Family Event to Fight Human Trafficking in
Harris County through Prayer and Awareness
Houston, August 15, 2011 -The public is invited to join a collaboration of area churches in “Just Pray”, a prayer walk from noon to 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 17, on the grounds of Northwoods Presbyterian Church, 3320 FM 1960 West. The afternoon event is part of the “Just Cause” first annual gathering of metro area events to raise awareness about the growing existence of modern day slavery – including forced labor and commercial sex exploitation – throughout Houston, Harris County, and surrounding suburbs.
“North Harris County residents daily drive by establishments in local shopping centers that house victims of human trafficking. People are shocked to learn how many sexually oriented businesses (spas, massage parlors) are right here in very close proximity to our homes and schools in the FM 1960 area, Spring and Tomball,” according to Redeemed Ministries, which is coordinating the Prayer Walk.
‘Just Pray” is a family friendly event open to all. A special children’s activity zone will be set aside for families so parents will be free to learn more about this tragedy that has infiltrated our neighborhoods. Live entertainment including praise music, dance, and dramatization performances by local talent will follow the Prayer Walk. Snacks and drinks will also be available for participants.
Prayer stations, each focusing on an aspect or fact about modern day slavery, will be throughout the wooded church grounds, giving participants the opportunity to move through the walk at their own pace. The culmination of the prayer walk will be through the arbor to the outdoor labyrinth.
Participants may pre-register on-line through the Brown Bag link at http://www.redeemedministries.com. The $12 registration fee includes a “Just Pray” t-shirt. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged, but not required for attendance. T-shirts will also be available during the event.
The community is urged to come by to learn more about this insidious crime that is occurring in our community, and growing worldwide. Volunteers from Redeemed Ministries and other organizations including Not for Sale will provide additional information and offer volunteer action opportunities. The objective of “Just Pray” is to educate and increase in number those committed to pray for human trafficking victims and the eradication of the crime in the North Harris County community.
Redeemed Ministries is a local volunteer organization that reaches out to victims to provide outreach, survivor aftercare, and legislative advocacy, as well as educating the community. Redeemed Ministries is committed to meeting God in earnest prayer and by being engaged in efforts to Educate People, Seek Victims, Build Relationships, Identify Resources, and Redeeming the Value of survivors. For more information, please visit our website http://www.redeemedministries.com.
For so long we have ignored or accepted that women are trapped and exploited in the commercial sex industry by choice. However, many – including children – are victims of the growing crime of modern day slavery. Human trafficking victims are abused through the use of force, fraud or coercion. Worldwide an estimated 27 million people are enslaved. Of those, 80 percent are female and 50 percent are children. U.S. citizens comprise an estimated 200,000 to 600,000 of that total, with 100,000 of them American children aged 14 and under. Annually, there are 6,000 runaways in Houston and it is estimated that one out of three will be prostituted within the first 48 hours according to Houston’s Children at Risk.
Houston is considered a main trafficking hub city and a major destination. In the first quarter of 2009, 58 percent of the trafficking calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline that originated in Texas came from the Houston area, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
“Just Cause” is a cooperative initiative of churches, faith-based ministries, and local businesses and organizations, including Redeemed Ministries, that are committed to addressing God's passion for justice for the oppressed in our own community and beyond. Other events during the week of September 10-17, 2011 throughout the Houston area include “Just Eat!”, “Just Run for a Just Cause”, “Just Golf – Tee Off Against Trafficking”, “Just Shop” and “Just Rap.” Details on all events are available at http://justcausehouston.yolasite.com/.
Stephanie Luna – Email: redeemedministries_Prayerwalk@yahoo.com
Bobbie Marks, Director, Redeemed Ministries
Kathy Williams 281-433-7156