Our recent Hands That Heal weekend was a huge success! RJI partnered with the local The Grey Haven Project (TGHP) and Students Stopping the Trafficking of Persons (SSTOP) to host a faith-based, three-part weekend conference here in Richmond, VA. Friday night West End Assembly of God hosted us for a documentary viewing and panel discussion. The documentary gave the 120 attendees an eye-opening view into one face of human trafficking: the commercial sex trafficking of domestic minors in New York City.
Saturday morning and afternoon 57 people – from Richmond, Liberty, Virginia Beach, and Farmville – attended our aftercare training at the University of Richmond campus with Nicole Wood from Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking (FAAST). Wood covered human trafficking 101, the biblical response to human trafficking, cultural issues and trauma involved in aftercare, and an introducation to holistic aftercare. One participant remarked that it was powerful and encouraging to simply be in a room with individuals for the training who are all passionate about fighting human trafficking on some many levels. We are now planning the continuation of this training, which will be provided as an 8-week follow-up course.
Saturday evening’s Prayer and Worship Night for Modern-Day Abolitionists provided a fitting close to the weekend as individuals gathered at Commonwealth Chapel to worship our God of Justice and to seek His heart for victims. Another participant mentioned that while she has always cared about issues of justice, this weekend truly gave her God’s heart for justice. In conclusion, it was an incredibly packed and exciting weekend – and we look forward to seeing the fruit and action that comes out of it!