Tag Archives: awareness

Double Adoptee Walks Across Country for Foster Care, Adoption Awareness

Glenn Koster takes a break along the scenic countryside.

By Carl Stagner

Abandoned and alone, Glenn Koster was adopted at age six. Due to neglect and abuse, he had to be adopted again at age ten. Sadly, this traumatic childhood did little to prepare him for the real world and, as such, Glenn found an outlet for his pain in alcohol and violence. The Lord turned his life around though, and in 1989, he forever left his alcohol and abuse in the past. Desiring to pay it forward, but not permitted to foster or adopt because of his record, Glenn has instead determined to raise awareness for foster care and adoption. As he walks across the continental United States, the Church of God minister and Leadership Focus participant is encountering not only a wide variety of people, but also his heavenly Father in a fresh and powerful way. Continue reading

Church of God Makes Final Prep for Freedom Sunday, Feb. 14

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By Ann Brandon and Carl Stagner

On Sunday, February 14—Valentine’s Day—believers across the denominational spectrum will stand as one against the epidemic of modern slavery. This is because February 14 isn’t just Valentine’s Day this year; it’s also Freedom Sunday! Human trafficking has met its match if and when God’s church comes together against such widespread evil. Church of God Ministries has put a plethora of free resources at your fingertips to help your congregation observe Freedom Sunday in a meaningful way, including opportunities to support CHOG TraffickLight and reach our movement-wide million-dollar goal. One church that has embraced God’s call to fight against the injustice of trafficking is Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis. Continue reading

Sex Trafficking: From Awareness to Action

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Photo: Awareness materials distributed at the youth convention in Missouri.

By Randee Doe

The average age at which a child is exploited through prostitution is just thirteen. Take a moment to process that statement. Thirteen years old!

When most people think of sex trafficking, they think of a kidnapped child enslaved in a foreign brothel, not too different than depicted in the 2009 movie Taken. In reality, commercial sexual exploitation of minors does occur internationally, but it also occurs in every corner of the United States. In the United States, sex trafficking typically occurs through the manipulative tactics of suave, predatory pimps. The United States Department of Justice has reported that there are 100,000 to 300,000 American children at risk of being trafficked for commercial sex in the United States. Continue reading

California Church’s Creative Way to Fight Trafficking

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Photo: Gordon Thompson (right), Jacob Thompson, and Loren Thompson promoting $3-2-free.

By Carl Stagner

One thousand dollars may seem like a lot of money to a small congregation. It’s often a lack of resources that deters many Church of God congregations from financially supporting movement-wide efforts. One such effort is the $1,000 X 1,000 campaign to fight sex trafficking, which was launched at Church of God Convention 2014. But $1,000 becomes manageable when it’s broken up into bite-sized chunks, one Long Beach, California, congregation has observed. Their “$3-2-free” challenge, which is currently resonating among the people of the modest-size church, might be one simple way your church can help change the world. Continue reading

Eye-Opening: Church Uses Video to Raise Awareness of Sex Trafficking

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By Dave Baylor

According to the Polaris Project, there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking worldwide. Of these, four to five million are trafficked for sexual exploitation. Most people agree that these numbers are appalling and that something should be done, but sex trafficking is often viewed as an international problem. We think it is something that occurs in foreign lands, far from our cities and neighborhoods. Yet, the truth is something quite different. Sex trafficking is happening in right here, in the United States, in places like Baltimore, Nashville, Little Rock, Dallas, and Sacramento. Continue reading

Student Crosses America on Bicycle to Fight Trafficking

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Photo: Ian Kallay pausing for a picture along his incredible journey.

By Wright State University Athletic Media Relations

Wright State University [Dayton, Ohio] cross country runner Ian Kallay spent his summer vacation biking across America to raise funds and awareness of human trafficking.

First, tell us about yourself, like where you are from, what your major is, etc.

I am originally from Painesville, Ohio where I attended Riverside High School. Just after turning twenty years old, I received my undergraduate degree in marketing from Wright State’s Raj Soin College of Business. Currently, I am in the process of working towards my master’s in engineering innovation and entrepreneurship while working a graduate research assistantship at Wright State’s Research Institute. I am a member of Wright State’s cross country and track team, as well. Continue reading

Five Things Every Parent Needs to Know About Sex Trafficking

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Prepared by Randee Doe

1. It could happen to your children. As many as 300,000 children are sex-trafficked annually in the United States, with the average age being 12–14 years old! Kids from every race, economic situation, background, and home life are vulnerable to falling prey to a trafficker or pimp.

2. Know who your children’s friends are! Stranger danger doesn’t look the same as it did when you were a kid. Your child may be making friends with someone who is involved in a sex-trafficking ring or with someone who appears to be a cute and charming boyfriend. Many pimps use the “boyfriend” or “lover-boy” tactic to woo and win a girls love, loyalty, and trust. Continue reading

Taboo No More: Oregon Church Boldly Addresses AIDS

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Photo: Participants of AIDS Walk Portland 2014.

By Carl Stagner

More than 2,500 miles from Hawaii, a suburban community of fifty thousand inhabitants welcomes visitors with a sign that reads “Aloha.” Though often overshadowed by its well-known neighbor (Portland), Aloha is a city not forgotten by God. Like many metropolitan centers pinched by economic collapse and divided by culture and ideology, Aloha and the Portland metro area are ripe for spiritual harvest. Fueled by mercy and a drive to live out the love of God, Aloha Church of God has dared to walk where many churches simply do not go. Continue reading

Warner Pacific Freshmen Boldly Speak Out on Sex Trafficking

By Arthur Kelly and WPC Staff

Bold is…raising your voice to protect women and children from sex trafficking.

A woman spreading a sleeping bag on the cold concrete of an often wet sidewalk. The gaunt face of child, living on the streets, hungry for just about any kind of attention—but eagerly searching for something to fill an empty stomach. The blank stare of a young man or woman, walking the Avenue of Roses, just blocks away from the Warner Pacific campus, hoping to earn enough money from the sad men who buy their bodies so they won’t be beaten another night when they haven’t met their quota. Portland, Oregon, is a beautiful city that is plagued by these three sad faces. Warner Pacific students are boldly offering the hope of Christ. Continue reading