Holly Smith and Sara Pomeroy Speak at Mechanicsville Christian Center

On May 6th, human trafficking survivor Holly Smith and Richmond Justice Initiative RJI Founder/Director Sara Pomeroy, spoke at Mechanicsville Christian Center following a sermon given by Pastor Carter Goolsby. After a short video about RJI, Holly approached the podium. To an engaged and silent audience, she shared her shocking story from years ago when at the age of 14, she was drawn into the ugly world of human trafficking. Living in New Jersey, she met her trafficker at the mall and was seduced into a life she could have never imagined. Fortunately, her freedom came quickly, and she has made it her mission to share her experience.

Sara then shared a message to educate the congregation on the facts of human trafficking: 200,000 American kids are being trafficked within our borders each year; the average age of a child that is in human slavery in the United States is 12; and human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry in the world. She encouraged the congregation to respond to what they had just heard. It was important that each person understand that we all have gifts and talents that can be used to end slavery. Sara then shared how God spoke to her on the issue. He said, “I will give you your next steps and your blueprints when you are on your knees in the place of prayer.” She reviewed the success that RJI has seen since its beginning and finished with prayer and the verses Luke 4:18-19 which say: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set the oppressed free.” – Lane Burgess