By Carl Stagner
The millennials aren’t the only ones championing social causes these days. In Oklahoma, one senior adult ministries group came together around the cause for freedom. Of course, they’re not addressing the human trafficking epidemic to feel good about themselves; they’re genuinely concerned about the human condition and the well-being of those made in the image of God. Faith produces action, and the seniors of the Church of God in Oklahoma have followed up their prayers for CHOG TraffickLight with a generous donation.
For countless years—well before Chuck Whetstone took the reins of leadership—the senior adults in Oklahoma have embarked on an annual retreat for worship, fellowship, and encouragement. On the heels of the initial CHOG TraffickLight challenge at Church of God Convention 2014, Chuck brought the issue up to the group of roughly fifty saints at the AM (Adult Ministries) 55+ Retreat at Camp Christian in Chouteau, Oklahoma. Chuck had effectively become an ambassador for CHOG TraffickLight.
“Since Oklahoma City is centered on the I-35/I-40/I-44 corridor, there’s a lot of sex trafficking that occurs right here,” Chuck explains. “It really hit me that whatever we could do to slow down the trafficking, the better.”
When the AM 55+ saints come together, they hold an auction based on the theme of the year. For example, the year of berries might mean someone brings in strawberry jam or a berry-decorated kitchen towel for the auction. The obvious question arose, centered on what to do with the money raised from the auction. Chuck suggested a donation to CHOG TraffickLight.
“There was an old television commercial in the 1960s that basically emphasized that true care is love in action,” Chuck recounts. “If you care for something, you’re going to take action in your love. When your love is real, you’re going to take action. You can pray for all the missionaries of the world, but why not go a step further and support them financially? When we heard all these stories from the Church of God Convention about human trafficking taking place in the world, and then realized it’s also happening in our own backyard, we knew we needed to take action.”
Chuck was just one of thousands of people who have attended the Church of God Convention and have come away with a new burden for those caught in the web of trafficking. CHOG TraffickLight is now in Year 2, boldly moving toward a goal of one million dollars to support Church of God organizations making a difference in the fight for freedom. Earlier this year, many in the Church of God chose to set aside Freedom Sunday to rally their local fellowships for the cause. Freedom Sunday 2016 is February 14. Why not play ahead to participate? Materials will be available to the Church of God soon, so keep checking back with www.CHOGTraffickLight.org for updates. Chuck is blessed by this potential of working together to make a difference.
“The individual effort is tremendous, but when you bring that together with others, that’s powerful,” he explains. “I would pray that more individuals would be set free through the efforts of CHOG TraffickLight, and that the darkness will be extinguished by the light. Sometimes that takes money.”
Learn more about CHOG TraffickLight, or make your donation today, at www.CHOGTraffickLight.org!