It would be an understatement to say that the last 18 months have been a challenging time for us at the Justice Coalition. As the light dawned on 2021, we were presented with an opportunity to streamline our operations through converting two vacated part-time positions into a full-time associate director role. We conducted a thorough search and found the perfect candidate, Dan Carter, for the job.
Only trouble was, as she is a foreign national from Australia, we would need to get a work visa. What we thought would take 6 weeks wound up taking 22 instead but praise God, she has now finally been able to start! I can’t thank all you enough for your support, encouragement and prayers during these trying times.
As an education organization working with vulnerable populations, primarily through in-person presentations, trainings and gatherings, it’s been difficult (the last year plus) to measure our impact using the methods we spent years developing. Yet, even when we haven’t been able to see our efforts produce the numerical impact we desire, this time has been far from wasted.
Currently, we are doing the hard work to streamline our systems and increase our capacity because we know that our mission has never been more important than it is now! With Dan, Arien and myself we now have three full-time staff for the first time in our history and we are joined by Christa, Marissa and Jessica in part-time roles. As we move into the always busy fall season, requests for speakers and classes are skyrocketing. Like a cellphone plugged in overnight (or in this case for the last 8 months) we are charged up and ready to go!
This year we are joining with a hundred churches in the Fresno/Clovis area to pray and fast for change and renewal in our cities. Beginning on Jan.11 and ending on Jan. 31 we are committing to devote three weeks to seeking God’s plans for our individual lives and our mutual service. For more information on fasting (what it is, why we do it, what we are praying for, upcoming events) please download the FastingBrochure2016 (courtesy of Northpark and Fresno First Baptist Church).
From our Executive Director:
Human Trafficking is evil.
It’s morally abhorrent and ethically indefensible on every level.
As people of faith, we can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the sheer scope of the world’s second largest criminal enterprise (U.S. Dept of Justice). It can feel like there is no hope for the people caught in modern day slavery and despair can overtake even the most committed activists.
Trafficking is an evil trade exploiting a weak system. We must act. – Yvette Cooper
This is why prayer is key in the battle to end slavery. This moment we find ourselves in doesn’t just call for prayer, it demands it. Prayer is essential because prayer is AN ACTION that we undertake. It is a conscious choice to do something profoundly counter cultural.
In prayer and fasting, we recognize the limits of our own abilities and plans. We realize that we are part of something much bigger than ourselves and that we are powerless to defeat evil without the help of an all powerful God. This doesn’t mean we are powerless, in fact, it’s the opposite: when we recognize our own weakness and vulnerability then we are in position to see the greater things Jesus was talking about in John 14:12.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”
May we never forget that we have the hope of the world on our side.
We 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.
Come join Central Valley Justice Coalition in kicking off National Human Trafficking Awareness Month!
Monday, January 6, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Fresno First Baptist Church Parlor (1400 W. Saginaw Ave., Fresno 93704)
The evening includes a brief training for Freedom Sunday
Freedom Sunday is February 2, 2014! CVJC wants to equip you and your church (or place of worship) to join in this day of prayer, worship, and response on behalf of those who are trapped in modern day slavery. This 30 minute training includes resources and tools for sharing 5 minutes (or more) at your church about human trafficking in the Fresno area and how to partner with us to end it
Followed by a time of prayer
Prayer is central to all we do – God moves and acts when we gather together in his name! We want to begin 2014 (and National Human Trafficking Awareness Month) on our knees. We will be praying for God’s freedom and justice to flood our Valley, bringing transformation to the lives of all affected by human trafficking. The time will be guided with scripture, media and specific prayer points, held just across from the Parlor in the Memorial Chapel.
If you can’t attend Monday night, come for
Freedom Sunday Training & Prayer
Tuesday, January 7th, 12p-1pm (doors open for networking until 1:30p)
Fresno First Baptist Church Parlor. Beverages provided, bring your own lunch
“It is for freedom that Christ set us free!” Gal 5:1
February 2, 2014 churches across the Central Valley are uniting to proclaim freedom for all who enslaved in modern day slavery.
Join in standing against human trafficking and other forms of slavery and FOR the freedom found in Christ Jesus! Sign up here to let us know you are participating. See our new Freedom Sunday page for more info and resources.
Feb 2nd is around the corner and we want to equip YOU with tools and resources for your congregation. Please join us for Freedom Freedom Sunday Training!
When: Tues, Jan 7th, 12 – 1pm (doors open until 1:30)
JUST ADDED! Monday, Jan 6, 7pm. This evening includes brief training, and a larger focus on worship and prayer for 2014 (in honor of Human Trafficking Awareness month).
Where: Fresno First Baptist Parlor (on southeast side of campus, close to Lansing Ave)
Don’t wait til after Christmas to bring this to the attention of your church leaders!
If you or someone you know is:
•not getting paid for their labor
•not free to change employers
•being controlled by someone else
•being forced to do something they don't want to do
•has been cheated into payment of debt upon arrival
You, he, or she may be a victim of human trafficking and eligible for free assistance.
Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888.373.7888 for more information. Or, text INFO or HELP to BEFREE (233733)
Contact us at 559.725.1865 for support, resources, and consultation. You can also contact the Fresno Police Tip Line at 559. 621.5950.