Hello everyone and Happy New Year to you all!

On behalf of the Justice Coalition, I am writing to invite your church/faith community to participate in this year’s Freedom Sunday on February 26th. We are busy putting together special “Freedom Sunday in a box” packs that will make it simple for your church to host anywhere from a 5-minute window to an entire worship service.

Freedom Sunday 2017 is coming! from Central Valley Justice Coalition on Vimeo.

Freedom Sunday is an internationally recognized day for the church body to focus on worship, prayer, and action in response to human trafficking (and other forms of slavery), the fastest growing crime in the world.

We will have all of our resources, including a brand-new Freedom Story video, ready to be distributed by January 24th, when we will host a training and informational meeting at Northpark Community Church from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm in Room 202. You, or a representative from your church, are invited to join us to learn how to simply engage your church in responding to human trafficking from a Christ-centered perspective.

For the first time, this year, we have the capacity to send as many as 15 different speakers to churches across the city. If you’d like to book one of our educators to come speak please reply to this email or call us at 227-8001.

Hope to see you all on January 24th!

Northpark Church is located at 2297 E. Shepherd Ave Fresno, CA 93720.

God bless,

Ryan

Great News from the California State Assembly: AB 1761 Affirmative Defense for Human Trafficking Victims passed out of the Assembly today with a 68-2 vote! On to the Senate!

More to be done:
We need one final push to make sure the legislature votes to support the $15 million budget request for specialized services to trafficking victims and sends this item to the Governor for signature.

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To help the legislature know how important this request is we would like to send one final letter with signatures to show the overwhelming support for this measure. To sign onto this letter please click here. We need your help then inviting friends and family to do the same!

Additionally, please send in your own letters of support.
Template letter here.

If you have any questions please reach out to Stephanie@castla.org.

CASTLA is a leader in pushing for reform at the state and federal level. Along with our partners Central Valley Against Human Trafficking we are supporting this specific piece of legislation!

“When I was in prostitution, it was glamorized. . . I was in it for the money. But it was wrong. I was selling myself, and that’s not what God intended it to be…

“The things I did in my life were done out of survival. I wish at that time there would have been an organization like the Central Valley Justice Coalition because it would have helped me a big deal.”

– excerpts from interviews with Connie, shared with permission.

Connie is a partner of our Coalition and shares a bit of her story in our latest video.  Take three minutes to watch it now!

We are thrilled to announce we are into the second week of our Freedom Fund 2015! True Organic Products, Inc has generously provided a matching grant for $10,000! We are excited to see how God uses this time to raise funds that lead to FREEDOM in the lives of people in our own community! Give today and spread the word on Facebook or Twitter.

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I found this image online last week as I was looking for something to show my gratitude to the hundreds of people who are participating in Freedom Sunday this month.  Though it may not be Fresno, I felt it accurately reflects the love we have for our city and the people in it.

Thank you for partnering with us.

 

In sharing with churches about Human Trafficking in Fresno, I’m drawn to the incident in Luke 7 where Jesus is anointed by the woman. It’s such a beautiful display of love for her savior after realizing how much debt had been paid… a proclamation of freedom and an act of true love! (Read it here.) To know your debt has been paid is the most freeing experience of all! Nothing can hold you back anymore! Think of a time when you were forgiven, when your life was spared, when grace overcame and all you could do was say “Thank You Jesus”…

 

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She poured out her most valuable possession and risked being criticized by those around her because she had the FREEDOM that only Christ can bring to LOVE him more than anything…

Jesus says,  “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.  Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” 

Oh to be the “sinful woman” at Jesus feet. To understand how much has been forgiven and how free I really am because of God’s great love for us… oh to have that repeated throughout our city streets and churches and brothels and night clubs in Fresno… in the hearts of men and women on the streets… among the trafficked and the saved…

 

May you know the freedom of forgiveness today and understand how much you are truly loved. 

–Kelly Mitchinson, CVJC Staff

Happy Thanksgiving! We at CVJC have a long list of thanks and praise to offer up to God this year! We hope and pray that whatever your circumstances, you also are experiencing great joy and gratitude this week.

We are beyond thankful for each of you as our partners, and for the amazing faith communities that have embraced this justice journey with us.

We invite you to attend one of our two Freedom Sunday Trainings on January 6th and 8th! If you haven’t participated in Freedom Sunday as a faith community, please join us this year as we observe it together in the Central Valley on February 1, 2015. Freedom Sunday is a day for believers and communities to offer prayer and worship on behalf of those enslaved. It’s a perfect opportunity to learn more about and respond to human trafficking on a local level.

Our trainings in January prepare you to lead a 5-minute focus on human trafficking at your place of worship. We provide resources, walk you through a “Freedom Sunday focus”, and present a drama. Please note the RSVP date! (If you miss the deadline, please email us to see if there’s still space.) Learn more here…and hope to see you in January!

Freedom Sunday Training 2015