express his unique form of art. Aeron and his wife, Michelle, own and operate The Threshold Art Gallery in Redlands, CA To see more of Aeron's work or to contact him, visit www.aeronbrown.com; or via social media by clicking on the following links: Facebook, or Instagram Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6

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by Sarah Peterson

F

ireDrive Films? Rose in

her about training for a

prostitute and a criminal as

the Sky is a feature film

competition where she can

she has been

about Bella, a foster

win

believe, but

a

scholarship

to

a

made to

a victim

care teen by day and a

dance school. Bella accepts

sex

prostitute

She

his offer and trains hard for

competition draws closer,

sees no life outside of the

the competition in order to

the risk of being discovered

one

escape the hell she lives

becomes

After seeing her perform, a

every

she

between the control of her

dance teacher approaches

comes to realize she is not a

trafficker and the future she

her

by

night.

pimp

controls.

night.

Slowly

-33-

trafficking.

As

of

greater.

the

Torn

Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6


GAJ Spotlight on Arts and Media

longs to have, she has the chance to rise above evil, be consumed by it, or give up on life all together. This film was a film birthed in fumes of passion and anger against injustice. Once the picture of human trafficking in America became clear, everything inside of me burned to help others see this truth. The purpose of this film is to bring awareness to the different ways traffickers exploit and prey on vulnerabilities in any race, religion, and income level. It is no longer only the danger

Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6

of kidnapping and kids not talking to strangers Things have been taken to a whole new level with anyone being able to be anything to anyone online, sometimes fooling even the happiest kids or youth and causing them to reject their own families.It goes further into modeling ads, job opportunities and even actual boyfriends who will groom and date a woman or teen for up to a year, preparing them to be controlled and exploited in prostitution. This film tells the story of a victim who lives out in the

-34-

open among society, on the streets, and even in a high school, and yet is psychologically enslaved by her trafficker. It is important to realize the level of manipulation that goes into this type of control and understand why a victim doesn?t cry for help. In fact, many victims are so manipulated and brainwashed they do not see themselves as victims. The heartbreaking part is that they are miserable and believe they have no future. Rose in the Sky is currently in development. We are working with consultants in the field to make sure the film portrays this subject


GAJ Spotlight on Arts and Media

accurately. The film will be shot in summer 2018 and released during Human Trafficking awareness month, January 2019. We are working on using the film?s social media platforms to spread awareness about the film as well as about the realities of human tafficking. It all ties to the end of the film, which will reference the #iseetheroses movement. We want people to be able to stand and say, ?I see the roses. We see you. You count. We want to hear your voice.? After the film?s release, we hope to create educational materials based off the film to use in conferences, human trafficking events, and opportunities to educate youth Sarah Peterson grew up in North Carolina

or young adults.

and from a young age wanted to be a

The great thing about this film is that it is more than just an awareness film for those who do not know about human trafficking. Since it represents the perspective of a victim, it will speak to other victims. It will allow an opportunity for those who have been exploited to walk into the screening and see this character ?s journey of discovery which will help them regain power over their own soul and voice. This film demonstrates that victims do not have to have a tragic end, but instead shows a future that brings

director and make stories come to life in film. After directing her first project and seeing the impact media can have on lives, she knew she needed to pursue studying her craft. She went on to study film at Full Sail University and went on to study Creative Writing for her Masters degree. She has directed over 20 short films and has enjoyed every part of the storytelling process that moves people's hearts. Sarah hopes to continue to tell stories through film by making an impact on lives. She is

empowerment and hope.

currently working on her first feature film

For more information and updates about the film, follow us at: facebook.com/iseetheroses or find us under @iseetheroses on Twitter and Instagram. Please help us share so that we can spread awareness and even better, save lives.

-35-

to bring awareness about the devastating human trafficking plague that has grossly put millions of women and children in prostitution and used sexually for profit as slaves.

Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6


N ew B o o k Rel ease! We're excited about the release of Grace as Justice columnist Hallie Schaefer's new novel, "Rise"--a story of hope, even after thetrauma of trafficking. Follow three women on a journey of life, love, and loss as they find that even in th darkest of places, there is hope. The sun will rise again. Available on Am azon Decem ber 1, 2017.

To r ead t h e pr ologu e click HERE

O f f i ci al B o o k T r ai l er f o r "RI SE"


by Rach el Hen dr ik

I

've felt for a long time that God has

I learned about human trafficking after

called me to help spread awareness

reading the book,Not for Sale by David

about human trafficking, so I made sure a

Batstone

core value of my watercolor and hand

Summer Reading." I knew there was a

lettering business, Mercy Creates, was centered around it:

problem

as

part

of

overseas? that

my

"Freshman

people

were

being sold as sex slaves? but it wasn't until

- We do not have to live in shame or guilt

I read the book that I learned the scope of

because His mercy is new every morning.

trafficking and that it happens in every

[FREEDOM]

country, not just third world countries. My

- We create to inspire and to spur others on to positive action. Accepting the truth alone is not sufficient; action must be taken.

Without

knowledge

alone

action brings

or

change,

no

results.

heart was stirred after reading the book and learning more about the issue, and I kept searching for the best way I could help solve the problem.

- We create to bring awareness to human trafficking. Specifically, to show dignity and respect to every human being as we are all image-bearers of God, the first and most creative Artist. "Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow?s cause." -Isaiah 1:17

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Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6


GAJ Spotlight on Arts and Media

When I graduated college in 2008, I would have a "side hustle" to help

my

primary

income.

Sometimes I would photograph weddings

and

sometimes

I

families, painted

and

custom

pieces and portraits. With each small job, I set aside a percentage and wrote in the client's ?thank you? note that part of the of the session or commission fee would go

to

an

organization

specifically

fought

that

human

trafficking. I've always desired that my business would play a part in fighting human trafficking, and

that's one

reasons

of

Mercy

the

main

Creates

was

created. In 2017, I really felt a conviction to commit. I could no longer do a "side hustle," and be partially in something.

After

reading

Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey, I started writing the core values of my

business.

spreading

I

made

awareness

sure about

human trafficking was one of the values, and I made a plan of how I

Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6

-38-


GAJ Spotlight on Arts and Media

could give financially to an organization

Last August and September, money was

through

my paintings. I

raised to help fund the A21 Walk for

committed to this plan of action and

Freedom in Charlotte, North Carolina. I

officially opened the business in July. Since

was the host for the Walk for Freedom in

then, I've been able to give to International

my city, and beyond excited and grateful to

Justice Mission and help fund the A21 Walk

have been a part of it.I'm also incredibly

for Freedom in Charlotte, NC.

excited that my business is playing such an

I've designated the last week of each

active role in the fight for freedom!

month

During

You can view my watercolor work here:

Freedom Week, a portion of the sales from

www.etsy.com/shop/MercyCreatesShop

the sale of

as

"Freedom

Week."

that week are donated to a non-profit organization that fights human trafficking.

Rachel Hendrick is a watercolor artist, photographer, graphic designer, and entrepreneur. She believes God created man and woman in His image, and therefore, we should treat each other with dignity, respect, and awe. Her morals help drive her art, and she is passionate about using her skills to spread awareness about human trafficking. When Rachel isn't painting, she and her husband, Jake, are going to escape rooms or playing disc golf in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6


WHY NOT TODAY A Book Review by Rach ael William s-M ejr i hy Not Today by Cork and Kemp is a book with a global mindset. Starting in 2001, Michael Cork unfolds an eleven-year story, interweaving the lives of those in California with the people in India, using flashbacks and personal narrative as a way to connect with his readers.

W

An informative author, Cork takes the positions of historian, storyteller and social justice advocate. He dedicates entire chapters to the history and current abuse of the Dalits, India?s most despised, and most populous group. Crushed by Hindu doctrine that teaches their complete inferiority, Dalits actually have their own bathrooms, water fountains, and other accommodations to increase their oppression and shame. As the pastor of a large and prosperous church, Cork is humbled by what his church is able to do, and commits to doing more. Unconsciously,

he blurts out during a meeting in India an offer to do much more than the church could conceive of doing, shocking those who had accompanied him on the trip. When he thinks over his perhaps impetuous statement later, he realizes that his resources are infinite by believing in an infinite God, and states: ?Lord, I?m in. I am so in.? Over the course of the eleven years, Cork makes frequent visits to India and welcomes Indian visitors into his home as they garnish support in the United States. While the author focuses his attention on the positive, he is not adverse to also showing a negative side of what happened in India as a result of changing people?s lives. The education and promotion of Dalits both into the work place and out of slavery, servitude and prostitution was met with approval by many, however Hindu extremists lost no time in persecuting and brutally murdering both Indians and missionaries alike. -41-

Yet severe persecution seemed to only encourage those with a desperate desire to change lives. The church in India grew significantly, more lives were changed, more people rescued out of the red light district and more preventative measures were put into place by building schools throughout the country. While telling the story of India, Cork also relates his personal story of betrayal, persecution, forgiveness and restoration, which would play a vital role in preparing his journey to work with the abused in India. Both stories end in victory in more ways than simply the physical rescue of a particular individual. Michael Cork?s book is based on the church and believers. He

makes

an

appeal

to

believers, not with guilt, but with options on what they can do to help change the world. Challenging his readers, he asks all of us: ?Are you in? If not, what?s holding you back?? Grace as Justice, Vol 3, Issue 6


www.born2fly.org

Bor n 2f ly pr ovides ch ild t r af f ick in g pr even t ion cu r r icu lu m t h at r each es k ids bef or e t r af f ick er s do. You can w at ch t h eir r ecen t Facebook Live an t i-t r af f ick in g t r ain in g t h r ou gh t h e f ollow in g lin k s: -

Child-trafficking prevention training video -- part 1 Child-trafficking prevention training video -- part 2

Visit t h e Bor n 2f ly w ebsit e f or addit ion al lin k s t o f r ee dow n loadable t r af f ick in g pr even t ion cu r r icu lu m available in 10 lan gu ages! NOTE: It isyour donationsthat allow Born2fly to give away their curriculum and trafficking-prevention training all over the world. Click here to partner with them!

Thanks to the U.S. Army for the statistics and graphs below


What Can You Do? SUPPORT -

Volunteer with local organizations that fight trafficking. Give financially to organizations on the frontlines.

-

Write letters to your senators and congressmen/women asking them what they are doing and asking them to continue making changes. Write women and girls pulled out of trafficking and encourage them.

BE SOCIAL -

-

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

FAIR TRADE -

-

WRITE -

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

Use social media to disseminate information on human trafficking. You can like certain pages and pass the information along on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social platforms. Start your own page, blog, or create a board on Pinterest. Always make sure to include the positive: people who are rescued, preventative tactics, progress, etc. Don?t leave people without hope.

Start looking at where your products come from. FAIR TRADE USA is a good place to see what products were produced through slavery, and which ones were not. Write to companies using slavery and remind them that they should be responsible citizens.

PRAY -

Find a friend to pray with you. Start a prayer time with some friends that is dedicated to people who need help.

EDUCATE

-

Educate yourself on this issue. Be ready to answer questions. Many people don?t realize this even exists or they don?t want to hear about it or care. Don?t let that stand in the way. Stay informed and share what you learn--you will find others interested in making a difference.


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GAJ December 2017 Edition, Vol 3, Issue 6  

Get involved in the fight against human trafficking! Grace As Justice is a magazine that educates, inspires, and empowers readers to make a...

GAJ December 2017 Edition, Vol 3, Issue 6  

Get involved in the fight against human trafficking! Grace As Justice is a magazine that educates, inspires, and empowers readers to make a...

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