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by Michele Trampe
Rebuke the oppressor;”
In 2013, Takeek Sherod Swinney was arrested in Stafford County, after one of the many women he had forced into prostitution was arrested in a hotel off of Warrenton Road. Swinney controlled and brutally abused women and girls up and down the East Coast for years. In February of 2014, he was sentenced to 24 ½ years in prison for his crimes.
Human trafficking is a global shadow industry that generates in excess of $32 billion annually, that’s more than Nike, Starbucks and Google combined. That’s “big business”. It can take the form of commercial sex, labor, or organ trafficking. Although, the later form generally does not occur in the U.S. at this time. I was probably like many who thought that human trafficking couldn’t possibly happen here in our community. Regrettably, we are not immune.
Trafficking victims can be men, women, girls, or boys. They do not always self-identify as victims due to many factors including fear and shame. I spoke with an FBI agent recently, who told me that they used to be able to identify who was “at risk” for becoming a victim, but not anymore.
Traffickers will look and act like anyone they need to be to lure their victims, both in person or on the internet. Traffickers may be male or female. They can appear as loving boyfriends, hanging on every word a young teen has to say. However, they will lie and use values created by popular culture to lure teens, sometimes pre-teens, away from the safety of their homes and family. Gangs have now started to engage in human trafficking, as drugs can be sold once, but humans can be sold over and over again.
We know that our Lord is a God of Justice and mercy, who “is unbiased and takes no bribe, who justly treats the orphan and widow, and who loves the resident foreigners, giving them food and clothing.” (Deut. 10: 17-19) He is not only concerned with those who are within the church, but his compassion extends to those without a shepherd.
The Central Virginia Justice Initiative (CVJI) was created to join in the battle against the evil of human trafficking through prayer and action. We have five major action initiatives at this time: Awareness, Prevention, Education, Advocacy, and Church Mobilization. We don’t have all of the answers, but we do have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Our God is awesome.
On the evening of Sunday, September 28th at New Life in Christ, I will be presenting the topic of human trafficking, including what it looks like in Virginia, as well as locally, and actions that can be taken. On Saturday, October 4th CVJI will be hosting an evening of Prayer and Worship from 7-9PM at New Life in Christ. This evening is designed to sing worship songs to our Lord, and focus on scriptural corporate prayer. All are welcome. For more information on CVJI, visit us at www.centralvajusticeinitiative.com.
About Michele: Michele is a member of New Life in Christ Church. She is married to Paul Trampe and lives in Spotsylvania County with their two dogs. She was a member of and taught Sunday school for many years at McLean Presbyterian Church in McLean Virginia before moving to Spotsylvania. She is an accountant by training, who enjoys participating in political discussions.
Scroll down toward the end to read a message from Kathryne Marple, NLICC Women’s Ministry Committee Chair
Baby Ewing has arrived!
Mairead Eleanor Ewing was born on Sunday, September 14 to Andrew and Trina weighing 7 lbs. 9 oz. and measuring 20 in. If you would like to provide a meal for the Ewings,contact Annie Page for the sign up link.
Women’s Retreat October 24-26 – Signups and final payments due in the foyer September 21st and 28th
- Sovereign God of the Covenants
- teaching by Marcia Vastine
- at Blessings Lodge, Camp Overlook
- hotel style lodging, 4 twins per room
- all meals Friday evening – Sunday noon
- $120 or your remaining balance due
- room signup and meal confirmation at time of payment; if you have paid in full already, please stop by the table to pick your room
- plenty of room available – grab a friend!
- questions? Contact Connie Both
Special Project during church work day, Saturday, September 27- If you have not contacted Craig Cuddy to help in a specific area, please consider helping us re-cover the old orange chairs with some new fabric so they may be used once again. No experience needed. Gail Weeks will be leading the effort in room 100.
Pioneer Girls Update
We are still in need of Leaders! We need a leader for our 3-4th grade girls to partner with Rachel Fleming. We also have a need for nursery workers. If you have a preteen or older girl who is looking to serve in the church, this is a perfect opportunity.
Praise that we have a ride for T.J. Cotton’s two Pioneer girls.
Please let Sharon Leaman or Dorinda McConnell know if you can help in any way. Thank you!
Meals for Josh and Elisa Wassum – Baby Lena Rose is here!
Rejoice with Josh and Elisa. Lena Rose is also the granddaughter of Bill and Trish Wassum and Jim and Karen Melnick. She was born last Tuesday and weighed 5 lbs, 12 oz. Laura Scrivener is coordinating meals.
Titus 2 – It’s not too late!
Contact Karen Melnick if you missed Titus 2 signups. Books may be picked up in the office for $5. Monthly groups beginning to meet in September and October at various times.
Time with the Clark Family Running Out – Schedule time with them soon!
Thank you, Lucinda, for reminding us that Billy, Yashmin, and the girls will be leaving Fredericksburg on October 19th. If you would like to spend some time with them before they leave, the following are the dates they will be in Fredericksburg, don’t miss your opportunity: October 1-18
Fall is a great time to fold bulletins – older children are in school, schedules are more regular, and you can plan a lunch date and follow it up with service to the church! Do you have a couple hours on a Friday afternoon you can spare? Sign up HERE to fold bulletins after 1 pm some Friday. Takes about 2 hours (faster if you bring a friend!) Questions? Ask Pam in the office.
Job Opportunity – Chandra Bertch is looking for a full-time caregiver
Chandra suffers from severe effects of Lyme’s disease requires help. Position would start officially on September 22, but would be trained some during the week of the 15th. Job is on weekdays, Monday through Friday, starting at 9/10 am until 2/6 pm. Depends on the day. If you know of anyone or are interested, please contact Chandra at email@example.com.
“Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left…”
While visiting Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado last week, Steve and I decided to take a tour of one of the Pueblo Indian tribe’s cliff dwellings. That involved climbing a sturdy wooden ladder based underneath the dwelling on a concrete base. Did I mention cliff? If not for the park ranger’s careful instructions to only look at the back of my hands as I climbed the ladder and to avoid looking up, down, to the right or to the left, I am not sure I would have been able to complete the tour. There surely must be a spiritual lesson in this. The panic feeling I had as I neared the top of the ladder and thought about what was beneath and behind me (a canyon) was overcome only because I kept speaking (out loud) the ranger’s instructions. Thanks be to God for His voice speaking to our hearts telling us to walk in the way He has marked out for us.
Do you have information or needs that you’d like passed to the women of the church, activities or studies you’d like to see? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
in His grace,
the Women’s Ministry Committee
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