Thursday, March 18, 2010

Activists Unite to Help Bring Hope and Healing to Domestic Sex Trafficking Victims

Sex trafficking is not just an international issue. It is happening right here in the U.S. and is becoming more and more prevalent. The abuse involved in this trade is horrific and the effects sex trafficking has on its victims are devastating. Mercy Ministries knows this firsthand because we already serve some of these young women in our current facilities.

We at Mercy are excited to partner with organizations like Natalie Grant’s Home Foundation and the CTSA, (Christian Trafficking Shelter Association), to develop specialized residential homes dedicated to restoring the lives of these young women who have suffered abuse. The CTSA exists to connect organizations in order to insure best possible standards of care for trafficked victims so they are taken care of emotionally, physically and spiritually, and The Home Foundation is a non-profit charitable foundation dedicated to the eradication of human trafficking both domestically and abroad. Through advocacy, education and relief efforts, the Home Foundation is committed to end the suffering of women and children sold into sexual slavery. Last week was an exciting milestone in the fight against sex trafficking in the United States and the care for its victims.

On Tuesday, musicians Brandon Heath, Britt Nicole, Tenth Avenue North, Phillip LaRue and Audrey Assad lent their talents in order to benefit the efforts of The Home Foundation and the CTSA. Artists gathered at Belcourt Theater in Nashville, Tennessee, in order to deliver an eclectic concert with a united heart for ministry. Natalie Grant, Founder of The Home Foundation, shared her vision and explained that trafficking is not only an international issue but often happens in our own backyards. Concert-goers were encouraged to take action, bring light to this issue, and support the cause through prayer and finances.

On Thursday, the first Christian Trafficking Shelters Association Conference united activists and ministry leaders concerned with helping reach sex trafficked victims. The CTSA conference was a huge success, serving as a platform for important conversation, education, and unity in this cause. Natalie Grant was joined by several keynote speakers that are passionate about the issue of sex trafficking in the United States. Dr. Laura Lederer worked for years with the state department to pass laws and legislature regulating this issue. Former District Attorney of New York, Dr. Bob Flores, helped guests understand law enforcement in the realm of sex trafficking. Special guest, Lisa Thompson, with the Salvation Army, discussed the history of abolitionist movements in the United States in order to motivate strategy for change. And Nancy Alcorn, Founder and President of Mercy Ministries, spoke about her work in juvenile detention centers and how she stepped out in faith to answer God’s plan to help hurting young women.

Here is what Nancy Alcorn had to say about this timely partnership through the CTSA:

“We have seen girls find hope and healing in our program, and as awareness grows about sex trafficking, we have received more calls for help. We are ready to focus on this issue and we are excited to partner with Natalie Grant’s Home Foundation, CTSA, and others to extend our ability to serve these girls. These young women deserve the best care that we can offer them.”

This was truly a powerful week dedicated to rejecting apathy and demonstrating compassion for young girls in extreme need. We would like to thank Stacia Freeman, Director of The Home Foundation, for coordinating all the details of these events.

It’s never too early to begin praying for the many victims of trafficking that may one day enter a Mercy Ministries home. We are so excited for what God is doing and we thank you for sharing the vision with us! If you are interested in knowing how you can support this effort, please contact Selah Hirsch at We thank God for our donors, and so do the girls that your support is saving and transforming.

To learn more about The Home Foundation or the CTSA, visit their website at