One of my favorite scenes from a movie this year comes from Logan, the darkly dystopian X-Men road movie. Regarding a family in need of help on the side of the road, Logan (played by Hugh Jackman) says to Patrick Stewart’s Professor X, “Someone will come along.”

“Someone has come along,” replies Xavier.

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I’ve thought about this scene often during the last month. Our organization is currently experiencing the growing pains that come from the transition from friendraising to fundraising. When I left Northpark Church to take over at Central Valley Justice Coalition, I relied on the support of people I’d known for a long time to help make the transition and raise the support necessary. Jessica, Kelly and Melissa had done the same before I got here.

At this point, we are now in need of people who will come along, basically out of nowhere. People who see the dire situation of human trafficking and don’t turn away. People who will step up for the cause and take a leap of faith on the people who are running point for the battle.

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I’ve had a number of people tell me that they would rather not know about the realities of human trafficking in our valley. Ignorance of the situation allowed them to have a naive comfort in the midst of the struggle and pain of others. I don’t think this is because they don’t have a heart. I think it’s because they feel like nothing can be done in the face of such overwhelming evil and exploitation.

But it isn’t true. Something can be done! And someone has come along. You are here now, reading this blog entry. What’s next?

Join our team and partner with us to prevent human trafficking in the Central Valley. Sign up to pray. Get involved as a volunteer. Pray, Give, Act.

Ryan Townsend, executive director.

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World Refugee day

“Our responses to refugees must be grounded in our shared values of responsibility sharing, non-discrimination, and human rights and in international refugee law, including the principle of non-refoulement.” — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

Exploitation preys on vulnerability. I see it in the faces of the victims and survivors of human trafficking who come through our office in Fresno, CA. Some of them have been refugees, many have been U.S. citizens. But the struggle is the same, whether we are talking about the risks to foster youth at home or the large numbers of displaced people who are at-risk of being trafficked.

Our faith, actually, just our basic humanity, demands that we speak up and defend those who are vulnerable to exploitation. Will you join us today in prayer but also in action, on behalf of those whose voices are being drowned out by the evil of slavery and violence?

Today’s global observance of WRD comes at a crucial time after a record-breaking 65.3 million people were displaced from their homes by the end of 2015, according to a report released by the United Nations on Monday. (source: USA Today)

Ryan Townsend, Executive Director.

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My Life My Choice is an evidence-based prevention curriculum that provides a concrete, well-researched method for preventing commercial sexual exploitation among vulnerable adolescent girls.

My Life My Choice groups can be offered weekly in schools, group homes, and other community settings.

This past Monday and Tuesday, CVJC and Youth For Christ hosted over 50 people who were trained to facilitate the class at Fresno EOC’s Nielsen Conference Center. We were excited to offer the training to 6 of our educators in preparation to offer this resource across the valley in 2016.

YFC and CVJC have already partnered together to offer two full sessions and two mini-sessions of My Life My Choice at the Juvenile Justice Campus. As a result of this partnership, 5 girls have already disclosed that they were victims of trafficking or abuse.

“I really enjoyed the classes we have been able to come to. I can never explain how much this has helped me. Before this, I wouldn’t even talk about my past. I felt chained down and scared. Now, shoot! I feel free and I feel stronger than I ever have. I have high hopes for a better future. And thank you for all you guys have done for us. I could never thank ya’ll enough for helping me find my voice.” – Teen Survivor of Sex Trafficking

For more information on how you can partner with us to bring My Life My Choice to at-risk to youth in your field, please contact Associate Director Jessica Pittman, jessica@cvjusticecoalition, or call our office 559.227.8001.

thank-you-very-much-paint-designsWe are STOKED to announce our grand total. As of today, we have raised $10,317* towards the Freedom Fund!

(*Disclaimer, our staff is still checking on what may be additional donations. So the grand total may be a bit more! Also, did you know it’s actually #Giving Tuesday today? If you haven’t given, know we met our matching grant goal but have quite a lot of fund raising left to do for 2016. Get your donation in before the year ends by giving today or ANYTIME!)

With the matching funds, that amounts to $20,317 that will go directly to taking on human trafficking head on! We can’t thank you enough for your gifts, prayers and partnerships. When you invest in CVJC by giving financially, here’s just a short list of things that we see happen in very real ways:

  • God’s faithfulness and provision is celebrated! We step out in faith when we make these goals, and God keeps showing up!
  • Our leadership team and partners are encouraged and inspired, knowing we have people believing in us and this work enough to give precious resources towards preventing human trafficking helps to fuel our efforts year round!
  • Victims, survivors and advocates hear loud and clear that THE CHURCH AND COMMUNITY BELIEVE ALL SHOULD BE FREE.

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We’re praising God for blessing us through your generosity! May you be blessed in return for giving!

From the bottom of our hearts we thank you.

 

 

Even though our Matching Grant deadline may be over, we still need monthly donors to have continual support of our work. If you feel led to give a monthly donation of any kind, please CLICK HERE and follow the instructions.

We’re humbled to be a part of this great work.